Thursday, December 3, 2015

El Gamma Penumbra Wins 'Asia's Got Talent'

MANILA, Philippines - “Until now we can’t believe that we would go this far, that we are here, performing in front of all of you. We are so happy and honored to win. Our journey in Asia’s Got Talent (AGT) is the highlight of our career,” El Gamma Penumbra shared during the results night.
The group, which arrived in Manila yesterday, added that they would be taking a short vacation before resuming their commitments, “Winning Asia’s Got Talent comes with a big responsibility but we will definitely continue our advocacy of spreading love, peace and care for mother nature through our performances not just in Asia but the whole world.”
Aside from taking a well-deserved break, El Gamma Penumbra is also looking forward to their homecoming in Tanauan, Batangas to personally thank their local government for the support that they have given.
They will also spend some time with the institution for the elderly, which is the beneficiary of their winnings. Apart from this, the group also promised to donate 10 percent of their winnings to the earthquake victims in Nepal, a cause with AGT also supports.
El Gamma Penumbra’s win was slightly marred with controversy during the television broadcast when results were leaked through social media accounts but AXN Asia was grateful that their loyal televiewers continued tuning in the show despite widespread spoilers online.
“We trusted that our audience would respect our request for no spoilers on social media prior to the official telecast on AXN. Unfortunately, certain members of the audience could not contain their excitement. Nothing can take away our celebration of such talented individuals and teams giving all that they have to become the very best of Asia. We congratulate El Gamma Penumbra for being a deserving winner for their incredible efforts and amazing talent,” AXN Asia said in a statement.
Hailing from Batangas, the 13-man shadow play dance troupe received not only standing ovations both from the judges and the audience, but also two golden buzzers (one given during the auditions and another in the semis) — a feat they shared with fellow AGTfinalist Gao Lin and Lui Xin from China.
For their audition piece, the group danced to Imagine Dragons’ hit song, On Top of the World and expressed love. It was a performance that judge David Foster described as magical. “One of the beautiful things about sitting on this chair is I get to see things that I would never see in my life. I have no idea how you did it, how it works but I know that it was absolutely magical. Thank you for the beautiful experience,” he said.
Advancing to the semis, El Gamma Penumbra danced to Jewish reggae singer Matishyahu’s One Day and paid tribute to The Fallen 44. Their performance, which also touched on the subject of peace, brought judge Anggun to tears. She said, “I’m moved with what I saw, it was really emotional and I’m sure you made Filipinos proud. That was flawless.”
With the challenge to up their game for the grand finals, El Gamma Penumbra chose another meaningful piece that resonated not only in Asia but the rest of the world.
“We have different cultures and to touch their hearts, we need to think of concepts that are universal, so that everyone will understand,” the group explained after the performance night of AGT grand finals.
Dancing to Disney’s Pocahontas theme song, Colors of the Wind, the group delved into the importance of taking care of Mother Nature. It was a simple yet moving performance that catapulted them to go all the way from Top 6 to Top 2, which they shared with throat musicians Khusugtun from Mongolia.
“What really makes me fall in love with your performance is the fact that the possibilities of your messages are endless. Our job as entertainers is to entertain people, but if we can raise awareness on subjects that really matter, that makes our job more noble,” Anggun said.
Foster added, “Your message is so clear everytime you are on stage. So beautifully profound — the world could use more people like you.”
“We, as artists, have a responsibility because when we say something, people will actually listen and you guys are a great example of that, so thank you guys for your message,” Van Ness Wu said in agreement with his fellow judges.
All the judges believed that both El Gamma Penumbra and Khusugtun represented the rich culture of Asia and the level of talent the region has. “Both of you represent your countries so well. You definitely proved that Asia Got Talent,” they said.
“El Gamma Penumbra’s ability to combine strong emotion with meaningful messages overcomes the barriers of language. We congratulate them and thank all the acts that have delighted and entertained us, awed and inspired us,” added Paul O’Hanlon, managing director of FreemantleMedia Asia.
Meanwhile, another Filipino act, classical singer Gerphil Flores ranked third and received a promising assurance from Foster: “You are my golden buzzer, you are still my golden buzzer.” Flores, in tears, gratefully reached out to all her supporters. “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you, so thank you so much!” she said.
The remaining two Filipino acts in the AGT finals, hip-hop dance group Junior New System and 10-year-old singer Gywneth Dorado, placed Top 6 and Top 9, respectively.
More than a thousand acts auditioned for Season 1 of AGT and from 20 countries, only six (China, Japan, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore) vied for the coveted AGT title, the $100,000 cash prize, $10,000 worth of Jetstar flights and the opportunity to perform at Marina Bay Sands.



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