Domicile of Da' KRUsader's Mind Crafts…

Anugerah 2009 Episode 7 Review…


Anugerah

(Photo courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

Week 7 of the current Anugerah 2009 season was a short affair, to announce the semi-finalists as well as those who have earned a reprieve by getting a spot to prove themselves once again in the Wildcard Round next week. Honestly at the start of the show, the excitement got to me, to the point my hands were all cold and clammy. Seeing them on a weekly basis, you just cannot make a definite decision on who you personally want to go through or who would progress based on judges’ comments and the votes that they garner through their loyal fanbase.

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The contestants practising on their harmonising before the show started…

Based on logic through the supporters’ votes as well as the judges’ previous comments, I had initially plumped for Wawan, Hydir Idris, Catty and Nora Baharom to get a shoo-in into the semi-finals. Trust me, it was tough to call especially with regards to the ladies, as you cannot discount the likes of Kunjung and Sarah Aqilah who have also been very consistent in their weekly performances. I omitted Kunjung and Sarah, not because I did not like them nor what they had offered to us through their consistent performances, but simply because of the votes factor and based on their previous standings, the former especially so, as I wasn’t sure that the voting masses would want a non-Singaporean to win the competition.

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The ones eliminated since Episode 1 – 4, from left: Shera, Yanie, Asila, Ain, Izam, Afyq and IzeMel was conspicuously absent. Word has it she was uncontactable…

As the results were announced, it was a relief that Kunjung got through to the semi-finals cos if she had fallen by the wayside and gotten a reprieve to the Wildcard, I’m afraid the other two female contestants who would fill in the other two quotas in the round might probably be there as token representations. Why I say this is not because the competition is weak nor the other girls are not good, but because the judges have always praised Kunjung being in a league of her own week in and out. If she were to enter the Wildcard Round, which will solely be judged by the panel of jury, her spot in the semi-finals would arguably be more or less assured, with all due respect to the judges’ intuition and sound judgment and most definitely not undermining them nor questioning their respective integrities. 

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The only surprise of the four assured semi-finalists would be none other than Chirul. I certainly did not see that coming, nor did most of the people seated in Studio 1, the venue of the night’s episode, a stark difference from the bigger TV Theatre that we’re used to weekly. Hydir‘s surprise omission could have been due to his fanbase being a little complacent with the votes, it could also have been due to his previous performance which judge Eddy Ali had proclaimed as “dull”. Spare a thought too for the ever consistent Azhar Raz whose apparent downfall could have been attributed to a weaker fanbase. No disrespect to Chirul, but he needs to work hard to justify his place in the semi-finals, cos this is one glaring example where fan support could upset the applecart.

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Nonetheless there is still the Wildcard Round and based on my initial predictions, the line-up for the round for me would have been Kunjung, Sarah Aqilah, Azhar Raz, Chirul, Ize Suliman and a toss-up between Yanie, Shera and Nani. Why I chose Yanie was because I felt she was eliminated too early when she actually has one of the nicest tones in the competition. Give her a traditional song and she might actually ace it and it is widely known that those who can carry a traditional tune would have no problems singing songs of other genres. A living example would be a famous Dato’ from across the Causeway. No prizes for guessing who.

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Shera though we only saw her in Episode 1, I felt she deserved to be given a chance as I believe based on what I heard of her in that round, she did not do much wrong other than lost out on supporters’ votes. Also we have to remember that Episode 1 was not a good gauge of the contestants’ abilities as they only sang a few lines, which for viewers to judge, would be difficult to assess the singer as a whole. Nani on the other hand I felt could have been given a reprieve based on the fact that if she were to put her mind into it, like the one she performed with Kunjung and Nora last week, she could actually stand toe to toe with the rest. Well these are just my humble opinions and you’re welcome to digress.

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Awaiting their respective fates…

As it is, the Wildcard Round now reads Azhar Raz, Hydir Idris, Ize Suliman, Sarah Aqilah, Nora Baharom and Asila Osmera. You know, it just gets tougher by the week even in this round, as the playing field is more or less equal and only one male and one female contestant will advance to the semi-finals. As I had mentioned earlier, this round will solely be judged by the judges and no sms votes is needed. As opposed to the past month or so, in this round, the theme will return to square one, which is open, meaning they can sing songs by a Malaysian, Indonesian or Singaporean artiste.

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The six Wildcarders (from left): Sarah Aqilah, Asila Osmera, Nora Baharom, Ize Suliman, Hydir Idris and Azhar Raz…

I thought the night would end quickly since the show was afterall only worth half an hour. But how wrong I was!!! It turned out to be the longest I’ve stayed throughout the competition. This was because about half an hour after the show had ended, the ten contestants who are still in the competition, had to attend a getting-to-know and understanding session with various personalities from the media industry namely Ms. Aidli Alin Mosbit, the editor of Manja magazine, Ms. Hanim Md Salleh, the Entertainment Desk Correspondent for Berita Harian / Berita Minggu, Mr. Daud Yusof representing television’s Malay News & Current Affairs desk, Ms. Isadhora Mohamed, Programme Director of Warna 94.2FM and Mr Noor Azlan Salim, from Mediacorp‘s Corporate Communications who chaired the session.

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I think this session with the media was fruitful for all the contestants. In fact if this was reached out to the others who had been eliminated as well, it would also be beneficial to them to understand how the media works and how they can prepare themselves when facing the media or the public in future. This session was also for the various representatives to observe the contestants and give valuable pointers on what to expect when facing media from different platforms. I think the words “being true to themselves“, “be honest“, “be media-savvy“, “be learned and well prepared” could not have been drummed further into their heads cos these are factors that they should abide by once they are in the public eye.

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Ms. Isadhora Mohamed could not have said it better when she pointed out the fact that when they enter a Malay singing competition, they are automatically expected to increase their knowledge and usage of the language. Another thing I would like to add on is how they could refine certain words so that they do not come across as crude, even though the meaning of the words are similar. An example was given by one of the male contestants (I will not reveal his identity), who during his introductory speech had described his love for animals. The word that he used was “binatang“. Alternatively he could have made it sound a little nicer and more polite by saying “haiwan“. Even if he had wanted to use the word “binatang“, he could have added the word “peliharaan” after that to indicate docile animals we can keep as pets.

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Kunjung introducing herself to the panel…

Yes, they need to increase their vocabulary and be more aware of the words they use to describe their thoughts so as not to come across as crude, knowing or unknowingly. But the guy could be forgiven cos he is afterall a media novice. Likewise the other contestants who peppered the panel of media representatives with innocent questions some of us might regard as trivial or common sense that needed no questioning nor query in the first place. I’m sure through time and experience, under the tutelage and guidance of their manager and the people who work closely with them, the contestants would be more confident and able to hone their skills in conversational speech during interviews or press conferences.

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Azhar doing his own introductions…

Sitting through the session was like a refresher course for me and I was instantly reminded of the entry I did on “Be True To Yourselves” at times, cos some of the points I brought up in that entry were repeated to the contestants. Clear examples of existing local artistes doing stupid things knowing or unknowingly that could jeopardise their career, reputation and personal characters, were highlighted in the hope that these young upstarts would not repeat the same mistakes. 

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Catty doing the honours whilst Nora smiled in anticipation…

The main point that they should always remember is that they are a representation of their family, the community, their record companies, the products they endorse, the artiste management they are under and the list goes on. I think the phrase “With great power comes great responsibility” from the Spiderman movie could not have been more apt. I really applaud such a move to have this session for them to learn how to look after themselves and how to sell themselves via the media.

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To the other contestants who have been eliminated and did not receive any opportunity to redeem yourselves, please do not be disheartened and to use the experience to better yourselves for future endeavours. I know some of you still pine for success in this line. Use the knowledge that you’ve gained to improve on your weaknesses and you will come back stronger than ever. Remember, this competition is not the be all and end all and there are other avenues to pursue your dreams. Work on it and the industry will be more colourful with your presence in time to come. For those who do not wish to pursue your singing aspirations further, enjoy the memories and friendships that you earned throughout the competition. I wish each and every one of you success in your future undertakings.

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5 responses

  1. Mamahani

    Hi Bro,

    What can i say…the results last nite full of surprises!Congratz to Catty,Kunjung,Chirul and Wawan for sailing through to semi-finals!This is just the beginning,no relax relax ah must work tripple harder!hehehe…

    To wildcards contestant grap the fullest on this 2nd chance given..Be yourself and do your best and all out!

    All of them have more more n more to learn,in handling the situation with media.This competition will make each and everyone of them grow into a mature n responsible individual.

    To thoes contestant who are eliminated,this is not the end of the world.There are plenty of platform n room for improvement out there!

    Bro,thanx for the comments n photos,im a frequent visitor of ur blog!U TC yah!

    Regards,
    Mamahani

    Wednesday, 15 July 2009 at 13:43

  2. Nurharyati

    Hi PM.. I wonder y the votes ranking wasn’t shown… In the past few weeks it will be shown on screen.
    Y not this week?? Something is not right. I do feel that the wildcard round shld b for hafizah or nani… not asilah

    Wednesday, 15 July 2009 at 16:47

    • The ones that were shown on screen for the past few weeks were not the votes ranking but rankings based on both supporters’ votes as well as judges’ points added together. Well if the results last night were an indicator, then Wawan, Chirul, Catty and Kunjung were the Top 4 while the rest had to rely on the judges to save their skins…

      Wednesday, 15 July 2009 at 17:13

  3. Chris Whitaker

    The last show was a bit tough to watch. The cut rate was so high! I know some of the contestants have become friends and keep in touch off the show. Kunjung has met with Anugerettes in her HDB for practice, food, and to re-watch some of the shows (I record them). While it is a competition, no one likes to see their friends get cut – regardless of how good/bad they are on the stage. It is the human side of the competition.

    ALL the contestants can have the necessary star power, it is just a question of who has developed it more as of today. In a few years, any of those guys/ladies could be on concert tour promoting their latest album!

    A few weeks ago, I was worried cause Kunjung is a not a Singapore citizen. I had seen a few scattered web comments about needed a pure Singaporean this year. I honestly wasn’t sure she would get past the first few rounds. But today, have you seen her facebook fan page (www.kunjunglive.com)? It is really active! She has almost 1500 fans already, and its still growing daily. I think the “foreigner” thing has become less important. Although they never show the final scores, her vote count was high enough to push her into the top 4.

    Congradulations to everyone who both made it through this far in the finals & wild-card. For those who didn’t make it, remember that winning Anugerah is not as important as what you do AFTER Anugerah. Never give up!

    thanks for the running commentary & observations on the show…

    -Chris
    [full disclosure - I'm Kunjung's husband, so maybe a bit biased!]

    Thursday, 16 July 2009 at 00:03

    • Hello Chris,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment in my blog. Appreciate the fact that you updated me with what is happening over at Kunjung’s FB fan page. The biasness, if any, is to be expected coming from Kunjung’s biggest fan but I certainly can’t see anything wrong with what you have just put across cos you are there physically to witness what goes on behind the scenes. Yes I agree the previous day’s show was tough to watch, even for me as an observer. My hands were cold anticipating what was in store and it was a bit too brutal when you see others who have been consistently good getting knocked out. The Wildcard round will be just as harsh.

      Personally for me, the nationality issue is not a problem cos music should not be hampered by such trivial issues. Music should be shared amongst the masses and break whatever barrier there is. I believe the silent majority do not care about this as I know we are at a stage whereby we can see a genuine talent in front of us. But it’s the noisy minority that’s creating such a din that one can’t help feeling a little uneasy looking at their apparent backwardness.

      If this is music to your ears, quite a number of the contestants I had spoken to, right down to the production team had praised Kunjung for being the most humble and down-to-earth contestant in the competition. And I’m not surprised when everyone is happy for her for reaching this far. Though I have not spoken to her at length after the weekly shows, based on my observations, she is an act that one could follow on and off the stage, obviously no airs about her at all. I would not begrudge her of victory if it happens and I believe, most viewers out there would also share my view, judging by her consistent weekly performances.

      Her challenge now is to win more votes from the watching masses and most definitely winning over the neutral fans. My regards to her Chris. See you in the semi-finals… :)

      Thursday, 16 July 2009 at 01:15

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