Indonesian talent rules AGT stage

By Jerry Donato

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Asia’s Got Talent (AGT) S2 winner The Sacred Riana (second from left) with judges Jay Park (leftmost), David Foster and Anggun. Photos courtesy of AXN’s AGT S2

MANILA, Philippines — Indonesian talent, The Sacred Riana, ruled the Season 2 of Asia’s Got Talent (AGT). She got the highest number of votes by showcasing an unconventional form of art and entertainment. Hers is described as a mix of magic and mysticism, which challenges one’s conception of talent.

Placing second was Philippines’ hip-hop dance crew DM-X Comvaleñoz. Neil Rey Garcia Llanes, a Pinoy beatboxer, completed the Top 3. Another Filipino act in the grand finals was Urban Crew. Having three Pinoy acts in the finale was close to scoring a back-to-back win for the Philippines. But the voting public had spoken and its choice was again The Sacred Riana.

“I never actually thought I would like an act like Riana. It was so far off my... but for me, Riana represents exactly what Indonesia likes,” judge Anggun told the regional media in an interview following the grand finals showcase held last Dec. 7. “We like everything that is a bit spooky, a bit mysterious, a bit mystical and so in her own way, she manages to put Indonesia in her performance and all I have to say is that with all these different performers from all around Asia I can brag now back home and tell them that, ‘See we have all these.’” The singer also hinted that she never thought that the Indonesian act and AGT S2 winner would reach this far — the finals — because her talent is so unconventional. “There is magic in itself but I think the delivery is something,” added Anggun.

In another interview with the Manila press, Frederick Paring of DM-X Comvaleñoz considered The Sacred Riana competition since her talent is unique.

As an act, The Sacred Riana would twitch her head and deliver scary tricks. In the grand finals showcase, she had an army of zombies on stage and “targeted” Anggun while showing her artistry.

For the Top 2 performance, she invited five members of the audience and judge Jay Park to participate in what seemed to be a seance session and guessed the artist’s biggest fear — the feeling of unhappiness. Basing on Jay’s in-between segment interview with hosts Alan Wong and Justin Bratton during the results show, one can say that The Sacred Riana’s possible win would invite more unconventional talents to the show.

After all, one cannot just box talents within the spheres of singing, dancing and acting — and one cannot deny the fact that taste or preference is relative.

In the same media interview with Anggun and Jay, judge David Foster gave his assessment on the grand finals showdown, “The show was amazing. If I were sitting in the audience, I would have been entertained in the entire two hours. The production value was incredible, the (shots were) incredible. And everybody really upped their game.”

For his part, Jay shared, “I didn’t know what to expect on Asia’s Got Talent,” and he was impressed by “the versatility and diversity” of talents that Asia can offer.

Since AGT S2 grand finalists are on their own now, to discover that life after the talent competition, Jay said, “Never let success go to your head and never let failure go to your heart. Just keep working hard (and always) keep the positivity (in you). Keep a stable head on your shoulders.”

For the voting public’s choice of winner, David shared, “It’s ultimately what entertained you or what didn’t,” and Anggun added, “I think they (the public) will vote for what they actually like. That’s what I love about it.”

Before Alan and Justin revealed the winner, the nine finalists were trimmed down to six (Neil, ADEM Dance Crew of Kyrgyzstan, Sobhi Shaker [Malaysia], DM-X Comvaleñoz, Canion Shijirbat [Mongolia] and The Sacred Riana) then to four (Canion, DM-X Comvaleñoz, The Sacred Riana and Neil), to three (The Sacred Riana, DM-X Comvaleñoz, Neil) and to only two (Riana and DM-X Comvaleñoz). David, Anggun and Jay also proved their worth as judges by showing their talents. David (with his piano) played Love Theme From St. Elmo’s Fire. Anggun performed the cut What We Remember from the album 8, while Jay sang Forget About Tomorrow.

Filipinos followed the journey of DM-X Comvaleñoz, Neil and Urban Crew through AXN and SKY which serve as providers of the most popular reality and talent shows like AGT S2. Viewers can find AXN on SKY via AXN SD 49 and AXN HD 247.

Meanwhile, AXN is offering a brand-new original reality series titled Adventure Your Way with Atom Araullo as its host. Through the power of crowd-sourcing, the weekly 30-minute travel show will send Atom on new adventures in different destinations in the Philippines. Adventure Your Way begins airing sometime in February next year.

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Jay, David and Anggun, The Sacred Riana with the other grand finalists

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