I Shall Watch Shalani

When newspapers had Willie Revillame’s show on front page, I felt the urge to watch his new show on TV 5. It sparked my curiosity when I saw a familiar face beside him on the photo in the newspaper. Shalani, the president’s ex girl friend, caught everybody’s attention.  I could not believe that she accepted to be Willie’s co-host. She was too regal, too decent to be with a man who was suspended for dirty jokes. During her love affair with P-noy, she avoided the camera and gave brief answers during interviews. Her appearance on Willie’s game show surprised viewers and even threatened other networks. ABS-CBN even brought veteran broadcasters back at TV Patrol to increase its popularity. It is a fact that picking Shalani regardless of her talent and personality helped the show gained profits.

Why do a lot of people like to watch Shalani? She does not speak with a loud high-pitched voice like other hosts do. She does not dance or sing all the time, the way Valerie Concepcion and Pokwang do. She is the exact opposite of what a host should be like on TV. But her weak traits as a host make her more interesting to watch on TV.

Among the people who are on stage in Willing Willie, she stands out. She is a contrast to the dancers surrounding her who almost wear nothing. She does not look like an entertainer but a first lady giving a speech on stage. On her first few days in Willing Willie, she was all covered. A month later, she took a sleeve off. A few days later, she took two sleeves off. Then later on, she was wearing a tube. TV viewers look forward on what she’s going to wear. Who knows? She might dress like Willie’s dancers.

While Willie’s dancers speak fast, she is slow to speak and very gentle. When she starts the game and says, “one-two-three go,” she sounds like a young lady endearing her sweetheart.  When she delivers her lines, audiences get the feeling that she has memorized her lines very well. Her voice can not intensify but can inspire, perhaps. She is more like a mother singing a lullaby to her baby.

She maintains a Maria Clara aura all the time. She leaves an impression that she can not handle jokes. When she laughs out, you can hardly hear her voice. She will just cover her mouth to hide her laughter. Viewers love to see when she gets awkward every time Willie throws a joke at her. Having been watched Willing Willie for couple of times; it delights me to witness how she has developed some sense of humor. Now, when Willie makes a joke, she prepares a rebuttal. Willie asked: “Ano ba ang gusto mo sa isang lalaki?” She then said, “Basta hindi babaero.”  Willie flirting on air adds flavor to the show.

I evaluate why people enjoy watching her and why I also like to watch her too. I come to a conclusion that people like to watch others having a hard time. We are curious on how Shalani will survive talking to contestants when she takes a long time to come up with a sensible and witty question. We like to observe how she is different in a group of dancers cheering for the contestant in Will Time Big Time. What we learn from Shalani’s performance is that sometimes people do not need to fit in to be interesting.