Lights, music, and a karaoke machine — the stage was set in search of AIT’s next Idol.
Friday night’s AIT Idol talent contest marked the end of the student council’s line of activities in celebration of the 36th anniversary of the institute.
Promptly beginning at 7pm, hosts Fran de Leon and JC Danganan welcomed AIT students to the event and introduced the judges of the night: UP volleyball varsity player Eileen Quejas, UP Pep Squad member Bryan Jalandra, and AIT professor Paolo Fresnoza.
Students cheered and held up signs of support as the seven contestants showcased their singing and dancing talents. Boxes were also passed around to show support for contestants through piso votes.
Although only her second time to sing in front of an audience, first year tourism major Maria Daniel Pantaleon expressed just minutes before her performance, “I’m enjoying. I’m not so nervous because it’s not so serious and everyone is having fun.” Pantaleon sang ‘Till There Was You’ by the Beatles accompanied by her fellow freshman contestant Julie Jolo who played the guitar. Pantaleon said that she was looking forward to meeting other performers at the event.
While the contestants’ scores were being tallied, the audience was invited to join in the Karaoke Challenge where contenders tried to get higher karaoke scores than the invited wildcard singer.
“Ang point nito is not really about winning, it’s about having a good time,” reminded Prof. Fresnoza before the winners were announced.
In first place was Espher Ferrer who sang ‘Fame’, popularized by the musicale of the same name. Ferrer had garnered the most piso votes, which accounted for 40% of the total score. In second place was Louieric Casibua who sang ‘Super Bass’ by Nicki Minaj, and ‘Thinking of You’ by Katy Perry. Casibua also danced to Lady Gaga’s ‘Judas’ and was accompanied by back up dancers from UP Sikat.
Winning AIT Idol was not Ferrer’s only cause for celebration. Friday was also Ferrer’s birthday.
The birthday girl and winner of AIT Idol said that she had just decided to join the contest the day before, and had this to say about her performance: “Kinabahan [ako] pero syempre mataas piso votes. Masaya [ako] kasi graduating na ko, last time na. ” ([I was] nervous but of course I had a lot of piso votes. [I am] happy because I’m graduating, it’s the last time.)
Winners of the AIT Idol brought home cash prizes and other goodies, while all contestants were given tokens for participating in the talent contest. –Nadine Gutierrez