Iza Calzado in I Heart You, Pare

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Iza v. Regine – or glamazon v. cutie pie

We are still watching I Heart you Pare, and have reached the point where Iza Calzado steps into the astonishing stilettos of Regine Velasquez as Tonya/Tonette. After going AWOL for a while, Tonette returns to the room she shares with the adorable Kenneth. She remains with her back to the camera, while we wait with bated breath. Is this changeover going to work?

When Tonette turns round, it’s like getting bitch slapped by Vodka. It takes your breath away. OMG! This is SO not Tonette! And it remains awkward, despite Iza really putting her all into it. But she is just so different. Iza is everything Regine is not. Regine is sweet and short and lovable, Iza is tall, statuesque and obviously sexy. Regine’s charm and lovableness grew on you – Iza is just such a glamazon.

The difference is awkward and jarring. If Iza had been Tonya from the start, she would have fitted better into the masquerade of drag queen, but would she have been that sweet, original girl Kenneth fell in love with? Seeing her puffy lips instead of Regine’s sweet smile, you gotta wonder.

But while Iza looks nothing like Regine, she really puts a lot into recreating Regine’s Tonya/Tonette. Her mouth is nowhere near as cute and mobile, but she gamely tries Regine’s mannerisms and awkward wiggle in those killer heels – and at least, while a bit slimmer, she isn’t skinny, which would have been just awful. We loved Regine’s Tonya/Tonette, buy it certainly hasn’t put us off watching the show.

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For one thing, everyone else is still in place – Kenneth, Auntie Sarsie, Cola, Joel, Polly and of course, the divine Vodka. If any of these people had to leave and be replaced, it would have been unbearable. Dingdong Dantes took the changeover in his stride and so did the rest of the cast, making it a lot easier for the audience – but – and this is a big but – there is no chemistry between him and Iza, not like it was with Regine. Those two were perfect. Iza has better chemistry with Joel’s friend, the cop, who is a new love interest for Tonya/Tonette.

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Kenneth and Iza’s Tonette – they look great together but the chemistry is lacking

But Iza is good, she has great style and glamour and probably makes a better and more believable drag queen. I’m just glad it was Regine who was there for The Kiss. It just wouldn’t have been the same.

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