After several letdowns in previous singing contests, Zephanie Dimaranan of Binan, Laguna finally found her winning moment, being declared the first Search for the Idol Philippines Grand Winner on Sunday, July 28 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.
Besting three other finalists, fellow favorite hopefuls Lucas Garcia of Lipa City, Batangas and Lance Busa of Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Zephanie got an astonishing perfect 100% combined rating of judges scores and public votes. She bagged the coveted title after singing her riveting version of “Maghintay Ka Lamang” in the first round and her exceptional rendition of the original Jonathan Manalo composition “Pangarap Kong Pangarap Mo” in the second round.
The top three hopefuls sang choice songs in the first round and original songs from renowned songwriters in the second round.
Zephanie won a recording contract from Star Music, a brand new house and lot from Camella, trip for four to Taiwan, and two million pesos.
In a video feature aired in the finale, Zephanie said a stronger version of herself has emerged throughout her journey. Even at a young age, she said, she could serve as an inspiration and example to many especially to youth who have high dreams for themselves.
After her impressive performance, judge Regine Velasquez-Alcasid was almost speechless and uttered a simple “Congratulations,” telling the 16-year-old that they are all looking forward to what is in store for her. Fellow judge Moira dela Torre told her that she’s really a special girl because parents of kids her age would want their children to follow her footsteps. For his part, judge James Reid said that she might have started small but she has grown so much in the competition. Lastly, judge Vice Ganda noted that she should be idolized by the youth because no matter how many times she had fallen, quitting was never part of her vocabulary.
Lucas, who finished runner-up got an overall rating of 70.2% in the combined judges score and public votes, performed Wency Cornejo’s “Hanggang” in the first round and Trina Belamide’s original song “Because You Believed” in the second round.
Meanwhile, Lance ended third place with a 41.89% judges score-public vote combined rating after singing his rendition of Morissette Amon’s “Akin Ka Na Lang” in the first round and singing the original tune “Kapit Lang” by Jimmy and Athena Antiporda in the second round.
A highlight of the finale was the appearance of American Idol Season 11 runner up Jessica Sanchez, who again wowed the audience and viewers singing her powerful take on “And I’m Telling You” from the hit musical “Dreamgirls.”