From left: Ai-Ai delas Alas, Lani Misalucha and Christian Bautista

While opportunities for exposure are admittedly limited in the absence of live shows, the team behind the singing contest “The Clash” assured that it will continue to find ways to support its past and future champions, and provide them with the platform and resources they need to succeed. The GMA 7 talent search has so far crowned three winners—Golden Cañedo, Jeremiah Tiangco and Jessica Villarubin—and is set to find a new one, as the fourth season kicks off on Oct. 2.

“We will help them boost their online presence, there’s the noontime show ‘All-Out Sundays,’ and we also have a new sublabel, GMA Playlist. We will work together to give these new talents projects, exposure, opportunities to sing and record,” the show’s senior program manager Ruth Marinas said in a recent virtual conference. “We have people taking care of [their future]. Things don’t happen overnight. The show has tested their mettle, and they’ve proven that they can do it. We just have to keep looking for solutions. We have to make sure that we’re ready once the situation gets better”

Marinas also stressed that discovering new talent shouldn’t stop just because there’s a pandemic.

Even the judges, Lani Misalucha, Ai-Ai delas Alas and Christian Bautista, are feeling the pinch of the pandemic on the music scene, despite being established names in the industry.

“You can’t take away that worry. Even seasoned singers are thinking about that, too,” Lani admitted. “But I’m 100 percent sure that whoever ends up being grand champion this season will be well taken care of… GMA will give them the platform to be seen.”

For now, Christian advised aspiring singers to beef up their presence on social media—something that he himself has been focusing on since COVID-19 broke out.

“We go online, we do live streams, we create content and organize online concerts. Improve your digital presence across various online platforms and build an audience, so that you’re ready when the live scene returns,” he pointed out. “Of course, you have to continue creating new music and collaborating with other artists.”

“The good thing now is that hopefuls especially, the young ones, can also use social media to their advantage. When your content clicks with people, you can get exposure,” Ai-Ai added.

And despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, the judges can’t afford to be lenient in their appraisal of contestants.

“I don’t think we can baby them. We still have to be straightforward with our judging and make sure what we say can help them constructively,” Lani said. Helmed by Louie Ignacio and hosted by “clash masters” Julie Anne San Jose and Rayver Cruz, with Ken Chan and Rita Daniela as backstage journey hosts, “The Clash” airs every Saturday at 7:15 p.m. and Sunday at 7:40 p.m.

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