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Astroboy, a Filipino-American hula-hoop and fire dancer, was declared the "Talentadong Pinoy" Ultimate Talentado on Sunday night, besting seven other finalists in a spectacular conclusion to the third season of TV5's top-rated talent search.
Astroboy is a longtime New York resident who came to the Philippines last year to flee a bad relationship.
He joined "Talentadong Pinoy" after relatives raved about his burning hula hoop act at an aunt's party.
"That was a world-class performance!" Ruffa Gutierrez, one of the 10 celebrity judges who evaluated the performance night on Saturday, said after Astroboy literally set the stage on fire with his unique act.
Actor-director Audie Gemora called it "out-of-this-world" and "amazing".
Joey de Leon suggested that Astroboy, whose original dream was to be a Broadway actor, was talented enough to join the world-famous Cirque de Soleil.
Astroboy won P1 million, a brand-new Chevrolet Cruze, and an automatic berth in the World Championship of the Performing Arts to be held in Hollywood later this year.
He exuded confidence in his introductory video before his performance. "To the other finalists, good luck. You're gonna need it," he said.
Astroboy was also one of the three Champion's Choice special prize winners, along with R-and-B singer Rhyzza and pole dancer Sustantivo.
The other five finalists were Dancing is Fun (a dance group of kids and teenagers from Catarman, Northern Samar), powerful belter Ayegee, Monica (a sand artist from Bulacan), Melbelline (a 14-year-old kundiman singer from Guiguinto, Bulacan), and Craig and Samantha (a sibling duo of ballroom dancers from New Jersey, USA who came to the show as junior champions of “Dancing with the Stars”).
Seven of the eight finalists were Hall of Fame champions, who have all won for five consecutive weeks to qualify for the Battle of Champions. Rhyzza, from San Mateo, Rizal, was a Wild Card entry.
All turned in breathtaking performances that captivated the live audience at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
Comedian Arnell Ignacio turned a lot of heads with his victory in the celebrity competition during Sunday's results night.
A graduate of the UP Conservatory of Music, he showed off his hitherto unpublicized virtuoso skill as a pianist as Season 1 finalist Leah Patricio sang with the vocal group 92AD his own arrangement of Itchyworms' ballad, "Beer."
Arnell, who has served as a judge on the show numerous times, was visibly nervous as he awaited the feedback from the judges.
John Lapus, Judy Ann Santos, Audie Gemora, and Tuesday Vargas were all effusive in their praise.
"Sana noon pa namin nakita ang talent mong 'yan!" Judy Ann said.
Arnell defeated three other celebrity contestants, Inday Garutay, and Keanna Reeves, who all partnered with finalists from the show’s previous two seasons.
Sharon Cuneta and Arnel Pineda also performed in the star-studded event hosted by Ryan Agoncillo and anchored by Alex Gonzaga, Mr. Fu, and Shalala.