In February, American Idol creator Simon Fuller launched the audition for Now United, a real time access global pop group cast in 14 countries around the globe. Nine months later, and numerous boot camps held in between, the official members of the group were named.
In August, four young aspirants from the Philippines got the chance to be part of the boot camp in Los Angeles. They were Pinoy Big Brother alumni Bailey May and Ylona Garcia and GirlTrends members AC Bonifacio and Jane de Leon. Only Bailey was able to make the final cut. He was cited as the “perfect ambassador” for the country, and him being half-British adds to his “global presence” that “speaks to a broader audience.”
Star Magic, which manages Bailey’s career, confirmed the news with a short video of him training with the group. In a separate announcement by ABS-CBN on Instagram, the network said that although the 15-year-old singer-dancer will be part of the upcoming group, he remains a Kapamilya.
“Bailey remains to be a Kapamilya and still being managed by ABS-CBN in this new and exciting journey,” the post said.
Now United’s official launch will be in 2018, featuring 14 artists (singers and dancers) between the age of 14 and 19. The other performers who are now officially part of the 14-member group are Lamar from United Kingdom, Josh from Canada, Shivani from India, Heyoon from South Korea, Any from Brazil, Hina from Japan, Noah from USA, Diarra from Senegal, Joalin from Finland and Sofya from Russia.
According to its official teaser, the “new interactive pop group for new generation” will have Grammy-winning songwriter RedOne to write for the group’s first album. The Moroccan-Swedish record producer is known for his collaboration with big names such as Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and Shakira.
“He stood out because he’s got everything that you could ever dream of in a star. He has an amazing kind heart, beautiful looks, and charismatic values. He can also sing and dance. And when we saw him, Simon [Fuller] just knew that he was the one,” said Yonta Taiwo, who was one of those in charge of scouting members for Now United, in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
Following the official announcement, the Filipino British teenager posted on social media, saying “Dreams come true,” and expressed his gratitude to the talent management in a separate post, “Thank you my [Star Magic Philippines] family, promise to make you all proud.”
Bailey was born in Cebu to a Filipino mother and a British father. At 4 years old, his family moved to England where he lived until he was 12. In 2015, he returned to the Philippines when he became an official housemate after auditioning online for Pinoy Big Brother: 737 where he won as third runner-up (4th Teen Big Placer) during the reality show’s finale. During his stay at Big Brother house, Bailey had the distinction of being the youngest Big Brother contestant in the whole franchise.
The teen star’s first acting stint was in the primetime hit On the Wings of Love playing the role of Harry Fausto the younger cousin of Clark Medina (James Reid) and the love interest of Audrey Olivar (Ylona Garcia).
Prior to PBB, Bailey had gained a number of following for covering OPM song and uploading them on YouTube.