The history of talent shows in the Philippines is practically as old as television itself. In the local setting, many veteran stars we know started as contestants in talent searches. Nora Aunor, Edgar Mortiz, and Diomedes Maturan are among the most successful alumni of the original iteration of singing talent search, Tawag ng Tanghalan.
These days, Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) and StarStruck are the first to come to mind when a discussion about popular talent shows is initiated. PBB, while it wasn’t originally marketed as an artista search, eventually became one and has been producing new stars for the Kapamilya Network ever since it began. However, it’s interesting to note that ABS-CBN had another show, which is undoubtedly its first televised ‘artista search’. That being said, the honor for being the first-ever artista search on national television belongs to GMA Network’s StarStruck.
StarStruck’s sensational first season inspired six more seasons on its heels, with some of today’s biggest artists emerging as its winners. Originally presented by Dingdong Dantes and Nancy Castiglione, more Kapuso personalities took turns as main hosts of the show. Its latest installment in 2019 was hosted by one of its winners, Jennilyn Mercado, who won the talent search’s first season.
Since 2003, the talent search has produced 7 regular editions and 1 kids edition, from which 16 title winners emerged. Among the most successful of these winners include, Jennilyn Mercado (Season 1), Cristine Reyes (Season 1), Ryza Cenon (Season 2), Megan Young (Season 2), Arci Muñoz (Season 3), Paulo Avelino (Season 4), Aljur Abrenica (Season 4), Kris Bernal (Season 4), Rocco Nacino (Season 5), Enzo Pineda (Season 5), Nathalie Hart (Season 5).
Interestingly, many of these names, who weren’t winners, found better fame when they moved into GMA Network’s rival station, ABS-CBN. Cristine Reyes, Paulo Avelino, Arci Muñoz, Jewel Mische, Enzo Pineda, and Nathalie Hart are some of Starstruck alumni who became more popular when they became Kapamilya stars.
Star Circle Quest
Star Circle Quest (SCQ) is widely regarded as ABS-CBN’s answer to GMA Network’s StarStruck, whose breakout success inspired other tv stations to create a show with a similar format. SCQ, however, had a long history that goes back to 1992, when ABS-CBN created Talent Center, its talent agency, which later evolved to Star Magic. Jodi Sta. Maria and Luis Manzano were the main presenters of the show, which lasted for two regular seasons.
Arguably, its most popular product remains Sandara Park, who found bigger success when she left the country and joined the K-Pop girl group, 2NE1. Hero Angeles (Season 1), emerged as its first grand winner, while Roxanne Guinoo, Joross Gamboa, Michelle Madrigal, Joseph Bitangcol, and Melissa Ricks, all found individual successes in local showbusiness. Erich Gonzales won the second season, while Arron Villaflor and Jason Abalos, are arguably the season’s most successful non-winning alumni. Star Circle Quest Kids, on the other hand, gave birth to the careers of Nash Aguas, Sharlene San Pedro, Mika dela Cruz, Xyriel Manabat, and Bugoy Cariño.
Pinoy Big Brother
Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) is the local version of the hit international reality show, Big Brother. While PBB wasn’t originally envisioned as an artista search, its winners eventually became popular celebrities. PBB has been since producing new discoveries for ABS-CBN.
The show’s phenomenal first season led to 14 more seasons, excluding the incoming one.
Arguably the reality search for future superstars, the show has introduced countless new names—who soon became big stars—to the Filipino viewing public. Its unprecedented success as a star-making platform is also widely viewed as the reason ABS-CBN discontinued Star Circle Quest. Among the show’s most successful alumni include, Sam Milby (Season 1), Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson (Teen Edition 1), Ejay Falcon (Teen Edition Plus), Robi Domingo (Teen Edition Plus), Melai Cantiveros (Double Up), James Reid (Teen Clash), Ryan Bang (Teen Clash), Joshua Garcia (All-In), Maris Racal (All-In), and Maymay Entrata (Lucky 7).
PBB is known for some of the most talked-about moments in reality television, including viral confrontations that netizens went crazy about online.
The 15th season of the show premieres next month, which both faithful and casual viewers of the show are surely excited about.