Soc, composer of numerous hit songs including Kung Ako Na Lang Sana, personally chose Sam to interpret Kontrabida, which tells a protagonist-turned-antagonist’s love story.
“I never doubted Sam’s talent. Even before he stepped onstage, I knew he would give justice to the song,” says Soc. “Sam’s confidence is just so high and talent is overflowing that I know that the battle is already half-won.”
Sam, who last joined a competition less than a decade ago via Little Big Star, where he bagged the top plum, was ecstatic over the commendation.
“I know the song is catchy, unpretentious, and enjoyable to sing,” admits Sam. “But landing the third spot among 14 equally-brilliant entries is extremely amazing.”
Sam received glowing reviews from Jim Paredes, via his instagram account, describing his performance as “wow.”
Toto Sorioso’s Tayo-Tayo Lang, which talks about a musician’s experiences performing to a near-empty venue, bagged the 2nd place. Ebe Dancel interpreted the song.
The top prize went to Karl Villuga’s Bawat Hakbang, a beautifully-written inspirational song interpreted by Mark Bautista and Akafellas.
The task of evaluating the final entries was given to the distinct panel of judges, composed by some of the most respected names in the industry – singer-hitmaker-advocate Noel Cabangon, famous radio personality Chico Garcia, Universal Records’ Managing Director Kathleen Dy-Go, PhilPop Treasurer Randy Estrellado, former Eraserheads frontman Ely Buendia, ace songwriter-musical director Louie Ocampo, and APO Hiking Society Member Jim Paredes.