Just one look at The Sacred Riana and any normal person would know to be afraid to get in her way. The Indonesian illusionist, with few words but enormous stage presence, proved to be an unstoppable force indeed as she vanquished all of her competitors on this season of regional TV talent competition Asia’s Got Talent, emerging as the grand prize winner at the end of last night’s finale episode.
After frightening the bejeezus out of the judges during her first audition for the show through her act’s clever blend of horror movie tropes (it’s like Sadako from The Ring and Annabelle from The Conjuring came together to possess an Indonesian school girl so they could make her perform magic on cable TV) Riana managed to keep up the horrific hype in the semi-finals with a performance featuring her “imaginary” friend.
And she ended her string of spooky stunts with a “hell-raising” performance for the finale.
Some people online complained that Riana’s magic wasn’t the most technically sophisticated and that she wasn’t as talented as DM-X Comvalenoz, the Filipino dance group that came in 2nd…
…. but we’d like to see any of those haters say something critical to Riana’s grim unsmiling face.
The fact is, Riana earned the most votes by being the most entertaining and unique performer on the show, which can be seen yet again at the very end of the finale episode, when the hosts announce that she is the competition’s victor and winner of the US$100,000 grand prize and she doesn’t break character to give even the tiniest hint of a smile (we suspect some people voted for her just to see what she would do if she won – we doubt they were disappointed).
So just who is the Sacred Riana? Well as shrouded in mystery as she may seem, we can confirm that she did not appear out of thin air on the set of Asia’s Got Talent. Her real name is Marie Antoinette Riana Graharani and she’s been performing in Indonesia, at magic shows and in numerous TV performances, for a few years now. Here are a few more of her performances we dug up online.
If you’re still convinced she’s actually a malevolent spirit in human form, you can see her out-of-character acting like a regular person in this interview.
Congratulations to Riana on her big win! You’ve made Indonesia proud and terrified all of Asia in the process – great job!