by Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBNnews.com | 02/26/2013 10:53 PM
MANILA -- Francisco "Bamboo" Mañalac is raring to battle it out with the three other competing teams headed by Lea Salonga, Sarah Geronimo and another unnamed coach in the Philippine edition of the popular singing competition "The Voice."
The former Rivermaya and Bamboo frontman expressed excitement with the first season of "The Voice of the Philippines," where he will be recruiting singing hopefuls as coach and training them to become the contest's victor.
As in the United States version of the show -- which featured as coaches Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine for its first three seasons -- the local edition of the contest will pit contestants from four teams against each other to be named "The Voice."
"I cannot wait to get competitive with all the coaches," Mañalac told ABS-CBN News on Monday. He added, in jest, "I just want to crush them!"
In order to form "Team Bamboo," the prized "ASAP" mainstay will take part in the "Blind Auditions," where his back, along with the other coaches', are turned to the auditionees.
Only the voice will be the determining factor in prompting the coaches to push their button, turning their chair around, to signal their intention to recruit the contestant.
Whereas Salonga will be relying on infallible pitch  to motivate her chair spin, Mañalac said he is hoping to detect early on his compatibility with a contestant. "In music, as in anything else, it's all about chemistry. I'm going to have some fun though, believe that," he said.
The rock singer said recruiting team members may not be an all too difficult task, given the nature of screening of singing hopefuls in "The Voice" as a format.
Before landing a spot in the Blind Auditions, contestants are already screened via various audition processes, such as online video submissions and on-ground preliminary eliminations.
"With 'The Voice,' it's a different thing because we're getting guys who have already been singing. That's what I like about the show -- you get artists already. They're pretty whole na, they just need a little fine-tuning," Mañalac said.
"So I have faith we'll get some good people auditioning, some artists, some voices out there, and we're going to take it to the high ground, lift spirits up," he said.
Set to premiere in the second quarter of the year, "The Voice of the Philippines" will be hosted by Toni Gonzaga.