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Anugerah 2009 Episode 9 Review (Semi-Finals)


AnuSemis

(Photo courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

Now that I’ve gotten myself a new handphone, I can finally start on reviewing the semi-final rounds of Anugerah 2009 this past Tuesday 28th July 2009 at the Mediacorp TV Theatre. I guess there’s no point in hoping and dwelling over something you know you don’t have any powers over except for that glimmer of hope that people out there would be kind and responsible enough to return what’s not theirs to the rightful owners. Anyway, this week, the judging panel is joined by popular 80s singer Othman Hamzah as the guest judge for this week’s show.

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The show began with five of the six semi-finalists appearing on stage, with Catty conspicuously missing. As revealed by Catty herself in Wednesday night’s interview on RIA 89.7FM during KC‘s “Klub Kelakar Seram” segment, she suffered a “wardrobe mulfunction”, hence the delay to appear on stage as planned. So take it at face value from the horse’s mouth. At least she made it in time when the moment came for her to perform, which was the most important thing. Everything else was secondary. The “wardrobe mulfunction” could have happened due to the flooding over at the Basement 4 Lift Lobby prior to the show.

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This week, for the first time in the competition’s history, the semi-final rounds required the contestants to sing whilst being accompanied by a live band. It was interesting to see how people like Wawan and Kunjung would perform without having the “power” to “dictate” how the arrangement of the songs were to be done, as was seen from their previous performances in this competition. It was also intriguing to see how they would perform with a live band cos certain singers, especially the newbies, only perform well when they have a minus one accompanying them. Coupled with the cacophony of noise created by the different sets of fans in the auditorium, you know the competition would either push the contestants to their limits or make them succumb to the relentless pressure.

The following are the voting formats for the contestants:

  • SMS to 73388: ANU Contestant Code
  • Telepoll: 1900-112-770_ (Last digit being contestant’s number)

Each vote via SMS or Telepoll costs $0.60 each and those with prepaid cards are not able to cast your votes. Voters who are 18 years and below should seek parental permission. This service is brought to you by MediaCorp Pte Ltd. Tel: 6877 7132.

Voting for contestants appearing in Episode 9 began on Tuesday28 July 2009, 8.30pm till Tuesday, 4 August 2009, 6pm. These are the following codes you should vote for this week, along with my individual reviews of their performances:

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Hydir Idris

SMS to 73388: ANU 1 or by Telepoll: 1900-112-7701

Hydir was surprisingly subdued this week, from my own personal perspective. He sang a song that did not challenge his vocals at all and was too safe for my liking. Yes, he did not make any mistakes singing Taufik and Hady‘s “KepadaNya“, but the casual manner in which he performed the song showed that he might be resting on his laurels a bit. Hydir is capable of doing so much more, even hitting the high notes with nonchalant ease in previous rounds, but this song I felt was a wrong choice as it was too simple. He has to remember that based on the charts from the previous round, he was the lowest standing contestant. He had better hope that the young ladies out there would vote for him in abundance.

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Kunjung Whitaker

SMS to 73388: ANU 2 or by Telepoll: 1900-112-7702

The judges’ favourite contestant sang Kris Dayanti‘s “Cahaya“. Somehow I felt she was holding back something. It wasn’t her usual performance which we have come to love and expect from the competition’s consistently best performer. Her lower registers were very much suspect and for once, we could see that she did not look comfortable on stage. Was it because the key to the music that accompanied her was not constant??? Was it because jitters got to her??? We will never know, but this performance by Kunjung wasn’t the best we’ve seen of her these past few weeks.

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Hydir & Kunjung – Singing “Kau Muzik Di Hatiku” made popular by Jaclyn Victor and Vince, both of them actually reminded me of Anuar Zain & Ellina in their youths. Though there was chemistry and a little more energy from both of them as compared to their earlier individual performances, I felt that it was more of a “sibling” pair performing then a supposed pair of lovebirds. Hydir was pitchy and his voice was nearly “lost” towards the end but I thought Kunjung redeemed herself well and it was much better from her in this particular duet.

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Wawan

SMS to 73388: ANU 3 or by Telepoll: 1900-112-7703

Regulars of this blog would perceive that I sound as though I have an axe to grind whenever I review Wawan‘s performances. Fret not, cos this week I am proud to announce that Wawan actually came alive and blossomed singing Diorama‘s “Sanubariku“. The performance was brilliant, it was intensed at the right moments, the emotions exuded were spot-on and he captured our imaginations so well, that I thought, for the first time, I might be looking at the possible champion. His unique style in itself is his strength and being constantly amongst the top in the weekly charts, I will not be surprised if this boy is to grace the Grand Finals in less than a fortnight. At times he reminded me of Faizal Tahir, but Wawan has the potential to be his own person when the time comes for him to colour our music industry.

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Catty 

SMS to 73388: ANU 4 or by Telepoll: 1900-112-7704

The mark of a professional singer is that they do not let any off-stage happenings affect their performance on stage. For that, Catty deserves every bit of applause for not allowing her apparent “wardrobe mulfunction” get to her. I thought she sang Mila‘s “Persis Mutiara” much better than the original, but there were three instances I detected her making mistakes which is unheard of from her before this, whereby her voice cracked as she was breaking into the chorus of the song, trying to match up to the change in key to the song during the chorus and forgetting the lyrics, but covering it up well towards the end.

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Wawan & Catty – I think this pairing simply rocked. They gave the impression that they were two lovebirds hotly in love with each other. Singing Dafi and Gita Gutawa‘s “Dua Hati Menjadi Satu“, one could see how much they were enjoying themselves and bouncing off each other’s energy. But it has to be said that Wawan was a bit suspect singing the low notes whilst harmonising with Catty, at times resulting in his voice becoming flat. I did not agree at first with Othman Hamzah‘s comments on Wawan going flat what with the audience cheering and drowning his voice, but when I watched their performance again at home, I tend to agree with the veteran singer.

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Chirul 

SMS to 73388: ANU 5 or by Telepoll: 1900-112-7705

A lot has been said about Chirul‘s appearance in the semi-final rounds prior to the show, with most people raising their eyebrows at the results, me included. But I thought this past Tuesday night, he proved once and for all why he deserved to be there with a very matured performance singing ST12‘s “Tak Ada Apa-Apa“. I think this was his best performance to date, dancing when he had to (when previously I did not see the need to in his previous performances), and just enjoying himself by milking away the audience’s energy and turning it into his own. The voice, his voice, is delectably creamy for his age.

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Sarah Aqilah

SMS to 73388: ANU 6 or by Telepoll: 1900-112-7706

Sarah did not get the best of starts when she forgot the lyrics to the first line of one of my current favourite songs “Tak Mungkin Kerna Sayang” by Alyah. But as the performance progressed, so did Sarah and she went on to lend justice to the song. On a night where the ladies were all surprisingly making mistakes here and there, Sarah was the one who got the judges’ vote on being the best female of the night, and may I add, by virtue of making the least mistakes. Sarah would do well to not forget the lyrics since this was not the first time in the competition she succumbed to it.

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Chirul & Sarah  - Before they performed Rossa & Pasha‘s “Terlanjur Cinta“, I was a bit sceptical how this possible “sibling” pairing could upstage the pairing before them. But lo!!! Along with the judges and whoever agrees with me out there, I was blown away by their cool and romantic performance. They might not look into each other’s eyes for long to create some kind of sizzle (and to avoid laughing at themselves as was revealed by Sarah during their radio interview when she said she cannot look at his face for long, lest she would burst out laughing), but their controlled vocal power and harmonising were enough to make most of us swoon and say they were the best two of the night.

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Next Tuesday, the results show will last about half an hour. Two of them will be eliminated and it will be up to the voters now to determine who makes it to the Grand Finals in less than a fortnight.

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