After it was announced that she would officially host the local franchise of the US reality singing competition The Voice, Toni Gonzaga admitted it took a while for her to process the news. “Nung una hindi pa talaga nag-si-sink in pero ngayon siguro after the presscon nararamdaman ko na this is it, we are presenting to you the newest and the biggest reality singing contest na ma-pu-produce ng ABS-CBN. Never in my wildest dreams na naisip ko na ma-ko-consider ako dito. Actually nung narinig ko ito, hindi ko naman naririnig ang pangalan ko na ma-consider ako dito sa The Voice. Kaya siguro hindi kaagad nag-sink in sa akin na host ako,” she admitted.
Toni said that the local version, dubbed The Voice of the Philippines, will be like the original show but with a Pinoy touch. “We will follow the basic format of The Voice but at the same time, we will also Filipinize it. Kasi ang mga programa dito sa Pilipinas may puso, siguro mas lalagyan natin ng puso para mas maintindihan at mas kapitan yung bawat contestant na mapapanuod niyo sa stage,” she admitted during her presscon for The Voice held last February 7 at the ABS-CBN compound in Quezon City.
During the event, Toni clarified any issues that Sarah Geronimo was supposedly originally considered to be the host instead of her. “For me, wala naman akong gustong mangyaring issue at ayoko ring magkaroon ng issue dahil unang una sa lahat it was given to me and hindi ko rin naman siya hiningi. It was given to me out of nowhere. Kahit ako na-shock ako, na totoo ba ito na sa akin nga ibibigay ang programang ito. So ayoko ng sakyan ang issue because she will also be a part of The Voice and she will be one of the judges here. We’re really looking forward na makasama namin siya sa programa,” she admitted.
The 28-year-old singer-actress said she is looking forward to reinventing herself once again after hosting another popular international franchise—Pinoy Big Brother—for the past few years. She said she is also looking forward to working with Sarah who is the first confirmed judge to be part of the panel of four on the show. “Ako rin nga na-e-excite ako. Siyempre meron kaming lineup na alam na namin pero so far sa ngayon, under negotiation pa lahat, hindi pa final yung iba. So far ang na-confirm pa lang ng ABS-CBN is Sarah will be a part of the coaches and we’re really, really excited that she’s a part of The Voice. I think she will be great in the show because she’s really prepared for this and this is another side of her na hindi pa nakikita ng mga tao, yung mag-coach. She’s one of the best performers that we have here in the country and I think it’s going to be interesting because she will share her ideas, her learnings, her style sa i-ko-coach niyang mga singers,” she explained.
Some of the candidates rumored to be considered as judges for the show include Lea Salonga, Ely Buendia, Bamboo, and Jed Madela but as of the moment, none have been confirmed to be officially part of The Voice of the Philippines yet. The show is slated to air in the second quarter of the year with nationwide auditions going on since December 2012. “It’s exciting especially pag nalaman niyo na yung mga kasama niyang uupo sa panel na iibang klase. Best of the best. Nung narinig ko, ibang klase, hindi ko alam kung paano na-put together ng ABS-CBN yung ganito kabibigat na coaches sa iisang table. Basta world-class, pang-international ang mga talent. Basta hindi na ako magsasalita, hindi niyo kakayanin, ako hindi ko kinaya eh,” she said.