The first-ever grand winner of "I Am Pogay" John Raspado. Photo taken by Michael Bagtas for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA - John Raspado, who overcame being eliminated and entered the grand finals as a wildcard, was named the first-ever grand winner of "I Am Pogay" on "It's Showtime" on Saturday.
Raspado, who hails from Baguio City, bested 22 other grand finalists of the show's segment for gays, with his impressive showmanship and his moving speech, to take home P300,000.
"Maraming maraming salamat po sa lahat ng sumporta sa akin all throughout, nung daily hanggang weekly. Sa lahat po na nagbigay sa akin ng lakas ng loob na sumali sa wildcard, maraming maraming salamat po," an emotional Raspado said.
"Isa na namang wild card winner," added co-host Vhong Navarro, alluding to previous wins from April Mariz "Epey" Herher, Jennifer Katayong, and dance group XB Gensan in their respective competitions. "Suwerte ata ang wildcard."
During the talent portion, Raspado admittedly was depressed when he first got eliminated during one of the weekly finals of the competition.
"Nung hindi po ako nakapasok nung weekly, my heart was crushed. As in sobrang na-depress ako. Pero the moment na tinawagan nila ako, nabuhayan ako. Sobrang excited ako na may pagasa pa ako," he said in a recorded video aired Saturday.
He also responded to his fair share of critics: "They say na wala akong talent pero I'm trying to do my best."
Raspado went on to wow the studio audience with his song and dance performance of Ricky Martin's hit "The Cup Of Life."
"Parang ito talaga ang Pogay, mukhang lalaking lalaki talaga. Pero nung kumembot, naloka ako," said co-host Anne Curtis.
Raspado also impressed in the question and answer portion, with comedian Vice Ganda commending his growth in the competition.
"Magmula nung sumali ka dito, at natagpuan at nasaksihan ka namin, sa mga nakaraan mga question and answer portion mo, parang lahat hindi na impress. Pero ngayon, nasurprise sila sa iyo," he said.
Asked about how he relates to a blank photo, Raspado answered: "Para sa akin, it symbolizes rebirth. Para sa akin, maiuugnay ko sa buhay natin ito bilang isang canvass na tayo ay magkukulay."
The top 5 grand finalists of 'I Am Pogay' posing with their respective awards: (from left) Peter Sycris Brown, Marc Gregory Gajasan, John Raspado, Christian Tian Lacsamana and Rinz Alton Villaruel. Photo by Michael Bagtas for ABS-CBNnews.com
Finishing first runner-up in the first edition of "I Am Pogay" grand finals was Christian Tian Lacsamana, who took home P200,000.
Marc Gregory "Oreo" Gajasan was named 2nd runner-up, winning P100,000, while Peter Sycris Brown and Rinz Alton Villaruel were named runners-up, taking home P50,000 each.
Other special awards handed out were Kumucotour Award, which Brown won; and Brusko Day Award, which was given to Raspado.
Villaruel was also awarded the Beksfriend Award.