By Marinel Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:41:00 08/18/2008

MANILA, Philippines—“The viewers chose me as their idol. I hope everyone would respect their decision,” declared Gretchen Espina, a 20-year-old Biliran native and winner of “Pinoy Idol,” the talent search co-produced by GMA 7 and FreeMantle, which is behind the hit reality show “American Idol.”

The Philippine Daily Inquirer sought the reaction of Espina because of comments she bagged the title with her father’s “political connections” and not because she deserved to win. She is the daughter of Governor Rogelio Espina of Biliran, one of the smallest provinces in eastern Visayas.

“I have the talent,” said the former member of the UP Singing Ambassadors. “I probably would not have lasted long in the competition if people were not impressed with how I performed. I knew this issue would come up before I joined the contest, but I assure everyone that I fought fairly. Anyway, I was able to prove that I deserved to be here.”

Espina’s closest competitor was Jayann Bautista, 24, a Pampanga native and former Viva recording artist. Ram Chaves, 25, of Cagayan de Oro, placed third.

“Pinoy Idol,” which debuted on April 5 on the Kapuso network, seeks to discover the best singer or “idol” in the country through a series of nationwide auditions and live performances, which is determined by public voting through SMS.

“Show biz can be really nasty. I’m ready for it. It’s not any different from politics,” Espina told the Inquirer on Sunday shortly after the final results show at SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City. She admitted that her parents were against her joining the contest. “They wanted me to finish my studies first,” said the European language student at the University of the Philippines.

Espina, who gave impressive renditions of “For Your Eyes Only,” “Stand Up for Love” and “Ngayon” during the final performance night on Saturday, will receive P1 million, a condominium, a new Mitsubishi Lancer, a P1-million recording contract with Sony BMG Music Philippines and a television contract with GMA 7 worth P500,000.

Espina added: “I will share a portion of my winnings with the two other finalists. Napagkasunduan na namin ito (We agreed on this).” Bautista and Chaves will each receive P100,000 from her.

From over a thousand aspirants, 179 made it to the next round of auditions. Tryouts were held in key cities like Cagayan de Oro, Batangas, Iloilo, Cebu, Davao, Pasay, Dagupan and Angeles.

For the Pasay auditions, Ida Henares, head of GMA Artist Center (the talent arm of GMA Network), took over Jolina Magdangal’s seat in the judges’ panel, as the latter had left for the United States. Danny Tan is the show’s musical director.

This is the second “Idol” franchise in the country, after “Philippine Idol” that was shown on ABC 5 (now TV 5) in 2006. GMA 7 does not recognize “Philippine Idol” and its winner Mau Marcelo.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. “PINOY IDOL”. THE HIGHEST PRICED SINGING COMPETITION AND THE CHEAPEST KIND OF JUDGEMENT THAT HAPPENED FOR ONE TO BECOME AN IDOL IN THE COUNTRY.

    Kailan pa kaya mananalo sa isang klase ng botohan ang isang Espina, mapa-anak man, mapa-tatay o apo, na walang bahid ng dayaan? ‘Yong tipong kumbinsidong-kumbinsido talaga ang mga tao na FAIR ang pagpili at walang nagdududa na kaya lang sila nananalo ay dahil ginamit ang KAPANGYARIHAN, IMPLUWENSYA at higit sa lahat ay PERA.

    Money can do many. As if nothing is impossible when you have money.

    For other competitors/candidates, you are unlucky. For this thing always reflects as a “twin” of that family.

    For those who voted because of money, and for those who spend so much money to gather votes, congratulations! You have now the first symbol of PINOY IDOLATRY!

  2. Just for curiosity, I watched thru u-tube the performances of Pinoy Idol Grechen…I’m sorry, nothing is exceptional. Mas magaling pa po magperform ang mga singers & dancers ng ordinaryonng night club shows dito sa Diera.. That is GMA-7 Pinoy Idol = (Politcalconnection Idol + Pamigaycard Idol) / (Pera Idol + Power Idol). Kung may pera ka (kung talagang sa iyo?) walang imposible, lahat ay posible! Therefore, Pinoy Idol Grechen, SALUDO KAMI SA IYO!!! Lalong-lalo na sa Daddy Roger at Lolo Gerry.. for they love achievements. Kaya nga ayaw nilang pakawalan ang Biliran, dahil they “RROVE”Biliranon, este “love” diay!

  3. simpleng analysis lang. kung pera-perahan lang, bakit kailangan nya pang sumali sa isang contest para makilala? she can or her clan can afford to produce an album for her, diba? di na kailangan pang dumaan sa contest at maghirap pa. pero nagtyaga naman yung bata. fair naman siguro yung laban.

    saka, nagandahan ako sa pagkakakanta nya sa for your eyes only. bihira na may nagugustuhan akong kumanta nyan. it’s a very emotional song from one of the most emotional james bond movies.

    People should understand that Pinoy Idol iis a popularity contest, kahit yung American Idol (winner is determined thru public voting). Understood naman ata yun sa simula pa lang. So, kung masigasig ka mangampanya, malamang manalo ka. Ganun lang yun.

  4. simple nga lang! sino’ng bibili kung di ka naman kilala? kahit nga yong mga nakilala na, di pa rin kumikita album nila…’yon pa?

    the issue is “how they won any kind of voting competition”….’yon ang tinutukoy naming PERAHAN! tyak panalo sila dyan, pwera na lang kung gising, marunong, matalino at sukang-suka na ang mga mamamayan.

    pustahan tayo, mananalo pa rin ang mga espinang ‘yan sa mga kaso nilang pangungurakot dyan sa gobyerno. hindi na voting competition ‘yan ha…pero tiyak, panalo pa rin ‘yan…..basta PERAHAN!

    ‘yon ngang mas mahirap na laban sa botohan e nagawa pang ipapanalo, na kahit imposible na ay nagawa pa ring ipapanalo ang espinang kandidato…’yan pa kayang botohan lang sa kantahan?

    lolo nya mismo nagkwento sa radyo: nasa bahay sya habang pinagbabaril at pinagpapatay ang mga security men ng kalaban nila sa pulitika(ibang issue pa yan!), hindi natuloy ang pagtext vote nya ng worth 200(lang daw) dahil may nagreport sa kanya na binaril na raw…este, may barilan daw.

    ok, granting 200(?) lang noon, di pa kasagsagan yon at ipagpalagay nating ganon din ang ginawa ng isang tatay, lolo o kabit ng bawat kandidato ehe, contestant pala, isang tao lang pinag-uusapan natin ha…kaya bang gumastos ang isang ordinaryong tatay ng 1 million knowing na worth 5M ang magiging panalo ng manok nila? ok, granting kaya nya rin gumastos ng ganon, may iba pa bang contestant roon na ang pamilya ay may malalaking taong koneksyon para gumastos din ng ganon? Huwag na nating pag-usapan pa yong mga taong binilhan ng mga sim cards para makaboto at yong laki ng halagang binigay na pamboto. e yong lagayan pa? style pulitika ba…lam mo na!

    so, ang nangyari sa pinoy idol competition: THE BIGGER CONNECTION with WIDER FINANCIAL INSTITUTION…is the CHAMPION! ano ‘yan…ELECTION? FAIR ba yon?

    CONGRATULATION!

  5. Good day po….

    Tanong ko lang po, bakit po hindi nakasali si Gretch sa Phil. idol sa Channel 5, kahit sa regional lang? Same lang kasi ang format Phil. and pinoy idol….

    Dahil po si Mr. C ang judge?
    sa 7 kasi si Jolina hehehehehehehehe baka mas maraming project jayann ha. Good Luck Gretch

    Pero kahit ano pa, proud pa rin ako kasi
    Taga biliran ang 1st pinoy idol.
    Gretch mag practice kapa mag bisaya ha
    kasi walang tagalog na Biliranon esp. kung
    taga naval ka

    thanks

  6. tanong ko lang poh bakit ba napasali si gretchen sa top 3 eh wala naman siyang binat-bat sa mga ibang contestant ng pinoy idol………………para sa akin kung kumanta, para lang siya nag-kanata sa isang program lang….hindi siya pwede sa mga idol-idol kasi naiilang ang mga tao sa kanya……i hope hindi ka sisikat sa tv dahil alam namin na hindi ka bagay para dyan….hahahahahah bruuuuuuuuuuuhaaaaaaaa ka gretchen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. tama naman si gretchen, she won because of talent… A BIT OF TALENT AND LOTS AND LOTS OF (biliran’s) MONEY!!!!! hay nakuuuu yung mga talagang very talented pero walang pera, talo!!!! wawa naman.

  8. Only the Espinas can butcher and prostitute a wholesome good family show like Pinoy Idol. Gretchen I hope you are very proud of your title. It is not talent that got you there, it is MONEY my dear. And who are you kidding?

  9. Biliranon,Gretchen is a talented,educated and beautiful.You are very sick and jealous person.You need some treatment,your jealousy cant bring you to richness compared to GRETCHEN.hER TALENT IS ONE IN A MILLION….THANKS FOR YOUR NEGATIVE COMMENT TO THE ESPINA,THEY ARE STILL THE GREATEST POLITICIAN IN BILIRAN SO FAR!!!!

  10. “susuportahan ko si gretchen sa kanyang career, madali siyang i- package sa publiko. maganda at magaling ang ipinakita nya sa finals night”
    – German Moreno, August 26, 2008, in his column in various tabloids, including Peoples Balita
    comment: nabayaran na naman si german moreno? halos lahat pala ng tao ay nababayaran! gibayran kuno ang 3 ka judges, gibayran si galvante,head sa entertainment division, gibayran pud kuno si gozon, presidente sa gma 7, unya ang mga nagtxt vote kang gretchen gi bayran pud kuno. naunsa naman ni oi…gitika ko.

  11. PAGKAPAIT NING MGA TAWONG ING GITIRO OG ING GITIRA OI PASTILAN WALA PAJUD MO SUMHI OG CGE OG PAKADAOT DINHI SA MGA ESPINA OG KANG GRETCHEN,,, DAWATA NALANG NINYO ANG KADAUGAN NI GRETCHEN OI KAY DAKO NANG DUNGOG SA BILIRAN I SET ASIDE NALANG GAD NA NANG POLITIKA KABALO KO MGA OPPOSITION GAD MO PAREHO TA PERO SUMO NAMAN MO DINHI CGE NALANG MO OG KOMENTARYO DILE MAAYO..TNX

  12. TINUOD TALENTED JUD NA BATAA,,, GI UNSA DIAY NINYO PAGKITA OG PAMINAW NGA MAAYO MANJUD IYA PERFORMANCE SA FINALS KAY NAG IMPROVED MANGUD IYA PERFORMANCE COMPARE SA UBAN NGA MGA BANG GIITAN NA PERO NAG LOW ILA PERFORMANCE,,, SOS OY NATURAL MAY CONNECTION ANG FAMILY USA PUD NA SA NAKATABANG PERO PACENCYA NATA UNSAON ANAK MANGUD NA OG ADUNAHAN,,, TUNLA NALA NA INYO KAAWA…

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