MANILA, Philippines – A number of talented acts are now heading into the semifinals stage on Asia's Got Talent.Of these, 4 are "Golden Acts" – entertainers on whom the 4 judges each used their Golden Buzzer, sending the act directly to the semifinals. Two of them are from the Philippines.
Otherwise, acts must win at least 3 Yes votes to advance to the next round.
Rappler spoke with the two Filipino Golden Acts: classical singer Gerphil Geraldine Flores and the El Gamma Penumbra Dance Troupe, who shared their once in a lifetime experience on the show. The other 2 Golden Acts are Time Machine, a dance act from Japan, and Gao Lin and Liu Xin, acrobats from China.
Gerphil Geraldine Flores: The bearer of classical music
24-year-old Gerphil Geraldine Flores loves her craft so much that she says she'll never stop reaching for her dream.
Gerphil, a music major (voice) at the University of the Philippines, first joined Pilipinas Got Talent 5 years ago. She said the opportunity was worth it.
“I have to say it was a good experience 5 years ago…I’ve learned a lot. Not only that, I’ve also met some good friends from my co-contestants,” Gerphil shared during the phone interview with Rappler.
Gerphil she decided to join Asia’s Got Talent because of the opportunity and knows the challenge ahead of her.
“I told myself I’m never going to give up until I reach my dream, And finally when I saw the opportunity, I grabbed it right away. This comes once in a blue moon. So when you see it, you’ll just have to grab it. You’ll never know what’s in store.”
During her audition, the judges were impressed – especially music producer David Foster, who pressed the golden buzzer to let her move automatically to the semifinals.
The judges gave her a standing ovation after her performance, with her idol David saying,
"Yes! That’s what I am talking about. You certainly did not disappoint anybody in this room. It was really a solid performance and your pitch is great. And I hate people who sing out of tune. You sang in tune. Good going."
The other judges were just as blown away, with Vanness saying that she was fit to be in a musical, Melanie C pointing out that Gerphil didn't sound nervous at all, and Anggun saying that it was a beautiful performance.
Gerphil, who is a big fan of David, described the experience as “surreal," saying:
“David Foster is one of my ultimate idols… I have no other way of backing out. This is it. He’s really here and I am going to face him, so it’s a challenge. And finally when I was able to sing and he hit the golden buzzer, I really wasn’t expecting that. That was a dream come true for me. It was a big blessing,” she said.
She counts Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli as two of her favorite singers. She also said that given the chance, she would like to sing "The Impossible Dream" from The Man from La Mancha.
She also said that whether she makes it or not to the final round of the show, she will definitely promote classical music to the next generation of audiences.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to influence the younger generation and introduce them the beauty of classical music. I will introduce this by doing crossover because I get to sing modern songs and apply a classical approach to them.”
El Gamma Penumbra: Dancing for the Philippine flag
After a teary-eyed Anggun hit the Golden Buzzer, tears were shed and hugs were exchanged onstage. Their audition – a shadow play/dance that presented the different cultures around the world – won them an automatic place in the semi-finals.
Judge David Foster thought that the performance was beautiful, saying, “One of the beautiful things about sitting in this chair is I get to see things I would never see in my life. I have no idea how you did it. I have no idea how it works, but I know it was absolutely magical.”
Fellow judges Melanie C and Vanness Wu were also in agreement, with Melanie saying that it was mind-blowing and Vanness commenting on how talented the group was at telling stories.
But automatically making it through only strengthened the purpose of Filipino group El Gamma Penumbra ("Shadow Rays"), which was to empower the Filipino nation.
“Ang main goal po talaga is to inspire the audience. Kung sa panahon na ‘to na nawawalan ka nang pag-asa, magbibigay kami ng performance na magpapalakas-loob sa ‘yo," they said in their audition tape.
(The main goal is to inspire the audience. During this time, when you feel that there is little hope, we will give a performance that will empower you.)
Dong Pilotos, the group’s manager, also highlighted this love for the country in his interview with Rappler. “Ang gagawin namin (What we're going to do), especially sa (for the) semi-finals, is to dedicate our performance to the nation.”
A common love for hiphop was what brought this Batangas-based group together. However, they wanted to bring something different to the table, and their shadow play performances were born.
“Ang common hobby po namin is pagsasayaw po ng hiphop, pero kailangan naming maging unique para makilala kami kasi napakadami pong magagaling na dancers sa Pilipinas,” the group added.
(A common hobby of ours is dancing hiphop, but we needed to be unique so we will stand out because there are so many great dancers in the Philippines.)
The group previously participated in the now defunct local reality show Pilipinas Got Talent, and their unique dance routines had them finishing in 4th place.
Starting Thursday, April 16, viewers can vote for their favorite act in one of three ways: SMS, Facebook and the Asia’s Got Talent mobile app. Voting opens after the broadcast of each semi-final episode and will remain open for 4 days. For the full details on how to vote, check out the Asia’s Got Talent website. –Rappler.com
Asia's Got Talent airs on Thursdays, 8:05 pm on AXN.