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Entertainment

Pole-dancing single mom bags PGT P2M prize

Leah C. Salterio - The Philippine Star
Pole-dancing single mom bags PGT P2M prize
Kristel de Catalina got a nearly perfect score of 99.67 percent, a combination of public votes and scores from the three judges — Vice Ganda, Angel Locsin and Robin Padilla.

MANILA, Philippines — A 32-year-old single mom who wowed the judges and audiences with her graceful spiral pole-dancing exhibition, bagged the P2M grand prize in the sixth season of Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT).

Kristel de Catalina got a nearly perfect score of 99.67 percent, a combination of public votes and scores from the three judges — Vice Ganda, Angel Locsin and Robin Padilla. Kristel performed to Celine Dion’s All By Myself and bested nine other finalists who competed in the two-night showdown.

The finals, dubbed as The Greatest Showdown and apparently inspired by the blockbuster Hollywood film, The Greatest Showman, were held at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.

“You made me so proud,” said Vice, who gave Kristel a one-time Golden Buzzer earlier on in the auditions that readily advanced the latter to the semi-finals. At that time, Kristel even got a standing ovation from the four judges, who then included Freddie Garcia.

Meanwhile, Kristel dedicated her victory to her six-year-old son, who joyously clapped and cheered her on from the audience. She likewise acknowledged all the single moms who supported her throughout her PGT journey.

Runners-up were Julius Obrero and Rhea Marquez, who did an interpretative dance to KZ Tandingan’s haunting version of Two Less Lonely People. Interestingly, Julius danced while on his wheelchair and they managed to beautifully execute their act. The pair earlier received the Golden Buzzer from Angel.

In third place was comedian Joven Olvido, who was also well-loved by the crowd. “Hindi ikaw ang pinaka-magaling na performer this season, pero isa ka sa may pinaka-mataas na score noong semi-finals,” disclosed Vice Ganda.

“Iyun ay dahil sa mga taong pinasaya mo sa performance mo. Hindi rin ito ang funniest performance mo tonight. Pero nag-meeting ako sa Star Cinema at isa ka sa mga kasama sa pelikula ko.”

Joven nonetheless felt like a big winner, too, with Vice’s revelation. The tricycle driver from Laguna was also promised his own tricycle by Vice during the semi-finals.

Ten finalists competed in the finals for the big cash prize of P2M. Everyone exerted his best effort to win, but only one proved to be worthy of the grand prize.

Another huge crowd favorite was Cebeco II Blue Knights. The 16-member group of gallant men from Cebu City, delighted the audience with their death-defying utility pole-balancing act on top of high electric posts.

The Bardilleranz, a seven-member group of athletic men from Baguio City, got the Golden Buzzer from judge Freddie.

In the finals, the judges gave subtle hints who would not possibly bag the grand prize. “Mayroon talagang mga talentong kasama kapag ipinanganak at ‘yun ang talento mo,” Robin told finalist Orville Tonido, who displayed his lip-synch act to Roselle Nava’s Dahil Mahal na Mahal Kita, while giving material things — from jersey, rubber shoes and cellphones to laptop, motorbike, money and car — to boys.

“At ‘yung talento mo, hindi ‘yan kailanman kukupas. Maaring hindi mo oras ngayon at hindi ito ang tamang programang nasalihan mo. Pero, maniwala ka sa akin, sisikat ka.”

Angel commended Orville’s performance, but likewise somehow discouraged him from still hoping to win the grand prize. “I have to be honest. ‘Yung act mo, hindi siya pang P2M. Pero ‘yung happiness and effort na pag-entertain mo sa amin, priceless ‘yun.”

Angel also acknowledged the act of Xtreme Dancers, “loud and proud” from South Cotabato. “Walang makakapagsabi na hindi kayo magaling. Magaling kayo kaya kayo nakaabot sa grand finals.”

Vice’s remark also clearly took Xtreme Dancers out of the running to win the grand prize. “Una sa lahat, ang ga-guwapo niyo. But this wasn’t your best night. Pumalya kayo sa mga routines at hindi na-achieve ‘yung mga dapat ma-achieve. It didn’t make you less of a performer. Mahuhusay kayo, minalas lang kayo tonight.”

Billiards whiz Jonacris Bandillo was a strong bet in the semifinals. However, he failed in his first exhibition and didn’t get another chance to rectify his mistake.

KRISTEL DE CATALINA

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