Let’s begin our Weekly Blog with a short recap of what happened during Week 2 of the Road to the Final 48.
After a week of training and campaigning of the Top 75 finalists, another batch of aspirants who made it to this week’s Top 10 were announced last Saturday, February 10, on It’s Showtime.
This week’s Top 10 aspirants showed off their dancing skills by performing another OPM classic “Mr. Kupido”. The LSS inducing track was very timely, being close to Valentines Day, and the candidates wore red t-shirts to match.
For Week 2, Eunice was able to snag the Top 1 away from Val, while Abby was the lone newcomer in the top rankings.
Meanwhile, MNL48 Online Update dug deeper into the emotions of the aspirants last week as they reminisced their childhood days with the help of old photos and baby pictures. This follows a pattern in which the Online Update has tried to dig into the girls’ motivations and life stories, allowing their fans to know them at a deeper level.
If Week 1 taught the girls some lesson in prunctuality and professionalism, Week 2 was all about their physical fitness level, and how it can be either an advantage or a disadvantage. Because these girls came from various backgrounds and lifestyles, it is natural that they are on varying degrees of fitness. J-idol dances are not usually on the high end in terms of complexity, but the best idols are reasonably fit enough to maintain their level of proficiency in a possible 3-day marathon of activities and commitments.
I really love watching the updates if only because I get to know a lot about these candidates. It is easy to talk about the audition in a very dispassionate and business-like manner, but these are real girls with real dreams giving us a tiny little window into their own world in the hopes we’ll be kind enough to vote for them and make their dream come true.
In last Saturday’s Online Update, Eunice was featured and she responded to many of the controversies surrounding her. It would be remembered that Eunice was campaigned by two ABS-CBN talents which likely boosted her chances prompting some fans fans to cry foul. Some also took exception to her being in the spotlight during the performance.
My two cents? If you follow Eunice’s life journey (as she narrated it), it is clear that she has joined many workshops and contests in the past. These workshops not only improve certain stage skills, but also expands your network of connections. Eunice answers the way she does and performed the way she did, because that was how she was developed by those workshops. And the voting system currently in place makes no mention that celebrities can’t campaign for you should you happen to know a few of them.
The training the girls are receiving is very basic, very fundamental, and not at all geared towards the idol style they’ll eventually be doing. Rather, it is aimed at improving their base skills, making them better equipped for their future job. I know that AKB was supposed to be a system where the girls can develop, but the realities of the local entertainment industry requires that at least the first batch of MNL48 have better skills than they would have if the Japan system was strictly followed by the letter.
Adapting a system to local realities isn’t as simple as forming an “authentic” product and hope everything will fall into place. There’s always the problem of expenditures, profit, risks, loss, Return of Investment, and the rest of the business shebang.
Moving on, the girls received new and improved profile pictures. Besides the better outfits, the girls also did idol poses giving us a glimpse into what can possibly be their future. A slight tease that should entice their supporters to vote for them.
Many exciting things are on track this week. The Online Update now has a lipstick game to spice things up as well as give them a chance to show off some variety skills. The dance rehearsals are also becoming harder and there’s voice lessons too. We’ll see the fruit of their efforts come Saturday.