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Once heckled over lip-sync accusation, ‘Tawag’ bet gets standing ovation

‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ judges Jaya and Yeng Constantino react to contestant Lin del Rosario’s rendition of ‘I Love You, Goodbye’ on Tuesday. ABS-CBN

MANILA — A performing Lin del Rosario once became the target of heckling and hurled items amid accusations of using playback or lip-syncing during her band’s set at a hotel bar in Frankfurt, Germany.

She has experienced audience members walking out, convinced that they were being tricked, and being given the middle finger during her performance.

Once, she recalled, members of the band Scorpions (“Still Loving You,” “Wind of Change”) had her join their table for a round of drinks as an apologetic gesture for doubting, and then being proven wrong about her singing voice.

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Del Rosario, now a government worker in Muntinlupa City, has a soaring voice which today still proves to be a surprising combination with her decidedly masculine appearance.

“Tawag ng Tanghalan” judge Jaya noted as much, after the entire panel gave Del Rosario a standing ovation after her rendition of “Mahawi Man Ang Ulap” on Tuesday.

“I think pare-pareho kami dito na hindi na-expect na ‘yan ang boses na lalabas sa isang katulad mo,” Jaya told del Rosario. “Ang gusto ko sa ‘yo, authentic ka, e. Kung authentic ka, pati ‘yung boses mo hindi mo pinalitan.”

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“If you’re female, you continued to sound like female. That’s very important. Diyan kasi lalabas ‘yung power. Kung papalitan mo ‘yan, mawawalan ka ng birit power, and you have that. Technique, puso, lahat nandoon,” the judge said.

Calling Del Rosario’s performance “perfect,” judge Erik Santos agreed that one of her strengths was her straightforward yet heartfelt take on the song, “na walang palabok a palamuti.”

Her applauded number secured Del Rosario the daily winner slot, which pitted her against defending champion Ralph Kim Paguio.

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The face-off between two judges’ favorites proved to be a difficult situation, with the panel noticeably taking longer than usual to decide whether Del Rosario would steal the title, or let Paguio hold on to it for another day.

Ultimately, Del Rosario was named the new champion, gaining her another day to perform live — no playback and sans doubters — this time with the “golden mikropono.”