Six-year-old Marcus Rayden Cabais and seven-year-old Sheena Kirtsten Bentoy were proclaimed SM Little Stars 2016 during the competition’s 10th annual grand at SM Mall of Asia Centerstage.
Marcus wowed the audience with his rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin’” while Sheena captured everyone’s hearts with her poignant performance of “Tomorrow” from Annie. They bested 21 other finalists in the nationwide search for cute, bright and promising kids aged four to seven.
As grand prize winners, they each received a Suzuki Ciaz brand new car; P500,000 worth of cash and SM gift certificates; and a five-day and four-night trip to China for two including round-trip tickets, hotel accommodations & tours. They are also entitled to a four-year college scholarship grant from National University and a one-year Talent Management Contract with TV5. The winners also received P15,000 worth of gift certificates from Toy Kingdom.
Other shining little stars include first runner-up Johan Jozef Yalong who showcased his loveable acting and dancing skills; second runner-up Christal Grace Sanchez and third runner-up Shamir Jarred Parungao who both rocked the stage with their cool dance moves. Brianna Nikola Ang received the Super Mom’s Choice Award presented by Elica.
Hosted by Jasmine Curtis Smith, the event was also a memorable evening for the distinguished board of judge-mentors, who were tasked to select winners based on criteria of 40 percent for star quality, 20 percent for personality and 40 percent for talent.
Movie and TV director Mac Alejandre, who was also a judge last year returned this year and said he was amazed by the amount of talent from this year’s batch, revealing that the scores were very close.
Celebrity judge Ogie Alcasid meanwhile thanked the finalists’ parents for giving their full support during the kids’ Little Stars journey.
Bianca King, Tuesday Vargas and Alwyn Uytingco completed the panel of celebrity judges.
In celebration of the competition’s 10th year, past winners who have since become young celebrities had a happy reunion on stage.
Chun Sa Jung, Nhikzy Calma, Lance Lucido, Rowena Grado, JC Gumacal, Nicoli Lista, Makee Dulalia, Marcus Trirogoff, Queenie Sulit, Vince Angeles, Aliah Franzin Navarro and Lei Andre Navarro performed a fun dance number; while Telesa De Torres, Patricia Medalla, Steven Ocampo, Kyle Jimenez, Annastacia Penny and Johnny Regaña gave a heartwarming production number.
As a tradition during the past grand finals, SM Little Stars winners from the SM malls in China also showcased their talents. They were SM Zicuan’s Zhao Enjie and Gao Zimeng, SM Jinjiang’s Li Kaize and Chen Siyu, SM Xiamen’s Chen Yu and Li Jiamin and SM Chengdu’s Zhao Menghan.