WATCH | Indonesian illusionist edges out Filipino dance group to win AXN’s ‘Asia’s Got Talent’

December 17, 2017 - 7:20 AM
The Sacred Riana poses with 'Asia's Got Talent' judges Jay Park, David Foster and Anggun. (Photo courtesy of AXN)

Indonesian illusionist The Sacred Riana whose mysterious, head-twitching persona and creepy magic act made her an online sensation, generated the most public votes to win Season 2 of AXN’s talent seach series, “Asia’s Got Talent.”

Riana is known for her fascinating magic videos that have earned a total of over 70 million views on YouTube and Facebook to date. She was one of the last two acts standing in the show together with Filipino dance group, DM-X Convaleñoz before hosts Alan Wong and Justin Bratton made her victory official.

Born Marie Antoinette Riana Graharani, the illusionist of very few words never breaks character even when off-stage. Riana is so mysterious that in an interview with Singapore’s The Straits Times, her manager Bow Vernon even boldly declared that the talented young woman is actually “over 100 years old.”

In each of her performances during the show’s judges auditions, semi-finals and grand finals episode, Riana, whose face is mostly covered by her long black hair and is reminiscent of the character of Sadako from the Japanese horror classic, “The Ring,” often zeroes in on judge and fellow Indonesian, Anggun.

For her grand final performance, Riana made a star tattoo suddenly appear on Anggun’s hand, before disappearing into a small box and re-emerging seconds later behind the shocked pop diva.

Much to Anggun’s delight, Riana turned her attention to Jay Park in the results show as the befuddled Korean pop star was left impressed with the magician’s ability to read his thoughts.

Riana’s mystifying performance won for her the grand prize of US$100,000, courtesy of presenting sponsor, Traveloka.

“We are thrilled to have witnessed the euphoria of someone finally achieving her dream in the presence of her family and friends,” said Traveloka Senior Vice President Business Development, Christian Suwarna.

DMN-X brought the house down in both the finals and results show with stunts laden acrobatics to a medley of tunes that included parts of Linkin Park’s “One Step Closer” and Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito.”

Another Filipino performer, beatboxer Neil Rey Garcia Llanes ended up in third place while another dance group from the Philippines, Urban Crew, landed in the bottom three and was eliminated early in the results show.

The second season of “Asia’s Got Talent” ran for two weeks and drew hundreds of talented acts from 15 countries in the region. The series culminated with memorable performances from judges David Foster, Anggun and Jay Park.

David delighted the audience on piano with his world-famous piece, “Love Theme from St. Elmo’s Fire”; Anggun dazzled with her new single “What We Remember” from her latest album ‘8’; and Jay Park performed the world premiere of his new single “Forget About Tomorrow” with Yultron, backed by eight Korean hip-hop dancers.

‘Asia’s Got Finals’ finalists poses with judges Jay Park, David Foster and Anggun and hosts Alan Wong and Justin Bratton. (Photo courtesy of AXN)

“Our esteemed judges, David, Anggun and Jay, have been integral to the Asia’s Got Talent experience this season. Their quick wit, immense style, humor and insightful advice helped secure Asia’s Got Talent as the number one series on pay TV every Thursday night,” said Virginia Lim, Senior Vice President and Head of Content, Production and Marketing, Sony Pictures Television Networks

“I extend my warmest congratulations to The Sacred Riana and to all the other grand finalists who made it. ‘Asia’s Got Talent’ is the world’s biggest talent show and we hope that the series inspires the next generation of Asia’s stars to pursue their dreams,” Lim concluded.

As for the show’s partnership with Traveloka which also rewarded the winners of the Traveloka Award and the Golden Buzzer Acts with trips to Europe. Sony Pictures Television Networks Asia Vice President of Media and Sponsorship Sales Jacqueline Tok hailed the leading booking app for flights and hotels as “a valuable partner for AXN and ‘Asia’s Got Talent’.”

Through the strength of Traveloka’s digital platforms, vast reach, and impressive influence, we have been able to amplify ‘Asia’s Got Talent’ to new audiences in multiple markets. We look forward to collaborating with Traveloka again in the near future to realize the dreams of the next generation of aspiring performers on ‘Asia’s Got Talent.’,” Tok added.

In addition to the winners, Traveloka also selected Pannawach Dechapanya of Thailand as the winner of the Traveloka award while ADEM Dance Crew, Akira, Canion Shijirbat, and Feng E. won the coveted Golden Buzzer for their incredible performances that judges directly sent to the contest’s semifinal round.

The Sacred Riana poses with Traveloka SVP for Business Development Christian Suwarma following her win.