No Win? No Problem: These Stars Made It Big Even After Losing A Competition Show

They may have not won the game, but they did win in life.

Some say, losing is the new winning, and these celebs show that one can have successful careers despite getting eliminated from a competition show.

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Many aspire to have dreams of making it big in the entertainment industry, seeing their names in bright lights as they wave to thousands of adoring fans. But before they can reach that stage, they first need to get their name out there, and one of the most accessible ways is by joining a reality competition show. Not only do you get to appear on national television, but you can also win the whole thing and jumpstart that career.

But with hundreds of people participating and auditioning for these shows, only a select few can make it to the end with many getting eliminated along the way. But just because you got eliminated, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. As these following stars show, while they may have not taken home the grand prize, they have since become top or fast-rising names in their own right. Here are some artists whose fame definitely lasted more than 15 minutes.  


Today, Ivana Alawi is a YouTube superstar, a businesswoman, and a fast-rising leading lady. But before she became the star that she is, Ivana was just like everyone else, trying her luck to get her in showbiz. And one way she did that was by joining StarStruck. She was part of the cast of season six, but only made it to the top 22. Not only that, she also once auditioned for PBB, but never got accepted. But despite these setbacks, those didn’t stop Ivana and with the help of one viral YouTube video, she was soon on the fast track to stardom.


Thanks to his smash single Binibini, Zack Tabudlo went from talented young musician to one of OPM’s most exciting fresh faces. But before the fame, international collabs, and hit singles, he was just another contestant hoping to make it big. He appeared on The Voice Kids Philippines season one where he was in Team Bamboo. But he sadly didn’t make it far in the competition as his journey was cut short when he got eliminated in the Battle stages. But the early out wasn’t enough to prevent Zack’s breakthrough moment that was years in the making.


It’s honestly crazy to think that we live in a timeline where the most-streamed Pinay artist on Spotify didn’t win a singing competition. But that’s exactly what happened when Moira auditioned for the first season of The Voice Philippines and joined team Her time on the show was short however as Moira was eliminated during the battle rounds. Still, that lose helped pave the way for the artist to be the superstar that she is today.


Season one of The Voice Kids Philippines really produced a roster of future music stars. Like Zack Tabudlo, fellow crooner Juan Karlos Labajo also competed in the season and joined Team Bamboo as well. He made it farther though in the competition, eventually landing at third place, behind runner up Darren Espanto and winner Lyca Gairanod. But with that third place finish, he soon parlayed that into a successful music career and delivered modern OPM hits like Buwan.


Zephanie is known as one of the best singers the new generation. But it took a while for her golden voice to get her that golden ticket. She competed in The Voice Kids Philippines season 2 but got eliminated in the Live Rounds. She then participated in Tawag ng Tanghalan in 2017 before she lost to eventual winner Janine Berdin. But thirds time the charm as they say and when Zephanie joined Idol Philippines, she won the whole thing. The GMA artist is now a young star in her own right, amazing audiences with her voice whenever she performs.


With how fast Anji’s career has blossomed in the past year, it seems like the young musician is ready to take on the world. But in 2019, she was just looking to pass the audition round. Most people first got to know Anji when she appeared on Idol Philippines. Her heartfelt story and strong voice got her that coveted yes from the judges to move on to the next round. But her journey ended when she was eliminated during the Theater Rounds. After a couple of years doing bit roles and performances, Anji got her big break when she joined Pinoy Big Brother season 10, eventually winning the whole thing and planting herself as one of Gen Z’s newest rising stars.  


Looking back, Pinoy Big Brother: All In helped produce a lot of stars, one of them being Joshua Garcia. You would be forgiven then if you forgot that Joshua didn’t win the season, in fact, he wasn’t even a finalist. The soon-to-be young actor placed sixth, barely missing being in the Top 4. But soon after, he got acting roles and quickly established himself as a talented thespian and being one-half of numerous popular love teams. While he has amassed attention on TikTok, he is more importantly a certified leading man considering that he’s set to appear as the male lead in the highly anticipated Darna TV series.


Kyline Alcantara is one of GMA’s biggest teens stars of today. Beauty, brains, morals, and acting skills, she has it all. That wasn’t the case though when she began her career. Her first ever appearance on TV was a contestant on Star Circle Quest: Search for the Next Kiddie Superstars. But sadly, she placed last as she was the first to be eliminated. Yup, you read that right, she was the Porkchop of her season. But Kyline was a kiddie superstar in the making and thanks to her breakout role in Kambal, Karibal, she soon was on the fast track to teen stardom.


Given how iconic Sandara Park is in the world of K-pop, it might shock you to learn that she didn’t win Star Circle Quest. In fact, she landed in the bottom three times during season one before finishing as a runner-up to winner Hero Angeles. But even if Dara didn’t win, her acting and singing career in the Philippine quickly took off. And when she joined 2NE1 a few years later, Sandara was well on her way to join the K-pop Hall of Fame. To this day Dara is seen as a national treasure and that’s for a good reason.


As one of the country’s top P-pop groups delivering hits one after the other, BINI is only going to go up from here. But before the group became what it was, the members were on their own journeys. For Gwen and Sheena, that meant being contestants on Pinoy Big Brother Otso. Both were eventually evicted however. But their P-pop potential was already showing and both girls were asked to audition for Star Hunt Academy following their exit from the show. They both got in and the rest, as they say, is history.


Speaking of PBB Otso, another famous face who sadly didn’t make it to the end of that season was Kaori Oinuma. The Filipino-Japanese actress first appeared on our screens as a contestant, eventually making it all the way as a finalist. Kaori has been vocal in the past how her time on the show wasn’t easy but it was worth it in the end. Today, the 22-year-old is now seen as one of Gen Z’s most promising new actresses with her role as Michiko in He’s Into Her proving that she can handle the spotlight. Up next for the young star is a starring role the soon-to-be released series Tara G.


When viewers tuned in to season two of StarStruck, most didn’t expect Megan Young to be the groundbreaker that she would become. After all, she finished in the top six, becoming a season two avenger. But life is always full of surprises. After a career in acting, she transitioned to the world of pageants by competing and winning the Miss World Philippines 2013 title. She then went on to make history as the first ever Filipino to win Miss World. The actress, model, and beauty queen has since expanded her resume to include streaming where her followers are in the millions.  


Kyle Echarri first made a splash in the scene when he appeared in The Voice Kids Philippines season two. His audition landed him a spot in Sarah Geronimo’s team where he eventually finished top six of the season. But little did the teenage singer from Cebu City know that his life would soon reach even greater heights. His role as Kristoff in Kadenang Ginto, being one half of the popular KyCine love team, and an OG member of the Gold Squad helped turn Kyle into a top teen star with his career in acting and music still kicking on.  


While most of this list consists of celebs who failed to take home the big win in local shows. There are also those who competed in international competitions. Once such name is VXON’s C13. While most may know him today as the leader and main rapper of the P-pop boy group, did you know that he was once a contestant on a Korean idol competition show? He auditioned and was chosen as a contestant for Under Nineteen, the reality competition show that formed now-disbanded K-pop group 1THE9.

Going by his real name Christian at the time, he was placed under the performance team where he placed 15th and was eliminated in episode 12. After his stint on the show, he was actually scouted by a Korean agency but that didn’t work out in the end. C13 sacrificed and went through a lot during this time but all his hard work paid off in the end when VXON debuted in December 2021 and quickly made a name for themselves as monster rookies.


Hundreds, if not thousands of people audition every year to be part of reality show competitions. While producers are trained to spot potential stars to cast, every now and then they do miss. And that’s what happened with Nadine Lustre. More than a decade ago, Nadine was just a teenager hoping to be part of Pinoy Big Brother. In 2010, she auditioned to be a housemate in PBB Teen Clash, but was passed over by the producers for other contestants. Nadine clearly got the last laugh though and eventually got her big break when she got the lead role in Diary ng Panget in 2014. It makes you wonder though what would have happened if Nadine became a housemate.


Like her fellow superstar Nadine Lustre, Maine Mendoza also tried her hand at becoming a Pinoy Big Brother housemate. She auditioned to be part of PBB 737 but was given a no from the producers. With her animated personality, you would think Maine would be a shoe-in for PBB. But life had different plans for her. After Eat Bulaga featured her as Yaya Dub in 2015, Maine’s career was soon heading for the atmosphere.

Continue Reading: 5 Times Nadine Lustre Walked the Talk