After Popeyes-sponsored competition “The Pop Stage” announced CJ Villavivencio as its winner, “Ang Huling El Bimbo” musical director Myke Salomon spoke up about how there was nothing original about Villavivencio’s performance—if you saw the musical, you would’ve heard the arrangement before.
ICYDK, “The Pop Stage” is an online competition which aims to highlight Filipino talent and creativity. It was previously announced that the winner is entitled to a P1 million pesos cash prize along with a one-year contract with Viva Artists Agency.
CJ Villavivencio’s winning piece was a cover of Eraserheads’ “Pare Ko,” but critics including Salomon soon alleged that the video’s concept and arrangement was suspiciously similar to the musical’s.
In a tweet, Salomon called out both the winner and the judges. Without naming Villavivencio, he alleges that “a guy copied/ripped off” their musical arrangements in “Ang Huling El Bimbo” without permission to win a contest.
A guy copied/ripped-off our musical arrangements for #AngHulingElbimboMusical (musical treatment, concept) without permission won in that pop stage contest for his final round. He won 1million and an artist contract. I feel bad for the other contestants. ?
Meanwhile, a video by dancer Jef Flores (which Eraserheads’ Ely Buendia also shared) that puts the two performances side-by-side to show viewers how much was allegedly copied went viral. In the video, Flores was adamant that the only thing original about Villavivencio’s rendition was the addition of a Michael Jackson beat to the opening of the song.
Flores also noted that Villavivencio’s post on Facebook celebrating his win was quickly edited once the backlash started, with a line mentioning that the winner was inspired by the musical added at the end.
Preen.ph has reached out to Villavivencio about the allegations. As of writing, he has not responded.
Screengrab from “Ang Huling El Bimbo” online teaser