MANILA -- Aspiring comedian and crowd favorite Joven Olvido may not have clinched the "Pilipinas Got Talent" (PGT) trophy Sunday night, but the Laguna tricycle driver still feels like a winner, after being assured by judge Vice Ganda of a role in the box-office star's upcoming movie.
Vice Ganda made the announcement after Olvido's performance on "PGT" last Saturday. The offer, which was caught on live television, came as a surprise to Olvido, especially after the judge's comment on his act -- that it was the least funny among all his performances on the show.
At the conclusion of the ABS-CBN talent show the following night, Olvido placed third to eventual champion Kristel de Catalina, a spiral pole dancer who earned a "golden buzzer" press from Vice Ganda earlier in the season.
Speaking with reporters after the live results, Vice Ganda confirmed that Olvido will indeed be part of his movie, set for release this Christmas. This is seen as a massive coup for Olvido, as Vice Ganda's annual comedy flicks since 2011 have all ranked among the highest grossing Filipino films.
"Si Joven, kasama na siya sa pelikula ko ngayong Pasko. Isa na siyang ganap na artista," Vice Ganda said. "Kanina, niyakap ko siya, sabi ko, 'Huwag ka mag-alala, magkikita pa tayo sa shooting, at saka ibibigay ko pa rin ang tricycle mo.'"
Aside from pledging a brand-new tricycle for Olvido, Vice Ganda has also offered to mentor the contestant as a comedian. That offer came amid criticisms of Olvido's inclusion in the semifinals, prompting Vice Ganda to defend being a standup comedian a talent and art in itself.
Despite these criticisms, Olvido managed a strong finish with public votes placing him third overall.
Asked after the live show Sunday if he expected to win, Olvido told ABS-CBN News: "Hindi po. Mahirap po mag-expect, madidismaya ka lang. Wala po akong ibang ini-expect kundi ang kasiyahan ng bawat isa, ng mga manonood."
And that, he's set to achieve, with his debut role in a Vice Ganda movie sure to be seen by millions. Olvido admitted he has yet to fully process what he sees as a big change in his life.
"Hindi ko maipaliwanag ang saya. Gusto ko maiyak. Sobrang saya dahil sa kanya pa nanggaling na isasama niya ako sa pelikula niya. Lahat po ng tao, nangangarap sa ganitong pagkakataon. Isa ako sa pinaka suwerte, dahil dumating sa akin itong pagkakataon na 'to," he said.