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Vin Abrenica, Sophie Albert win top honors on ‘Artista Academy’

Sophie Albert and Vin Abrenica pose for photographers after their victory at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday. (Angelica Carballo/InterAksyon)


Whether as a love team or as individual performers, Vin Abrenica and Sophie Albert often stood head and shoulders above everybody else on “Artista Academy.”

On Saturday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, they proved how formidable they are once again as they took the top honors of Best Actor and Best Actress in the country’s biggest and most intensive talent search.

Showing that there’s no substitute for hard work and consistency, Vin and Sophie kept themselves in the good graces of critics Lorna Tolentino, Gelli De Belen, “Artista Academy” Principal Wilma Galvante and TV5 Talent Center head Direk Mac Alejandre with strong performances in the singing, dancing and acting challenges of the competition week in and week out.

They also endeared themselves to “AA” faculty members composed of filmmaker Joel Lamangan, composer Louie Ocampo and choreographer Georcelle Dapat-Sy even as they steadily gained new fans as the contest progressed.

For 21-year old Vin, who at the beginning of the competition was simply known as Aljur Abrenica’s brother, his triumph as Best Actor is only the latest mountain that the talented Pampanga native has successfully climbed. A culinary arts graduate who did very well in school, he is also a talented musician who sings and plays the guitar very well.

Vin sheds tears of joy during his acceptance speech after winning Best Actor. (Angelica Carballo/InterAksyon)


In a bid to step out of brother’s shadow, Vin opted to audition for “Artista Academy” on his own and worked very hard to earn his well-deserved victory.

Also 21, Sophie (who auditioned under her real name Bianca Reyes) also comes from a famous family herself, the Cojuangcos of Tarlac, which also explains why she bears a striking resemblance to cousin and former actress Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski.

Initially trailing in the competition, Sophie slowly but surely worked her way to the top and by week 3 has already emerged as one of the top contenders.

On a personal level, the former Star Magic talent and wakeboarding competitor also has to deal with living half of her life seeing her beloved father in a coma, something that may have actually helped elevate her acting performances that was consistently given the thumbs up by the “AA” critics.

Sophie beams in triumph after being declared Best Actress. (Angelica Carballo/InterAksyon)


Vin and Sophie each took home P10 million pesos worth of cash and prizes, including a cool P1 million in cash, a condominium unit at Presidio, a Toyota Innova, and a guaranteed P5 million management contract from TV5. As Close-up Ambassadors, they will appear in print and TV ads for the toothpaste brand.

They will also immediately star in their own teen drama series for the Kapatid network called “Forever Barkada” along with the rest of the “AA” scholars, namely Chanel Morales, Shaira Mae, Mark Neumann, Akihiro Blanco, Malak So Shdifat, Stephanie Rowe, Brent Manzano, Nicole Estrada, Jon Orlando, Marvelous Alejo and Benjo Leoncio.

As for “Artista Academy,” the top-rated talent show will return for a second season in the summer of 2013 as “Artista Academy Tweens”.