ASIA’S GOT TALENT (SEASON 3): THE FINALS

The auditions of Asia’s Got Talent Season 3 has revealed the extent of our region’s undiscovered talents. And picking nine out of the thousands of hopefuls, was no easy task.

Even when the semi-finalists were picked, it was difficult to rally behind an act, only because so many of them were so entertaining to watch. Others stirred up controversy, because of their seeming mediocrity.

But at the Finals, and having followed all of these acts, I would say all nine of them have stepped up their game significantly.

Here’s my rundown of the acts for the final show.

Maniac Family

I really enjoyed their auditions. The group was tight. The formations and moves strong. And the soundtrack was Mando-pop modern. But their semi-final act was a little lack lustre and messy, and the cultural story didn’t come through as they prepared.

Luckily, their Finals was as exciting as their first, with plenty of drama with their time-travel plot, brought along with plenty of pop and lock moves for that punch. However, with strong competition from the other dance group and lacking their cheekiness and back story, this family might go home empty-handed.

Performance: 7.5/10
Likelihood to win: Medium low

Siti Saniyah

She captured Anggun and Jay but failed to get a vote from David, and Asia seemed to agree with the latter. Her vocals at auditions were decent, but hardly the kind to land in the Asia’s Got Talent Finals. But her semi-finals improved significantly – so much so that the judges gave her their approval to move straight into the last show.

Her final performance took many by surprise, exhibiting a mature confidance not present in her others. Clad in a dramatic fuschia cape and stunning neckpiece, her singing was also richer and showed better control. But her peak might come a little too late in garnering enough votes in her favour.

Performance 7.5
Likelihood to win: Medium

Shadow Ace

One of the most consistant perfromr, Shadow Ace charmed everyone with his dexterity and imagination during his shadow performances. Quick to change with plenty of humour and infectious tracks, he told his shadow stories with finesse. His talent back story which features bullying and poverty, also makes a strong point, and performing with his parents adds to the heartfelt performances.

While his final performance had all his usual, it might not have had the visible elevation that the others have shown in the competition.

Performance: 7
Likelihood to win: Medium

Yaashwin Sarawana

The human calculator is as suggested, like a real calculator. While I can’t even do my multiplication table right (the 7s always get to me), this Malaysian can whip through formulas and square roots in split seconds. While this may not sound very entertaining, he has become a bit of a Youtube sensation, possibly due to his cheeky banter with the judges.

His Finals act definitely was more visually interesting, featuring a cage challenge and a Matrix-inspired backdrop, but I feel that the wind for his sail is not enough to carry him through to the win.

Performance: 6
Likelihood to win: Low

Eric Chien

This magic consultant who has stepped forward is a shy guy who manages to beguile the audience and the judges with his incredible sleight-of-hand magic. From a coin and circle routine to a mind-boggling ribbon boundary act, his perfromances have been as surprisingly novel as it has been astounding.

Adding plenty of whimsy to his final performance, Eric’s colouful play with chocolate rocks adds a refreshing touch to his repetoire, and was welcomed by everyone. And his close-up magic should work well on-screen. The confetti at the end might just be a forecast of things to come.

Performance: 8
Likelihood to win: High

Junior Good Vibes

Always an anticipated group to watch, Junior Good Vibes has everything aligned for them to be a Asia’s Got Talent winner. Their street-to-stage story always moves the audience, even if their excessive gratitude have been heard to annoy some. But their incredible choreography, playful moves, and performance impact is an unstoppable entertainment train.

Their Finals showcase had a distinct theme, and props were used to great visual effect, along with some of the most imaginative formations. By the time Shake It Off and the pom-pom came on, the studio audience was ready to stand, which they did at the end.  

Performance: 9
Likelihood to win: High

Yang Shih Hao

The Taiwanese with his Cyr wheel is magnetic in the way that few acts featuring a man and something inanimate are. Likening the hoop to his five-year-old self, the connection he has is shown in fluid grace when he dances with it. Combining expert timing and a nuanced strength, his performances have added an element of innocence to the show.

While his semi-finals performance was a little underwhelming, he came back with a strong climax for his Finals, with bigger stunts and mesmerising tricks that ended with a flourish. His sincerity made his presentations immersive, but I’m not entirely sure it has the weight to crown him. Plus, that Aha track…

Performance: 7.5
Likelihood to win: Medium-high

Power Duo

Every performance is an act of PDA for Jeremy and Angela. Power Duo makes sure that their incredible chemistry and trust is core to their performances, and even though the moves aren’t revolutionary, that quality makes their performances especially riveting to watch.

Departing from their usual routine, their focus on aerial acrobatics may lacked dance moves, but it made up for it with Cirque Du Soleil-worthy routines and a heartdropping finish – one that won them a standing ovation at the Finals.Their risky creative decision may pay off as they win new fans with this timely update.

Performance: 7.5
Likelihood to win: High

Nama

Similar to Siti, their failure to get David’s approval at the auditions proved fuel to fire the quartet. But their willingness to learn showed in their semi-final act, and their harmony became less pitchy and their presence more assured. The group of ladies in hijab not got full votes to move into the Finals, but also garnered Judges’ Pick for their outstanding improvement.

Their final performance was soulful and infectious, bringing up Freedom to an anthemic arrangement, with live choir and dramatic lighting bumping up the visuals for a fiery finish. There was plenty of vocal cheering for the group and Nama may be the dark house in this competition.

Performance: 7
Likelihood to win: Medium

Based on the scores, it’s obvious Junior Good Vibes are at the forefront, but with national support and the translation from stage to screen as key factors, there’s four groups that stand a good chance of being the winner of the season.

Who’s your pick? And if you haven’t, google <Asia’s Got Talent Vote> or visit their Facebook Page to make that difference! Details here.

Pictures: AXN Asia

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