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Jesse James Baris

wins Pinoy Pop Star

pop star winners

Pinoy Pop Star Season 5 winners. From l-r: Keesha Mae Mari, third place; Jesse James Baris, Grand Champion, and Joy Reyes, second place. Photo by Arnel San Jose of Jeprox Photography.

judges and accountants

Inside the judges’ room, after the scores have been calculated and finalized. The grand final judges, seated l-r: Yvanne Dandan Caballero, Frank Urbano, Paul Ong, Michele Majul-Ibarra, and Jon Malek. Back l-r: Emcee Lucille Nolasco Garrido, Pilipino Express Editor-in-chief Emmie Joaquin, Accountants/ Tabulators: Connie De Villa, Belle De Leon, and Leah Beltran CPA. Photo: Arnel San Jose, Jeprox Photography

Jesse James Baris was named Champion in the Grand Final of the Pinoy Pop Star Season 5 singing competition on Friday, August 26, 2022. After a delay of two and a half years since the semi-final phase of the contest in January 2020 – due to the COVID-19 pandemic – fourteen excellent singers from Winnipeg’s Filipino community performed to another sell-out house at the McPhillips Station Casino.

Baris, an active member in the performing arts community and local community centres, runs his own glee club while working as a store manager and working in the promotions department at a local radio station. He took the top prize of $2000 and the Grand Prize trophy with his performance of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Joy Reyes placed second with a prize of $750 and a trophy for her powerful rendition of the OPM song Luha by the band Aegis.

Keesha Mae Mari sang the inspiring song The Impossible Dream from the musical Man of La Mancha to win third place with a prize of $500 and a trophy.

All the contestants put in admirable performances in the Grand Final, including Christine Vetus (Better Days), Robbie Ambrosio (Kahit Isang Saglit), Lester Espiritu (You’ll Never Walk Alone), Erwin Cenidoza (Dancing On My Own), Elsha Cabahug (Never Enough), Maribeth Tamayo (To Love You More), Ferdinand Fave (You’re the Voice), Jocelyn Dago (Diamonds Are Forever), Immanuelle Concepcion (It’s Raining Men), Elsa Mutya-Macalua (Cry Pretty), and Jojo Licardo (I Know).

Pinoy Pop Star Season 4 Grand Champion, Klayd Gatdula returned for a guest appearance after the intermission with two moving songs, Stay With Me and All of Me.

CKJS Radio personality Lucille Nolasco Garrido hosted the Grand Final as emcee and did double duty, entertaining the audience during the tabulation of the scores by dancing with her fellow Zumba enthusiasts – the Wpg ZINsistarZ, namely: Elvie Conte, Neth Conte, Maricar Anaya Dee, Clarissa Del Rosario, Grace Garcia, and Janet Weis.

This year’s Pinoy Pop Star contest benefitted from a panel of five highly qualified judges: Michele Majul-Ibarra, Frank Urbano, Yvan Caballero, Jon Malek, and head of the adjudication panel, Paul Kelvin Ong.

Throughout the semi-final, which took place in January 2020, and grand final levels of Pinoy Pop Star, the singers were judged on technical as well as artistic criteria. As emcee Lucille Nolasco Garrido explained to the audience, the judges were directed to score each singer between a minimum of 30 per cent and a maximum of 60 per cent for technical merit, and between 20 per cent and 40 per cent for artistic merit. The technical component encompasses voice quality, tone, pitch, voice dynamics, and rhythm and timing. The artistic component includes interpretation, style, stage presence, confidence, originality, and creativity.

Aldous Guzman of Chapel Lawn Funeral Home and Cemetery presented the third prize to Keesha Mae Mari, Attorney JB Casares presented the second-place prize to Joy Reyes, and Alvin and Shirley Cruz awarded the top prize to Jesse James Baris on behalf of Aida and Gary Montierro of UMAC Express Cargo.

Pinoy Pop Star Season 5 was produced by the publishers of Pilipino Express News MagazineEmmie Joaquin, Paul Morrow, and Rey-ar Reyes – in co-operation with the McPhillips Station Casino.

The whole production team thanks the helpful staff and management of the McPhillips Station Casino, especially Gloria Veale, for their aid in making this year’s event a great success. We also thank emcee, Lucille Nolasco Garrido, for wrangling a lot of information while keeping the show running smoothly; the tabulating team of Connie De Villa, Belle De Leon, and Leah Beltran; the sound engineers Matt McLean and Brian Hebert, lighting operator Andrea Friesen, and production volunteers Isagani Bartolome, Rose Bigornia, Marietta Cruz, Fia Guerra, Rodge Lopez, and Neil Soliven.

Thanks also to our official photographers, Arnel San Jose and Alex Canlapan.