Cebuano YouTube sensation defeats ‘Tawag’ defending champ

A Cebuano YouTube sensation returns to the ABS-CBN ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ stage to prove he still has what it takes to perform. Allegedly, this was two years after he last foot the network.

The Cebuano YouTube sensation, Roland “Bunot” Abante was first discovered in 2014 when a video of him singing Michael Bolton’s version of “To Love Somebody” went viral on social media, garnering millions of views and shares.

The 38-year-old’s viral video on YouTube has already been viewed a total of 4,163,970 times as of this writing.

His talent also caught the attention of comedian Vice Ganda, who invited him to guest of “Gandang Gabi Vice,” where he sang a duet with his long-time idol, Gary Valenciano.

Abante also performed on “ASAP” with Journey’s Pinoy vocalist, Arnel Pineda.

Allegedly, the Cebuano YouTube sensation was even invited by American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres to guest in the show, but according to Abante, there had been conflicts with his management.

“Sumali ako sa Tawag ng Tanghalan dahil naniniwala ako na hindi nagtatapos sa pagiging viral ang pangarap ko. Gusto ko pang ipagpatuloy ang pag-unlad ng career ko sa pag-awit,” he said.

Abante was pitted against defending champion Adelene Rabulan. He performed Bolton’s “Said I Love You… But I Lied,” which earned him a final score of 93.8%.

Meanwhile, Rabulan’s performance of Jennifer Hudson’s “I Am Changing” got 90.6%.

Abante will return on Tuesday to defend his title. He needs to win five times to advance to the semifinals.

Watch how the Cebuano YouTube sensation, Roland ‘Bunot”Abante wins in Tawag ng Tanghalan.




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