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Last Thursday (25 November), AXN Ultimate Challenge Indonesia premiered on the AXN Asia channel at 7.30pm (WIT). In this adventure reality show series, viewers are entertained by a rivalry between two of Indonesia’s top celebrity teams, led by Afgansyah Reza, aka Afgan, and Isyana Sarasvati.
Afgan partnered his best friend Reza Chandika, who is a leading comedian in Indonesia. Isyana Sarasvati teamed up with her older sister Rara Sekar.
‘Team Afgan’ and ‘Team Isyana’ are competing to win the adventurous race by completing various challenges while taking global audiences on an Indonesian journey, enjoying the beautiful landscapes of its stunning islands. The adventure starts from a fishing town, Labuan Bajo, in East Nusa Tenggara province, moves to Mandalika – a coastal resort in Central Lombok Regency – and ends in Bali: three tourist favourites in the archipelago.
AXN Ultimate Challenge Indonesia is an original production of KC Global Media, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism & Creative Economy (MoTCE) of the Republic of Indonesia.
Before watching this 6-episode series hosted by Richard Kyle, let’s get to know intimately the celebrities participating in the show, which aired on AXN Asia’s YouTube channel that started on Saturday (27 November).
Most Indonesians know Afgansyah Reza, aka Afgan. The singer instantly skyrocketed after releasing his first album ‘Confession No.1’ with its hit single ‘Terima Kasih Cinta’/’Thank You, Love’ in 2008. His vocals and sophisticated style have captivated music fans of many genres, from pop and jazz to R&B, all across Indonesia. He has won numerous awards in the Indonesian music industry, including the Best Solo Male Singer at the 2009 Indonesian Music Awards.
After 13 years of domestic career accomplishments, Afgan decided to go international. Afgan collaborated with the American music label Empire, releasing the single ‘Say I’m Sorry’ on 5 February 2021. He then released three more songs with several international singers: ‘Touch Me’ with Robin Thicke, ‘MIA’ with Jackson Wang and ‘Lost at Sea (Illa Illa 2)’ with B.I. and Bipolar Sunshine.
Throughout his career, Afgan has released 9 studio albums, including the recently launched Wallflower on 9 April 2021.
Born in Jakarta on 27 May 1989, Afgan is not only talented in singing but has also starred in three feature films and two web series. In addition, Afgan has active roles as an ambassador and spokesperson for various leading products in Indonesia.
The 30-year-old Reza Chandika started his career as a radio announcer in 2013. It was when he became a radio announcer that he met Afgan, and they have been friends to this day.
Once established in the radio broadcasting world, the Bogor native in West Java paved his way into entertainment, working as an actor and stand-up comedian. Reza, who claims that he is a competitive person, currently has various other jobs, such as a podcaster and content creator.
Solo singer Isyana was born in Bandung on 2 May 1993, and showed her talent in music from an early age. At 16, Isyana received a scholarship from the Singapore government to study Music Performance at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, then pursued her education at The Royal College of Music in London, England. She has mastered a range of musical instruments, including the piano, flute, violin and saxophone.
Sony Entertainment Indonesia released Isyana’s debut album ‘Explore!’ in 2015. It received a strong response from music lovers in Indonesia, and she has since risen in fame. Isyana received the ‘Best Asian Artist Indonesia 2016’ and ‘Best Composer of the Year 2017’ awards from Mnet Asian Music Awards, and she was listed in the Forbes ‘30 Under 30 Asia 2020’.
To date, Isyana has released three studio albums, 28 singles and – in collaboration with Afgan and Rendy Pandugo – she released the mini-album ‘AIR’.
Rara Sekar Larasati is a musician and researcher – and Isyana Sarasvati’s older sister.
Rara made her name as the lead vocalist for Banda Neira (2012–2016) and was one of the singers in the Daramuda Project, a collective music collaboration of three female musicians. The 31-year-old singer has now rebranded herself to perform solo with a new stage name: Hara.
Apart from being a singer, Rara holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. As a researcher in anthropology, Rara focuses on the interrelationships of education, development, youth and cultural issues.
Rara also keeps busy cultivating vegetables at home. She broadcasts the Benang Merah podcast, which reviews social issues and raises awareness about alternative knowledge, speaking with various practitioners together with her husband Ben Laksana.
Of Indonesian descent but born in Melbourne, Australia, on 15 December 1987, Richard started his career as a model before taking the plunge into advertising and acting.
His name gained popularity in Indonesia after he was nominated for Best New Actor at the 2016 Maya Awards, an annual Indonesian film award ceremony. Richard was nominated for his role as Erick in the musical film ‘Ini Kisah Tiga Dara’/‘This is The Story of Tiga Dara’. Thus far, he has starred in six films on the big screen. Richard became increasingly popular after he hosted ‘My Trip, My Adventure’, a travel and adventure television show broadcast by TransTV.
Apart from Australia and Indonesia, Richard is famous as an advertising star in Thailand, the country where his parents reside.
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