The Pastillas Girl was meant to help It’s Showtime compete with the phenomenon that is AlDub, but instead the show has created controversy and led to accusations that the show is exploiting its viral star.
The noontime show introduced the Pastillas Girl last month, allowing viewers to follow along on her quest for love. The star is known formally as Angelica Jane Yap, whose viral instructional cooking videos gave her a big audience before It’s Showtime called on her to star in the love-match segment.
Many have been unhappy with the way the segment is being presented, and how the suitors are seemingly being forced on her and the hosts making decisions for her dating life.
Gabriela urges MTRCB to probe ‘It’s Showtime’ for ‘pimping’ Pastillas Girl http://t.co/0jaXug2CAt pic.twitter.com/kBnJ9KO9nU
— InterAksyon (@interaksyon) September 28, 2015
It’s Showtime has clearly aimed for a big audience with its segment. As the Manila Bulletin noted, Yap’s built-in fan base helped the show off to a strong start, but it still struggled to touch the runaway success of AlDub, the love story playing out between Yaya Dub and Alden on Eat Bulaga.
The Twitter hashtags for the It’s Showtime saga regularly drew hundreds of thousands of tweets, but Eat Bulaga gained more than 12 million for the first date between Yaya Dub and Alden and more than 26 million for an episode where Alden sang “God Gave Me You” to Yaya Dub.
As GMA Network noted, the show has even approached the success of Manny Pacquiao’s fights.
“The pound-for-pound king’s last exclusive fight on GMA-7 against Chris Algieri last November drew 43.8 rating, less than a point above the AlDub number.
“Pacquiao’s fight against Mayweather last May, which was simulcast over three different networks, drew a 28.4 rating on GMA-7, 12.7 on ABS-CBN, and 3.3 on TV5 – a total rating of 44.4. That was just 1.3 points higher than Eat Bulaga’s Saturday episode.”
But with It’s Showtime solidly behind in the ratings, many fans and critics say it has become a “bugaw” issue, with the show being accused of “pimping” out the Pastillas Girl for ratings. The controversy even prompted Teresa Hernandez, the mother of Angelica Yap, to come on the show and defend her daughter.
Zeibiz explained Hernandez’s appearance.
“On Monday, Mrs. Hernandez and Angelica Yap had a chance to have a heart-to-heart talk about shortcomings and issues regarding their relationship as mother and daughter.
“Angelica previously told Vice Ganda that the reason why she’s looking for a new relationship and for someone who would care for her is because she grew up looking after her siblings.
“She also adds that her mom is strict. Mrs. Hernandez said that she feels guilty on not being with her daughter during the time she needed her. She also said that she is to blame because she failed to provide what Angelica needed.”
Mrs. Hernandez said the negative comments hurt her, and said she never intended the Pastillas Girl segment to become a “bugaw” issue, or one in which the show was apparently “pimping” out the viral star.
It’s Showtime has tried to skirt controversy in the past. Before the “bugaw” accusations against the Pastillas Girl segment, co-host Coleen Garcia noted that the show was not trying to copy the AlDub drama.
“One thing that I actually pick up on is that I’m happy that there are two noontime shows that are doing their very best to make people happy,” she told Pep. “Because, at the end of the day, it’s really about the audience. It’s really about the fans.”
“The good thing about all of this is we’re two different shows and we’re trying very, very hard to make our fans happy,” she added.
— Zeibiz (@Zeibiz) September 29, 2015
There could be a lot at stake for It’s Showtime. If the controversy surrounding the Pastillas Girl segment leads them to lose fans or stop the segment, the show could lose a vital part of its popularity and give up an even bigger audience to Eat Bulaga‘s AlDub saga.
[Image via It’s Showtime]