Two students with foreign blood and the younger brother of a popular matinee idol topped the first Live Exam of TV’5 “Artista Academy,” the biggest and most intensive talent search in the country.
Aljur Abrenica’s younger brother, Vin, Fil-Croatian Mark Neumann and Fil-Am Julia Quisumbing emerged as the Top Male and Female Students of the night and made the best impression on the show’s resident critics, namely Lorna Tolentino, Gelli De Belen and TV5 Talent Center head Direk Mac Alejandre.
With an average score of 92 percent from the three, Mark and Vin tied for the live exam’s Top Male Student honors while Julia clinched the Top Female Student by her lonesome with an average score of 92.33 percent.
Performing in two music videos by groups of eight, Mark was the unanimous favorite in the first batch while Vin was the male standout in the second group.
Julia had some tough competition in the music video challenge as the critics also cited pre-show favorite Chanel Morales, Marvelous Alejo, Shaira Mae and Sophie Albert as other notable performers.
The academy’s resident inglesera, however, stood head and shoulders above everybody else during the mini-fashion show challenge as she gracefully negotiated the ramp in her elegant evening wear.
“Yung hitsura nya, parang ang bango-bango nya. Artista lang,” exclaimed Gelli De Belen in explaining her vote for the 22-year-old lass from Makati who lived in Spain, Switzerland and the United States at certain points in her life.
“Wow Thank u so much 2 all of the judges, I’m very grateful! But why did Cesar always ask me 1st? I needed time 2 translate haha,” Julia later tweeted acknowledging she still needs to brush up on her Tagalog.
Mark, who also spent some time living in Germany and England, made the most impact on Miss LT, who now fondly refers to him as “Cutie Pie.”
The 17-year-old lad from Quezon City is considered as the Class Comedian in the group and wishes to renovate his grandmother’s home and the family’s farm in Batangas if he wins the P10 million plum that comes with being the Best Actor in the talent search.
If Vin is trying to step out of his more famous brother’s shadow then he’s certainly doing a good job thus far as, along with Chanel, he has the best singing voice among the group.
The 21- year-old aspirant is a consistent A student in real life who happens to be a talented musician as well. Like Mark and Julia, it looks like he has no trouble passing Direk Mac’s simple criteria of “ganda, galing at dating” in choosing the best of the best in “Artista Academy.”
“Thank you for all your support. I couldn’t have done it without your help. Please help me make my dream come true,” Vin urged his fans in a later tweet.
Even as all three have established themselves as early frontrunners, the competition is far from over as other finalists Chris Leonardo, Benjo Leoncio, Nicole Estrada and Stephanie Rowe also managed to impress the three critics.
The remaining students namely Akihiro Blanco, Alberto Bruno, Brent Manzano, Jon Orlando and Malak So Shdifat need not fret, though. The grades they received from the live exams are only part of their total overall score.
The scores that they received from their respective schools plus the percentage of the text votes they will get will be tabulated by the Executive Committee of “Artista Academy”, composed of Direk Mac, TV5 head of creative and entertainment production Perci Intalan and head of the Asian Academy of Television Arts Wilma Galvante.
Those with the highest scores as well the very first “Artista Academy” student to be “kicked out”, as host Cesar Montano would put it, after getting the lowest overall total will be revealed on the show Monday night.
To text for you favorite “Artista Academy” students and saved them from elimination, text AA space (name of student) and send to 5656.
Hosted by Cesar Montano and Marvin Agustin, “Artista Academy” airs on TV5 every Monday to Friday at 11:45AM and 9PM and every Saturdays at 9:30PM.