Malaysian 'human calculator' comes second in Asia's Got Talent 2019

human abacus Asia's Got Talent Malaysia Malaysian Yaashwin Sarawanan wins 2nd place at Asia’s Got Talent 2019. (Photo: Bernama)

SINGAPORE: Malaysian ‘human calculator’ Yaashwin Sarawanan finished second in the finals of the Asia’s Got Talent 2019 competition on Thursday (Apr 11).

“It was beyond my expectations to be in the top two,” the 15-year-old told Bernama after the results show. “From 200 acts, it narrowed down to nine, and today, I was left with Chien.”

Taiwanese magician Eric Chien was crowned the winner of the talent show.

As one of the top two, Yaashwin chose a “Back to Skool” theme for his closing performance, in which he requested the three judges – David Foster, Anggun Cipta Sasmi and Jay Park – to be on stage with him.

He improvised on his grand finals act, called Calendar Problem, where he was able to identify the exact day of a particular event by calculating the date, month and year in the calendar.

Foster tested him to name the day he received his first Grammy Award, while Anggun made him backtrack the day her first daughter was born, and for Jay Park, his father’s birthday.  

All of the judges got the right answers from Yaashwin, a high school student who enrolled in an abacus and mental arithmetic class when he was seven years old and emerged as champion in the International Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Competition in 2017.

Eric Chien received the grand prize of US$100,000 for finishing as champion of this year’s contest.

Malaysian female group NAMA finished in the bottom three, together with street dancers Junior Good Vibes from the Philippines and cyr wheel dancer Yang Shih Hao of Taiwan.

All the nine acts sought to win public support through online votes, which ran for a week.

Other acts included acrobatic dancers Power Duo of the Philippines, Taiwanese dance crew Maniac Family, Indonesian singer Siti Saniyah and shadow storyteller Shadow Ace from the Philippines.

This year’s edition of Asia’s Got Talent is the 67th adaptation of the Guinness World Record-breaking show which currently airs in 186 countries.