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Martin on the irony in Pops’ ‘World’s Best’ stint

'Finally, here it is. And who do I give it to? The person I lost.'



Martin Nievera claims the dream of taking his talent to the international stage years ago was one of the things that caused his and Pops Fernandez’s marriage to fall apart.

“The funny thing is, when I talk about international, I’ve always wanted that (international) break. And I was so fixated in getting that break that I actually lost Pops and the kids. And now we’re no longer together because I was so hungry for that fame, that international fame,” Martin said at the press conference of his and Lani Misalucha’s concert titled “Timeless Classics.”



Martin almost got his chance at it when he was chosen to be one of the 50 panels of the global talent competition “The World’s Best,” to be hosted by James Corden. It is produced by big-time producers Mark Burnett and Mike Darnell, who are behind “The Voice” and “American Idol,” respectively.

“I went on a Facetime audition, which I have done for the first time. They asked me these questions and I was just being myself. They said, ‘You’re in and this is exactly what we are looking for,’” he related.

Unfortunately, Martin couldn’t make it because he has prior commitments that conflict with the scheduled tapings for “The World’s Best.”

“So, I gave them my schedule and it just so happens that everyday of taping for the show, I have concert in a different city. So I tried to get out of my commitments and it was too late. Anna Puno (producer of ‘Timeless Classics’) could have been one of the victims but she was willing to move the whole concert which was almost sold out just so I could have this international break. It just so happens that they (‘World’s Best’) cannot meet my schedule,” he said.

Giving up his supposed breakthrough, Martin was asked who he recommends to be part of the show. Of course, he suggested Pops, who happened to be also on their list.

Pops Fernandez among 50 ‘Wall of the World’ judges for ‘The World’s Best’ (Instagram)

Pops Fernandez among 50 ‘Wall of the World’ judges on ‘The World’s Best’ (Instagram)

“So, this is what happened, ‘I’m sorry, Martin. We really want you but we cannot meet the days of your show. So, do you know anyone else you think could play that role.’ ‘You know I had a co-host for so many years and I think she would be very good.’ They said, ‘What’s her name?’ I said, ‘Pops Fernandez.’ ‘Oh, she’s also on the list. How do you know her?’ So I said, ‘Well, we have two kids,’” he said.

It was even suggested that they both appear on the show but Martin declined, again, because of his schedule. Martin and Pops have worked together in several concerts and on TV shows, including “The Penthouse Live!” and “ASAP.”

“They didn’t know the whole story that Martin and Pops were once married and we were a team on television doing the same thing looking for talents. They actually said, ‘Do you both want to do it?’– they want both of us as judges – but I said, ‘I really cannot.’ So, they spoke with Pops and they were able to fix her schedule so she could be there on their taping days,” he said.

While Martin isn’t able to get that break he has always hoped for, he is very happy that the opportunity was given to his former wife. Pops is one of the 50 international experts called Wall of the World in “The World’s Best,” which also features Hollywood celebrities Drew Barrymore, RuPaul, and Faith Hill as judges.

“Finally, here it is. And who do I give it to? The person I lost. I’m so happy I did. She seemed to be wanting the opposite or business side of the camera and I’m just so happy that she has this big break. And I’m just really rooting for her that she represents the country well. I’m truly, truly proud. They made the right choice – it’s Pops,” he said.

The Filipino audiences may not see Martin on that show, but they can catch him in his and Lani’s concert “Timeless Classic” on Feb. 14 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). Lani shared that she he enjoys having shows with Martin, whom she described as “beautiful person inside and out.”

“What I love about working with Lani is she brings up the best in you. If you’re not on top of your game, you will really suffer. So, I find myself working a little harder when it comes to singing with her. She’s a professional. You don’t have to tell her what to do, where to go, and yet she takes suggestions. I find myself looking for a voice I never had, looking for a place in my body I never used, just to be able to keep up with her voice. Her training, her voice, her dedication, there’s no one else in the industry who has the dedication that Lani has. And to think that her whole life is not just about fame – she has better values than that – yet she stays dedicated to her craft,” he said.

Fans can expect to see them perform classics, new songs, duets, and their signature songs in their Valentine’s concert “Timeless Classics.”

“We’ve chosen timeless classics from way back. We’ll do movie themes, we’ll do songs you don’t expect us to do like Motown songs. We want everyone up and happy. We want everyone to feel good.”

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