Anugerah Skrin, the reality television competition in search of the new faces to grace Mediacorp Suria channel in acting and hosting, has begun in earnest last Tuesday (26 January 2016). It seemed like yesterday that we had just witnessed the coronation of Erwin Shah Dawson and Syirah Jusni and here we are once again. Now into its third edition, this season’s competition promises to be better and more competitive. Judging by the first episode which I was fortunate to catch live from the Mediacorp TV Theatre, there is potential that it might upstage the 2010 cohort. This year, the show is hosted by the first Anugerah Skrin champion, Huda Ali, along with her 2006 alumnus, Shah Iskandar. Khairudin Samsudin once again returns as one of the resident judges and joining him as a weekly regular will be three-time Pesta Perdana Best Actress winner, Sharon Ismail.
After a gruelling two-month search, sifting through hundreds of applicants and a few rounds of auditions, the Top 20 (which has since dwindled down to 18 from the first episode) consisting of ten male and female contestants will battle it out for ten weeks before a new set of winners will be crowned. The contestants have been split into two groups, five male and five female contestants in each group. From the first right up till the sixth episode, each group will alternate every week, with every week seeing one female and one male contestant being eliminated. The seventh episode, which will signal the semi-final round, will see both groups combining for the first time.
Hosts of Anugerah Skrin – Huda Ali and Shah Iskandar…
To kick off the first episode, it was a special 90-minute show with the first half hour dedicated to showing the goings-on of the audition rounds held at SCAPE @ Orchard as well as at Caldecott Broadcast Centre. They also featured snippets of how some of the contestants were selected via special express passes at selected places in Singapore along with several Skrin alumni members like Nurul Akhmar, Syirah Jusni, Junaidi Sali and Imam Shah tasked to look out for potential candidates. The subsequent hour had Group A duking it out for a place in the next round and they consisted of Aidi Isham, Zaidi Zailee, Danish Ashraf, Kamarul Arifin, Yamin Yusof, Nabihah Zainodin, Nurul Nadia, Syafiqah Shahlan, Amalina Roslee and Shida Lestaluhu.
Jury panel for Week One – Sharon Ismail, Khairudin Samsudin and Mastura Ahmad…
Mastura Ahmad, a name that does not need any further introduction, joined the judging panel as the first guest judge of the competition and this year, the Group A contestants will be mentored in the basic technical aspects of acting and hosting by Muhammad Najib Soiman, a very well-respected figure in the local theatre circle, and Rilla Melati, whose wealth of experience in the local entertainment industry will be very useful indeed in mentoring the contestants. Rilla, along with Huda Ali, are the mainstays of this competition since it began in 2006. The debut competition saw Rilla as host, the second one in 2010 as a resident judge and now her status has elevated her as a mentor. Huda as we know by now, was a contestant and eventual winner of the first edition, and hosted the second edition along with Suzairhe Sumari, with Shahril Wahid, the other winner in 2006, taking the role of roving host.
Group A mentors – Muhammad Najib Soiman and Rilla Melati…
Unlike the 2010 edition where I assessed every single individual performance right from the off, I will be changing tack a little this time around. It is only the first week of competition and I felt that I needed to warm up and view the contestants before assessing their respective performances henceforth. Time is also sadly not on my side this time as I am forever busy with my own personal commitments so perhaps for this and the next entry, I might keep things short or just summarise things as I see it. Anyway, I do not want to pressure the contestants unnecessarily like the last edition, even though I was probably the only local Malay entertainment blogger around.
Group B contestants observing keenly the performances of their Group A counterparts…
As years pass and as I mature along with my thoughts, I want to take up the role of a big brother dispensing advice rather than criticising every single mistake or flaw that I see. I remember starting out as a very blunt reviewer, I did not mince my words and in turn I rubbed others the wrong way. I found out certain contestants felt afraid and pressured by some of my reviews even though I felt it was needed because the local media itself is always too kind towards its own talents, unlike those you see across our shores. I started to change my style during the Ratu competition back in late 2012, amidst loads of negative feedback from the masses on social media towards the contestants.
Zaidi Zailee and Amalina Roslee…
Of course I will not sugar coat my words, but a certain amount of compassion and benefit of doubt will be part of my weekly assessments. There are enough unqualified critics already out there on various social media platforms craving for attention and possible infamy, and though I have no formal background in acting and hosting, my 12-year experience in blogging about our local Malay entertainment scene I believe, puts me in good stead. What matters right now for all the contestants of Anugerah Skrin are the comments made by the judges and whatever tips they can gain from their respective mentors as well as milk the experiences of the hosts whom they will meet on a weekly basis. Never be too shy to ask around and do their respective homework.
Nabihah Zainodin and Aidi Isham…
For the record, the first episode saw the elimination of Aidi Isham and Amalina Roslee. As I was watching the show live and looking at their performances, I couldn’t help but feel that this current competition will be very competitive, with only minor details separating the ones advancing to the next round and those being eliminated. I for one feel that eliminating them in their very first episode is a bit harsh as it meant we only saw their talents within the space of just five minutes (two minutes of hosting and three minutes of acting). But this is the name of the game. I can only hope there will be a Wildcard Round where those eliminated but showed certain qualities to deserve a second chance, be invited again to show their mettle proper. There are ten weeks afterall and surprises might happen along the way. Reality competitions are never rigid in format anyway.
Shida Lestaluhu and Kamarul Arifin…
As for those who impressed me to a certain degree that night, I noted the potential of Shida Lestaluhu and Kamarul Arifin, not on television just yet, but more to radio. I totally enjoyed their hosting segment and as I closed my eyes and listened to them, I felt radio could have a new batch of presenters there waiting to be groomed. They have the crisp and pleasant tones one would associate with the voices of radio presenters out there. Another one that just went out and enjoyed themselves were Danish Ashraf and Syafiqah Shahlan. Based on the judges’ comments, I believe these two impressed them the most that night, with one being told that they did not need the competition to assert themselves into the local entertainment scene and the other having a lot of potential waiting to be released. Their energy and chemistry were the best that night for both hosting and acting, and it will be interesting to see how they fare when they switch pairings in Week Three.
Danish Ashraf and Syafiqah Shahlan…
I believe when the judges said one did not need the competition to assert themselves into the local entertainment scene, it was directed towards the direction of Danish Ashraf. From the start when they interviewed him during the aftermath of announcing the Top 20 who made it to the main television rounds, one could see that he is someone with a lot of self-confidence. It also helps that he has an added advantage after being involved in another recent reality television series in search of the new generation of comedians in Singapore, Kolej Komedi. Whatever experiences he gained during his stint then is being put to good use in this competition. He needs to be mindful not to come across as cocky though as some people might misinterpret his body language as such.
Yamin Yusof and Nurul Nadia…
My only hope is that Danish will challenge himself in more serious roles than the ones he is comfortable with and those that suit his bubbly personality. Because right now I see another Junaidi Sali in him, someone who is equally at ease playing comedic as well as antagonistic roles. Oh and he needs to stop talking about his lack of height cos he was not only talking about it during his interview but also during the short introduction leading up to his acting segment. A bit of it is nice for starters. Repeating it again and again makes him sound like a broken record and might turn others off because this is not meant to get him sympathetic votes. Where he lacks in physical stature, he can more than make it up with his big bag of potential. He just needs to remain consistently good and more.
Aidi Isham and Amalina Roslee could still afford to smile upon knowing their elimination…
As for the eliminated contestants, like all reality competitions, this is never the end of the road. We’ve seen many reality contestants in this region as well as around the world, get eliminated early but gone on to create a name for themselves. It’s all about passion and hard work. No shortcuts and no two ways about it. I understand Aidi Isham has already appeared as a bit-part actor in several local productions and appeared in both Channel 5 and Suria. He can definitely build on from there, improve and perhaps get meatier roles in future. As for Amalina Roslee, she still has a lot of rough edges which need polishing, especially when delivering her lines and emotions. She might want to consider enrolling herself in acting classes to improve if she still has dreams of being in the scene.
The ones who live to fight another day…
I would like to speak more on the other contestants I have not mentioned, but I guess I will leave it as it is and wait till the third episode to see more of them. Till then, here’s wishing Group B consisting of Yaya Hamid, Yasmin Arissa, Wirda Elliesa, Ain Zainal, Suharti Amy, Iskandar Shah, Syaiful Ariffin, Muhd Mursyid, Farid Azhar and Fadli Kamsani all the best for tonight’s upcoming episode. They were keen observers during the first episode sitting at the front row and would have picked up several useful tips. Their task will be to up the ante and quality of the performances already seen so far in this new season’s competition. Not that they need any further reminders from me… :)
Snapshots of Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode One
(Official promotional poster courtesy of LalooLalang By Huda Ali Facebook page)
LalooLalang Bazaar is back again this coming weekend!!! For the uninitiated, LalooLalang.com is the brainchild of local celebrity actress / host Huda Ali and ably assisted by her team, of which hubby, actor Den Sabari, is also a part of it. Apart from being an online ‘one stop shopping hub’, their main focus and objective have always been to gather online entrepreneurs, blogshops and small medium enterprises an opportunity and platform to work together. With the success of the very first LalooLalang Bazaar event held during Ramadhan back in July 2015 at The Ballroom @ East Coast by AB Shaik, the organisers have since come up with a New Year‘s edition which will be held this weekend at Aliwal Performing Arts Centre from 8-10 January 2016. Full details are on the promotional poster featured above.
Member of Parliament, Mr. Zaqy Mohamad, launched the opening of the first Laloolalang bazaar on 4 July 2015…
I was fortunate to have been invited to the opening launch of the very first LalooLalang Bazaar on 4th July 2015. I was also impressed by the huge turnout that day as well as the following day when I came again with my family to do our own spot of Hari Raya shopping. There was a variety of stuff being sold not only catering to the fairer gender but the men as well. A lot of the things being sold were also cheap and affordable and best of all, the vendors and stall proprietors, who were made up of mostly personalities from our local Malay entertainment scene, were patient and always armed with smiles, making the customers feel at home and at the same time apologetic when we were not able to purchase anything from them.
This New Year‘s edition promises something a little different with an Indie / Hipster-ish concept. And of course most of the vendors from the first event like ATP by Ariati, Rosita by Rosita Hussin, By NurFudge will be back. They will be joined this time by the likes of Studio Cafe, ChulopSG by The Syarifs, Kidz Runway and many more adding on to the list of personalities working in tandem with the bazaar event. I see this bazaar event as a means for vendors to complement one another with what they have to offer. Also, it is nice to see some of the local personalities coming together under one roof to make it successful and supporting one another. I wish for nothing but success for everyone involved, and may their respective business ventures flourish. For more information on the upcoming LalooLalang Bazaar Version 2.0 – New Year Edition event, do head on to their official Facebook page. For now, enjoy the photographs I took from the first event back in July 2015…
It has definitely been a long while since I last posted something in this domain of mine. I know I had promised before this that my next entry would be a review of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2015. I have been quite tied up with my own commitments and still have to go through 3000-odd photographs from the 5000-odd that I had snapped that eventful night. I hope to post it up soon when I start to clear my annual leave. For now, I’ll share the event I attended about three weeks ago. At least this domain will not be dormant for too long.
Kaw Kaw SG was the official event venue of the birthday bash…
RIA 89.7FM celebrated its twenty-five years of existence this past 1st December 2015 with a birthday bash held at Kaw Kaw SG, a chic restaurant situated at Aliwal Arts Centre. What was special about the birthday bash was, twenty-five lucky listeners got a chance to join in the fun through a week-long quiz during the week leading up to the event. I was supposed to attend their mini bash when they celebrated their 24th year anniversary last year held at Penang Street Buffet at Causeway Point but family commitments meant I had to give it a miss, but not this time.
A shot of the cafe’s interior before the birthday bash…
I was fortunate to have been invited to cover the event and soaked in the festivities, not to mention, walked down memory lane reminiscing all the good memories of all the roadshows I attended, competitions I had participated and won, and also involved in some of the productions when I was an intern with both local Malay radio stations. Long-time listeners would remember me as part of the trio who impersonated KRU and won the Impersonation Category when the station organised the talent competition kRIAtif 897 back in 1997. That was the start of my love affair with the local Malay entertainment scene.
The birthday bash was hosted by DJ KC and Dzar Ismail…
Anyway back to the birthday bash. Not only were twenty-five lucky listeners able to join in, some of our local acts in the Malay music scene, were also invited to grace the event. And a birthday bash of this magnitude for the radio station would not be complete without the very pioneers who had paved the way and charted the road to where they stand today as a progressive and trendy station, that supports local acts and strives to give off optimal entertainment to the loyal listeners tuning in.
The ones who have made RIA 89.7FM what it is today (from left): Hassan Salleh, Abdul Razak Rahim (RZ), Suriani Kassim (SK), Isadhora Mohamed, Raja Razie, Mohd Tahar Ghalib (TG), Morniyati Tukimin and Mariam Mas’od…
It was nice to see the likes of Morniyati Tukimin, who was the first voice heard when RIA 89.7FM went live at 5pm on 1st December 1990, Suriani Kassim (SK), Abdul Razak Rahim (RZ), Mohd Tahar Ghalib (TG), Mariam Mas’od, Hassan Salleh and Isadhora Mohamed be a part of the occasion. Though I felt it would have been grander still had the likes of Hafeez Glamour, A B Shaik, Azmi Sempoi, Azmi Oh Yeah, Zarina Safuan, Chairul Fahmy, Zan Sofiyan and a host of other part-timers attended as well, but I guess all of them had their respective commitments to attend to.
Art Fazil with an impromptu performance of “Relek Brader” with the two hosts…
We had special performances by the two current hotties in the local Malay entertainment scene, Sufie Rashid and Ryan Sufiyan, Farhan Shah who came all the way back from Perth, an impromptu performance by Art Fazil, Didicazli who introduced his new single “Izinkan Cinta“, as well as his protege, Hazirah Musfirah, a 14 year-old rising talent, and last but not least, former member of SleeQ, Syarif, who came with his expecting missus, Malaque Mahdaly. Initially, Dato’ Fazley Yaakob was slated and promoted to perform, but he was unable to make it due to last minute commitments. Nonetheless, those who had performed, more than made up for the non-appearance and everyone still felt contented and left the event feeling enjoyed.
The attendees and guests of the birthday bash cramming together for a group photograph…
Another special aspect of the birthday bash was, it was broadcasted live on air between 3-5pm, so those who were unable to make it or joined in the fun, were fortunate enough to tune in and imagine the goings-on at Kaw Kaw SG. To complete a celebratory occasion, RIA 89.7FM was also awarded the longest tuned station in Singapore in a recent survey by AC Neilsen. For the record, Kaw Kaw SG was the official event venue sponsor of the birthday bash. Other sponsors for the bash were One Drop Perfumes, Karva SG, Perfect Frames, Nongsa Resorts, Grey By Ortenhill, Heiraz Bakery & Academy, Lovera Singapore, Hello Adiva, Suka Sucre Bistro, Inglot Singapore, Alive Museum SG and “Sambal Belimbing” by Roslan Shah…
I return once again with another APM2015 entry, my second instalment of this year’s edition. This time, I’ll be sharing miscellaneous shots I took during the “Red Carpet” event, the “Walk of the Stars” segment as well as a few shots I took post-event. Unfortunately there was no post-event reception this year and the “Walk of the Stars” segment had to be cut short due to time constraints before the event proper began, so there were not many photographs that I took and certainly less of a variety as compared to previous years.
Also since I am basically a one-man team, I had to leave the “Red Carpet” event at the hall’s entrance to take shots of the events transpiring on stage. In years past, I would have broken my entries into several postings, but this year, I’ll just post my miscellaneous snapshots under one entry, with my review coming much later, as I still have five thousand-odd photographs I need to sieve through and pick the best ones to be featured. Hope this filler entry before my review would help to satiate your thirst to view the photographs of the event. I will not put a timeframe to the publication of my review entry but I hope I will not take another month to post it up… :P
(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Malay Broadcast Division)
Anugerah Planet Muzik 2015 was, for the third year running, held at Suntec City Convention Centre this past Friday 9 October 2015. The annual music awards show that celebrates the best in the local Malay and regional Nusantara music industry saw 19 awards up for grabs. As usual, I will kickoff my series of APM entries in bits and pieces, beginning with this entry which honours the winners of this year’s edition, the fourteenth since its inception in 2001. So if you would want to view photographs of the event and some of the snapshots I took which might not have been covered by the other media sources, mine will complement theirs. Without further ado, my heartiest congratulations to all the winners of APM2015…
Ikon Media Sosial / (Social Media Icon)
Artis Singapura Paling Popular / (Most Popular Singapore Artiste)
Lagu Singapura Paling Popular / (Most Popular Singapore Song) – #Awakkatmane
Lagu Paling Popular APM / (APM Most Popular Song) – #Awakkatmane
Assalammualaikum – Faizal Tahir
Lagu Terbaik (Malaysia) / (Best Malaysian Song)
Lagu Terbaik APM / (Best APM Song)
(Composers & Lyricists: Omar K, Ezra Kong, Audi Mok, Mike Chan & Faizal Tahir)
(Photo courtesy of budiey.com)
Band Terbaik / (Best Band)
Lagu Terbaik (Singapura) / (Best Song – Singapore) – Lisa Feat. The Lion Story
(Composers: Haramain Osman, Judah Lyne, Ishyam Lal, Khairul Anhar & Iman; Lyricist: Haramain Osman)
Kunto Aji – Terlalu Lama Sendiri
Artis Baru Terbaik (Lelaki) / (Best Male Artiste)
Lagu Terbaik (Indonesia) / (Best Indonesian Song) – Terlalu Lama Sendiri
(Composer & Lyricist: Kunto Aji)
Judika – Apakah Ini Cinta
Artis Terbaik (Lelaki) / (Best Male Artiste)
Raisa – Jatuh Hati
Artis Wanita Terbaik / (Best Female Artiste)
(Photo courtesy of kingkangkung.com)
Elizabeth Tan – Knock Knock
Artis Baru Terbaik (Wanita) / (Best New Female Artiste)
Afgan & Dato’ Rossa – Kamu Yang Ku Tunggu
Duo / Kumpulan Terbaik (Best Duo / Group)
Fatin Shidqia Lubis
Artis Paling Popular APM / (APM Most Popular Artiste)
Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza & Cakra Khan – Seluruh Cinta
Kolaborasi Terbaik (Artis) / (Best Artiste Collaboration)
Jangan Coba Berlari – Sezairi, Composer & Lyricist: Tulus
Kolaborasi Terbaik (Lagu) / (Best Song Collaboration)
Anggun Cipta Sasmi
Anugerah Rentas Planet / International Breakthrough Artiste
A. Ramlie & The Rhythm Boys
Anugerah Khas Planet Muzik / (Special Music Planet Award)
(all images featured in this entry courtesy of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay)
This entry sort of deviates slightly away from my usual entries in that it is not directly about Singapore‘s Malay entertainment scene per se. However, I still find it extremely relevant and important to share this with my readers as it involves an individual who has been a mainstay in our local Malay entertainment scene since she graced our television screens in the old days of Bengkel Kanak-Kanak TV SBC, and now as a highly-respected talkshow host that delves on social issues in our community. Rilla Melati Bahri, a name that needs no further introduction, has just launched her latest educational products via her company Mini Monsters Ltd. this past Sunday, 31st May 2015 at the National Library, in conjunction with the Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2015 event currently happening at the Plaza section of the building, from 30th May -6th June 2015.
I was honoured to have been invited to cover this event, a momentous one I should add. Rilla, from the time I knew her years ago, has always been a strong advocate of good education and learning. She has always championed for our younger generation to be nurtured and cultivated in good learning techniques in the field of language and being comfortable in our mother tongue. In fact, these newly-launched products were conceived from her own experience more than a decade ago, as a young mother looking desperately for educational materials in Malay to aid her in teaching the language to her son, Nadim, in a fun way. Back then, there were hardly anything in Malay in the bookstores and toystores. Through this experience, she took it upon herself to do this project for other mothers with toddlers.
Hence, the birth of “Siri Bacaan Cekap Kanak-Kanak & CD Bacalah Bersama!”(Confident Reader Series & Audio Read-Along CD) and the collaboration with Masfe Sendirian Berhad for “Set Gantungan Pembelajaran” (Educational Wall Hanging Set) in Malay for toddlers aged two to six years. Mini Monsters are also proud to have been appointed the exclusive sole distributor of the first ever customised Malay educational wall-hanging resources and this exclusive collaboration between them and Masfe Sdn Bhd represents a like-minded approach between both companies in taking the learning of the Malay language to greater heights for children during their formative years.
Rilla Melati addressing the audience and relating how the books and wall-hanging products came about…
This set comprises of mini detachable 2D “softies” which children can pull and paste to corresponding outlines on a standard thematic storyboard that comes with the Malay word to describe the individual softie. The educational objectives of this wall hanging resources are to cultivate early interest in reading through fun, interaction and play methodology, to develop children’s fine motor skills and encourage word-object recognition through touch-and-feel and to plant the seeds of love for the Malay language to children as young as 2 years old through visual stimulation. Although these sets are already in existent and used throughout Malaysia, this is the first time that the set is piloting in the Malay language exclusively for the Singapore market to be distributed by Mini Monsters Ltd. as a licensee.