Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Critique on Pinoy Idol's First Gala Performance


Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

In fairness, the stage is way bigger than the previous stage used during the eliminations. At least the contestant now has more room to perform on the stage. I also agree with others who claim that the stage is way better than the Philippine Idol stage. This is also way better than the stage used by ABS-CBN’s Pinoy Dream Academy. The LCD background has finer pixels than the LCD used at the Filmex Studios so the LCD background does not look pixilated when the camera is focused on the contestant. While there are a lot of good points about the stage, there are things that need to be improved on during the week in preparation for Saturday’s second gala performance.

  • First, I believe the LCD screen used should have been bigger, big enough to cover the entire backdrop, instead of using three separate screens that mirror the center LCD.
  • There should also be stairs to allow the contestants to go down to the audience and perform from there.
  • Smoothen the flooring. When the camera looks down on the floor, lines are very, very obvious, especially if your television set has a very clear reception of GMA 7. Instead of the black flooring, overlay some piece of translucent fiberglass material to enhance the overall look of the stage. See Figure 5.
  • The lighted pillar to the left and to the right of the stage should be covered with some sort of transparent or translucent material so that the lights still glow, but the bulbs won’t be that visible anymore. See Figures 1 and 6.
  • I hope there would be smaller LCD screens around the stage and a dedicated camera on the performing contestant to allow the audience to see the Pinoy Idol finalist perform on stage.
  • And please will someone hide extraneous stuff from view? What was that black piece of cloth lying around cluttered in last Saturday’s performance show? It was just horrible.
  • The twin staircases look good, but I think some smooth, transparent, translucent or glassy material should be used as an overlay on the stairs to make the entire stage a little more striking and “clean.”
  • Since we’re on the subject of set design, I think the floor on where the Idol judges sit don’t look clean on the camera. Give the floor a nice shape. I noticed that the platform used in Filmex was used as flooring for the judges’ table. Remove the extra black material around it to make the judges’ are look more attractive.


Inconsistent. For me that best describes the lighting used in last Saturday’s performance show. In some parts the lights flooded the contestants too much they appeared so bright on TV. Sometimes the lights gave different tonal values, clipping the colors on camera. There should be a very experienced lighting director exclusively for this show.


I had thought there would be better shots since the CenterStage is a much bigger venue than the Filmex Studios in Makati. I was wrong. The shots were, sad to say, very amateurish. The stage looked small because of the wrong shots. I had hoped for that signature Idol shot where the camera would zoom out from the contestant towards the end of his performance and bring to view the contestant and the audience cheering. I hope the director of photography would avoid too many close-up shots, and use camera cranes so that the videographers wouldn’t be captured on TV too often. Zooms are OK, but too much use of them would tire the viewer. Also, a seven-to-ten-second interval between camera views should be implemented so that TV viewers wouldn’t get dizzy with the sudden change of camera angles.


Danny Tan is one of my favorite musical directors. However, I think the stage should allocate some space to accommodate them and give them a good exposure. Do not hide them because there is a tendency for them to look alienated from the stage and worse, distracting to the viewers. They are part of the show. They must have a decent place on the stage. Putting them in a conspicuous location makes the audience want to see them onstage and makes them an added decoration.


The Idol franchise has two signature fonts: Kaufmann and Copperplate Gothic Light. Kaufmann is used with the Idol logo, while for all other text used throughout the show, Copperplate Gothic Light is employed. It is quite understandable that the editors employ Arial or Helvetica for the footer text, where the SMS syntax for voting the Idol contestant is displayed. What is so disappointing is that the end credits do not use the Copperplate Gothic Light font, which is a free font, by the way which comes with every Windows and Macintosh system. Compare Figures 2 and 4 with Figure 3 (American Idol)

Please Pinoy Idol editors, do not make use of rolling credits because they tend to cover the participants onscreen. Instead use fading credits and limit the names to the bottom of the screen. Granted that your sponsors demand their logos displayed large at the ending credits, it is not an excuse to cover the participants because of the large logos used.

The quality of the images used in the ending credits is also not very good. Isn’t it possible to look for really smooth versions of the Fremantle, 19TV and your sponsors’ logos?

Also, where was the recap of last Saturday’s performance at the end of the show?

What's the use of pre-taping the show if all of these concerns can't be dealt with?


I admire the judges for being so frank and honest about the contestants’ performances. However, please have a system in providing feedback. Start with Ogie, then Jolina and end with Wyngard. Do not change this sequence. For the longest time, the judges have alternated in providing their comments, not following a definite chronology. On TV, it looks very disorganized.


Raymond is doing better and I believe he is wearing better clothes these past few days. But why isn’t he anywhere near the performer after the judges have made their comments? He definitely needs to slim down.


A longer airtime for Pinoy Idol will do you guys good and provide more exposure for the Idol hopefuls.

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