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Posts tagged “Nurul Aini

Te:RaSeh! 2.0 Episode 1 Recap…

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TeRaSeh! made its long-awaited return on our television screens this past Tuesday night (8 April 2014). The highly-rated show, which pitted radio and television personalities against one another in various game and challenge segments last year, comes with a difference this time. The battle between the two media platforms have been replaced with a battle of the sexes this time round, aptly called “Mat vs. Minah“. Thirty-six radio and television personalities come together and six will do battle in the qualifying rounds for the first six weeks, whereas the semi-final rounds will see the Top 18 duking it out with one another for three weeks, before the Grand Finale on 10 June 2014. The Grand Finale, like last year, will see the Top 10 make one final battle in a two-hour face off. And yes, it is not just about fun and games, but proceeds from the winnings they earn will go to a charity organisation of their choice.

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Dalina was head and shoulders with her more established counterparts, adding grace to brawn. Expect more in the coming weeks…

When I last reported on the TeRaSeh! 2.0 Prelude event held a few weeks ago at Singapore Expo, I had mentioned that A B Shaik and Khairudin Samsudin were the resident hosts and Dalina Jaapar was initially meant to be one of the participants for the Minahs. However I note that there was a change in the line-up in recent weeks, and Dalina has now been drafted as one of the resident hosts. I think that this is a good move. Some will think that three’s a crowd, but when you have a gender-based competition like this, there needs to be a balance and not make it a bit lop-sided with male testosterone dominating proceedings. Rilla Melati and RIA 89.7FM‘s Assistant Vice-President, Mr. Hassan Salleh, reprise their roles as resident jury for this weekly competition series. For the first episode of TeRaSeh! 2.0 this past week, former resident judge of the Anugerah competition, Ann Hussein, was the guest jury.

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Ann Hussein joins the judging panel, consisting of Rilla Melati and Mr. Hassan Salleh

The first episode saw Fauzie Laily, TG and Hafeez Glamour battling against Nurul Aini, Zaza Majid and Izyan Mellyna, with “Retro” being the theme of the week. It was comical to see them mimicking the late Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Diana Ross – just some of the few icons associated with the era. After an intense battle which ended off with a Boria face-off, the ladies emerged clear winners of the first episode. I know some of you must be wondering what in the world is Boria. Originating from Penang, it is almost similar to Dikir Barat, just that accompanying members dance along to synchronised moves as opposed to just sitting down and singing the chorus like the latter. I know the artistes were extremely uncomfortable with this form of face-off, as Boria is not as popular here compared to Dikir Barat, and with them having to dance and sing along to spontaneous lyrics. I can empathise with their predicament but on a positive note, it puts them on equal footing as I foresee the guys would excel on the even weeks when Dikir Barat returns during the final face-off.

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Games like these are a weekly hallmark of TeRaSeh!

Continuing from last year’s edition, there is a live segment from RIA 89.7FM‘s conty with Nity Baizura and Fiza O, being the new addition, replacing Dzar Ismail. Last year’s series featured students who became guest deejays of the week, but this year the glamour factor has been increased with local acts challenging one another weekly to get that coveted spot to guest host with the two aforementioned female radio personalities. The first episode saw Jamiel Said guest presenting live from the conty and though there were initial jitters, I thought he did quite well. My only complaint about the first episode is that there is no segment for local acts to perform like last year where upcoming acts, whose talents were spotted in Hafeez Glamour‘s “Go Go Glam” segment, were featured. It would be nice if the guest presenters at the conty were to perform their latest singles as well. I for one would have loved to hear Jamiel Said perform his latest offering, “Ballerina“.

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Boria face-offs like this, will be a common sight on odd weeks for this year’s edition of TeRaSeh! 2.0

I doubt I will be doing lengthy recaps henceforth as this weekly entertainment series is a light-hearted affair and for charity as well. Subsequent entries on TeRaSeh! 2.0 will most probably be photo recaps of the weekly proceedings. Like I said before, sometimes less is more and people would prefer to view photographs, rather than read long-winded analysis. Tonight’s episode will see Shahrin Azhar, Suzairhe Sumari and Wan Haddad facing off against Aura Shai, Nurul Nabila and Mariam Mas’od. Initially the Paparazzi Pagi deejays, Adi Rahman and Azlin Ali were supposed to be in the line-up, but I guess there was a slight change over the past week, and we now see Wan Haddad coming in and Aura Shai who was initially slated for Week 4 to go head on two weeks earlier than planned. One thing’s for sure, we’re gonna have a good time watching them go against one another and taking the mickey…


Viva Elektra 2014

Viva Elektra

(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

It’s been awhile since I did a review on an event that I attended at the Mediacorp TV Theatre. Simply because when I accepted the invites from Mediacorp Suria to attend these shows or events, more often than not, I did not see the need to review as they are either a light-hearted affair or for charity. I was there to just snap photos of the event and during the reception afterwards without seeing the need to comment much. Sometimes I don’t need to voice my thoughts as others have done it for me on social media. Anyway there are so many keyboard warriors out there too quick to jump on the bandwagon of criticising without giving substantial suggestions. I guess it’s a favourite pastime now to use one’s handphone keypads to comment every single thing they see on the google box, be it good or bad. I’m guilty of it sometimes when I watch football and passions are running high.

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I note from several people I’ve met of late that this blog has somewhat stagnated and that the writer (or should I say, typist???) behind the words on this domain has lost his zest and panache to hit where it hurts, or to put it kindly, give a wake up call when it mattered. Over the years as I mellow down and become less confrontational and got to know more people, I find that it is a challenge to be as hard-hitting as before. I had to tweak and fine-tune my style so as not to be too cynical or cause frictions with others in the long run. Maybe fatherhood has made me more forgiving, understanding and giving others the benefit of doubt but I like to think I type better when I’m having that red mist and I don’t quite experience that as often as before. Wish I could post more entries but like I said from time to time, I am not paid to blog and this is something I do as a community service as and when I am free from my work, family and personal commitments.

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The front row audience consisting of bigwigs in the local media industry as well as guest of honour Dr. Mohd Faishal Ibrahim

Anyway, I was honoured to be invited again to attend the recent Viva Elektra event at Mediacorp TV Theatre. The two-hour variety special was the fourth instalment by Suria and was previously known as Suria Elektra (2010), Rock Elektra (2011) and Bandstand Elektra (2012). The show belatedly celebrated the formation of MediaCorp’s Malay Broadcast Division, the merger between television channel Suria and radio stations Warna 94.2FM and RIA 89.7FM, hence there was an eclectic mix of performers from radio presenters to television personalities and established recording artistes that night. Viva Elektra in a way, symbolised the division’s hopes to establish a commitment to continually bring high quality programmes to their audience, be it on radio and television. Expect to see more of such shows in the near future involving the radio and television personalities. We are already anticipating cross-platform programmes like TeRaSeh 2.0, R&D and the sixth season of infotainment show JUS! this month. Viva Elektra was just the start!!!

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The men who made the night ticked – Dyn Norahim and Khairudin Samsudin

Looking at how the radio and television personalities collaborated on stage, I had a feel-good feeling that we can expect more entertaining shows on television and radio as well. Yes, I will not deny that I’ve heard rumours going round that certain gigs and jobs are affected due to the merger, but I would like to call upon all the artistes who might feel a little slighted that their places and roles in television programmes might be taken up by their radio counterparts, to treat this as a healthy competition. Granted we might not be like our next door neighbour where there are so many channels one can tune to and for radio and television personalities to still do well when they cross platforms, but there are possible avenues that can be explored. Radio could possibly have seasonal guest hosts like what Fauzie Laily did co-hosting Skoolz with Nity Baizura a few years ago. Or if they were to have a shake-up of personnel, who knows, they might just rope in some of these television personalities into their stables??? Let’s not see it as a form of hindrance to one’s rice bowl, but to work as a unit to lift the standards of our local Malay entertainment scene.

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The cast of Tak2ut (from left): Ashmi Roslan, DJ KC, Fadhlur Rahman and Wan Haddad

Maybe a little criticism I would have of Viva Elektra was that feeling of imbalance in some of their segments. While the skit involving the Tak2ut cast (Ashmi Roslan, Wan Haddad and Fadhlur Rahman) and DJ KC seemed a bit short, the Bangsawan and Pentas Radio segments felt a wee bit too long for my liking. I just feel that the song performed by Eiss, “Arjuna (Mencari Cinta)“, was redundant and only served to prolong the segment, even though the audience and myself were tickled by the humour presented by all the performers involved. It is nice to see new faces on television like Wan Haddad and Nurfarhana M Noor given their big break on a big scale event as this. Also Junaidi Sali who often plays a supporting cast to be given the limelight he deserves after all these years.

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Fauzie Laily (left) seldom gets comedic roles but when he gets them, he excels…

Nurfarhana it has to be said, is a name and face to watch this year. Her stock is rising and it is not easy to score a lead role in one’s debut drama series (Rima Hatiku) and subsequent ones like Follow Fasha, unless one has the potential and package to succeed. She is currently seen in the new season of Di Luar Garisan and will be one of the participants for TeRaSeh 2.0. I won’t be surprised if she scores a hosting gig in the near future cos she has that bubbly personality to do it. You heard it first on this domain. Another one to impress me was RIA 89.7FM‘s Dzar Ismail. I’m a big fan of his daily Singa Maksima programme and from one karaoke session we had some months ago, I could see his hidden talent and passion in rapping, which was displayed that night when he performed “Cerita Kedai Kopi” with Tukangkata and Sezairi Sezali. I know some people do not quite like his sometimes excessive energy levels, but I think he is a breath of fresh air on radio. And yes I still claim credit unashamedly for saying he belongs in radio when I assessed his performances when he entered Anugerah Skrin back in 2010.

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The one to watch this year – Nurfarhana M Noor. A flower blossoming at a continued pace…

Another criticism I would add on will be the choice of performing artistes and some of the songs they performed. Before the show, I saw on social media how people lamented that it’s basically the same faces over and over again. To some extent, I would agree with them as I too felt the same way when I saw the list of performing artistes slated to perform. No I am not attacking or blaming the singers who performed cos they are all excellent in their own respect. My complaint would be a lack of more variety than what we’re used to. Take for instance we have so many bands producing good quality music in Singapore. The likes of Diorama, Tujuh, Klutz are some of the bands that are under-rated here. And if you speak of individual acts, there’s Reyza Hamizan, Sufie Rashid, Chomel, Aidil Akmal, Nurdiana Saad, upcoming acts who deserved to be given their dues and be introduced to the masses.

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The hosts replicating Ellen Degeneres at the recent Oscars and taking a selfie photograph with the audience…

I appreciate that we would want to entice people to watch as their favourites would be performing but it does not send a message that the artistes feel appreciated, even though radio plays their music on a daily basis. There is no point having your songs known on radio when people still dunno who you are. Just ask Audionauts when they won at APM2013. There were still people asking on social media and on newspaper reports wondering who they were. “Rentak Laguku“, the song performed by Aliff Aziz, Eiss and Sezairi Sezali, was another one that I felt was a bit redundant as it was only as recent as last October that we witnessed Amy Search and Bunkface performed the song at APM2013. And even though I love Taufik Batisah‘s “Sesuatu Janji” amongst all his songs to date, I think that was the fourth or fifth time he performed the song at a Suria event, in addition to APM2008.

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Group photo with all the performers that night once the cameras stopped rolling…

Overall, Viva Elektra was an enjoyable show, even if it did overrun by about eleven minutes. The choice of having Khairudin Samsudin and Warna 94.2FM‘s Dyn Norahim was a good one, with both trading barbs at one another and the latter being the brunt of many of the former’s jokes. At certain points, Dyn looked jittery but it should be forgiven as this was afterall his first live television hosting gig. Speaking to him afterwards, he said that it was nerve-wrecking and a very different experience compared to his daily live show on radio. Like many others before him, I am sure he will grow into the role and be better. Am certainly looking forward to seeing him host the new season of JUS! alongside the gorgeous Ainon Talib and Nurul Akhmar come the end of April. For now I can’t wait for TeRaSeh 2.0. It’s gonna be an absolute riot!!!


Te:RaSeh! 2.0 Prelude @ SG Expo

1897016_10152106043672893_579599265_n(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

2014 seems like a boring year in this domain of mine. I know cos this is only the third entry I am doing so far. I could have done more entries like covering celebrity weddings that happened last month, but I was overseas due to work commitments, which meant I had to miss the weddings of Didicazli & Eliyana as well as “Step Puteri‘s” Ateeqah Mazlan & Effendie (DJ Effen). Congratulations to all of them including bro Hady Mirza & Nur Jannah, SG‘s Siti Nurhaliza lookalike winner Mahirah Yasin & Herdeno as well as Anugerah Skrin 2010 alumnus Mariah Mahfar & Isbahi who have all tied the knot within the last month or so. 2014 is indeed a year filled with celebrity weddings in our local Malay entertainment scene. And it’s still only March. More to follow in the months ahead…

TeRaSeh 2014 @ SG Expo 2014-03-22 004The guys (from left): Warna 94.2FM‘s Tahar Ghalib (TG), Suzairhe Sumari, Hyrul Anuar, Danial Ashriq, Fadhlur Rahman, Hasif Nasir, Taufik Salleh, Khairudin Samsudin and Fauzie Laily. RIA 89.7FM‘s Dzar Ismail was getting ready when this shot was taken…

This past Saturday 22 March 2014, in conjunction with the Halal Food, Weddings & Lifestyle Exhibition organised by Mega Express Pte. Ltd., a segment that was a crowd puller happened to be the prelude event to the upcoming TeRaSeh programme which will make its return come 8 April 2014 on Mediacorp Suria. For those who had been watching or following the first edition last year, you will know that it is a highly entertaining programme with all the crazy and spontaneous antics by all the participants and the hosts. The programme is also an educational one as viewers would also learn general knowledge, culture and and history of the local entertainment scene as well as our country through the questions asked. I did not cover a single episode last year as I was tied down with reservist and family commitments, but I do hope I can cover on a weekly basis this time round, which will be known as TeRaSeh 2.0.

TeRaSeh 2014 @ SG Expo 2014-03-22 005The damsels (from left): Dalina Jaapar, Syirah Jusni, Izyan Mellyna, Nurfarhana M Noor, Mastura Ahmad, Nurul Aini, Nurul Nabila and Siti Hajar Gani

Which was why I attended the event last Saturday to get a feel of what this year’s list of participants from the radio and television fraternity have in store for us. For one, they gave a glimpse of what might transpire in the upcoming episodes with a Boria performance for the audience at the start and end of the show. Last year, there was a spontaneous Dikir Barat performance at the end of every episode of TeRaSeh. Perhaps this year, they will inject the Boria element just to spice things up further. For one, the participants had to undergo an intensive training prior to the show just to learn the coordinated dance steps and lyrics to the song they were performing. Kudos to all the artistes involved last Saturday for learning within a few hours before having to perform them live for the watching audience.

TeRaSeh 2014 @ SG Expo 2014-03-22 003The fantastic Sri Warisan performers who accompanied and trained the artistes for the Boria segment…

Playing games with the audience, maybe we’ll get to see more of the same this year. We’ll just have to wait for the first episode to air, but one thing’s for sure, this will not be a Radio vs. Television affair like last year. The rules have been changed and it will be the radio and television fraternity combining and duking it out between the two genders. Based on what happened last Saturday, you are guaranteed to have a rolling good time and definitely will get sore facial muscles due to too much laughing at the antics of all the participants and hosts. It is also good that the show will see several new faces who will add on to the entertainment and eye candy factors. For the record, TeRaSeh 2.0 will be hosted by Khairudin Samsudin and AB Shaik


Pesta Perdana 12 Roll-of-Honour

Pelakon Lelaki Terbaik dalam Watak Utama – Drama Bersiri (Best Lead Actor – Drama Series)

Hasnul Rahmat (Anakku Sayang)

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Pelakon Wanita Terbaik dalam Watak Utama – Drama Bersiri (Best Lead Actress – Drama Series)

Ariati Tyeb Papar (Selamat Malam Maria)

Pesta Perdana 12 2013-03-01 1813

Pelakon Lelaki Terbaik dalam Watak Pembantu – Drama Bersiri (Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Drama Series)

Izzat Yusoff (Anakku Sayang)

Pesta Perdana 12 2013-03-01 761

Pelakon Wanita Terbaik dalam Watak Pembantu – Drama Bersiri (Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Drama Series)

Siti Hajar Gani (Anakku Sayang)

Pesta Perdana 12 2013-03-01 687

Pelakon Lelaki Terbaik dalam Watak Pembantu – Drama Khas (Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Drama Special)

Osman Zailani (Terbelenggu)

Pesta Perdana 12 2013-03-01 528

Pelakon Wanita Terbaik dalam Watak Pembantu – Drama Khas (Best Actress a Supporting Role – Drama Special)

Rosita Hussin (Yakin)

Pesta Perdana 12 2013-03-01 495

Pelakon Terbaik dalam Watak Komedi (Best Actor/Actress in a Comedy Role)

Mastura Ahmad (Anak Mak Samseng)

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Pengacara Terbaik (Best Host)

Rilla Melati (Rudy & Rilla)

Pesta Perdana 12 2013-03-01 992

Bintang Cilik Terbaik (Best Young Star)

Danish Qayyum Putra Shahrin Azhar (Nama Saya Kassim Selamat)

Pesta Perdana 12 2013-03-01 386

Drama Terbaik (Best Drama Series)

Pinggiran Ramadan Sr 2 (Media Reel)

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Drama Khas Terbaik (Best Drama Special) &

Mr. Perfect (Papahan Films)

Pesta Perdana 12 2013-03-01 473

Rancangan Hiburan Terbaik (Best Variety Series)

Kita Gerek (Dua M)

Rancangan Kanak-Kanak Terbaik (Best Children’s Programme)

Nama Saya Kassim Selamat (Dua M)

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Rancangan Hiburan Khas Terbaik (Best Variety Special)

Muzika Ekstravaganza 2012 (MediaCorp Eaglevision)

Arahan Terbaik – Hiburan (Best Directing – Variety)

Muzika Ekstravaganza 2012 (Zulina Karim, Samri Badi & Zaharian Osman)

Skrip Terbaik – Hiburan (Best Writing – Variety)

Muzika Ekstravaganza 2012 (Wan Firzaleenazrah)

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Rancangan Informasi Terbaik (Best Info-Ed Programme)

Jalan Sr 5 (Oak3 Films)

Skrip Terbaik – Informasi (Best Writing – Info-Ed)

Jalan Sr 5 (Idzwan Othman & Ibrahim Sawifi)

Pesta Perdana 12 2013-03-01 410

Lagu Tema Terbaik (Best Theme Song)

Anak Metropolitan Sr 3

Song Title: Anak Metropolitan / Composer: Mayuni Omar / Lyricist: Hamed Ismail

Rancangan Paling Popular (Most Popular Programme)

Anak Metropolitan Sr 3 (MediaCorp Eaglevision)

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Personaliti Lelaki Paling Popular (Most Popular Male Personality)

Syarif SleeQ

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Personaliti Wanita Paling Popular (Most Popular Female Personality)

Nurul Aini

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Anugerah Perdana Emas

Yusnor Ef

Pesta Perdana 12 2013-03-01 1361

Pelakon Lelaki Terbaik dalam Watak Utama – Drama Khas(Best Lead Actor – Drama Special) Shane Mardjuki (Mr. Perfect)
Pelakon Wanita Terbaik dalam Watak Utama – Drama Khas(Best Lead Actress – Drama Special) Rahimah Yusof (Ibu vs Mama)
Arahan Terbaik – Drama(Best Directing – Drama) Embun Di Tengah Hari (Alfia Abros Meah)
Videografi Terbaik – Drama(Best Videography – Drama) Ros Putih (Noorman Nordin)
Skrip Terbaik – Drama(Best Writing – Drama) Embun Di Tengah Hari (Amanah Mustafi)
Suntingan Terbaik – Drama(Best Editing – Drama) Ros Putih (Hafiz Rahman)
Desain Pembukaan Terbaik(Best Opening Title Design) Maintain (Safiyuddin Razif)
Rekaan Imej Terbaik(Best Image & Styling) Mr. Perfect (Janna Jauhar)

Fun Awards

Adegan Paling Dahsyat!(Most Impactful Scene) Embun Di Tengah Hari (MediaCorp Eaglevision)
Pasangan Paling Cun!(Favourite On-screen couple) Mazlan Amat & Wahyu Rahman (Atas Heights Sr 2)
Crook Paling Terror! (Famous Villain) Nadiah M. Din (Step Puteri)


Ratu Suria Grand Finals Review…

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I purposely post this entry a week after the competition series ended for the fact that I do not foresee much entries that I will be making between now and March, so a little breather is more than welcome. Afterall, I have been quite diligent with my weekly reviews over the course of the competition. I know most of you who are not linked to me via social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram would not see the photographs I snapped, unless you follow the contestants themselves. So fret not, because this penultimate review on Mediacorp Suria‘s inaugural beauty-cum-talent search competition will have hundreds of them featured, even more than what I normally upload for your viewing pleasure. So where do I begin??? With the choice of the winner, Fatin Amira, of course!!!

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Like the first episode, Sezairi Sezali opened the show, this time performing Dato’ Sheila Majid‘s “Ratu“…

Fatin‘s coronation as the first winner of Ratu was in truth, no surprise to yours truly, and I’m sure to regular viewers of the series as well. She has been very consistent since Episode 4, has a very strong grasp and understanding of the Malay language, confident, composed and dare I say, a certain air of nonchalance which sets her apart from her fellow competitors. I did not say explicitly who were my favourites to win but along with Wida Alisa, both of them were my personal two choices to win the competition, with no disrespect to the other finalists, even though physical beauty-wise, the others had the edge. It was a matter of who was to blink or make that odd mistake that would sway the odds against their favour. I did say in my preview of the Grand Finals, the one who would win would be the one who maintained their poise and composure and not be let down by small mistakes and this was true, as Fatin aced almost every segment that night.

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Fauzie Laily and Marina Yusoff‘s onstage chemistry was one of the plus points of the competition series…

I saw several comments online from sour grapes who questioned the choice of anointing Fatin as the winner as she is not as pretty as some of her fellow contestants. The aim of this competition was not merely to choose who is the most good-looking or who is the most popular. The aim was to choose an all-round winner, someone who is not only good-looking but a person of holistic substance. She has to be intelligent and media savvy, confident in the way she carries herself and have a certain degree of raw potential that could be polished in time to come as a television personality in hosting or acting. In Fatin Amira, I have no doubt that she was the right choice by the judges who carried the heavy responsibility of choosing a winner who could be someone we can be proud of in time to come – a beauty with brains. Above all, I am convinced that Fatin is ready to face the media across the Causeway, whom we all know are more harsh than our own and will always be ready to find faults and not give an inch, what more a yard.

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The Top 6 Finalists!!!

Why I said I am convinced, is how consistent and calm she has been at answering questions throughout the competition. Even when she was interviewed by Hafeez Glamour in his Go Glam radio programme the day after her win, she answered several difficult questions with ease, even those questions that were posed to her fellow finalists during the Grand Finals itself. When she appeared a second time during Dzar Ismail and Nity Baizura‘s Personality Zoom segment last Friday, I posed a challenging question on how she would react if the President of Seniman were to question her credibility and presence in their scene. Her answer suitably impressed me, saying that she is new and will no doubt learn from the people she is working with to improve on her flaws. Opportunities are also available everywhere for people to work and add value to a certain industry, no matter which country they are working at. She ended by saying that people should just widen their mentality and not be hampered by selfish interests. No doubt she is ready and feisty, willing to face the challenges in store.

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The panel of judges sharing a laugh when Aaron Aziz (hidden) made his point across…

I will not put down Wida Alisa for her gaffe that night. I think enough of criticisms online have been hurled at her and I am sure she did not mean what she said on purpose. We all make mistakes, it was just unfortunate that such an error was made on live television, under such pressure-cooker situations. Most of those who have hurled their criticisms are the same people who will equally freeze or make mistakes themselves if they swapped shoes with her. It is not easy to look pretty and answer random questions thrown at you. What more to translate in Malay when we think daily in English. Likewise there was not much wrong with Wan Anisah‘s final answers, other than the fact that it did not resonate with our community and culture. The prerogative was hers to answer as best she could and one that suited her personal interests and personality. No one should put her down for her honesty, at least she did not lie her way just to score points with the judges.

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The suave Awi Rafael performing “Bila Aku Jatuh Cinta“, his second hit single after “Pulanglah“…

It was also good that the finalists were put through a short acting segment to suss their potential in this particular area, since they will after all, go on to star in a movie produced by Metrowealth International Group. They are raw as evident from their voice intonation and static delivery, having no prior background before this, hence one cannot expect a flawless performance. Even most new actors and actresses in Malaysian movies have been panned as wooden before, but they built on the opportunities given to them and improved over the years. Likewise the same can be expected from our Top 3, with Fatin Amira and Wan Anisah the better performers that night in the acting skit they were involved in. Even though the camera was not focused on them, what impressed me was they kept the scene flowing with their facial and body expressions. For that, we have to thank the likes of Mastura Ahmad, Zaidi Ibrahim and Seriwahyuni Jaes for imparting useful acting knowledge to the girls.

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Fatin Amira, the deserving winner of Ratu!!!

Ratu has been a relative success in my opinion, no matter what the critics might say. Critics are always willing to give their piece of mind at anything and everything, but almost always failing to give substantial alternatives and suggestions on how to better the show. This is the first of its kind which Mediacorp Suria has embarked upon, and naturally, glitches are to be expected. Definitely the producers will do a review on how they can better the next edition or if there is another one of its kind, but for the males instead. This is a new venture on uncharted waters, which no matter the storm they faced, at the end of the day, the ship still reached its harbour safe and sound, if I were to put it in such analogy. The opportunity and experience given to up-and-coming beauties was definitely enriching for all the contestants and I am sure they came out better and confident ladies. This was evident in their catwalk during the Grand Finals. Oh how beautiful all sixteen of them looked, especially the opening segment and one wondered why were they not dolled up like that since the first episode???

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Group photo of the contestants, judges, hosts and guests-of-honour after the show ended…

It has been fun covering the competition over 61 days, from the time the media conference was called to introduce the sixteen of them, right down to the Grand Finals. I gained sixteen new friends as a result, all charming and sweet ladies and I wish nothing but the best to all of them on their subsequent endeavours henceforth. If they still harbour hopes on entering the entertainment industry, then I suggest that they sign up with the various local performing arts / theatre groups to hone their craft, learn the ropes from experienced hands and come back for another shot when another reality competition comes around. It does not have to be in acting, because I know some have talents in dance or having the voice for hosting. Do not limit themselves to just acting because with their respective strengths, they can expand and try viable alternative avenues. Anything is possible. To Fatin Amira, congratulations once again on being crowned the first ever winner of Ratu in Mediacorp Suria‘s history!!! I do look forward to seeing her grace our television and silver screens very soon!!!


Ratu Episod Three Recap…

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This past Tuesday 11 December 2012, the third episode of Ratu aired live on our television screens with the theme of the week being “Sports“. A slight change in judging personnel was made with Hafeez Glamour away in Taiwan on a working-cum-leisure trip with some of his ardent radio listeners. In his place was Hanis Hussey, the guest judge of the first episode. Joining Hanis and Nuraliza Osman on the panel was Muhammad Yusoff Shah Khamaruddin, former national Silat exponent and also a one-time info-ed host on Suria. As opposed to the previous week’s episode where the contestants were put through challenges relating to Malay Culture (making traditional Malay Kuih and performing a simple Malay dance routine), the challenges this past week were aimed at testing the girls on their physical capabilities, to see how they adapt at being rugged to balance their demure and prim image.

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I have to apologise to the girls cos I believe some of them saw me giggling away when they were up on stage in their Silat outfits, which were sponsored by Sports Silat Academy. I was not laughing at their respective moves, but more to how they wore their outfits. Some had tied their belts slightly above their stomachs and it looked quite amusing, at least to me. Kind of reminded me of Obelix, the rotund character in the Asterix cartoon series. Ok I know I’m being slightly mean here, but that’s besides the point. I observed some were rushing through their motions and their facial expressions gave away the fact that they were calculating their steps, while some others were looking down all the time. The ones who impressed me in this segment were Nur Aqilah Kamaruddin (Aqilah) and especially Tiara Atyra. The movements they made were a combination of grace and vigour. It was the perfect balance so to speak. But I just wonder why did some have simpler routines, and others had more difficult ones???

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I cannot comment much on the futsal segment as it was done outdoors and did not show a full account on how each of them fared other than the fact that Risliani won the Ratu-of-the-match award. My only complaint for this segment was some of the girls looked like they lacked enough sleep the previous night, with tired eyes and all, with some looking battered even before the game began. It didn’t exactly look flattering on them. As for the question-and-answer segments, I noticed there were a lot of similarities and overlapping of answers from one contestant to another. What could set them apart in this case and for future episodes are probably their confidence factor and how well they deliver their speech. I noted improvements being made by Jannah Jakasha and Surya Rahmanty as compared to the previous week. Confidence was just oozing out of the former while a bit of research was evident in the latter’s answer.

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Two eliminations were made by the end of Episode Three. I was kinda shocked to know that Sheril Izzyana whom I had earmarked as a potential dark horse of the competition, was the second to be eliminated along with Natasha Tan. It was a bit of a shocker, as I was generally impressed by her showings the previous week and thought she did not do too shabby this week either. Maybe it was the Silat segment that brought down her points, we will never know. Cynics of Natasha Tan on the other hand, might criticise her for her lack of proficiency in the Malay language, but I did observe that she did try her utmost best to find the right words to say throughout the competition, even if that eventually contributed to her elimination. Her over-eagerness could have also betrayed her poise during the Q&A segment. By the way, I will not reveal who my personal favourites are or who I think can progress further as I do not have a definitive list in mind, other than whoever that I mentioned as potentially good, is reflective of their individual showings week by week.

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Eiss was the guest artiste of the week…

So what’s next for the eliminated contestants so far? I cannot give a definite insight on the two earlier ones, Ziza and Diana, as their elimination was too early for me to learn their respective strengths. In Natasha Tan, I observed that she has an infectious and bubbly personality and off-camera, she is the livewire amongst the girls. If she harbours enough interest in the scene, then maybe what she can do is polish up on her language proficiency and join any performing arts company that can hone her interest. She would actually make a good host for a children-related programme due to her personality and energy, and I mean no disrespect when I say this.  In Sheril‘s case, I noted in my last recap that she has a voice suited for radio, television hosting and even news-reading. She can also train up on hosting skills and give it a shot if there are future auditions or openings for those positions I just mentioned. It is definitely not the end of their journey once they are eliminated, provided they still have the passion for it. A fine example I can give is RIA 89.7FM‘s Dzar Ismail, whose potential was discovered when he joined Anugerah Skrin 2010 but was eliminated halfway through the competition.

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On the social media front, I have been a silent observer of some of the photographs that the contestants have uploaded in their respective accounts and read some of the comments made by their friends, family members and supporters. While freedom of speech is welcomed, there should also be a certain amount of tact and respect observed. I saw some unnecessary criticisms made towards the other contestants and though I do not wish to repeat what were said or who said them, I just hope that such comments will not affect the friendship and sisterhood that has been forged amongst the girls. It would be a huge pity that their friendship becomes strained just because some of their supporters / loved ones leave hurtful comments towards the others and in turn might breed hidden contempt and dissent amongst the rest. No doubt it is a competition, but it should not turn out to be negative in any aspects. The bond that the contestants share from my month-long observation of them is a positive one. Let’s keep it that way!!!


Shahril Kahar & Diana Amran’s Marriage Solemnisation Ceremony…

1st July 2012, was a memorable day for Anugerah Skrin 2010 finalists Shahril Kahar and Diana Amran, as they tied the knot and solemnised their union in a low-key and humble ceremony at Bukit Batok Civil Service Clubhouse. Their wedding was the fourth after Jasmine Amira, Aziela Roza and Biwa Mastura from the Anugerah Skrin 2010 cohort, held in recent months. And another contestant from that batch, teacher and part-time radio presenter Dzar Ismail, is also due to walk the aisle towards the end of 2012. Cupid not only struck the two lovebirds who tied the knot yesterday, but there is also another set of lovebirds who fell in love after they were eliminated from the 2010 competition, Nissa Bahruddin and Nur Nasir.

The wedding which was originally slated at the end of the year was brought forward at the request of the bride’s late father, Allahyarham Amran Bin Ali, who sadly passed away from lung cancer four days before the event. And on another sombre note, the groom’s father was admitted to the hospital three days before. I guess for those of you who do read the local Malay papers over the past weekend, you would have read what a testing period it had been for the two newly-weds leading up to their wedding day. Thankfully with the help of close friends and assistance by other family members, the event went on as planned and it was a beautiful one may I add.

To Shahril and Diana, I know it has been a very challenging period for you both, physically and emotionally, but nonetheless I share your happiness. May Allah bless this union for eternity and may you both be blessed with intelligent, and filial children. Congratulations again you both!!!

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On behalf of the bride and groom, I would like to thank the following for making the wedding event a success:

Charisma Bridal & Catering

Bukit Batok Civil Service Club

Clique Studio Works

Makuanza Network

Sugar Pops & Cuppy Cakes

Gubahan Cinta (Guestbook)

Wandi Air

Fact3 Production

SY Boutique

Wizard of Lights

Martini J


Bandstand Elektra Post-Event Reception Photographs…

Fresh from last night’s Bandstand Elektra event, I’ve decided to upload this entry as a filler for earlier events I attended the past month, namely the Muzik Festival Melayu concert at Marina Barrage on 18 February 2012 and the launch of Ritabella‘s Fiza O Collection event held at Joo Chiat Complex on 25 February 2012. Anyway this entry is filled with photographs I took last night during the post-event reception, so it’s a very short entry just to whet your appetite on what is to come in the days / weeks ahead. Hope the weekend has been good so far for all of you…


Rita Zahara’s “Malay Heritage Cooking” Book Launch…

Have you ever been left feeling at a loss over what to cook for the family daily or simply have no idea how to whip up a simple Malay dish if you’re alone or abroad??? I’m sure many of you out there must have gone through those moments of dilemma from time to time. I used to hear that from my mother before I got married, and now the whole cycle repeats itself with the queen at home asking the same set of questions almost every weekends. For a family that eats just a simple dish daily, perhaps they might not face this problem, but when you have different family members with different taste-buds and preferences (or dislikes) for certain dishes, more often than not, the person doing the cooking will be cracking their heads over what to cook, just so they could please everyone at home. Fret not, because the recently-launched “Malay Heritage Cooking” book, written by Rita Zahara, is the answer to your cooking needs.

The book, which is published by Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) in hardback, is the third publication from the “Singapore Heritage Cookbooks” series, which showcases delicacies from the different communities in Singapore, the Indian, Peranakan, Malay, Eurasian and Chinese communities. The cookbook contains sixty different known and traditional recipes, synonymous with our Malay community. The heritage cookbook series aims to document and preserve the cultural and culinary heritage of the different ethnic communities, passed on with passion from generation to generation and this particular book was inspired no less by the recipes taught to the author by her late mother and grandmother. Additionally, readers get the value-added feature of learning the history of Rita‘s family and their contributions to society, particularly her late grandmother, Che’ Zahara, whom she was named after, who was a well-respected philanthropist and a moving force behind the proliferation of the Women’s Charter in Singapore. Not surprising that this book is well-backed and supported by our very own National Heritage Board.

Introducing Rita Zahara – The author of the “Malay Heritage Cooking” book…

For those still wondering who the author is or have some vague memories of her, well you might have seen her covering news events on location or reading the news on News 5 Tonight on Channel 5, ChannelNewsAsia or Berita @ Suria on Mediacorp Suria some years ago. For a period of time, she was also one of the anchors for ESPN‘s Sportscenter programme on ESPN Star Sports channel. What many of us do not know, me included, is that Rita Zahara has been a guest judge / panelist in several food festivals in Singapore and Malaysia. Reading the “About The Author” section of her cookbook, I also learned that she is also heavily involved in humanitarian work for Muslim communities in Asia, empowering women and children with access to education. Certainly an influential person in our community, an asset that we should be proud of.

This book launch might have been more than a fortnight old, but memories of how grand and regal it was are still fresh in my head. As I had told the author of the aforementioned book herself when she was signing the cookbook for my missus and mother, this was one of the, if not THE grandest book launch I’ve ever attended. For those who know Rita well enough, they would acknowledge that any production that she comes up with, she will pull out all the stops to ensure guests have something memorable they could go home with, and this book launch was certainly one of them. From the decorations outside the Vanda Ballroom of Marina Mandarin Hotel where the event was held, to the ones inside, the tight four-piece percussion band playing traditional / classic hits, the opening dance item by Sri Warisan Som Said Performing Arts Ltd., right down to the glorious spread of food, it was a launch fit for a king and was attended by about 250 people, some of whom are distinguished personalities in our community lending their support.

The hosts: Adi Rahman and Steve Dawson

The amazing part about this book launch was that it was conceived and planned within three weeks by Rita and her sisters, Rita Zarina and Rita Zuhaida, that too taking into accounts the Christmas and New Year holidays. They were certainly blessed with the kind help from no less than twenty-eight sponsors and friends, who came forward to help one way or another to ensure that the launch was a resounding success. The goodie bags that we received upon buying the cookbooks contained, a Satay set and a $30 voucher by Tupperware, a brand name which is no stranger to us. Besides the items sponsored by Tupperware, there were also a book on microwave cooking and a publication by Marina Mandarin Hotel. With that kind of goodwill support from the various sponsors, it was no wonder that during her speech, Rita made the effort to thank each and everyone who had helped from the time the book was conceived, to the day of its official launch.

A feature of the book launch was the live recording of the semi-final rounds of Queen Juara Memasak, the reality cooking show currently shown on Mediacorp Suria and produced by Mediamorphosis. The segment of the semi-final round, was recorded in front of the audience and it required the four semi-finalists to weave the ketupat, something which most of us from the younger generation have no idea on how to go about doing it, me included. Out of respect for the show, I did not take photographs nor recorded the segment, and for those who had missed out on watching it when it was aired last Tuesday, you can do so by going to the XinMSN/catchup website. The best part about this segment was when Rita herself joined in weaving the ketupat and she did it all in two minutes!!! She started weaving slightly later than the contestants and finished doing it much earlier than them, a sign that the years of helping out in the kitchen with her late mother, did not go to waste at all. It is quite a skill to learn and execute, and my word, that was impressive!!!

Rita answering questions during the Q&A session…

Lest I forget, the winner of the Queen Juara Memasak programme will be featured in Rita‘s upcoming cookbook, which will feature contemporary Malay dishes by successful / influential Malay personalities in their respective fields, across Asia. The “Malay Heritage Cooking” book is now retailing at $38 (before GST) from good stores such as Kinokuniya, Times and Popular. You can also get it online via NoQ. Amazon will start to sell it from February 2012 onwards. An added feature that will be introduced in the not-so-distant future will be the cookbook being made available on e-book format. A simple click on a particular recipe and one would be able to view how the cooking is done or how a dish is prepared. That is how technology has evolved and we’re able to enjoy the interactive features introduced to us.

The missus tried out one of the recipes, “Mee Telur Daging“, and I have to say, it was heavenly. No, I’m not saying this because I have to say nice things about her cooking or give face to the author, but because the cookbook, was really helpful in introducing us to a new dish we are able to try out and enjoy. I’m sure the other dishes that my wife will whip up in future from the cookbook will be delectable as well. Even though I have only tried out just one recipe so far, I strongly recommend you to get this as this is very useful for cooking beginners, for those abroad missing simple Malay dishes and even for those who are new to our dishes. Not only does the book have recipes, but the author took great pains to talk about each and every single one of them, relating how the dishes are linked to the community, its history or even memories whilst helping her late mother in the kitchen.  Like what the guest-of-honour of the book launch, Dr. Fatimah Lateef, had mentioned in a television interview, this book is indeed a treasure…

Snapshots of the Book Launch

Symbols of our culture and heritage greeted us at the front door…

Guests lining up to buy the cookbooks outside the event venue…

Guests awaiting for the event to begin…

A familiar face spotted amongst the list of guests is local actress Ariati Tyeb Papar

Another one was Marina Yusoff, seen here with her equally famous parents-in-law flanking her…

So too was Nurul Aini, the host of Queen Juara Memasak

Adi Rahman looking suave in his traditional outfit…

While Steve Dawson was all business-like…

The event was graced by the traditional Malay dance item performed by Sri Warisan Som Said Performing Arts group…

Rita Zahara with her opening speech…

She broke down when she was speaking about her mother, I too felt a lump in my throat and tears welled in my eyes at this point…

The guest-of-honour, Dr. Fatimah Lateef, MP for Marine Parade GRC

The cake cutting ceremony. The cake was made to look like the cookbook. A pity I did not get a snapshot of it, as many people had gone up to see and eventually taking a piece of it to eat…

The percussion band that played traditional and evergreen hits…

Madam Som Said and daughter-in-law, Marina Yusoff, endorsing the book…

Rita signing the book for my mother…


Simfoni Lebaran Revisited…

I know this blog has been dead for the past month or so. It was meant to be deliberate that way since I did not attend any entertainment-related events of late. We are already into the last few days of Syawal. Goodness how time flies. Hope that your respective celebrations with family, friends and loved ones have been joyous and happy occasions so far. Before I move on and I hope it’s not too late to take this opportunity to wish all my Muslim readers Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. I am also taking the opportunity to apologise from the bottom of my heart if my reviews or entries have been misunderstood or if I had angered and disappoint anyone through the words, tones and vocabulary used to express my thoughts. I’m not perfect, but I am also not holier-than-thou, so if I had come across as such, then I am truly sorry for potraying it.

Since this entry is a warm-up before I start being active all over again, it’s just going to be a short one with a compilation video of Simfoni Lebaran snapshots I took some two months ago. Yes, you guys might have watc