Filipino contestants gear up for Michael Bolton’s reality talent search series

August 11, 2017 - 10:51 AM
Singer Michael Bolton waves to the camera while filming 'Bolt of Talent' with co-host Morissette Amon in Manila back in May. (Photo from Bolton's Instagram page)

Two former contestants of Philippine talent shows are representing the country in Fox Network Group Asia’s “Bolt of Talent,” a new reality talent competition show headlined by American pop icon Michael Bolton.

Putting a new twist on talent contests, the show focuses on Bolton’s own search for undiscovered gifted singers across Asia, the winner of which will join him in his upcoming world tour and win a dream record deal and other exciting prizes.

Bolton, a singer-songwriter gifted with a distinctively textured voice and best known for hugely popular power ballads like “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” “Go The Distance” and “When A Man Loves a Woman,” was helped in his quest by local co-hosts Morissette Amon in the Philippines, Sandra Riley Tang in Singapore and Lydia Sarunrat Deane in Thailand.

“[The show] ‘Bolt of Talent’ has brought me back to Asia where I’ve performed and toured for over 25 years. Now I find myself deeply moved and inspired as I discover young singers with different cultural backgrounds, different family upbringings, but one primary thing in common — the pure love of singing,” Bolton said.

Following a series of casting auditions that began last April, eight contestants emerged. They are Gregory Ramanado and Cassandra Anne from Malaysia; Lance Busa and Hans Dimayuga from the Philippines; Holly Wei-Chen Lou and Dena Tsui Fang Chang from Taiwan; and Mild Nawinda Sittatikarnvech and Paige Jutarat Mangkalarangsee from Thailand.

The two Filipino competitors are no strangers to talent competition.

‘Bolt of Talent’ contestants Hans Dimayuga and Lance Busa. Right, Michael Bolton listens to Morissette Amon on the Manila set of the show. (Photo from Bolton’s Instagram)

Hans Dimayuga, who describes himself as a soul indie singer-songwriter, was a teammate of Morissette under the team of Sarah Geronimo during the first season of “The Voice of the Philippines” but was edged out by Maki Ricafort during The Battle rounds.

Hans went on to dabble in theater with Repertory Philippines and joined the search for the next vocalist of the band Rivermaya where he finished a close second to eventual winner Jayson Fernandez, who himself later competed on “The Voice of the Philippines.”

Hans continued to sing, performing in hotels, restaurants and special occasions like weddings even as he spent the last 10 years working in the food and beverage industry.

He is thrilled to be selected for “Bolt of Talent” and said, “I know that there are a lot of people who tried out for this, and I’m grateful for this opportunity.”

Lance Busa, on the other hand, was also a contestant in another talent search competition, “To The Top,” which was designed for aspiring singers who wanted to become members of a new boy band.

“Music has always been something that I really love. Any opportunity that would open a door for me is something really big,” said Lance, who has been singing since the age of 5 and now continues to perform in bars and corporate events.

Fans will have a greater opportunity to get to know Hans, Lance and the other players of “Bolt of Talent” as their stories play out with weekly episodes, along with the release of additional content across social media, on Fox online and with exclusive content on Fox+ digital.

Hans, Lance and the rest of the eight contestants of “Bolt of Talent” will compete in rigorous musical challenges throughout this first season, coached, mentored and judged by Michael Bolton himself.

From the eight contestants, Bolton will pick four finalists who will be asked to reinvent, rearrange and reproduce a range of Bolton’s greatest hits in hopes of striking a chord with not only the audience, but also, the man behind the music.

Only one winner will be blessed with the “Bolt of Talent” as picked by Bolton.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Hans, Lance and the rest of the “Bolt of Talent” competitors to impress Bolton and truly go the distance.

The seven-part series premieres exclusively on Star World on August 16 at 9:30PM. For exclusive news and updates about the show, follow “Bolt of Talent” on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.