Meet The 16 Students of Artista Academy

Now that the Academy's gates are officially opened, it's time to welcome the final 16 students of Artista Academy that will complete to TV 5's very own artista search. And with the coveted Php20 Million worth of total prizes at stake, who among these 16 aspirants will be hailed as the Best Actress and Best Actor of this grandest and most intensive talent search on Philippine television?

Emerging as the luckiest and most deserving of the 13,000 who came to the one-day grand auditions held last June 19 at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, the Artista Academy Top 16 finalists are Akihiro Blanco (Pasig), Alberto Bruno (Marikina), Benjo Leoncio (Cebu), Brent Manzano (Quezon City), Chanel Morales (Bacolod), Chris Leonardo (Laguna), Jon Orlando (Quezon City), Julia Quisumbing (Makati), Malak So Shdifat (Manila), Mark Neumann (Quezon City), Marvelous Alejo (Valenzuela), Nicole Estrada (Pasig), Shaira Mae (Las Piñas City), Sophie Albert (Mandaluyong), Stephanie Rowe (Pampanga), and Vin Abrenica (Pampanga).

These 16 students will be given full scholarship to the Asian Academy of Television Arts (AATA) to undergo a comprehensive curriculum-based training with the best and highly esteemed professionals in the industry, including multi-awarded director Joel Lamangan, music master Louie Ocampo, dance guru Georcelle Dapat of G Force.

I was able to see and meet in person yesterday during their first-ever presscon at Broadway Studios. With 16 of them all present, they experienced for the very first time the discriminating and criticizing questions of the local press as well as the online community.

Some issues that were raised yesterday are is Akihiro Blanco a "babaero"? Is Jon Orlando gay? Is Chanel Morales "maarte" and "sosyalera"? And is Malak Shdifat living in with his boyfriend?

Well, of course, they said no to those questions, something that made the press more curious and impressed on how they all handled their first-ever presscon. I was really impressed, to be honest.

Some of the students also strutted their skills by entertaining the press with their remarkable talents that made them qualify to this prestigious artista search. I was able record some of that, and here are the clips.

By the end of the competition, Artista Academy will announce the Best Actor and Best Actress who will win a total of Php20 Million plus lead roles in a forthcoming TV5 teleserye. Not only will they be certified professional actors after they finish their course from AATA, they will also be the richest winners in the history of all talent searches in the country.

Chris Leonardo

I'm still eyeing to these four guys to be at the top, and with Chris' flawless moves, I guess, I'm also eyeing for him now. 

Jon, Vin, Akihiro and Mark

As for the girls, well, they all look so pretty in person, especially Sophie Albert, so I'm still undecided as to who I think will be at the top. I just hope that we'll vote to the one who we think is the best since this competition involves text voting too. :-)

For now, we can enjoy watching their every moves from Monday to Saturday after Wil Time Bigtime at TV5. Marvin Agustin is the reality host who shares with viewers the 16 Students’ journey every night while Cesar Montano takes charge as the Live Exam Presentor every Saturday. Lorna Tolentino, Gelli De Belen, and TV5 Talent Center Head and renowned TV and film director Mac Alejandre will be sitting in as Live Exam Critics every Saturday, so we should all watch out for it!

More pictures here.

Stay tune on this blog for more updates on these 16 soon-to-be artistas!
Good luck, boys and girls!

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