MANILA, Philippines – The finalists fought hard during the finals performance episode of reality show Asia's Got Talent, but it is now up to the audience and viewers at home in Asia to determine the fate of their favorites.
Four out of the 9 finalists are from the Philippines, and had all judges up on their feet when they performed. Let's get to know them better:
Gwyneth Dorado, the 10-year old songbird
Gwyneth started out strong in her audition of "Roar" by Katy Perry, when the judges gave her a standing ovation after her performance. She scored 4 yeses from them and moved on to the semi-finals.
But she suffered a misstep when she was panned by her idol and judge David Foster on her rendition of Jessie J's "Nobody's Perfect," which he said was out of tune.
"The show helped me reach my dreams, and it's pretty cool to be famous too.[...] I really want to be a singer and I wanna win this competition. I can still make it if I practice hard," she said in a pre-performance interview during the finals episode.
For her finals performance, the 10-year old singer opted for a stripped-down performance of Sia's party hit "Titanium."
Watch the video below:
After her performance, the judges gave her a standing ovation. Here's what they had to say:
ANGGUN: "I wasn’t alone [during the standing ovation]. We were all on our feet. You know what, Gwyneth, you made us listen to the words of the song. You made us listen to every single note you sang."
DAVID FOSTER: "Gwyneth, you tonight, obviously took the advice that we gave a few weeks ago and the true you – that’s who you are. You right there, with the piano and that voice killed it!"
MELANIE C: "Gwyneth, I’ve always adored you, but now tonight I’m in awe of you. That was such an incredible performance, I absolutely loved it. I remember when you came out for the auditions, you would always have this attitude and confidence, but you really have blossomed as the competition’s gone on and tonight, you were just incredible."
VAN NESS WU: "I loved it, I fell in love with you, seriously. Mahal kita. You had so much power in the auditions, but in this one, you still have that presence and power but it was very elegant."
El Gamma Penumbra, the dance troupe with a message
Shadow play group El Gamma Penumbra stood out in the competition because of their ability to convey inspiring messages through shadow dance routines. Their audition piece had them portray different cultures from around the world, and had the judges hitting the Golden Buzzer, automatically sending them to the semi-finals.
They also received their second Golden Buzzer in a row that secured them a spot in the finals, after they performed a tribute performance to advocate peace.
The group said that becoming the Golden Buzzer act motivated them to become better than where they are now.
"Pushing that Golden Buzzer also pushed us to go beyond our limits," they said in a pre-performance interview.
For the finals, they performed a tribute routine to Mother Nature to the song "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas. Watch the video below:
The touching number also received a standing ovation. Here's what the judges had to say:
ANGGUN: "I actually promised not to cry tonight. What really made me fall in love with your performance was the possibility of messages that you can put is endless. And tonight, you raised awareness of the importance of Mother Nature and animals[…] Our job as entertainers – we are here to entertain people, but if we can raise awareness on subjects that really matter, that makes our job more noble. Wonderful, wonderful performance! Amazing!"
DAVID: "Your message is so clear every time you’re on the stage. It’s so beautifully profound, and you know, obviously the world could use more people like you. You’re so on point. There’s 13 of you. In America, 13 is an unlucky number but 13 is gonna be a very lucky number for you."
MELANIE C: "You know there’s so many things about you guys that astound me, and the thing that stands out tonight is each time we’ve seen you, there’s been a shorter gap and less rehearsal time but it’s got even more incredible and that is out of the sheer hard work, your creativity, and you know, I salute you. Wonderful."
VAN NESS: I really wanna get excited to tell you guys ‘great job!’ and everything, but you guys already know that.
Gerphil-Geraldine Flores, the powerhouse classical singer
Twenty-four year old Gerphil was also a favorite of the judges during the auditions, when she impressed her idol David Foster by singing "Speak Softly, Love" by Andy Williams. The judges selected her as the Golden Buzzer act as well, immediately securing her a spot in the semi-finals.
She continued her winning streak when she performed "(Where Do I Begin) Love Story," from the movie Love Story, and was pushed through to the finals by public vote, along with Mongolian group Khusugtun.
She said that the show has made her more passionate in her craft.
"The show [and landing in the grand finals] somehow fueled me to become more passionate in what I'm doing. I gained a lot of confidence in my journey here on Asia's Got Talent," she said in a pre-performance interview.
For the finals, she had the judges on their feet after her performance of "The Impossible Dream" from the musical Man of La Mancha.
Here are what the judges said:
DAVID: "My golden girl – you know tonight, the song is called "The Impossible Dream." You just made the dream possible. You absolutely killed it! I promise you, I promise you, the world is gonna know about you. That's a promise."
MELANIE C: "Gerphil, the last time I saw you, I said, 'You belong up there [on stage].' I was wrong. You belong up there, on a pedestal. You were magnificent. You heard the reaction in here tonight, to see the transformation you have made in the auditions. It's an absolute pleasure, so congratulations to you."
VAN NESS: "Who are you? Who... are you? When we first saw you in the auditions, you were just this shy little girl and you commanded the stage tonight. You literally took over and you said, 'Everybody, look at me, look what I can do.' Great job, awesome!"
ANGGUN: "Gerphil! You know what, that performance – that was exactly what we expected from you. That kind of performance, that high note – we both, I mean the girls, we were like [tries to imitate the high note].[...] It was amazing, you shined [sic] up there."
Junior New System, the spunky dance crew
Junior New System opened the show auditions with an electrifying performance, and became viral instantly, raking in 2M views on YouTube. They were chosen as one of those to move on to the semi-finals.
Judge Van Ness Wu was extremely impressed with the group, saying that he remembered his own love for dance through them. Their performance, which had them dancing in heels, won them the Golden Buzzer from the judges, and they immediately moved on to the grand finals.
The group said that the presence of their families in the audience inspired them to give their performance their all.
"Nung nakuha po kami ng Golden Buzzer, mas lalo po naging espesyal kasi nandun po yung pamilya namin. Mas lalo po naming binigay yung lakas namin," they said in a pre-performance interview.
(When we got the Golden Buzzer, it was even more special because our families were present. Their presence motivated us to give it our all.)
One of the members also said that he got injured because of their intense training, but decided to bear the pain for the success of their performance.
For their finals performance, the group – in American football uniforms – saluted judge Melanie C in their medley, as one of the songs was "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls, a group she was formerly in. They gave the group a standing ovation as well.
Here were what the judges said:
MELANIE: "They have impeccable taste in music, choreography incredible – you guys, as always – It is insane, what you guys are doing is not right! We should be able to do those things! But you can, thank goodness you can, I love it, I love you."
VAN NESS: "Junior New System, fantastic job. I love the energy. I love the technical difficulty of your dance moves, it was just flawless to me. It was amazing to me. The hang time you did up there with the pose, come on. Great job!"
ANGGUN: "Junior New System! That performance was major. That was such a way to end the evening, and the stakes are high. You gave your everything. Wow, good luck, because well – I don't know – because you know to me, you got the package."
DAVID: "Somehow, in 3 minutes, you managed to get me to the Super Bowl game and you played for both teams. I saw the cheerleaders, I saw the half-time entertainment. I saw the whole thing in 3 minutes. I don't know how you did it! Congratulations!"
Also fighting for the title are Thai rock group The Talento, Chinese acrobats Gao Lin and Liu Xin, tap dance group Dance Thrilogy, Mongolian musical ensemble Khusugtun, and Japanese dance troupe Triqstar.
Voting ended on Monday, May 11 at 11:59pm. The second part of the finals – the results show – will be aired Thursday, May 14 at 8:05PM on AXN. – Rappler.com