Dean, left, and Marlisa
Dean, left, and Marlisa

Sydney, Australia (The Adobo Chronicles) – The X Factor Australia’s results night came down to two finalists: Dean Ray and Marlisa Punzalan.  Like the reality show’s counterparts in the U.S., U.K., and elsewhere, the winner is determined exclusively by viewers’ votes.

Then came the announcement: 15-year-old Filipina Australian Marlisa was declared the winner. The show’s host Luke Jacobz revealed that the difference in votes between Dean and Marlisa was an astonishing 0.01 per cent — the closest ever in any reality show viewer voting.

While Dean was gracious in defeat, his fans were not.  They have collected one million signatures asking for a recount of the votes.

In politics, recounts are not uncommon in electoral contests where the difference between the two top candidates is less than one percent of votes cast.

chadMany Americans will recall the 2000 U.S. presidential elections in which a recount was ordered to determine whether George W. Bush or Al Gore won the Florida vote.  In the end, the election was settled in favor of Bush, by a margin of only 537 votes out of almost 6 million cast. That’s when the term “hanging chads” became a household word in America.

The X Factor Australia  producers have not received a copy of the recount petition and they have no clue on how to deal with it.

In political elections, optional recounts are usually paid for by the losing candidate or his or her political party.  Dean’s fans have not said whether they are willing to pay for the recount if the show’s producers decide to do it.

There are no hanging chads to deal with, but a recount in this case would involve a review of all phone calls and text messages, or proof that there was a computer glitch in the final vote tally.

If a recount does happen, an Aussie TV producer has already said he will make an entire reality show out of the recount. Do we hear cash registers going ka-ching?





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Marlisa, left, and Rose Fostanes
Marlisa, left, and Rose Fostanes

Los Angeles California (The Adobo Chronicles) – The producers of the internationally-syndicated reality show The X Factor have issued new rules on eligibility for contestants. Henceforth, only native-born citizens will be allowed to join the singing contest in the country in which the show is being held. Only native-born U.S. citizens for X Factor America, native-born Australian citizens for X Factor Australia, native-born Israeli citizens for X Factor Israel, and so on.  The rules also state that both parents of the contestants must also be native-born citizens.

The decision came immediately after 15-year-old Marlisa Punzalan won the grand finals in this season’s X Factor Australia, beating fellow Australians Dean Ray and Brothers 3. Although Marlisa was born in Australia, both her parents were born in the Philippines.

Just months ago, a Filipina caregiver in Tel Aviv, Rose Fostanes, won the first X Factor Israel. Other Filipinos have figured prominently and became finalists in other reality singing competitions in the U.S., U.K., Bulgaria and other countries. Many will recall that Pinay singer Jessica Sanchez was runner-up in American Idol.

“We know Filipinos are among the best singers in the world, but we wanted to showcase other world talents and that’s why we have established X Factor in different countries outside of the U.S. or the U.K.,” the producers said.

The Philippines has its own X Factor syndicated show in Manila.


imageSydney, Australia (The Adobo Chronicles) – Fifteen-year-old Filipina Marlisa Punzalan was declared this season’s winner of the syndicated reality show X Factor Australia, beating two other finalists, Dean Ray and Brothers 3.

Marlisa’s mentor, Irish singer Ronan Keating, so much wanted her protégé to win the competition that he had a nervous breakdown during the night when the results of the voting were announced.  He had to be briefly hospitalized immediately after the live telecast.

The night previous to the announcement of the results, Keating said on live TV that this could possibly be his last season as judge and mentor on X Factor Australia and that he wanted to leave the show with her protégé winning the competition.

Keating’s first visitors at his hospital bed were Marlisa and her huge family who brought him home-cooked adobo, pancit and lumpia, the signature Filipino dishes. That significantly reduced Keating’s blood pressure.

All’s well that ends well.

Here’s Marlisa’s final performance in the grand finals:

The announcement:


imageManila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Metro Manila’s government never runs out of brilliant ideas to help solve the traffic gridlock that has become an inevitable routine of daily living in the crowded metropolis.

In an attempt to prevent vehicles from making U-turns at street intersections, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced that it will build a bikini island in the middle of one of the busiest intersections along Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue (EDSA)  and North Avenue in Quezon City.

The bikini island is a triangular rotunda that would make it impossible for motorists to make a U-turn, thus improving the flow of traffic. While the proposed rotunda will not totally eliminate traffic in the area, it will give motorists some pastime to help relieve their stress.

The bikini island will be open to residents and tourists who wish to go sun tanning in their bikinis. Weather-proof beach chairs  and beach mats will be provided free of charge.

MMDA is confident that the sight of bikini-clad men and women will make daily commute more exciting and enjoyable. It said that if the new project proves to be successful, more bikini islands will be constructed throughout Metro Manila.


imageManila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – In one weekend, the Philippines broke two Guinness World Records, bringing both prestige and jubilation to this country of 100 Million people.

First, the Central Philippines City of Cebu broke the current Guinness record for the largest single Zumba class, eclipsing the current record of 6,671 held by India.  Cebu’s number reached a total of 8,232 participants.

Even before this rare distinction could sink in among the Filipinos, a Guinness World Records Adjudicator announced a second world record for the Philippines . The announcement was made from the Guinness headquarters in London that the Philippines is now home to the largest pork barrel in the world.

The Guinness announcement said that pork barrel — which refers to the use of taxpayer funds to pay for local politicians’ pet projects in their respective jurisdictions or localities – is common in almost all governments. However, the Philippines holds the record of the largest amount of pork barrel funds illegally expended by politicians anywhere in the world. Guinness added that the Philippine pork barrel record is unique because it involves almost all sectors of government — from the Office of the President to the Senate and House of Representatives to the Supreme Court and local governors and mayors. Even the Philippine Catholic Church has been implicated or benefited from the pork barrel scandal.

Guinness said that it would be very difficult for other countries to surpass the Philippine record.

Upon  hearing of the news, President NoyNoy Aquino convened his cabinet for a celebratory gathering in Malacañang, the presidential palace, where San Miguel beer and the favorite sisig appetizer flowed all night.


L-R: Brand, Trump, Perry
L-R: Brand, Trump, Perry

Las Vegas, Nevada (The Adobo Chronicles) – What started as an online confrontation between Donald Trump and Russell Brand ended up in a hair-pulling physical altercation between Trump and Katy Perry in Las Vegas last night.

It all started when Trump tweeted that Brand is a loser and that Perry must have been drunk when she married Brand.


In response, Brand tweeted:


Judging by the retweets and favorites, we know who won the twitter battle.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Last night, Perry accidentally ran into Trump while the latter was waiting for his car outside Mandalay Bay where he attended a Republican fundraising dinner.  Without warning and not saying a word, Perry attacked Trump pulling on his blond hair. Trump reacted by pulling on Perry’s purple hair.

Trump was seen in agony as Perry grabbed and pulled his hair. But as soon as Trump began to pull Perry’s hair, the whole thing came off. It was, of course, a wig.

Again, we know who won this battle.


The Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, home of the 49ers
The Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, home of the 49ers

San Francisco, California (The Adobo Chronicles) – The San Francisco Giants are going to the World Series for the third time in the last five years, and their fan base is definitely growing exponentially.

This means that when they host their part of the seven-game World Series against the  Kansas City Royals, the 41,503-capacity AT&T Park may not be big enough to accommodate their die-hard fans.

It is for this reason that the Giants are  now negotiating with the 49ers to use Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara to host the Royals for games 3, 4 and 5 of the World Series,  assuming of course there is a game 5.

The new Levi’s Stadium has a capacity of 68,000 and can easily accommodate Giants fans plus a sprinkling of Royals fans.

The board of directors of the 49ers will meet in an emergency meeting tonight to consider the Giants’ request.

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