Music veteran Jaya had to excuse and compose herself during the live episode of "It's Showtime" Wednesday, after she led the panel of judges to a third consecutive decision, within the day, to prematurely end the performance of a "Tawag ng Tanghalan" contestant.
The long-running competition fields’ one singing hopeful each from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and Metro Manila. The three of which are potential challengers to the defending champion, who returns daily until he or she is unseated.
Five judges, usually headed by composer Rey Valera, determine the winner of both the preliminary and challenge rounds. This time, in Valera's absence, it was Jaya's task to signal the striking of the gong, in case a contestant falls short of the judges' standards. Being interrupted by the gong means being kicked from the competition.
That happened thrice on Wednesday, leaving no preliminary winner to challenge defending champion Douglas Dagal, who, by default, clung on the "golden microphone" for a third day. Two more wins for the Luzon representative will secure him a spot in the semi-finals. The three singers who were hoping to unseat him on Wednesday were: Vemie Viray of Metro Manila, who performed "Starting Over Again"; Rosmond Pasar of Visayas, who took the stage with "Love of My Life"; and Jam Bucol of Mindanao, who sang "Love on Top." Visibly distracted by the contestants being off-key, Jaya increasingly appeared "stressed," as described by host Vice Ganda, with each performance she had to stop prematurely.
After stopping Bucol, who was last to perform, Jaya initially said, in jest, "Puwede na po umuwi? Hindi ko sinasadya na ang ating Valentine ngayon ay maging malungkot. (Can I possibly go? I did not intend to make our Valentines Day today a sad one.)"
The "Kung Wala Na" hitmaker then attempted to explain the judges' consensus, but trailed off and excused herself, saying, "Ang puso ko, teka, hindi ako makahinga, Vice, wait. My blood pressure! I'm really cold right now (My heart, wait, I cannot breath, Vice, wait. My blood pressure! I'm really cold right now.)" This prompted Vice Ganda to request drinking water for Jaya. Composing herself, the veteran singer said, "Naku, hindi ako papasok next week. Painom, ha. Hindi ako nag-jo-joke. (Oh my, I will not come next week. I will just have a sip. I am not joking.)" Continuing her explanation, Jaya addressed the contestant: "Ayoko sana talaga mang-gong ngayong araw na 'to, pero talagang na-tyempo lang po. Hindi ko alam what it is today. Ito lang 'yung araw na 'yun, it's not working for you guys, sa inyong tatlo. Today is not a good day for you, kayong tatlo. I'm so sorry, but keep on singing. That's life. Nothing in this world is given to us na, pag binigay, perfect today. There are good days and there are bad days, and today happens to be a bad day. (I really don’t want to gong anyone today but sadly it happened. I also really did not know what it is today. This is just the day, it's not working for you guys, to the three of you. Today is also not a good day for you, to the three of you. I'm so sorry, but keep on singing. That's life. Nothing in this world is given to us that if given it will be a perfect day. There are good days and there are bad days, and today happens to be a bad day.)"
After giving encouraging words to Bucol, as he did with the earlier two contestants, Vice Ganda had the audience laughing with his pretend-defensive explanation as to why "It's Showtime" would never intend to "gong" all three "Tawag ng Tanghalan" contestants in one episode. "Lilinawin lang namin: Hindi po namin sinasadya na mang-gong ng tatlo. In fact, ayaw namin, dahil ma-a-undertime po kami. So stay lang kayo diyan, huwag kayo aalis, mag-iisip kami ng gagawin namin sa next gap. Nakakatawa 'to, magbabaliwan na lang po kami, (To clarify everything: We do not intend to gong the three contestants in a row. In fact, we don’t like it because we are going to be under time. So just stay there, do not go elsewhere, we are going to think for what to do in the next gap. This is so funny, maybe we will just act to be insane,) " he said. The resumption of "It's Showtime", on its final gap saw the performance of defending champion Dagal instead, before the live show's earlier than usual conclusion.
This is not the first time that three gongs in a row happened. All three contestants got the “gong” on “Tawag ng Tanghalan sa It's Showtime” in the January 9 episode of the show, so for the first time ever no daily round winner was announced in the episode. The judges didn’t like the performances of Melanie Guevarra, Alyssa Pangan, and Dionisio Cabalan, Jr. so they got the gong from Jhong Hilario before they even got to finish their songs. Defending champion Julia Faith Joaquin won the daily round by default and return on the January 10 episode still the defending champion.
Tawag ng Tanghalan is an amateur singing competition currently aired as a segment of the noontime show It's Showtime that first aired on January 2, 2016. Dubbed as "Your all-time favorite search for outstanding amateur talents", the competition is open to Filipino contenders from Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. This is the latest revival of the original Tawag ng Tanghalan talent search show which debuted in 1953–1972 and later revived in 1987–1988. OPM legends like Armand Panlilio, Nora Aunor, Novo Bono Jr., Pepe Pimentel, Edgar Mortiz and Diomedes Maturan were among the biggest winners of the original show. Noven Belleza emerged as the grand champion for the first season that spanned a year (2016-2017). Now it serves as a segment hosted by Vice Ganda, Anne Curtis, Vhong Navarro, and Amy Perez on the noontime show “It’s Showtime”. Judges include Jaya, Karla Estrada, K Brosas, Erik Santos, Yeng Constantino, and their head Rey Valera
Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids was the next season intended for young contenders’ ages 7 to 13 years. Auditions started on December 4, 2016 and on March 13, 2017, following the conclusion of the Tawag ng Tanghalan on March 11, 2017 held at Resorts World Manila. Its grand finale was held on June 10, 2017. Jhon Clyd Talili emerged as the grand champion for the kids’ edition that spanned for three months. The second season of the regular edition premiered on June 12, 2017. The competition was also opened for global Filipino contenders from different parts of the world.
Regional contenders from Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao compete daily on a live performance and are scored by a panel of judges. The criteria for judging are as follows: Tone quality 40%, Voice projection 30%, Stage impact 20%, Intonation 10%. For the Semi-Finals and Grand Finals Round, scores from text votes (50%) of madlang people or the audience and hurados or the judges scores (50%) are combined to decide a winner.
However, if the contender goes off-tune or if the judges deem his/her performance to be particularly bad, the punong hurado or the head jury will signal the gong-master with his hand to hit the gong three times, thereby stopping the performance and eliminating the contender, à la-Major Bowes Amateur Hour; in a break from series tradition, the gong mechanic was however omitted in Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids presumably to prevent the judges from upsetting younger performers, instead relying solely on the judges' verdict and overall score to determine the winner.
The daily winner can challenge the current defending champion and claim the golden microphone. Contestants who achieve a five-time winning streak will advance as a semi-finalist, but may opt to continue up to eight times and become part of the Hall of Fame. The longest winning streak achieved so far is 8 times. This is later reduced to just five consecutive days in Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids.
Among the semi-finalists, a Grand Champion will emerge in the Grand Finals. Losing contenders may come back to compete, known as Resbak. For Semi-Finalists, it is known as Ultimate Resbak.