Carmina star-struck in 'surprise' interview with Lea
MANILA -- Carmina Villaroel, the self-proclaimed "No. 1 fan" of Broadway star Lea Salonga, was at a loss for words when she met her idol for an interview set up as a birthday surprise.
Ahead of her 38th birthday on August 17, Saturday, the "Showbiz Inside Report" co-host had been told she would be interviewing actor Matteo Guidicelli for the program.
A confused Villaroel was instead met by co-host and long-time friend Janice de Belen at the designated venue, before being brought by the production team of "Showbiz Inside Report" to a "mysterious" private residence in Muntinlupa City.
To her shock, Villaroel was welcomed at the location by Salonga, who was tapped by the program as an accomplice in the birthday surprise for the TV host.
The "Got to Believe" actress is said to be a long-time fan of Salonga, with an extensive knowledge of her career in theater, film and music. Villaroel also claimed to know by heart Salonga's full discography.
In what Villaroel recalled to be her "longest conversation" with Salonga, they talked about the Broadway star's career beginning, growing up in the business, her family life, and her stint as a coach on "The Voice of the Philippines."
After the taped interview aired Saturday on "Showbiz Inside Report," Villaroel recalled being overwhelmed by the experience.
"Alam mo 'yung nagsasalita siya, pero wala namang rumi-register sa mga sinasabi niya? Kaya lumabas lang 'yung pagka-artista ko na, 'Uh huh, oh really?' Pero wala naman talagang naiintindihan!
"Kasi habang nagsasalita siya, tinitingnan ko 'yung mata niya, 'yung ilong niya, 'yung ngipin niya! Kulang nalang 'yung ngalangala niya, alam mo 'yon?" she said, laughing.
Villaroel went on to thank the production team behind "Showbiz Inside Report," before being presented with a reel of greetings from colleagues, friends and family.