MANILA, Philippines -- A 45-year-old businessman from Quezon City was named the first-ever "Ultimate Kalokalike" of "It's Showtime," after earning "big stars" Saturday for his impersonation of dramatic actor Christopher de Leon.
Jonathan Garcia bested 18 other grand finalists of the Kapamilya noontime show's hit celebrity look-alike contest, taking home P300,000.
"Noon ko napatunayan nung nanalo ako na talagang kamukha ko pala si Boyet (de Leon). So sobrang gusto kong gayahin, sisigaw din ako, eh. Kung anong napapanood ko, gagayahin ko talaga 'yun eh," Garcia said in a taped interview aired before his live performance on Saturday.
Garcia first joined "Kalokalike" in February, when he impressed de Leon's frequent onscreen partner Dina Bonnevie, then sitting as judge, with his re-enactment of the actual actor's popular portrayals.
"Everytime na lalabas ka, babatiin ka, pinag-uusapan ka -- napakasarap ng feeling ng ganoon pala," Garcia said, referring to his experience after first appearing as a "Kalokalike" contestant.
"Kung mapanood man niya ako," he said, referring to de Leon, "Sana matuwa siya sa akin. Hindi siya sana sa akin magalit kahit paano."
On Saturday, Garcia once again took the "Showtime" stage with an impression of de Leon's dramatic acting, impressing judges comedian Jayson Gainza, comedian Pooh, actor-host Jhong Hilario, and master impersonator Willie Nepomuceno.
Garcia likewise won two special awards -- the BFF Award, which is given to a "Kalokalike" contestant seen to be most friendly with his peers; and the Picture Frame Award, which is given to a contestant who has an uncanny resemblance with his or her celebrity look-alike.
Both awards won Garcia P20,000 each.
Finishing first runner-up in the first edition of "Kalokalike" was Sherylene Castor, an impersonator of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao's wife Jinkee. She won P200,000.
|From left: Jonathan Garcia, Sherylene Castor and Learsi Gomez were named "Ultimate Kalokalike" and runners-up, respectively, at the conclusion of the celebrity look-alike contest's grand finals on Saturday. Photo by Michael Balagtas for ABS-CBNnews.com
Learsi Gomez, an impersonator of actress Julia Montes, was named second runner-up, taking home P100,000. The part-time singer from Malabon City was also given the Kumarir Award, which is handed to the "most improved" contestant.
Robert Tobillo and Suzel Lim, impersonators of TV host Joey de Leon and British singer Adele, respectively, both won P50,000 each as part of the Top 5.
Other winners of the special awards were Justin Bieber impersonator Cliff Hogan, who was given the Trending Award for his popular presence on social media; and Vice Ganda look-alike Jay Failanga, who was handed the Texters' Choice Award.
'Kalokalikes' make waves
Leading up to the grand finals of "Kalokalike" on Saturday, the hit segment was held daily by "It's Showtime" for two weeks, boosting the noontime program's national TV ratings against its rival shows, according to data from multi-national market research group Kantar Media.
The contest also became a hit on social networking sites, notably on micro-blogging site Twitter, where "Kalokalike" favorites made it to the top trending topics locally. As of writing, the term "#UltimateKalokalike" was the No. 1 local trending topic on Twitter.
Popular winners of the contest also made waves in local showbiz, having made guest appearances on talk show programs, sitcoms, TV concerts, and even premiere nights of their celebrity look-alike's movies.