The Straits Times/Asia News Network
Indonesian illusionist The Sacred Riana scared her way to the top of Season 2 of Asia's Got Talent when she was announced the winner of the popular reality TV show on Thursday (Dec 14) night.
Known for her creepy ghost-like appearance and dramatic twitchy movements, the magician beat eight other acts from around Asia in the finals to take home the grand prize of US$100,000.
The results are based on public votes, which means she managed to rally plenty of fan support despite her less mainstream performance style.
After the announcement of her win, The Straits Times could get her reaction only through her manager, as she supposedly stays in character - including being awkward and silent - all the time.
Her manager, Mr Bow Vernon, said: "Riana is very surprised to win. She joined the show because she just wanted to share her performance with other people.
"I think people loved her because they have never seen any other magician like her."
When asked if she finds it difficult to remain in character, Mr Vernon laughed and said no. "She is a quiet girl by nature, so it's easy. She is not the talkative type."
He declined to give the performer's real age, and would only say that The Sacred Riana is over 100 years old.
At the grand finals telecast on Dec 7, she had performed a trick where she conjured many people to come out from a small box. Much of the success of her performance is not the magic trick itself, however, but the way her mannerisms often scared show judge Anggun.
It almost became a running joke throughout the season that The Sacred Riana would pick on Anggun, instead of the show's other two judges Jay Park and David Foster.
Mr Vernon said with a chuckle: "If Riana can meet Anggun again and perform for her, she would."
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