ASIA’S GOT TALENT: GRAND FINALS (REVIEW)

If viral videos are any indication of a show’s success, then Asia’s Got Talent Season 2 has got it down pat. From the creepy The Sacred Riana to the joint-popping ADEM Dance Crew, audiences have shared this season’s acts widely, garnering international attention.

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So it’s no wonder with such talent, that tonight’s 9 finalists turned it up for the competition. You would think it impossible, and even the judges would agree, but all nine contestants cranked up their performances and gave us all a riveting show.

Here’s my take on tonight’s performances, along with my take on who might win:

urban_crew.gifUrban Crew (#AGTVote24)

No doubt an act with a cause, Urban Crew flips their way into our hearts by also teaching the kids on the street dancing back home in the Philippines, to keep them away from vices. And who wouldn’t want to do the high-octane, ninja-style moves that they churn. Tonight they extended the stage with their flips out of the platform, and even judges Jay Park and Anggun got up in their seats in shock. Their boundless energy and jaw-dropping performance is one to beat.

Chance at winning: 8/10

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Angela July (#AGTVote2)

Cutting a dramatic silhouette with her voluminous gown, Angela July from Indonesia certainly went big. Taking on Adele’s Skyfall, she weaved harp and operatic voice to diva levels, including a platform that lifted her during the climax. I wasn’t too sure about the dancers though, as they made things a little cheesy, but her turn away from soft towards powerful should win some new fans.

Chance at winning: 6.5/10

canion_shijirbatCanion Shijirbat (#AGTVote8)

As Jay highlighted, Canion’s strength is not in his dancing, so he channeled all his energy into creating a visual treat with his background. Singaporeans love their lights, and he surprised with maneuvers beyond his projection, much to the glee of the audience. But topping showmanship is his romantic display of an official proposal for his arranged marriage. One thing for sure, the unassuming Mongolian has certainly won… his wife’s heart. His performance as expected was not as compelling live, but looks great on TV.

Chance at winning: 7/10

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Neil Ray Garcia Llanes (#AGTVote6)

This smooth young lad hailing from the Philipines – and I quote Anggun here – “must be an alien”. Starting with the story of a malfunction at an imaginary club, he gets dancers going again with his otherworldly beat-box skills. The rolls, flutters, pops and ripples he does without break defies biology. He almost doubled his repertoire, creating 10 sounds with his cords, and strung them together for one breathless tune. It’s catchy, impressive, and judging by the crowd, a youthful, sexy act that appeals.

Chance at winning: 7.5/10

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The Sacred Riana (#AGTVote11)

No doubt an online favourite, The Sacred Riana crossed Indonesian boundaries and reached international acclaim with her spooky acts. With over 80 million views, she creeped out her fans and took her magic into the other realm. Creating one of the most priceless moments of the night by freaking Anggun out of her seat, the consummate performer never fails to sustain an enjoyable believability by never going out of character. Though her performance was a little lost in translation during the live show, the broadcast still spins a good spell.

Chance at winning: 8.5/10

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ADEM Dance Crew (#AGTVote9)

Putting Kyrgyzstan on the map for many viewers, this team has already achieved so much with their performances. Opting for a more sentimental approach was a great move, even though the ending felt a little anti-climactic during the live show. The foursome still charmed with their dystopian theme, effectively integrating their socket-popping moves into a mesmerizing dance.

Chance at winning: 6.5/10

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Sobhi Shaker (#AGTVote23)

The fact that this Syrian has not only found refuge in Malaysia where he now calls home, but is also a sleight-of-hand magician with a profound message through all his acts makes his simple displays very heartfelt. Channeling plenty of sincerity, and always emphasizing on universal concepts like dreams, world peace and love with trademark humility, his act is always an authentic tug at the heart.

Chance at winning: 7/10

feng_e

Feng E (#AGTVote19)

The pint-sized ukulele rocker explodes on stage with his feverish riffs, and delivers a compelling performance with his immersive attitude. Once he strikes his strings, he cuts through popular tunes such as U2’s “Beautiful Day” with aplomb. He churns those strings into an upsized musical act that even has David Foster talking to John Mayor about. Taiwan’s young musician is one that’s hard to follow.

Chance at winning: 7/10

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DM-X Comvalenoz (#AGTVote16)

Defying labels and bringing home the diversity that is in Asia, this group slays it hard with their audacious mix of metal moves and gender-bending grooves. One moment, all pound and thrashes, the next, hair flips and booty twists. Cheeky, playful, sassy and glamourous, this competition is theirs to lose. Their energy and spirit is undeniable. Even during a dance flip at vote call, a flyaway shoe gets quickly pulled back into part of their routine. You can visibly see how they feed off the lights and attention, delivering pure infectious entertainment that this show is known for. A super strong finish.

Chance at winning: 9/10

As you can see, my personal favourite was DM-X. Their pulpable energy and unabashed vigor is both enviable and enjoyable, but also part of what makes this season so spectacular.

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Even at the Q&A post-show, the judges agreed on this season’s undeniable talents and their entertainment value. Sir David Foster stressed how the whole program was supported by hundreds of crew that made it a success, while Jay Park shared how Asia’s Got Talent has surprised him with contestants that kept raising the bar.

When I asked them if anything struck them particularly about this season’s contestants, Anggun shared that there was only 1 singer, and the rest represented a diversity that she found very attractive and promising.

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Who will win the eventual prize money and title? All will be revealed at next week’s result’s show. In the meantime, vote for your favourite to help with their win! For details, head on over to their official voting page here.

Thank you to Sony Pictures for this invite and to Jarieul for reaching out!

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