The end of the road is in sight. With the departure of another five girls last Saturday, March 10, 2018, the final leg of the MNL48 audition has begun.

Shaira Duran was able to come back to the Top 10 while Aria missed a spot in the Week 6 ranking. Eunice is still at the top for five weeks in a row. There’s also a slight jumble in the rankings. Take a look again at the Week 6 Top 10.

With weeks away from forming MNL48 (finally!), the candidates are wasting no time campaigning for votes, and sharpening their talents to achieving their idol dreams.

Sadly, for the fourth live elimination, Gel, Enzel, Val, Gela and Orelle have to bid goodbye to their chance of being part of MNL48. These hopefuls received the lowest scores from their advisers, coaches, and producers. Val’s elimination elicited outrage from local AKB48 fans of which she is a part of and where she is highly regarded.

Having your bet eliminated is always a tough experience no matter what. I went through a funk when Micah and Uriko were eliminated, so I can somewhat understand the feeling.

It was said that this coming Saturday will be the final elimination day. As I am behind on the online updates and wasn’t able to watch last Saturday’s elimination due to prior committments, I can’t confirm this. But if it’s true then FINALLY!

Already these past few days has seen a ramp-up of activities for the girls. Guestings at Umagang Kay Ganda, a campaign in Starmall Alabang, and a tiny version of the AKB Group Center Exam. The last one, in particular, I am hopeful that there would at least be some bearing on the rankings. There probably won’t be, but one can hope.

Last week, I mentioned my wish that the candidates get to perform AKB48 songs to give us a better picture of who we’d support as idols. Apparently, they can’t do that because the rights to the songs didn’t allow it to be used during the final round of the audition.

We can remember back when the first round of auditions was being rebooted, the initial selection of songs that can be used consisted of OPM tunes with a small selection of AKB48 songs being added on the launch day itself (which I attended) because that’s pretty much when the rights to use them were secured (probably after the necessary fees were paid).

Not that it still matters: we’re pretty much nearing the end of the competition, and soon the girls will be performing the songs or at least, their localized versions.

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Since this audition might potentially be over after this week, I cancelled my plans this coming Saturday to focus on watching It’s Showtime. I just hope there’s no “wildcard” phase, no further “gimmicks”, no surprise announcements. I’m grateful that ABS-CBN tried their best to promote the audition and the idea of having a local group in the Japanese idol mold to the wider audience, but really, I think it’s about time we move forward with MNL48 already.

And one last push….

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