MANILA -- Darren Espanto, dubbed the "total performer," kicked off the final round of "The Voice Kids" with a well-received duet with his idol, Martin Nievera.
The two performed the veteran balladeer's hit song "You Are My Song" to a crowd of thousands during the show's live grand finale at Resorts World Manila on Sunday.
Their rendition of the song, which was arranged by Gerard Salonga, had several audience members backing Espanto to win the title -- a sentiment echoed by his coach Sarah Geronimo.
"Malaking karangalan na naging parte ako ng pagtupad ng mga pangarap mo at talaga naman ngayong gabi, matutupad na talaga ang mga pangarap mo," she said afterwards.
"Para sa aming lahat, karapat dapat kang tawagin na 'The Voice Kids' grand champion," she added.
Topping worldwide trends
Shortly after his performance, the hashtag #TVKDarrenForTheChampion shot to the top worldwide trends of the micro-blogging site Twitter.
Thousands aired their support for the 14-year-old from Calgary, as the phrase drowned out the show's official hashtag #TheVoiceKidsChampion.
Three other kids are vying for the title -- Juan Karlos Labajo of Team Bamboo, Darlene Vibares of Team Lea, and Espanto's fellow teammate Lyca Garainod.