The Philippines’ very own version of Japan’s highest-selling all-girl idol group, AKB48, is finally here. After the nationwide search for the first and biggest idol group in the country, Hallohallo Entertainment Inc. (HHE), together with ABS-CBN, launched the First Generation members of MNL48 during itsfirst General Election last April 28 on It’s Showtime.
It was a momentous event for both MNL48 finalists and fans who gathered in ABS-CBN’s Studio 4 and Center Road to witness the announcement of the result of the General Election. A total of 72 finalists took part in the election after three months of hard work and dedication, however only 48 aspirants were announced as the first generation members while remaining aspirants where luckily considered as Kenkyuusei (Trainees).
Fans flocked at Studio 4 and Center Road with their stick lights, fan-made banners and shirts to show their support for their Oshi (favorite). Aside from the announcement of the firstgenerationmembers, fans were also thrilled to find out the ranking of the each member; the Senbatsu (rank 1-16) and the reveal of the Center Girl, who will be the face of MNL48 worldwide.
As soon as the ceremony began, the excitement of fans and the finalists were evident as loud cheers from the audience inside the Studio 4 and Center Road filled the venue. After the MNL48 opening, the announcement of rank 16 to 8 were revealed.
Following the reveal of rank 16 to 8 girls, the much-awaited announcement of rank 7 to 2 and the Center Girl were finally declared. The crowned center girl of this year's election was Sheki while rank 2 and 3 went to Abby and Sela followed by Tin at rank 4, Zen at rank 5, Alice at rank 6, and Trixie joined the Kami 7 (rank 1-7) at rank 7.
The announcement of Senbatsu and Center Girl were televised live on Its’ Showtime while the reveal of Under Girls (rank 17 to 32), Next Girls (rank 22 to 48), and the Kenkyuusei were broadcasted live on MNL48 Online via its official Facebook page and YouTube Channel.
The ranking of the MNL48 firstGeneration were based from the votes they earned on the MNL48 Plus app during the General Election voting period from April 14 to April 27 until 1PM.
Meanwhile, big opportunities await our MNL48 First Generation. Just like their other sister groups, MNL48 First Generation will be performing daily at their very own MNL48 Theater, will have their music recording under Star Music, and international training under AKS, the prestigious talent management of AKB48, and will be the first Filipino endorsers of Tokyo Girls Collection that will soon open in the Philippines.
What is MNL48?
MNL48 is an all-girl sing-and-dance group, aging 15-20 years old (average age of 16.69) with 48 members and 19 trainees. The group is the Filipino version and the newest sister-group of the highest-selling J-pop phenomenon, AKB48, which started in Japan in 2006 and now has franchise all over Asia, including BNK48 (Bangkok), JKT48 (Jakarta) and TPE48 (Taipei), among others.
MNL48 officially started when HHE sealed and announced its partnership with Philippines’ leading TV network, ABS-CBN on September 21, 2017. The two entertainment outfits co-produced the MNL48 talent search which started airing on January 20, 2018 on the network’s top-rating noontime show, It’s Showtime.
The biggest search for the newest idol group in the country kicked off last October 14 when it roamed around Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao for its Nationwide Registration and Audition Tour and had its Grand Registration and Audition last December 2 and 3 at ABS CBN Compound to cap off its nationwide tour. A total of 4,134 aspirants auditioned to become one of the first generation members of MNL48.
On January 20, 2018, the Top 200 semi-finalists were presented and performed for the first time live on It’s Showtime and were immediately screened by ABS-CBN heads and executives together with HHE’s very own President Mr. Paulo Kurosawa. After screening process, the Top 75 applicants were revealed last January 27.
For 6 weeks, weekly top rankers performed live on It’s Showtime stage, but the competition got tougher as the MNL48 advisers, couches and producers announced the live eliminations, where five aspirants were eliminated.
On March 17, Top 48 who will continue on to the competition were the announcement of the and later divided into six groups, each performing different dance songs every day from Monday to Saturday.
On April 7, the audience start to score and comment on each candidate’s performance on It’s Showtime, while the noontime show also revealed seven new candidates joining the competition to coincide with the announcement of the Top 7 and Bottom 7 aspirants.
On Week 11, 41 aspirants were given a chance to perform AKB48’s popular song, “Aitakatta (I Wanted to Meet You)” wearing their uniforms. Bottom 7 and the 7 challengers had their first showdown.
It was on April 14, when HHE and It’s Showtime announced that the battle for the Final 48 officially begins as the votes on the MNL48 app reset and go back to zero and the First Generation General Election will happen on April 28.
A week before its General Election, consistent top rankers Eunice and Aria decided to back out from the competition to focus on their family and studies instead. Following their decision to quit, two challengers with the most number of votes, Belle and Mari automatically joined the Top 48.
Meanwhile, MNL48 finalists held their very first Handshake event last April 22 at Trinoma Mall, where more than a thousand supporters participated in the “Meet your Oshi” event.
The first ever MNL48 General Election held atStudio 4 and Center Road in ABS-CBN on April 28. The announcement of the Senbatsu was televised live on It’s Showtime where Sheki was crowned as the Center Girl.
The Under Girls, Next Girls and Kenkyuusei were also revealed with live broadcast on MNL48 Facebook page and YouTube Channel.
To view the complete list of MNL48 First Generation members and their ranking, and for more information visit our website and follow us on our social media accounts.
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