I am really not a big fan of K-Pop but you have to admit, Richard Gutierrez hosting a Pinoy K-Pop talent search here in the Philippines is interesting.  KISPINOY or K-Pop Icon Search Pinoy Edition which aired for the first time last Saturday (July 11) on TV5 at 9pm is bound to make all Pinoy K-Pop fans glued on the set every Saturday as they look for the next Filipino K-Pop superstar that will receive One Million pesos and a management and training contract in Korea!

As a lover of all artistic expression, music to me is timeless – I can listen and appreciate all types of music from classical to death metal and of course the many variations of pop music.  K-Pop or Korean Pop (Hallyu wave) has gotten a good grip of the asian music market and has even crossed the western borders with Psy’s “Gangnam Style” a few years back. Here in the Philippines, K-Pop is still very much hot with various new Korean acts and groups managing to rule the music video playlist of even the local music TV channels.

However, out of the hundreds of Korean acts out there, there are only a few K-Pop artists (and songs) that I have fallen in love with – the music of 2NE1, Big Bang, Girl’s Generation and T-Ara are the ones that I can listen to over and over again even if I don’t really understand the words.

Last week and before the pilot airing, I was able to talk to Richard Gutierrez who returns to hosting in the first-ever K-Pop talent search in the Philippines.


K-Pop First Impressions

“I am not such a big fanatic ..but I am aware that K-pop is a big industry now because (which is attributed to) of the hollywood style production and artist development that they have.  Of course, I know RAIN because I have portrayed his character in ‘Full House’ and 2NE1 and UKiss, I’ve done my research a little bit and I’ve seen their videos.”


“I am a fan of talent search shows, but this is my first time hosting one.  It has that global appeal in it and it caters to a younger audience unlike the previous shows that I’ve hosted. KISPINOY is a great addition to my resume.”

Richard Gutierrez has done a lot of TV hosting gigs in the past, particularly the Survivor Philippines (2010 – 2012) and Extra Challenge (2012-2013) series.

“It’s lighter and more entertaining.  Survivor is more serious while Extra Challenge is all about conquering fear.  KISPINOY is very different.  It’s very exciting for me to watch how a simple talented contestant becomes an artist, hosting this show I was able to connect with different types of people and have a conversation with them. People from all walks of life shares their sad and inspiring stories.  I am the first person they talk to before they perform, the first person they connect with.”


KISPINOY is a local talent search show produced by YU&IQ International in cooperation with NH Media. They have opened the nationwide search to all talented K-Pop Pinoy fans 13 years old and above a few weeks back held at different SM Malls. Out of all the hundreds of applicants, only 150 people were selected to have a one-in-a-million chance at becoming the first KISPINOY grand champion!

Out of the 150 performers, KISPINOY Judges RICO BLANCO, GELLI DE BELEN and KEVIN WOO of UKISS have selected the top 20 who will slug it out to the Top 5 KISPINOY performers.

Who will emerge as the best of the best from these Top 5 Pinoy K-Pop performers? Well that’s something we have to wait and see.

Richard said that aside from Kevin Woo, other Korean performers and a top ranking producer from Korea will flew in to judge for the semis and final rounds alongside their local counterparts.  He also mentioned that the Top 5 will already have a big chance at stardom since they will be trained professionally in Korea and even create their own music video there.  Whether they win KISPINOY or not, they already have a chance to be signed-in, if they make the cut there in Korea.

“During the audition period, I have seen a few talented performers who are really good singers however they didn’t make it because the personality don’t connect. It must be a combination of both talent and personality.  Personalities that can break barriers (cultural borders) is what the judges are looking for.”

In other words, a Pinoy who can really do a flawless K-Pop act! They have to transform themselves to becoming a true blue K-Pop artist.


KISPINOY will be a show for both K-Pop fanatics and the non K-Pop fans who wants to get to know more about the culture and their brand of entertainment. The contestants will be trained the way K-Pop artists are trained in Korea. It will be a life changing moment for one individual artist.

Although it’s a talent search for one, the Top 20 will also have a chance to perform as a group as part of their contest tasks.  The KISPINOY grand champion should be able to handle a solo act and working with a K-Pop group.

Co-hosting KISPINOY with Richard Gutierrez is Korean model, cosplayer and DJ JINRI PARK.

Will RICHARD GUTIERREZ have a K-Pop number in KISPINOY?  

“There’s this one time in the show that they asked me to dance K-pop, I had to do it, but it was just for fun, even the judges did it with me.”

That is definitely something worth waiting and watching out for in the show!

Catch KISPINOY Saturdays at 9pm on TV5!

Here’s a video of Richard Gutierrez inviting everyone to watch KISPINOY:


Check out also the RawVid of Richard’s interview on Project Motion Rain:

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