James Reid explains why he rejected reggae singer’s ‘Idol Philippines’ audition

James Reid has had enough of the critics who’ve hounded him and other Idol Philippines judges for rejecting a reggae singer who auditioned on the show’s Sunday episode.

The singer-actor tweeted today that 21-year-old reggae singer Luke Baylon is a good singer but is not the “total package.”

“Wait till you see the 12 finalists. You’ll see why I said he wasn’t ready,” Reid said.


The judges’ decision not to let Baylon through the next round had netizens fuming on Twitter over the weekend. Many thought he deserved a chance to go to the next round.

Twitter user @jmdeleonnn said: “Idol Philippines wasted the opportunity to have a natural/ unique singer like Luke Baylon. Reggae is reggae u know.”

In the episode, Baylon, who hails from Tuguegarao City, performed Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You for judges Reid, Moira Dela Torre, Regine Velasquez, and Vice Ganda.

Veteran singer Velasquez was the only judge who said “yes” to Baylon. Dela Torre and Reid both said there was something missing with his performance, while Vice Ganda said the performance didn’t move him, saying it wasn’t “extra special.”

“You can sing, it’s just lacking a bit with hitting the notes and the timing,” Reid said during the audition. “I think it’s just not your time yet.”

Velasquez, however, begged to differ.

“Me, I actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t [a] very clean performance: there are flats, sharps, [but] I did like your falsetto, it was very clean. I didn’t care for how dirty the performance [was] because it’s reggae. Even if you’re singing a particular song, it’s like you’re just speaking.”

Reid wanted to clear the air and said in a follow-up tweet today that it was not easy rejecting Baylon.

“You have no idea how hard it is to crush peoples dreams right in front of them. That’s the burden we carry as judges to try and give one special person a chance of a lifetime,” he said.

Other Filipino singers like The Voice of the Philippines alum Juan Karlos Labajo expressed disappointment over the Idol judges’ decision.

“It’s a yes for me. I’m not even gonna argue with the other judges. It’s easy to fix flats and sharps and such imperfections but it’s not that easy to find soul,” he said on Instagram on Tuesday.

Photo: @labajokarlos/Instagram

In another post, Labajo shared a screencap of a video of Baylon where he sings a reggae cover of his hit Buwan.

“Huge shame on the other ‘judges’ for not seeing this guy’s potential. What a shame. Such a shame. I’m ashamed,” he added.

Photo: @karloslabajo/Instagram

In his tweet, Reid wished Baylon success in his music career, adding that the reggae singer’s rendition of If I Ain’t Got You was “sick.”

This article, James Reid explains why he rejected reggae singer’s ‘Idol Philippines’ audition, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!