In major hooping news, Astroboy, aka Daniel Darwin, hooped his way to become the 3rd Ultimate Champion in Talentadong Pinoy’s Battle of the Champions Grand Finals in The Philippines. Held at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City, Astroboy has not only become P1-million richer, he scored himself a brand new Chevy car and P10,000 from Champion detergent. Why was he so popular? Darwin, who is half-Pinoy and half-American, told the Philippine Star, “I think it’s a mixture of the artistry inside of the act that you see and also how it feels where it hits you — in your stomach and in your soul. I think it’s the relationship between what the artist gives you and what you feel from the artist.” What he gave the audience was a top notch hooping performance spiced with fire tricks which ultimately had him stealing the spotlight from the more traditional forms of talent on the show, giving him the edge to win the text voting public’s nod of approval.
Of his grand finale performance he said, “I think that from the beginning what appealed to people with what I do is how joyful it makes me feel and also that I’m on fire. I wanted to do something that incorporated a story of fire bringing light to people.” Astroboy was in “absolute disbelief” when he was proclaimed the winner over pole dancer Johnny “Sustantivo” Villanueva, power belter Ivy Grace “Ayegee” Paredes, Kundiman singer Melbelline Caluag, Catarman’s pride Dancing Is Fun, ballroom dancing duo Craig and Samantha Abaya-Campos, sand artist Monica Regalario and Soul Diva Rhyzza Nicol Kafilas. “I was so scared, so nervous and so anxious. I just told myself ‘You gave the best performance. It’s up to God now.’ And I just found peace with whatever the verdict. I didn’t expect it would be me.” He told the Philippine Entertainment Portal, “All eight of us are so incredibly good, up until the very last second I had no idea who’s gonna win and I’m so proud of each and every one of us. I feel like all of us gave one hundred percent yesterday, so hindi ko po alam. I didn’t know until they announced my name.”
Astroboy started hula hooping for birthday parties. “People really like what I do. And so, then I started performing more regularly and I started doing classes. There are so many singing competitions and dancing competitions around. I think that what I brought was something new. I was really happy to be one of the first people to bring hula hooping as an art form to the forefront.” According to Showbiz Nest, in addition to winning the grand prize Astroboy will also now be representing the Philippines in the World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in Hollywood, California on July 6 – 15, 2012. Check out his prize-winning finale performance below: