It was a shining night for Annastacia Beatriz Penny and Lei Andre Navarro, both 7 and representing SM City North EDSA, when they were named SM Little Stars 2015 during the grand finals held recently at the SM Mall of Asia Center Stage.
Annastacia Beatriz Penny charmed the audience in her own rendition of the classic Somewhere Over the Rainbow; while Lei Andre Navarro was all high energy with his acting and dance performance to the tune of Twerk It Like Miley, Eh Kasi Bata, and Whong Dance Revo.
They bested over 17 finalists in the annual nationwide search for cute, adorable and talented kids, and as Grand Prize Winners, they each received amazing prizes. These included P200,000 worth of cash and shopping money, and a five-day and four-night trip to China for two with round trip tickets, hotel accommodations and tour.
They were also entitled to a four-year college scholarship grant from National University; a one year Talent management contract with TV 5, P15,000 worth of Gift Cards from Toy Kingdom and a Ride-All-You-Can passes from SM Storyland for one year
Other shining stars: First Runner-Up Dawn Arione Angela Ilagan of SM City Naga, who danced and declaimed; Second Runner Seth Levi Salada of SM City Davao; who amazed the audience with his drum performance; and Third Runner Up Aian Kurt Garcia of San Fernando Downtown, who acted and danced to remix music.
In the program hosted by Jasmine Curtis, the kids charmed the distinguished board of judges. These included Trumpets co-founder and president Audie Gemora, TV host and actress Gellie de Belen, Director and TV 5 Talent Head Mac Alejandre, Beauty Queen Venus Raj and director and choreographer Joshua Zamora.
What makes an SM Little Star? The Criteria for judging includes Star Quality, 30 percent; Personality, 20 percent; and Talent, 50 percent. Audie Gemora, who has been involved in SM Little Stars for over two decades now – first as a director, and now as judge, says that, “it’s like coming home every year. I always look forward to a new batch of SM Little Star because there will always be a colorful mix of kids with unique personalities and talents. It’s like Christmas when you look forward to finding gifts under the Christmas tree. Children are, after all, gifts from God.”
Other finalists included SM City Iloilo’s Raphaela Aguila and Arnell John Borre, SM City Marilao’s Kyle Ian Baterna, SM City Cagayan De Oro’s Leanne Margaret Cajulao, SM City Bicutan’s Leandro Comia, SM City Lucena’s Liam Thaddea Paglicawan, SM City Manila’s Sofia Novielle Santos, SM City General Santos’ Ma. Teresa Sagario, SM Center Las Pinas’ Aiyana Kailyn Silva, and SM City Muntinlupa’s Jeanne Elisha Ventura, and Jian Arthur Wills.
One of the highlights of the program was the participation of the SM Little Stars winners from China who also showcased their talents during the event. They were SM Zicuan’s Zhao Dingwenxuan and Zhang Jingqi, SM Chengdu’s Wang Yize and Yang Xiaopan, SM Xiamen’s Huang Yuwen and Cai Lin Qian, SM Chongqing’s Liu Jing Yu and Yang Hui Lin, and SM Jinjiang’s Huang Leixuan and Shen Yushu.
The SM Little Stars pageant is one of the many exciting events of the SM Supermalls.