On Saturday, November 16th, 2013, the highly anticipated Kollaboration Star 2013 was held at the historic Pasadena Civic Auditorium, welcoming 2,700 supporters from across the nation. While temperatures were low, the rain held back for this second annual event as the Asian Pacific Islander communities came together to support the rising talent from across the nation and see who would become the next Kollaboration Star.
The Kollaboration Star Pre-Show started the festivities as attendees explored the myriad of activities taking place.
Sponsors Verizon Wireless, Nielsen, and McCafé were present with photo booths, giveaways, and even hot beverage samples to warm up attendees. Los Angeles’ hottest food trucks- Seoul Sausage, Bun Truck and Bool BBQ – were also in attendance, providing their most sought-after menu items for the hungry crowd. Professional balloon artists Super Inflated, and caricature artist Minion Me were incredibly popular throughout the night. To top it all off, attendees were also able to interact with their favorite Asian American celebrities as over 60 Red Carpet guests arrived in support of the Kollaboration movement. As the bells rang for show time, guests excitedly walked into the theater to see who had been selected as the best, up-and-coming API performers in the nation.
Kollaboration Star’s host, comedian and Youtube star David So kicked off the night with an accomplished panel of judges residing over the competition: Full Picture VP Jane Cha, YouTube Global Lead Bing Chen, Actress Arden Cho, A3 Founder Philip Fung, CBS VP Eric Kim, Script Writer Sang Kyu Kim, and Angry Asian Man Phil Yu. Kollaboration Seattle’s representatives, Troy & Ariel, were the first finalists to take the stage, presenting a moving spoken word piece with piano accompaniment. Next up was Mikey “Silver-Yo” Silverio from Kollaboration Houston, who showcased his beatboxing skills. Vocalist Dave Yoon, hailing
from Washington DC, stunned the crowd with his expressive voice and story of his time in Korea as a CUBE Entertainment trainee. The four-member group, &Blue, performed next with their soulful vocal ranges and an original acoustic song.
Following their set was one of the highlights of the night – a special guest performance by choreographer and dancer Mike Song and Canadian beatboxer Terry ‘KRNFX’ Im. Los Angeles’ representative, the Rhee Brothers, got the audience’s feet tapping next with their retro sound and an original rock number. Kollaboration Toronto’s Plaitwrights accompanied by their eccentric band, Charleston Relay, rounded off the finalists’ performances with an upbeat indie piece.
Just before intermission, comedian and Kollaboration founder, Paul ‘PK’ Kim, took the stage to not only make the crowd laugh but also reflect on the API experience with his comedy set and spoken word performance. Following the intermission, the audience returned to their seats to enjoy the headlining performance by guests Korean rap icons Drunken Tiger, T Yoon Mirae, and Bizzy, who played an amazing hour and a half long set for the roaring and excited crowd before the winners were announced.
Each performance spoke volumes of the passion and talent located deep within the heart of the Asian American community, giving voice and agency to those not often heard. While all the finalists proved their merit, it was time for the culminating, most-anticipated event: the announcement of Verizon’s Audience Choice Award and the Grand Prize winner of $20,000. With the most votes texted in from the audience, Washington D.C.’s representative, Dave Yoon was awarded with $1000 as the Verizon Audience Choice Award Winner. Finally, based on the judges’ scores of skill, stage presence, and originality, San Francisco’s &Blue was declared the Grand Prize winner and claimed the title of being the new Kollaboration Star.
Kollaboration Star was truly a night for the API communities to unite under one roof, especially as 2013 was year of an incredible amount of Asian American achievements. Kollaboration looks forward to 2014 as another year to bring more visibility to Asian American talent through innovative and creative platforms and continue to further its mission of “Empowerment through Entertainment.”
To learn more about Kollaboration Star 2013, please visit www.kollaboration.org or connect on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KollaborationStar.