Who is Zephanie Dimaranan? The 16-year-old talent show veteran who won the first 'Idol Philippines'

The teen from Binan, Laguna, has competed on singing shows before but never won

'Idol Philippines' grand winner Zephanie Dimaranan
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The third time's a charm for 16-year-old Zephanie Dimaranan, who has just been crowned the winner of Idol Philippines.

The teenager from Binan, Laguna, took out the coveted title on Sunday night, receiving 100 per cent of combined viewers' and judges votes.

Lucas Garcia came in second with 70.2 per cent of combined votes, while Lance Busa placed third with 41.89 per cent of combined votes.

It's been a long road to stardom for Dimaranan, who has previously competed on two other singing talent shows, but has never come out on top.

Who is Zephanie Dimaranan?

Drawing comparisons to Filipina singers Sarah Geronimo and Regine Velasquez, Dimaranan was the youngest contender for the top spot.

She's from the city of Binan, a small city of about 350,000 people, just south of Manila. She's the third of five children, and has previously spoken of growing up with "strict parents" – her father is a pastor.

You might have seen her face before

At 16, Dimaranan is something of a veteran of the Filipino talent show circuit.

She got her first taste at the big time in the second season of The Voice Kids Philippines in 2015, when she was one of two proteges of Sarah Geronimo. She reached the finals, but ultimately lost to Elha Nympha.

In 2017, she joined Tawag ng Tanghalan –  an amateur singing competition aired as a segment of noontime show It's Showtime. She lost to Janine Berdin, 17.

What did she win?

Dimaranan has spoken about how the prize for Idol Philippines will change her life

She won a recording contract from Star Music, a brand new house and lot from Camella, the largest house and lot developer in the Philippines, a trip for four to Taiwan, and 2 million pesos (Dh144,000).

What were her stand-out performances?

During the auditions, she wowed the audience and judges with Sarah Geronimo's song Forever Is Not Enough. She also performed Lady Gaga's Born This Way as part of a group, in which she and fellow member Yarah Estella were the stand outs, according to the judges.

For the penultimate episode, she covered Angeline Quinto's Lipad ng Pangarap, which won her a spot in the final three. She called the performance her "greatest contest piece".

On the show's final episode, each contestant performs twice, with one song being an original composition. Dimaranan's original performance, Pangarap Kong Pangarap Mo, composed by Jonathan Manalo, and her other chosen song, 2016's Maghintay Ka Lamang by Roel Manlangit, drew praise from the judges.

What is 'Idol Philippines'? 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's the Filipino version of monolithic talent show Pop Idol, created by Simon Fuller and first aired in the United Kingdom in 2001, and recreated across the world in the years since.

Idol Philippines is the third adaptation of the Idol franchise in the Philippines, after Philippine Idol in 2006, and Pinoy Idol in 2008.

It's hosted by singer-actor Billy Crawford, and the judging panel is comprised of singer and actress Regine Velasquez, comedian and television presenter Vice Ganda, singer James Reid, and singer/songwriter Moira Dela Torre. A second season of Idol Philippines was confirmed during Sunday's final.


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