Asians on TV 唐人做電視

Charice Pempengco

If I start hearing the opening music and announcement for Live! with Regis and Kelly, I know I’m running so late. If I hear the performer of the day on Canada AM, the show preceding Live!, I know I’m running the risk of being very late for work.

This morning, I cut through my living room and stopped on my tracks because a cute, baby face female singer was on the screen, the Canada AM performer of the day. I rewound a little (PVR, yeah!) and learned that she is Charice and things started to fall into place in my head.

No wonder she’s also performing at the Eaton Centre in the near future since performing on Canada AM means she’s already in Toronto. I figured she was Canadian but did not consider the other possibility: that she is quite famous and finally coming to Canada in person.

Afterall, I wasn’t wholly impressed during her rendition of her original song, “Pyramid”. I was distracted by the acoustics, that she had no live back-up singers and the recording of them was very weak, and the mature, Mariah-esque motions felt inane to an empty room. I tried to imagine her in a recording studio instead of performing to a handful of Canada AM crew. You see, a seating area is set up and audience are invited to bigger name performers such as Keith Urban and I’m a little unsettled by the emptiness when the smaller performers arrive, especially the solo artists.

I just read through Charice’s Wiki article and come away with a different point of view.

She’s not some Canadian kid raised on potatoes and our pop culture and merely a good karaoke singer. She’s lived in the Philippines for most of her 18 years and helped support her family with her singing. When I read it, it seems that she covers a lot of American songs of the older variety and sound (Whitney Houston’s Bodyguard songs seem to be a favourite, Celine Dion, that song from Dreamgirls) but I think Asians enjoy it when “one of their own” covers an American song very well. Watching the video on the Canada AM website, she interviewed with Seamus O’Regan that she wants to focus on more of a pop sound because she is so young and so younger fans can feel in touch with her. (Good idea!) Finally, artists who would know (David Foster, Andre Bocelli) and talk show hosts who have seen a lot (Oprah, Ellen) have thrown their support for her so I think there’s good international crossover potential to watch for in the coming years.

One thought on “Charice Pempengco

  • Great that you finally discovered Charice! Don’t just read the Wiki, also look her up on YouTube. She is A-MAZING. Coincidentally, she’ll also be on Regis and Kelly on June 16th. Anyway, some recommended YouTube search strings for Charice:

    – Charice great performance 2
    – Charice Note to God on Oprah
    – Charice on Star King (And I am Telling You) <– this is the performance that led to her discovery

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