Even the skeptics agree – there have been very noticeable improvements in Party Pilipinas in the last two weeks. After its rather shaky beginnings, Party Pilipinas decides to just scrap everything and rebuild from scratch. Quite laughable for a new show to reformat after just a month, but all of us, and I guess even Party Pilipinas stars themselves, know that it is necessary.
In fact, to say it had a ‘shaky start’ is an understatement. During its first few weeks, the poor show endured being everybody’s favorite representation of failure. It was a laughing stock of a show. Saying its title during your conversations with friends will elicit laughter and jeers and it’s ok because it’s a universal feeling. Everybody felt sorry for Mark Bautista and Rachelle Ann Go for their career suicide and as for the others, well, no one cared about the others. These “others” are the ones who’d perform onstage every week, forcing themselves to appear to be in a party mood (and failing miserably) because after all, they’re in the party capital of Asia. (Yeah, right. Stop it with all these titles seriously.)
And then something happened. Party Pilipinas got rid of their ridiculous fake applause. The stage is no longer blindingly bright and we no longer fear being assaulted by technicolored smoke or flying bubbles. Finally, the show formerly known as SOP learned that some numbers work well even with just one spotlight lighting the performer. And finally, someone might have pointed out that “love-team” song numbers are very GMA Supershow and we must all move on.
Every number now has a concept. Party Pilipinas now ditched the karaoke medley known to SOP fans as back to back to back. Suddenly, all the numbers are relevant. Performers are being asked to perform songs that suit them. Once again, Kyla can prove to us that birit is not her style. She is more believable in soulful, bluesy and jazzy vocal performances.
Does ASAP XV have reasons to be afraid. Yes, cause Party Pilipinas is stepping up, getting creative musically and visually week after week. Although Party Pilipinas has a lot to catch up on when it comes to star power, their fresher approach to things and sincerity in coming up with quality numbers will carry them along the way. And of course, there is Ms. Go, which is Party Pilipinas’ shining star, at least while Ate Reg is away.
From being the eternal second fiddle to Sarah Geronimo on ASAP, Rachelle Ann claims her own star on Party Pilipinas, doing numbers that are bold, risky, current and relevant. It’s not a surprise why ASAP never gave her this break, giving all the juicy parts to Sarah G. since she’s the greater superstar. But being away from Sarah’s shadows made Rachelle Ann a revelation. She is versatile, she takes risks, she performs, and she can dress and act sexy without us viewers getting uncomfortable (for some reason, when Sarah acts sexy, it’s uncomfortable because she reminds every one of us of our sweet little sisters).
The kind of numbers Rachelle Ann is doing now, could have also salvaged Jolina Magdangal’s career. When she decided to go gaga with her image (no Lady Gaga reference there. Gaga is an acceptable english word), she should have let it all out and never held back. After all, she’s local showbiz’ original queen of quirks. Now, Jolina falters and backpedals, returning to her old kinda boring self. Too bad for her, I think she got affected by the negative press thrown at her. Truth is, she could have used all those things to develop her image as TV’s returning bad girl.
But as of now, the Party Pilipinas is being ruled by the young ones, and the results are great. We will know once Regine and Ogie come back, what will they do with them older ones. My suggestion is to give them – along with Jaya and Janno, less exposure. Treat them as the big stars that they are. When big superstars, say Mariah Carey is part of the show, we don’t expect her to host and appear in every number do we? We just wait and wait for that special rare moment when she comes out and delivers her performance. And then we talk about that single performance the next day.
And so there. While we were happy to lambast Party Pilipinas when it was painful to watch, we are also glad to cheer them on when we see them working hard and doing better. The best part of the reformat is that the stars now seem happy to be doing what they’re doing. Just a little more fine tuning (like lessening the Glee obsession perhaps?) and GMA’s Sunday 12 noon slot will be alive again, and Party Pilipinas will be in its true fighting form.