Ultimate Final 14 moving on

Last Friday, GMA Network’s most well-loved original reality-based artista search, Starstruck, revealed the seven boys and seven girls that make up the Ultimate Final 14.

Throughout the week last, the judges -- Joey de Leon, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, Starstruck alumna Jennylyn Mercado, and Dingdong Dantes  used their fast track privilege and chose Migo Adecer, Avery Paraiso, Klea Pineda, and Ayra Mariano from the Top 18 to advance to the Ultimate Final 14.

Elyson de Dios; Ayra Mariano; Migo Adecer; Klea Pineda

On the live telecast, the names of the others who are now taking up the challenges as members of the Ultimate Final 14 surprised many in the studio.

Among them were Analyn Barro, 18, from Bacolod; the Sid Lucero look alike Kevin Sagara, 20, from South Cotabato; 16-year old Princess Guevarra of Cavite; also from Cavite, Arra San Agustin, 20; Tarlac-born Joemarie Nielsen, 20, Bulaqueño James Teng, 17; Elyson de Dios, the 16-year old Cebuano who charmed the showbiz press covering the events with hi self-deprecating ways; Lagunense Jay Arcilla, 19; Koreen Medina, 20, also from Laguna; and Olongapo kid Liezel Lopez, 17.

The 14 young men and women met the entertainment press for the first time and to them it was like an acid test, trying to answer questions thrown at them.

Analyn Barro; Avery Paraiso; Arra San Agustin; Jay Arcilla; Liezel Lopez

Many are called but few will be chosen. That’s an old-age adage among Christians that can easily be applied to talent searches like these.

The judges are perhaps trying to see who among these kids are the most talented and have the potential to be stars. Nice try, I say, but stars are not made. They’re born.

So, talent searches, even those conducted by networks abroad, have very slim chances in creating the next stars.

The stars will emerge even if they were not part of the searches, or if they failed to make it to, in this case, the Ultimate Final 14.

James Teng; Koreen Medina; Kevin Sagra; Princess Guevarra; Joemarie Nielsen

Looking at the 14 young men and women in front of the members of the press, I could point to at least four contestants who, if given the proper guidance and packaging, could be Kapuso’s next bets in its bid for dominance both on daytime and primetime programming.

But, of course, I am not going to be the judge of who will emerge as the Ultimate Survivors of the search.

I only hope that the Kapuso network wouldn’t make the same mistakes as in the previous editions of the search and other talent searches they conducted. This time, whoever is in charge of choosing the young man or woman, must be careful in their selection so as not to give false hopes to the kids who’d rather be somewhere else and be successful than trying their best fitting in a world that they’re not meant to be in.

Remember, in show business, it’s not so much of the talent, but more of how you connect with the audience. That is the mark of a real star.

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