Star for the Night


" Star for the Night " 
by Gerard Ramos
  Today, March 22, 2002

REGINE VELASQUEZ’S portrayal in Viva Films’ Ikaw Lang Hanggang Ngayon may have been an over-the-top interpretation of her character’s lack of social skills but, hey, bone-pickers ought to cut the young lady some slack. 

After all, not only did she—along with Richard Gomez, who has never been more appealing onscreen than in this recent romantic comedy—fuel the movie to blockbuster status but, really, what makes her performance all that different from Russell Crowe’s in A Beautiful Mind? 

I’ll get to that shortly but, for now, congratulations are in order to Regine, who will be honored by the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation as this year’s so-called Box-Office Queen. The honor, if you will, is well deserved because, frankly, no actor hereabouts, male or female, comes close to the singer-actress’s record over the past couple of years, when she fueled Dahil May Isang Ikaw, Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw and Pangako... Ikaw Lang, all under Viva Films, to spectacular numbers at the box office. 

Of course, not a few will be inclined to be dismissive and regard the title of “Box-Office Queen” as ultimately inconsequential, even worthless, and it is to Regine’s credit that—unlike others who need to get a life for giving so much value to all these empty titles—she regards this celebrity with humorous insouciance that is, however, never contemptuous. 

“I swear, for my coronation I’m going to have a gown expressly made according to the design of the sash!” she breezily intoned during a face-off with the entertainment media yesterday to hype the local version of the European hit talent show, Star for a Night, which Viva Television will premiere on IBC on March 31, Easter Sunday, at 8 pm. 

The latest sensation on British television, the show provides a launch pad for unknown and unsigned talents—but with huge differences from current talent shows on the medium. “What makes this different is that the contestants are not left to their own devices, as I was back when I was joining all these talent contests on TV or otherwise,” said Regine. “Those who pass the auditions are given the treatment that established stars enjoy, including having the musical arrangement most suitable to their vocal range because it is not uncommon for people participating in a talent contest to try to sing beyond their range in a effort to impress the judges ample, and this routinely turns out to be their costly mistake. The contestants will also get ample rehearsal time, a full-blown makeover, hotel accomodations on the day of the competition—the works, the full star treatment.” 

The weekly winner in Star for a Night brings home a cash prize of P50,000, while the semi-finals prizeruns up to P100,000. For the grand finals, the cash prize is, yes, a whopping P1 million—this, on top of the opportunities for a career in show business. “Naturally, Viva is looking at this talent show as a source of potential future stars, as will other entertainment companies, I’m sure,” Regine said. “That’s why Star for a Night auditions those want to become a contestant in the show because we really want to give a solid platform to those with really good potentials to become a star.” 

For Regine’s part, she sees the talent show as her small way of lending a hand to individuals who are struggling her past struggles. “I was very lucky to have been given the opportunities that I got when I was just starting out, and that why I readily agreed to host this show,” said Regine in an early press conference for Star for a Night. Yesterday, she added, “That’s why I also told Viva that instead of having me sing while the judges deliberate their choices near the end of the show, it would be much more interesting if I did a number with all the contestants. That way, the focus will still be on them and not just me.” 

All throughout the press conference yesterday, Regine displayed a sense of humor, a flair for the comic, that her romantic comedy outings, individually or even put together, have barely scratched. Which is why it would be a mistake to put her in a big-screen drama—as was suggested during the media face-off—when her comic potentials have not yet been fully exploited, as Julia Roberts bitterly learned when she desperately tried to do a Meryl Streep in such dismal failures as Mary Reilly and Michael Collins. I would wager that if Roberts had approached Erin Brockovich with all the serious-actress trappings she employed for the aforementioned failures, not only would the Steven Soderbergh film been a huge disappointment at the box office but also she wouldn’t be the Oscar-winning actress she now is. 

To Regine’s credit, the false note she struck as the painfully withdrawn heroine in Ikaw Lang Hanggang Ngayon appears to be more a failure in direction and not an attempt to stretch a la Julia Roberts in Mary Reilly. In Crowe’s case, he has been quoted as bragging about the complete trust he enjoyed from Howard, who ostensibly allowed him to run away with the role—which he does, indeed, all the way to Never Land. 


'Star for a Night' 
Looks for New REGINES
by Leah Salterio
Phil. Daily Inquirer, March 27, 2002


REGINE Velasquez completes the new Viva TV triumvirate of program hosts, 
with Christopher de Leon ("Who Wants To Be a Millionaire") and Edu Manzano 
("The Weakest Link").

Starting March 31, Sunday, 8 p.m. on IBC 13, Regine will host the 
Philippine version of the popular British talent search, "Star for a Night."

The songbird herself is a product of a talent contest, "Bagong Kampeon."

The weekly winner of "Star for a Night" will take home P50,000. The 
semi-finals winner will earn P100,000 and a chance to compete in the finals 
later this year, where P1 million is at stake.

This Sunday has four contestants: balikbayan singer-dancer Roxanne Castro, 
19, band member Louella Luna, balladeer Emmanuel Omaga, 17, and Kristel 
Arianne Astor, 13.

Every week, a new panel of judges will pick the winner. This Sunday's 
judges are TV/stage director Fritz Ynfante, songwriter and record producer 
Vehnee Saturno, band manager Henry Onglatco and Viva Records artist and 
repertoire manager Civ Fontanilla.

Regine's brother-in-law, Raul Mitra, who is married to her younger sister 
Cacai, is the show's musical arranger. Director is Jon Corpus, husband of 
Veronique del Rosario, daughter of Viva's big boss Vic del Rosario.

Two Good Shows

THE PAST two weeks, I had the chance to watch two concerts. One was an 
intimate performance of Regine Velasquez at Captain's Bar of Mandarin 
Oriental, part of the monthly Crossover series. The other was a special 
one-night show with Calvin Millado and Anna Fegi at Hard Rock Café, mounted 
by WRock 96.3.

It was Regine's return engagement at Captain's Bar and, as expected, the 
place was packed. The last time she was there was last June last year. In 
previous years, Regine always held her April birthday concert at the posh 
hotel lounge.

Regine doesn't just stick to the current chart-toppers when she's doing an 
intimate show. At Captain's Bar, she deviated from cover versions and sang 
songs she hadn't sung before.

She prepared her repertoire with her musical director, Gerard Salonga. She 
opened the show with the Doobie Brothers hit, "Listen to the Music," then 
segued to three old songs which are rarely performed onstage-Carly Simon's 
"Man On My Mind," Shakatak's "Lonely Afternoon" and Amy Holland's "Never 
Give Up."

It was a laid-back show, with Regine singing only beautiful songs, 
including John Kaizan Neptune's "Soft Melody," Sheena Easton's "So Much in 
Love," Patti Austin's "Say You Love Me," Claire Marlo's "Till They Take My 
Breath Away" and a haunting version of Esther Sutterfield's "Love Is 
Stronger Far Than We."

What is a Regine concert without the high notes? So she pleased her 
audience by belting out Wendy Moten's "Come On In Out of the Rain," Mariah 
Carey's "Never Too Far" and Whitney Houston's "Run To You."

"Alam ko hinihintay niyo 'to para sumaya kayo," she told the appreciative 

Like in the previous "Crossover Presents" format which featured comedians, 
Tessie Tomas made the audience laugh before Regine performed. Jon Santos 
and Mitch Valdez took their turns in the limelight in earlier "Crossover 
Presents" shows.


'Star For a Night' Debuts on Easter Sunday
Malaya, March 24, 2002

EASTER Sunday, March 31, will mark the initial telecast of the Viva-TV presentation "Star For a Night" at 8 p.m. over IBC-13 (right before the phenomenally popular game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire"). Hosted by Regine Velasquez, the show provides a launch pad for unknown, still unsigned talents.

After passing auditions, the lucky contestants get the opportunity to perform in a production number created expressly for them, becoming in effect "stars for a night." All events leading to the special night will also be documented. They will perform before industry professionals who will tell them if they have what it takes to be a star.

The weekly winner brings home P50,000, P100,000 for the semi-finals, and P1 million for the grand finals.

Set to perform as the evening's Stars on Sunday are balikbayan Roxanne Castro, a 19-year-old singer and dancer who now resides in Quezon City. She sings, dances and plays the piano, and studied at the Center for Pop Music Philippines, the Sydney Dance Company, and theYamaha Music School. 

She made her first TV appearance in the Australian show "Middy with Kernie-Anne New Faces" and also performed in "Voices of Spring," a fundraiser for the Payatas victims, the 13th Grand Philippine Fiesta, and was featured in a concert that starred Willie Nepomuceno.

Ma. Louella Luna is single and 21 years old, from Pasay City, and has been performing with a band these past five years but decided to try her luck as a soloist when she heard "Star For a Night." She earlier vied in the Donna Cruz sing-alike contest in the daily noontime show "Eat Bulaga."

Balladeer Emmanuel Omaga is a 17-year-old student, from Pilar Village in Las Piñas, and skilled in singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments. He has no professional experience as a performer. He has no professional experience as a performer.

Kristel Arriane Astor is a 13-year-old student from Balibago, Angeles City. She excels in R & B ballads and was the grand prize winner of the Imelda Papin sing-alike contest of IBC-13 and 1st runnerup of the Birit Baby competition on GMA-7.

These Stars are provided with their show wardrobe by Sari-Sari, grooming by the Paradigm Salon and will stay overnight at the Bay View Park Hotel, Manila before the big day. The award-winning Raul Mitra is in charge of the musical arrangements.

Judges for the inaugural presentation of "Star For a Night" are stage and TV director Fritz Ynfante, songwriter and record producer Vehnee Saturno, band manager Henry Onglatco, and Viva Records A & R manager Civ Fontanilla.

Director of the show is Jon Corpus. The show is a major production of Viva-TV, a Viva Entertainment Company. 


1st taping of "Star for a Night"
Manila Times, March 20, 2002
by Alex Brosas


Viva Television is all set to launch Star for A Night at 8 p.m. on March 31 
on IBC 13. It’s another franchise show from Britain, just like their two 
shows on the same network, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and The Weakest 
Link, both of which are doing very well.
It will be a taped show, of course, and just, perhaps, to create some 
harmonious and lucky vibrations, the show has chosen as venue for taping 
the Star Theater of Star City, a theme park on Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City.

It’s a show for unsigned singers (including those who have been singing 
professionally in some venues but have never signed a contract with any 
recording company) — with no less than Regine Velasquez as host. She is, of 
course, the best choice for the job. After all, she was herself an amateur 
singer who sang her way to fame via Bagong Kampeon, which used to be hosted 
by Pilita Corrales and the late comedian Bert Marcelo. To date, no one, 
just no one, from a local talent search, has equaled Regine’s rise to fame 
and fortune (of course, before her, there was only Nora Aunor of Tawag ng 
Tanghalan who eventually became the country’s “superstar”).

Star For A Night is not mean to be your usual talent search. Jon Ilagan, 
the show’s director, sat with us to discuss the details of the show the 
afternoon we watched part of the taping.
“We provide everything to the lucky contestants — wardrobe, make-up, 
choreography, pictorial, the works! Whatever it is that they might need to 
enhance the production value of their piece, we will provide it,” boasts 
the guy.

True enough, when we watched the first two contestants perform that 
afternoon, we were impressed by what we saw. The first contestant was 
provided back-up dancers as she danced and sang an upbeat Jennifer Lopez 
piece. The second contestant was more dramatic as a baby grand piano was 
hauled to the stage by more than 10 men and the stage was decorated with 

Actually, the show is full of drama. Before Regine introduces a contestant, 
a videowall shows a segment host going to the house or to where the 
unsuspecting contestant was and tells him or her that she just passed the 
Star For A Night audition.

Another unique facet of the show is the part where the contestant come 
face-to-face later with the four judges who will tell him/her one by one 
his/her fine and not-so-fine points while performing.

Star for A Night audition is open to male and female, solo or group 
performers, 12 years old and above. Auditions dates will be announced on 
IBC 13 and are held at the Viva office in Quezon City.

It seems to us to be a very exciting show, so do tune in to it on Sundays 
at 8 p.m., starting this March 31.

Top Page

The Music Inside Buzz