Pinoy duo gets standing ovation on 'Ellen'
MANILA (UPDATED) -- The General Santos-based music duo who went viral this year for their YouTube video drew laughs and a standing ovation when they made their American TV debut on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Thursday.
B'laan cousins Aldrich Talonding and James Bucong had a sit-down interview with the popular comedienne-host in the episode of her talk show that aired on September 12 (Manila time).
"We started a few years ago, we have been best friends in music," the younger Talonding said of Bucong, when asked how they ended up uploading their rendition of the Luther Vandross hit "Dance With My Father," which has garnered millions of views since April.
A well-spoken Talonding triggered laughter when he related how the video's viral spread has made them popular in the Philippines.
Shortly after their YouTube video made the rounds online in late April, the cousins were featured in ABS-CBN's primetime newscast "TV Patrol."
Days later, DeGeneres on her talk show invited the boys to come to the United States to perform, as she shared a clip from their original video.
"People started recognizing us along the streets or in the malls. They even recognize us in the restroom!" Talonding said to laughs from the live audience.
"That's weird!" he quipped.
Also speaking in fluent English, Bucong added, "Many people do recognize me, especially girls. So it feels awkward when they say that they love me!"
Noting his father died in June this year, Talonding said the Vandross tune now "means a lot to me, because I didn't realize the song would become true.
The duo went on to perform "Dance With My Father," which ended with a standing ovation from the audience.
"I'm so glad we found you," DeGeneres told Talonding, as she gave the young singer a guitar, a piano, and $10,000.
This isn't the first time Filipino talents were brought to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," which is broadcast internationally.
Charice Pempengco, who similarly began as a YouTube sensation, marked the start of her international career when she performed on the talk show in December 2007.