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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Feb 6, 2020




the judges & hosts of CENTERSTAGE

POPS and AICELLE do a song number for the press

ALDEN RICHARD’S primetime drama, “The Gift”, had its final episode last Friday night and, his new show, “Centerstage”, will start airing on February 16.

Yes, Sunday will be a very special for the Pambansang Bae as he will be soon at noontime in the hit musical variety show, “All Out Sundays”, and in the evening, he will also be seen in “Centerstage” that airs right after “Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko”.

The new show was launched last Thursday and Alden was presented along with his co-host, Amazing Betong Sumaya, and the show’s three very competent judges: Concert Queen Pops Fernandez, international theatre actress Aicelle Santos and veteran musical director Mel Villena.

“We’re all excited as it’s something new for us dahil ang contestants namin, puro bata, 7 to 12 years old,” he says. “As the main host, it will be a big challenge how to deal with children. We’ve taped the firts episode and I’ve heard the contestants at napakahuhusay nila.

"But siempre, this is a contest, so may winners and losers. And we have to be very careful with what we’ll say to kids and we should know how to soften it for them kung matatalo sila. We have a psychologist on hand to help the losing kids to cope kapag natatalo sila.”

He’s personally happy to be part of a show that will discover new talents who’ll later be part of the GMA family.

“The show aims to motivate and inspire the children sa start ng journey nila as a singer and performer,” adds Alden. “Maybe some of them will grow up in showbiz or maybe some will later figure out what they really want to do in their lives.

"But it’s nice to be part of their struggle. More than anything else, we want them to enjoy the experience as much as possible, manalo man sila o matalo.”

The show is an original concept of GMA and is very innovative, as directed by the award-winning Louie Ignacio. They have a specially built stage that is designed in such a way that it is very much part of the talent search. 

The contestants will be seen advancing slowly on stage until they reach the coveted part, which is the centerstage, meant only for the winner.

 “First time ko to host a competition like this which is very interactive kasi kahit may judges, we give gadgets to the studio audience so they can vote as to who they want to win in the course of the show. So if you’re watching, parang you’re part of the game and it adds up to your enjoyment of the show.”

So when is he doing another teleserye?

“Wala muna. Pahinga muna tayo sa soap at narito muna sa ‘Centerstage’ ang focus ko. And also sa noontime show namin on weekends, ‘All Out Sundays’.”

There are speculations he will do movies with Bea Alonzo and Nadine Lustre. He says he’d truly love to work with them but there are no film projects for them in the offing, but new product endorsements. He just shot a TV commercial with Bea in Thailand and he and Nadine are endorsers of a tuna brand.

“But I’d really love to do a movie with Bea,” he adds. “I’m her fan and I loved her in ‘One More Chance’. Sana nga, magkaroon kami ng movie na kami ang magkapareha. It’ll be an honor kasi napakagaling at napakabait niya.”

 Of course, his fans are also very much interested in his love life after he said in his recent birthday celebration at his restaurant, Concha’s Cafe, that he will focus this new year on the affairs of his heart.

Right after he said that, he was already being paired with former Miss Universe Catriona Gray and some folks quickly jumped into the conclusion that he is already wooing her, even if Catriona herself already said there’s no truth to that.

But of course, any girl who’d be linked to the Kapuso Heartthrob will surely be “kawawa” as she will just be the target of so many haters and bashers. Just look at Bea and Nadine who were just paired with Alden as endorsers and they quickly get bashed for no reason at all.