“It’s a country full of talented people, ” Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Networks Asia’s Virginia Lim said of the Philippines, where she has discovered Krissha Viaje, the Southeast Asian representative to the biannual talent search “I Can Sing in Japanese.”
TOKYO—“It’s a country full of talented people, ” Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Networks Asia’s Virginia Lim said of the Philippines, where she has discovered Krissha Viaje, the Southeast Asian representative to the biannual talent search “I Can Sing in Japanese.”
“She has the makings of a celebrity, that’s why we chose her, ” added Lim, who is SVP and SPT head of content, production and marketing, and is also one of the judges in the first-ever Asia-wide search conducted in February in behalf of the program by the Asian entertainment channel Gem.
Krissha, who is popularly known in the Philippines as a member of the dance group GirlTrends, bested 11 other contestants during the preliminaries and will be competing in the grand finals tonight.
“In most of the shows I handle, the contestants from the Philippines always impress me, ” said Lim, pertaining to other popular SPT programs “Amazing Race Asia” and “Asia’s Got Talent” where many Philippine representatives had emerged victorious.
“Krissha’s command of the Japanese language is very good, but it’s really not how well you sing. It’s how well you connect to the audience. She had the right emotions when she was performing, ” Lim shared with the Inquirer and other Southeast Asian journalists covering the competition here in Chiyoda.
Representatives from Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Norway, Peru, Puerto Rico and the United States were flown in to compete, said Yuji Gobuichi, the Japanese director and creator of the program.
Before “I Can Sing in Japanese” (ICSIJ) first aired here in 2011, Yuji said there were hardly any YouTube videos of non-Japanese singers performing Japanese songs. “There was even a time when it was difficult to get CDs of Japanese music. The contest helped change this, ” he declared.
“My dream is for the show to become a festival where representatives of all the 250 countries gather, ” he said.
ICSIJ will first air tonight at 6 p.m., and its encore will be on May 21,8: 30 p.m. Sony Gem is available on SkyCable in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo and Baguio.