August 22, 2011 11:16
Popping dancer Ju Min-jeong beat off nine other finalists to win "Korea's Got Talent" on cable channel TvN on Saturday. The 17-year-old high school student impressed viewers -- who voted by sending in SMS texts from their cell phones -- with her quick and jerky moves that are the signature of the style.
The final was aired live from the Grand Peace Palace at Kyung Hee University in Seoul. With this victory, Ju collects W300 million (US$1=W1,086) in prize money and a Renault Samsung QM5.
She said she entered the competition because she wanted to follow her own ambitions despite the pressure most Korean children face from their parents to focus on their academic studies. "I'm so delighted that I won. I thank my parents and my dance teacher," she said.
Choi Sung-bong, who was referred to as "the next global talent show sensation" by CNN after his initial appearance on the show, finished runner-up. He earned worldwide attention thanks to his exceptional singing skills together with unusual background.
Choi was left at an orphanage in Daejeon when he was three and ran away at five to escape the beatings regularly inflicted on him there. After that he sold gum and drinks in nightclubs while studying at night at a free community school before realizing his dream.
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