Charice Pempengco on Oprah - Good? Or a Good Imitation?

by Leonard By now, you've already heard of the pint-sized powerhouse singer who guested on Oprah Winfrey. Charice Pempengco travelled all the way from the 'Pines to perform on the world's powerful woman's TV show. She was already getting buzz in different countries and most recently on Ellen when she got the call from "Stedman's boss" to come on the show. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92PgDhcM5rs] Undoubtedly, she's a powerful performer. She's got the pipes of a Whitney or a Mariah for sure and at times sounds exactly like them. She's got the diction, no trace of a Filipino accent and even the vocal acrobatics that call to mind church on Sunday --- well, an African-American church on Sunday.

If you watch Pinoy Idol, you might see that the majority of the singers belt out their tunes in styles reminiscient of black singers like Whitney, Alicia Keys or Beyonce. These contestants have the rolls, the dips the growls and the diction that shouldn't ever give away the fact that they are from places like Cebu City, Tarlac or Zamboanga -- unfortunately its the accent that gives them away. And why shouldn't it? Isn't it OK for Filipinos to HAVE Filipino accents? Even when they are singing?

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8_bBHrjqMQ] (by the way, they LOVED her.)

 

Charice Pempengco is so good because "you can't tell she's Filipino" if you hear her voice. You would think she's a 40 year old black woman. Is this talent, or a circus attraction?

So is she good? Or is it just another case of Filipinos being really good at imitation?

What's the meter stick by which we evaluate Filipino talent? What's it based on? Are there aspects of certain cultures that we gravitate to more than others? Are we imitators? What is real Filipino talent?

What do you think?

 

Anyway, no one beats this guy.