ANTWERP – An emotional roller-coaster.
This was how Filipino-Belgian Ian Lodens and his friend, Natashca Van Es, described their journey before and after winning the 2018 edition of "Belgium's Got Talent."
The duo bested 11 other acts with their acrobatic dance routine, and won a cash prize of 50,000 euro.
Watch their winning routine here:
Lodens, 19, was emotional after they were announced as winners, and later praised their competitors as excellent performers and deserving of their spot in the finals.
"I am happy to be a three-time world jujitsu champion, but winning 'Belgium's Got Talent' with Natascha is just fantastic," he said. "I never expected this, and it feels so great."
"With the prize, I would visit the Philippines with my mum, use some of it with the family, and the rest, I'll save it for my future," he added.
Van Es, on the other hand, believes her years of training in acrobatics seasoned her for the competition. She added that they connected well with the audience.
"It was a strong line-up in the finals, with 11 other great acts," said Van Es. "So it really came unexpected."
"We gave everything on that stage for the last time, and I think we managed to make the audience emotionally involved, that we just made this tiny chance to win," she added.
Loden's Filipina mother was still shocked at the result, noting how stiff the competition was. However, she did not forget those who supported the duo in their "BGT" journey.
"Salamat po sa lahat ng mga Belgian at mga kababayan kong Pinoy na sumuporta kina Ian at Natascha. Napakalaking tulong po ang nagawa nyo para sila ay manalo," she said.
What's next for the pair? Aside from TV and radio interviews, Lodens and Van Es will also be busy preparing for their school exams in June.