“Idol Philippines” Season 1 marked the first time Regine Velasquez, 49, served as a judge in a television singing competition. The singer dubbed as Asia’s Songbird suggested that Zephanie Dimaranan, 16, can be the next Sarah Geronimo, 31, even before the teenager won the ABS-CBN reality show.
During the third elimination episode of “Idol Philippines” Season 1 that aired on ABS-CBN on July 14, 2019, Dimaranan sang “Isa Pang Araw” by Geronimo. Teenager was the only contestant in the Top 8 who received a full standing ovation from the panel of judges, which also included James Reid, 26, Moira Dela Torre, 25, and Jose Marie “Vice Ganda” Viceral, 43.
“I think one of the reasons why you improve is because you listen to the musical director and iyong nagki-critique sa’yo (those who are critiquing you),” Velasquez told Dimaranan. “The first time I saw this (aura) was with Sarah Geronimo. I’ll see you in the grand finals.”
Geronimo herself is a product of a TV singing contest. She was 14 years old when she was declared the grand champion of “Star for a Night,” an IBC show that aired from 2002 to 2003 and was hosted by Velasquez.
On July 28, 2019, the “Idol Philippines” Season 1 grand finals took place at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Receiving a perfect score, Dimaranan was declared the grand winner. Lucas Garcia, 20, and Lance Busa, 24, were the respective second and third placers.
During the grand finals, Dimaranan, Garcia and Busa sang original songs written for them by Filipino songwriters. They performed “Pangarap Kong Pangarap Mo” by Jonathan Manalo, “Because You Believed” by Trina Belamide and “Kapit Lang” by Jimmy Antiporda and Athena Antiporda, respectively.
As the “Idol Philippines 2019” grand winner, Dimaranan received a cash prize worth 2,000,000 pesos. She also won an all-expense paid vacation trip to Taiwan, a house and lot package from Camella Homes and an exclusive recording contract from Star Music.
“Idol Philippines 2019” was hosted by Billy Crawford. Meanwhile, watch Dimaranan’s performance of “Isa Pang Araw” here: