Over the years, a number of reality competitions have graced our TV screens. We've seen common Filipinos through Big Brother's eyes, heard voices battle it out on The Voice stage, and searched for the next star in other talent search programs. Only one grand winner emerges from these competitions but, sometimes, placing second, third or even last doesn't matter. As long as you have the talent, you can make it big even if you're not the big winner.
Here are some examples of the runner-ups who eventually became stars themselves:
1) Ryan Bang
Born Bang Hyun Sung, Ryan entered the Pinoy Big Brother house during its Teen Clash edition in 2010. The Korean housemate finished second after On the Wings of Love actor James Reid. Now a TV host, Ryan adds his own funny twists in the noontime variety show It's Showtime and shares his fondness for comedy in the gag show Banana Split. He formerly hosted 30w POwhz and Eskwelahan Ni Ryan Bang both on Studio 23 and made appearances in Kuya Kim's Matanglawin, Kung Ako'y Iiwan Mo, and Home Sweetie Home. In 2012, he first ventured in films and appeared in Star Cinema's Every Breath U Take as Ji-Sun.
2) Yen Santos
Lilieyen Santos was one of the 27 housemates who entered the Teen Clash installment of PBB. She was evicted on Day 43. Despite the early exit from the reality TV show, Yen has made her way into the showbiz industry as an actress. She has appeared in various episodes of Maalaala Mo Kaya and Wansapanataym and gained popularity as one of the lead stars in the Philippine remake of Korean drama Pure Love, Dream Dad, and teen show Oh My G! Now on her biggest breakthrough in Philippine drama, she stars alongside JM de Guzman and veteran actor Albert Martinez in the afternoon series All of Me.
3) Robi Domingo
Dubbed as "Ang Dating Boarder ni Kuya," Robi first gained fame as the first runner up of PBB's Teen Edition Plus in 2008. After leaving the house, he was given a number of hosting projects by ABS-CBN, which includes the Sunday variety show ASAP, the reality singing competition The Voice of the Philippines, the fitness reality show The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition: Doubles, and various seasons of Pinoy Big Brother.
4) Beauty Gonzalez
Born Christine Marie Gonzalez, Beauty was part of PBB Teen Edition Plus's Big Four. Shortly after her stay in the house, she was given an acting stint in the 2008 drama series Iisa Pa Lamang. Her first major role was being cast as Zanjoe Marudo's female co-star in the primetime show Dream Dad. She's starring once again alongside Dream Dad co-star Jana Agoncillo in the daytime drama Ningning.
5) Gerald Anderson
Fil-Am actor Gerald Anderson finished third in 2006 Teen Edition of Pinoy Big Brother. He is best known for his lead roles in the TV shows Sana Maulit Muli, Tayong Dalawa, Budoy and current primetime soap Nathaniel. He also starred alongside Joel Torre in On the Job, which premiered in the 2013 Cannes Film Festival in France.
6) Sam Milby
Evicted on Day 77 of the very first Season of PBB in 2005, Sam has made it big both in the acting and the singing industry. He won the Most Promising Male Singer title from the GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards, Best New Male TV Personality from the PMPC Star Awards for TV, and the New Movie Actor of the Year from the PMPC Star Awards for Movies all in 2006. He is known for the movies You Are the One (2006), You Got Me (2007) and And I Love You So (2009). He also starred in TV shows Maging Sino Ka Man, Dyosa, Dyesebel and Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala.
7) Bugoy Drilon
Bugoy Drilon was the second Star Dreamer in the second season of Pinoy Dream Academy, which hailed Laarni Lozada as its Grand Star Dreamer. Formerly a canteen janitor, he is now one of the Philippines' top-rating and award-winning singers with hit songs "Paana Na Kaya?” "Kung Pwede Lang Sana," and "Muli."
8) Darren Espanto
Finishing second to The Voice Kids Philippines Season 1 Winner Lyca Gairanod, Darren has made a name for himself despite the young age. The Calgary-born singer was the first to stage his first solo concert among the big four of the singing competition. Some of his accolades include the titles "Newsmaker of the Year" and "Most Promising Child Star" from Star Cinema Awards (2014), Favorite New Artist at the MYX Music Awards (2015), and Most Promising Male Performer in the 46th GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards (2015). His first full-length self-titled album was released in December 2014 and became a Platinum record.
9) Juan Karlos Labajo
Another runner-up, JK had a a debut role in the family drama series Hawak Kamay. He played the lead in an episode of Ipaglaban Mo ("Sa Dulo ng Daan," as Nico) and is currently part of teleserye Pangako Sa 'Yo. His self-titled album was recently released under MCA Universal.
10) Morissette Amon
Morissette reached the semi-finals round of The Voice of the Philippines (2013), but eventually lost to runner-up Klarisse De Guzman for Team Sarah. She began making recurring appearances on ASAP in 2014 and came out with her debut studio album in March 2015.
11) Klarisse De Guzman
The Voice of the Philippines first-runner up Klarisse is now known as ASAP's Homegrown Diva. Her debut album under MCA Music was released in 2014.
12) Christian Bautista
Placing only fourth in the Search for the Star in a Million in 2003, Christian has definitely made his own mark in the industry after gaining popularity not only in the Philippines but also in other countries in Southeast Asia. His self-titled album released in 2004 was a multi-platinum awardee. A former regular of ASAP, the singer also performed in The Kitchen Musical, a Singaporean musical restaurant drama TV series.
13) Sheryn Regis
The pop singer was a consistent top scorer in the Star in a Million (2003) but eventually became a runner-up to Erik Santos. After the competition, she became known for her renditions of the theme songs for Marina, Kampanerang Kuba, Gulong ng Palad, and Maria Flordeluna to name a few. Her first single, “Come in Out of the Rain,” was a nationwide radio hit while her debut album was a platinum holder.
14) Xyriel Manabat
Xyriel placed third runner-up in the Star Circle Quest: Search for the Next Kiddie Idol (2009). Her breakthrough role was playing the young Agua and Bendita in the fantasy drama series Agua Bendita (2010). Other big TV projects like Momay (2010), Noah (2010), and 100 Days to Heaven (2011) followed thereafter. In 2010, she won the Best Child Actress title from the Metro Manila Film Festival for her role in the comedy film Ang Tanging Ina Mo (Last na 'To!)
15) Sandara Park
Korean singer Sandara was the first Runner-up in the first Star Circle Quest (2004). She is now a member of the South Korean girl group 2NE1. Some of her singles during her stay in the Philippines were "In or Out," "Walang Sabit," and "Ang Ganda Ko." She also headlined some Star Cinema films like D Lucky Ones, Can This Be Love and Because of You.
16) Charice Pempengco
Charice placed third after Sam Concepcion and Gian Barbarona in the Big Division of the Little Big Star in 2005. The singer became popular worldwide and made appearances in The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Good Morning America to name a few. She shared the concert spotlight with international stars like Josh Groban, David Foster, and Celine Dion. She was the first Asian artist to make it to the Billboard Top Ten after her self-titled album got the 8th spot in the US Billboard Chart.