The Talent Variety Show Filipino Talent Media

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Of all the electronic broadcast mediums, television broadcasting or the telecast has been one of the predominantly patronized. Broadcasting is the transmission of audio and/or video signals which transmits programs to an audience. (Lichty and Topping, 1975)

For television, it uses both senses: sight and hearing. The original term broadcast refers to the literal sowing of seeds on farms by scattering them over a wide field. This definition was first adapted by early radio engineers from the Midwestern United States referring to the analogous dissemination of radio signals. (Lichty & Topping, 1975)

A large portion of broadcasting forms the Mass Media. Patterned after its older radio broadcasting sibling, television as a kind of broadcasting medium has now reached worldwide since it was commercially launched in 1930s.(Holland, 1997) Before, there were only four television networks that air programs, namely: CBS, NBC, ABC and DuMont. Most of the shows broadcasted were either broadcasted live from the networks' New York studios or filmed on the West Coast using the standard Hollywood techniques. Live programs lacked the capability of being aired again because there were no means to store the program. Not until 1956, wherein the Ampex company solved this problem and had invented the videotapes. Most of TV's live programming had switched to tape by 1960s and can all be played back again immediately. Because of the development of television equipment like the UHF receivers, HDTV and the like, consumers have chosen the television as their broadcasting medium (Dominick, 1999). Thus, the utilization of this medium had been widespread.

During the 1980s, television broadcasting entered a new era using high- powered communication satellites. A small dish aerial located like on the roof of the house picks up the signals broadcasted. This kind of broadcasting which is called Direct broadcast by satellite became a feasible replacement to land- based television services. Thus, there was a massive increase of users and revolution of this medium. (Dominick, 1999)

The official television broadcasting started in the Philippines on October 23, 1953. However, there were already academic experiments made by an engineering student at the University of Santo Tomas. Jose Nicolas demonstrated a homemade receiver in 1950. Accompanied by the Far East Asia Technological Institute, they opened an experimental television station in 1952.But before all of these, James Lindiberg, the father of Philippine television, assembled transmitters and established the Bolinao Electronics Corporation (BEC) named after Bolinao, Pangasinan the hometown of his wife on June 13, 1946. ((, Retrieved 7 December, 2010)

Judge Antonio Quirino introduced the first television station in the Philippines when he opened DZAQ-TV Channel 3. The main purpose of establishing this television network was to advertise and become as an information medium for the upcoming elections. Judge Quirino helped his brother Elpidio in his campaigns for presidency. (, Retrieved 7 December, 2010)

As television now becomes a multiple tool, there are a lot of new program genres available for the Filipino society. These are all available to cater the needs and lifestyle of the Filipino people. The program genres are the following: First is Drama which has different types namely- series drama anthology, series drama, movies, miniseries, reality shows and soap operas or commonly known as telenovelas; Second is Comedy which also has different types namely- Stand- up comedy, sitcom and the sketch; Third is Music followed by Sports; Talk shows; News which is either categorized by Hard or Soft; next is Documentaries which has the mini-docus; Children's Programming which includes cartoons and puppets and mascots; and Variety shows. (Creeber, 2008)

We will be studying a television program with a combination of two genres: Talent and variety. It will be better for us to know therefore the difference between these two genres. A Talent show is under the reality show and music which exhibits the performance of certain individual's or group's abilities and talents.(Hill, 2008) The participants perform- singing, acting, dancing, acrobatics, drumming, martial arts and other activities to showcase a unique talent for a prize money. (Rose, 1985) The examples of this kind of program are: Little Big Star, Awit ng Tanghalan, Pinoy Pop Superstar, Pinoy Idol, Star in a Million, Are You The Next Big Star?, Pilipinas Got Talent and Talentadong Pinoy.(, Retrieved 10 December 2010) The main purpose of this kind of genre is mainly to entertain and feature the Filipino talent. (Hill, 2008)

On the other hand, a Variety show, as patterned after its name, is a combination of musical (song, dance or both, talent show and comedy sketch or simply an entertainment made of variety acts. This kind of genre's main purpose is mainly to entertain and public service. (Creeber, 2008) Examples of this program genre are: Sharon Cuneta Show. A variety show therefore may not fully become or is this kind of program genre are: ASAP XV, Eat Bulaga (longest running variety show), GMA Supershow, Lunch Date, Lunchbreak, Magandang Tabghali Bayan, Master Showman Presents, P.O.5, Party Pilipinas, Piipinas Win na Win, Wowowee, SOP, 'Sang Linggo nAPo Sila, Student Canteen, Superstar, That's Entertainment, Willing Willie and Vilma In Person. (, Retrieved 10 December 2010)

The difference between a variety show and a talent show is that a variety show may be scripted or created and is a diversity of different genres while a talent show may be taped or live but exhibits real people's identity. (Rose, 1985) These two genres have something in common- their purpose is to entertain.

Last October 24, 2009, Philippine's premiere broadcasting network, ABS- CBN launched a new program with a blend of these two genres, a new breed of its kind. This program is entitled "Showtime," replaced the long- running Philippine game show Game Ka Na Ba? The first season had their grand finals last July 24, 2010 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. The second season was aired on July 26, 2010. The program was created and directed by Bobet Vidanes. The initial purpose of conceptualizing such program is to test- run the clamor of talent shows. Pilipinas Got Talent Season 1, the first reality talent show of ABS- CBN, was about to be aired after four months and had its television premiere on February 20, 2010. However, the management had seen a different appeal on "Showtime." Supposedly the program would air only for four weeks but with the overwhelming acceptance that the show received, it was lengthened until July. Controversies had arisen with the show's fame, but "Showtime" still remained unbeatable. As of December 11, 2010, "Showtime" had already 344 episodes since it was first aired. (, Retrieved 10 December 2010)

The show is hosted by different famous personalities from different parts of show business. They are: Vice Ganda, a stand- up comedian and the unevictable judge of the show. He gained fame and popularity because of "Showtime" and was now a renowned TV comedian; Next is Vhong Navarro, a Filipino actor, singer, dancer and host; Anne Curtis, actress, television host, model and VJ; Kuya Kim Atienza, a television host and weather anchor; Teddy Corpuz, lead vocalist of Rocksteddy; and Jugs Jugueta, lead vocalist of Itchyworms. In case that one of their hosts is out of the country or absent due to other SShobiz commitments, "Showtime" has replacement hosts. These are: Nikki Gil, Billy Crawfor, Iya Villania, Jhong Hilario and Bianca Manalo. The hosts can be also considered as a major factor on "Showtime's" popularity on the Filipino viewers. (, Retrieved 10 December, 2010)

According to the December 6, 2010 "Showtime" episode that I have watched, there are five judges that will evaluate and grade the performances of the contestants for the group and Sample! Sample! segments. Four of them are celebrity judges and Vice Ganda is the resident judge. They will also grade the performances through the scale of 1 to 10. (, Retrieved 6 December, 2010) There is a segment in this program called Hurado o Burado wherein a judge will be evicted at the end of the week. The eviction is based on audience and text votes. After the performance of the first group, the judges will also perform and render their talents as the audience shouts "Sample, Sample!" The funnier and more entertaining the judge is, the greater the chance for the celebrity judge to stay longer in the show.(, Retrieved 10 December, 2010)

As a talent- variety show, "Showtime's" mechanics includes a group performance and an opening song and dance number wherein all people inside the studio are performing. There are particularly four groups as their contestants (three from the audition and a wildcard). Each group is made up of ten to twenty- five members performing a single performance. There is no age limit for these contestants. Before each group performs, they are given 15 seconds to introduce their group and will end it by saying "It's Showtime!" Each group then is given a three minute performance. Those who will win in the daily program will compete for the weekly finals. The winner of the weekly finals will again be competing for the monthly. The monthly finals winner will automatically compete for the grand finals. After performing, Kuya Kim Atienza will be giving a trivia about something evident about the group's performance. Then, he will ask the audience to give their scores scale of 1 to 10, 1 as the lowest and 10 being the highest. The audience's scores will not have any bearing for the final grade of the contestants. However, just as what they are always reiterating in the show, these can influence the given score of the judges. They will select one or two audience to give their scores and explain why they have given such score. The show's new segment "Sample Mo, Premyo Mo" will give them a chance to perform either by singing, dancing, acting and acrobatics for them to receive prize money. (, Retrieved 6 December, 2010)

Aside from the group and audience performances, there are other segments that showcased the Filipino talent. They had the segment called Magpasikat! in season one wherein a celebrity will be performing. It was then replaced by Kantarata wherein a song will be sung by the hosts and the audience will fill out the missing lyrics. The audience who will answer correctly will be given one thousand pesos and will have the chance to win five thousand pesos in the bonus round. They replaced it with Who U?, a quiz show portion. The contestants will have the chance to win twenty thousand pesos. The most recent segment of "Showtime" is Sample! Sample! An individual or group performance showcasing their talents will do. The winner will be based on the judges' score. The one who wins in three consecutive days will automatically win one hundred thousand pesos and a chance to be included in the grand finals. (, Retrieved 6 December, 2010)

"Showtime" is really not just a talent show for the Filipino masses to be entertained but also a way for some people to be famous even for just three minutes. Moreover, the show is now seen as the new hope for the Filipino masses in reaching their dreams and goals in life.

Television and entertainment always come hand- in- hand. However, in the contemporary media, television programs are not simply utilized for entertainment and information purposes. (Hamley, 2001) Programs nowadays sought to influence the audience of their ideologies, beliefs and people's whereabouts.

In connection, Agenda setting theory states the creation of public awareness and concerns of the images and messages by the media outfits as a whole. Different forms of media have the potential to be an Agenda Setting material. (Mutz, 1998) Showtime on this matter sets the Filipino audience for what the Filipino talent is. Moreover, different interpretations can be made with regard to this issue.

General Statement of the Problem

This study wants to acquire information pertaining the show's main objective, featuring the Filipino talent. Generally, this study aims to answer this question: How is the Filipino talent defined by "Showtime" in the second season of the show?

On the other hand, the study aims to answer these specific inquiries:

What are the mechanisms and messages used by "Showtime" (particularly by the hosts) to shape the meaning of Filipino talent to their viewers?

How do the viewers acquire the meaning of Filipino talent?

Do the viewers agree on how "Showtime" defines the Filipino talent?

How does the show influence the perception of its viewers on what Filipino talent is?

Research Objectives

The general objective of this study is to merely identify how "Showtime" defines Filipino talent through the segments of the second season of this show, the messages created by the hosts and the mechanics of the whole program.

On the other hand, this study specifically aims to:

(1) Identify the different messages and mechanisms used by "Showtime" to define the Filipino talent. (2) Thoroughly study on how the viewers acquire the meaning of Filipino talent (as they perceive in Showtime). (3) Know if the viewers agree on how "Showtime" defines Filipino talent. (4) Show the influences made by "Showtime" on how their viewers perceived the meaning of Filipino talent.

Significance of the Study

Various communication theorists and practitioners have been studying Mass media for such a long time. Media have been actively affecting the audience's construction and representation of the world in reality. (Hamley, 2001) Therefore, it is very important for us to study the mass media particularly the television (especially because of the availability of such medium) because it can really influence ones' ideology. On the other hand, not all media consumers are critical in what they perceive in this medium. When we study television, we merely do not just study the particular representations of the world and the language adapted to make acceptable and normal representations but also a set of institutions, functions and how they cope to perform ideologically. (Alvarado, 1992) Television messages, according to Masterman (1992), "are already constructed and mediated and it is through the exposure of the false ideologies behind this medium," the audience would be able to replace in their own thinking what the reality really is. (p.47)

Television is not a different thing on us. This medium is everywhere. We cannot deny the fact that "Showtime" in general has lots of audience and has really influenced us in a lot of things, the definition of Filipino talent, per se. According to the studies done by David Buckingham (1992), "children spend more time watching television or using other forms of media than they spend in school." (p.12)It is beneficial for us therefore to study and scrutinize what we are utilizing. Television may be seen by a lot of people as an escape of reality or a representation of reality. What is real is always subjective. But Mass media will always have the biggest contribution to what we believe in. We do not need to accept everything on face value but we should question everything that we receive and perceive. (Hamley, 2001) Thus, we should be active consumers of media particularly the television. We need to learn how to decode what the media shows us and not just simply accept everything. Viewers should resist the negative influences that media might bring and see through the falsehood and pseudo- satisfactions that they can provide. (Buckingham, 1991)

Scope and Limitation

In this study, the programs of the second season of "Showtime" from July 26, 2010 to the present will be analyzed. This is because the second season includes the new segments Sample! Sample! and Sample Mo, Premyo Mo. These segments are the new addition to the show's objectives, and that is to showcase the extraordinary and amazing Filipino talent and to bring entertainment to the lives of every Filipino.

The messages particularly the programming language used by the hosts and the show as a whole will also be scrutinized. The mechanisms and the strategies of the show in instilling the meaning of the Filipino Talent to the viewers whether subtle or blatant will also be taken into consideration as part of the study.

This study will also be conducted through surveys and interviews. There are fifty rigid "Showtime" viewers aged 13 to 25 years old that will be part of the study. This age range was chosen because most of the contestants in "Showtime" are also in this age range. It may be a factor that they are still teenagers and young adults. This age range may still be attached in their dreams. The respondents are randomly selected. Moreover, the respondents are from classes B, C and D.

Article name: The Talent Variety Show Filipino Talent Media essay, research paper, dissertation