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  • Writer's pictureKryzzle Nova Cailing

Chasing Stardom: Pop Star Dreamers Reaching for Success in 2023 and Beyond

Reality-survival shows are next-level iconic. They take you to the edge of your seat, and rooting for them is not for the faint-hearted. Viu’s Hello K-Idol, KUMU’s Top Class, and ABS-CBN’s Dream Maker were just like that. They introduced us to grueling formats that popped our nerves, but one good thing that came out of it was the trainees who left long-lasting impressions. While others immediately fulfilled their dream of becoming the next all-round pop superstars, some have gone different ways and are bound to find success elsewhere.

Let’s take a look back at some of the crowd favorites and iconic trainees to see what opportunities knocked at their doors, as well as what’s in store for them this year and beyond.

1. Kheene Salas (Hello K-Idol)

Kheene is a true-blood pop believer with an experience that spans beyond borders. After his stint in Hello K-Idol, he became a trainee at RBW Entertainment in South Korea where he managed to create a fandom of his own. The year after, he tried his luck with SM Entertainment and later settled in the Philippines by joining TV5’s PoPinoy, another talent competition looking for the biggest pop boy and girl band. Currently, he is the main vocalist of the pre-debut group VER5US formed from the show’s winning lineup. They released their pre-debut single, Winner, last year. Watch out for their official debut soon!

2. JP Soliva (Hello K-Idol)

JP was the grand winner of Viu’s Hello K-Idol search in 2018. Three years later, he debuted in Press Hit Play (PHP) as the lead vocalist and lead dancer. Through his all-expense paid scholarship at a prestigious Korean entertainment school, he catapulted his way to being one of the most admired songwriters and producers in the P-Pop scene. Their latest comeback, Forever Young, is an ode to our inner child. PHP will also suit up for P-POP Con 2023 along with other caliber P-Pop idols. Don’t miss out on their electrifying live performances and stable vocals!

3. Joshuel Fajardo (Top Class)

Much to the dismay of everyone, this former G-Force and Z-Boys member was eliminated on the last episode of the show. But for the Suave Skaterboy of Kuwait, it is only the beginning of another P-Pop journey. Joshuel was officially introduced as a member of the septet YAMA along with other TC trainees, whose debut is right around the corner. But in the meantime, you can follow his show guestings, admire his dancing skills, or binge-watch YAMA’s non-music content. They might be added to your next-to-stan list, or perhaps see Joshuel wrecking your bias roll; who knows?

4. Ash Rivera (Top Class)

The Shy Guy of Baguio was eliminated early on from the show, but that doesn’t mean he is giving up his P-Pop dreams too soon. With solid dancing prowess, he is just starting to sync the beats and groove to the tune of one more P-Pop ride. Soon enough, we’ll see him slaying the center spot or leading the dance line in the rookie group, AJAA. Ash will definitely have no hard time standing out in the quartet, and his growing fandom, Toothpastes, can attest to that. While gearing up for their debut, this shy guy is steadily making himself known by featuring on PARCINQ Fresh. It’s only a matter of time before we see Ash Rivera unleash his monster rookie era.

5. Ishiro Incapas (Dream Maker)

Ishiro’s chase to the summit can be easier said than done. You’d be surprised that this quiet but deadly ball of sunshine has different flairs up his sleeve, and he’s far from over his pop journey. As mysterious as he gets, the latest update we managed to get is him renewing his passport. With the tremendous support of his fandom, it seems unlikely that he’s flying back to Japan and settling down for good. So fret not, because we bet he’s already brewing something for Ishiworms who are anticipating his rightful place—the debut stage.

6. Thaddeus Sune (Dream Maker)

Your film boy is back in school! Currently, though, he seems busy shooting for something film-related, perhaps catching up on some academic backlogs. If ever you don’t catch him debuting on a P-Pop stage, then maybe his stars are really aligned for the big screen! We are one with THADy Bears in manifesting Idol Thad and Direk Thad, ‘cause why choose only one when surely he can slay both?

Whether you’re just checking out the shows and getting to know these lads, or are already following their projects, be with us in hoping only the good things for these pop dreamers.



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