MANILA—The word of the day during the Saturday live episode of "Idol Philippines" was emotion, as almost after each performance the judges noted that the contestants were able to convey their intended messages using the songs they picked.
Starting off the night, dedicated to songs by Yeng Constantino and Erik Santos, was Trish Bonilla, who performed "Pagbigyang Muli."
Regine Velasquez commented that she looked "like a star" in her hot pink outfit, but noted that glaring mistake she made at the end of her number and her tendency for awkward word cuts.
"You need to prepare, kailangan ka huminga kung saan ka hindi magpuputol ng words," said Velasquez.
Next up was Renwick Benito, the "Rocker Dad ng Pampanga," who managed to turn the love anthem "Hawak Kamay" into a song that captures a father's unwavering care for his child.
He performed just before Elle Ocampo, who took to the stage with an equally emotional performance of "Ikaw."
Putting her evident stamp all over the track, Ocampo managed to drive judge Moira dela Torre to tears.
Dela Torre praised Ocampo for picking herself up brilliantly, even after disappointingly placing in the bottom 3 last week.
Following her was Lance Busa, who continues to meet the judges' high expectations week after week.
This time, he sang "Ako Muna" with the confidence of someone clearly on top of his game. Velasquez warned him, though, about committing simple mistakes as this might cost him dearly.
Lucas Garcia was the fifth performer with "Lupa," a song he dedicated to his mother.
It was described as perhaps the most powerful act of the night, and Vice Ganda gushed that Garcia deserves the lion's share of the public's support he has been receiving.
"You're so authentic and an idol for me has to be authentic," Vice Ganda told Garcia.
Dela Torre added that he deserves to win the contest.
Capping off the night was Zephanie Dimaranan and her cover of "Salamat."
Velasquez commended her for always improving, while James Reid gushed about how she is blooming at the right moment.
The rest of the contestants — Miguel Odron, Fatima Louise, Sheland Faelnar, and Dan Ombao — will perform on Sunday's live episode.
According to the show, they will be eliminating two singers this round as well. The results will be based on a 50/50 split between fan votes and the judges.