After weeks of live performances and nerve-wracking elimination nights, GMA's Protégé: The Battle for the Big Artista Break crowned Kilig Cutie Jeric Gonzales and Super Sweetheart Thea Tolentino as this season's male and female battle champs during the spectacular finale held last October 21 at GMA Network's Studio 7.
Jeric and Thea were the protégés of multimedia icon Jolina Magdangal and seasoned actress and TV director Gina Alajar, respectively. The two protégés, who both hailed from Laguna, received the highest number of votes from the judges and the viewers.
Both Jeric and Thea came home with the incredible grand prize worth P12 million which includes P1 million each from SM Supermalls, a 2-bedroom unit from Suntrust Properties, Inc and a 5-year management contract with GMA Artist Center. They were also awarded with a 4-year scholarship grant from STI College together with the four other protégés Ruru Madrid, Elle Ramirez, Mikoy Morales and Zandra Summer.
Jeric received the Texter's Choice Award with P20,000 cash from GMA New Media, Inc. Mentors Gina and Jolina each received P500,000 cash.
And for their first TV project in the Kapuso Network, Gala Presenter Dingdong Dantes announced that Jeric and Thea will be part of GMA's upcoming youth-oriented series, T.G.I.S.
Making the finals night even grander were the special performances of the Top 20 protégés with Inside Protégé host Jennylyn Mercado. The five celebrity mentors also invaded the dance floor as they moved to the beat of the Protégé Dance Craze, Cupid Shuffle.
During the finale, the Final 6 protégés faced their last test in their ticket to stardom - The Drama Challenge where they acted alongside the GMA's leading superstars via the network's afternoon and primetime soaps: Thea Tolentino with Heart Evangelista (Luna Blanca), Jeric Gonzales with Kris Bernal (Coffee Prince), Ruru Madrid with Barbie Forteza (Paroa: Ang Kuwento ni Mariposa), Mikoy Morales with Andrea Torres (Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga), Zandra Summer with Ryan Eigenmann (Magdalena) and a solo performance by Elle Ramirez (Aso ni San Roque).