• Teddy C.

THIRD GENERAL ELECTION: Will Jan Elaurza finally play the ‘trump’ card to her advantage?

Jan Elaurza (Team MII)

1st GE rank: 24th | 2nd GE rank: 11th

“A steadfast growth in popularity and now fueled by more achievements.” This phrase pretty much sums up the idol growth of Team MII member Jan Elaurza. From the 24th rank during the First General Election, Elaurza steadily rose to the ranks, bringing her to the 11th spot during the Second General Election last year.

Despite being part of the Undergirls, she has gained notoriety from other fans, therefore bringing her up into the much general populace. The Jan kami-oshis, united under the “Nekoguards” fan club, have been steadfast in supporting their kami-oshi. Such unwavering support has been the main reason why Elaurza has retained a familiarity image within the ranks of MNL48.

From zero to hero

The year 2018 saw Elaurza being a bit away from the spotlight, as she only ranked low in the idol group’s first fan polls. While there hasn’t been much activity in regards to her spotlight, this hasn’t stopped the 19-year-old idol hailing from Malabon City from beating the odds. It was at this year that she then made her senbatsu debut for MNL48’s second single, “Pag-Ibig Fortune Cookie.”

2019 fared better for Elaurza after she nabbed one of the 16 senbatsu seats in the Second General Election, making her eligible to be part of the group’s 4th single, “Ikaw Ang Melody” and its side track, “So Long!”

But perhaps Elaurza’s ‘finest hour’ was seen within this year. Aside from being a senbatsu member for the group’s upcoming single “RIVER“, she is currently the leader of BABY BLUE, the recently launched first-ever unit group of MNL48. Their debut single, “Sweet Talking Sugar,” is considered to be a pivotal point for her to be much more recognized by the populace.

The said single has been praised by not only the fans of the group but also other P-Pop fans, who saw the single as being a turning point for idols to become more mainstream, specifically in the local setting. This has then led for her involvement in interviews by the mainstream media, including ABS-CBN’s Sunday show “ASAP” and more recently on Cinema One’s “Pop Cinema”.

As she now prepares for her future role in the upcoming series “MNL48 Presents: Pranks Not Dead,” where she nabbed the first place after a two-week campaign, it’s only a matter of time that her resurgence in the group is surely a “trump card” advantage, and a key role for the upcoming 3rd General Election.

NekoGuards: a wall to lean on

One of the prime reasons why Elaurza remains to be significantly a ‘relevant’ member of MNL48 is due to the relentless support of her official fan club, the “Nekoguards”. Originally what started out to be a small support group, the fan club which was known previously as “GuarJan-Angels,” had become her official fanclub after successfully entering the idol group’s roster. According to Bryll Kenryl Murro, one of the fan club’s admins, the branding for “Nekoguards” only started recently after retaining the name “GuarJans” for two years.

“She explained naman kasi she is now well known as ‘NekoJan’,” Murro stated in an interview with PAKSA MNL when asked about the shift of the fan club’s name.

For Murro, Elaurza exudes notable idol-like characteristics, including a heightened interest to Japanese pop culture in general.

“Jan (Elaurza) is a serious and prangka na idol ‘yan. Everything about her is really her. She is the one who could get enough and really a competitive girl. For us, she is the total package of an idol,” he said.

“We have that good bond na kasi dito na kami nagkakilala sa fandom and yun na pinapakita namin sa ibang Nekoguards: tamang tahimik lang kami at layo sa mga issues. Kasi hindi naman ikakaangat ng oshi namin...so tamang bonding and happy times lang,” Murro added, noting a close-knit bond formed by the members of Nekoguards.

To date, the fan club is currently selling fan-made merchandise, but most of the time they’re active on the much lighter side of things such as online presence and creating memes. But Murro said that there is more to come from the Nekoguards as they are planning to release within a short span of time some promotional materials, including a documentary in the works on Elaurza’s idol journey.

Will the trump card come into play?

Asked about the sudden surge of opportunities for Elaurza and the impact it has on her standing on the upcoming General Elections, Murro retains a positive outlook to it, and envisions a place for Elaurza within the prestigious Kami 7.

“Yes, we claim it, it's already time for Jan to uprise her name on the group and let the people know na deserving si Jan,” Murro said.

Murro asks his fellow MNL48 wotas who also supporting Elaurza to keep on supporting her. “Sa lahat ng MNL48 wotas na nananatiling marupok kay Jan, please support and vote for her. Stay marupok lang tayo kay Jan,” he said.

With a strong fan base and a sudden surge of idol opportunities, it is likely that Elaurza’s trump card will come into play. But only the forthcoming General Election can tell if the card will be deemed valid in the competition.

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