Hula-Hoop artist is ‘Ultimate Talentado’ | Inquirer Entertainment

Hula-Hoop artist is ‘Ultimate Talentado’

By: - Reporter
/ 10:12 PM May 09, 2012

DANIEL “Astroboy” Darwin shows off giant check for P1 million. He also won a car and a computer university scholarship.

Hula-hoop artist and fire dancer Daniel “Astroboy” Darwin first captivated an audience at a birthday party. Last Sunday at the Quezon Memorial Circle, he found himself in front of thousands of cheering fans, having been declared grand winner of “Talentadong Pinoy’s” third season.

The 24-year-old Filipino-American was in “absolute disbelief” when host Ryan Agoncillo called out his name and handed him the trophy. Darwin said he intended to stay for just a few months in the Philippines after finishing college in New York University last year.



“I did not expect this at all,” he giddily told reporters after the show. “Last night [performance night], I was so scared, nervous and anxious. I just told myself, ‘You gave your best performance. It is now up to God.’”


PROGRAM host Ryan Agoncillo

Asked if he thought he won because audience interest in singing and dancing acts had waned, Darwin said: “I think people will never get tired of singing and dancing [routines]. But I do think that what I brought was something new.”

In the performance show dubbed “Battle of the Champions,” Astroboy received nods for showcasing an enthralling mixture of Hula-Hoop tricks, fire dancing and a smattering of acrobatic stunts.

Despite a minor slip-up at the start of his act, the visual impact and sheer difficulty of the rest of routine was more than enough to win. He jested, “I think what appealed to people was how joyful it made me feel … and also that I was on fire!”

Astroboy bested seven other finalists—power belter Ayegee Paredes; kundiman singer Melbelline Caluag; R&B singer Rhyzza Kafilas; ballroom-dancing siblings Craig and Samantha Abaya-Campos; children’s dance group Dancing is Fun; sand artist Monica Regalario; and pole dancer Johnny “Sustantivo” Villanueva.

“I’m a perfectionist by nature and I get depressed when I mess up. But [on performance] night, I didn’t feel that way because I pulled off the hardest tricks I had ever known,” said Astroboy, who bought his very first hoop four years ago after watching a fire parade in the US.

Superstar Nora Aunor

The result was determined by 50 percent nationwide text votes and 50 percent judges’ vote. “Talent scouts” Tuesday Vargas, Jed Madela, Joey Reyes, Zoren Legaspi, Ruffa Gutierrez, Lucy Torres-Gomez, Audie Gemora, Joey de Leon and Nora Aunor comprised the performance night panel.

Car and cash


Thus crowned “Ultimate Talentado,” Astroboy received a check for P1 million, keys to a brand new car and a four-year course scholarship in AMA Computer University. He will represent the country in the World Championships of Performing Arts this year in Los Angeles, California.

“That’s crazy! I have a lot of preparing to do. I want my next performance to be even more of a breakthrough, so I’m going to start working on it right away,” he said.

Megastar Sharon Cuneta

The losing contenders also got scholarships on top of the cash prizes they accumulated throughout the tilt.

ARNEL Pineda


A graduate of Theater Arts and Creative Writing, Astroboy aspires to become a Broadway actor. The multitalented performer who is into writing essays, plays and directing, said he hoped to join shows such as “Fuerza Bruta,” which fuses theater and other performance arts.

Astroboy recently applied for Filipino citizenship to explore his opportunities in local show biz. He also plans on conducting Hula-Hoop workshops.

ARNELL Ignacio plays the piano. Seriously.

“I love the things that are happening in the indie and theater scene here. I saw Bembol Roco in Dulaang UP’s ‘Titus Andronicus’ and he was incredible,” he said. “My background is theater and I would really love to participate in plays here.”

Added fun

The star-studded finals performance night featured guest performances from Journey lead singer Arnel Pineda and Sharon Cuneta. For added fun, Wendy Valdez, Inday Garutay, Arnell Ignacio and Keanna Reeves partnered with past “Talentado” contestants, and faced off in a celebrity competition.

Arnell took home the P100,000 cash prize after wowing the celebrity competition panel—which included a sun-kissed Judy Ann Santos—with his impressive piano playing. He played his own arrangement of “Beer” by Itchyworms, as season 1 finalist Leah Patricio sang the vocal parts.

Judy Ann Santos

Turning emotional with the win, Arnell said, “Lagi na lang akong nakakahon as a clown. I’m happy I was given the chance show my other talents.”

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TAGS: Allan Policarpio, Entertainment, Hula-Hoop, Talentadong Pinoy, Television
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