Apologies if I did not make any reviews on the very first episode as I felt it wasn’t worth doing one, especially since the results to trim the Top 20 down to 12 had already been tabulated by the judges and the watching audience had no say whatsoever. Last week’s episode was more of an introduction to all the groups with short clips on their qualifying performances. From those few seconds worth of viewing, I must say that the quality is of some standard and that we should be proud that some of the bands are as good as those that most of us worship from across the Causeway or Indonesia. These groups just need that exposure to spread their wings and kudos should be given to Mediacorp Suria TV12 for organising this competition. At least there is a difference in that reality shows like Anugerah Skrin and Anugerah are not repeated every year cos more often than not, we get the same old faces entering, such is the saturation of our small market. I know cos I have a friend who enters every single competition there is but have yet to see him break the qualifying barrier.
I dunno if this is a gripe worth mentioning, but the official website of Anugerah Band doesn’t seemed to be updated with info on the Top 20, not even the Top 12 when it has already been a week since the results were announced. When you say you are the official website, please do the honours to update your website as and when there is that requirement to do so. And please give interesting trivia on the groups so those who dunno them would get some idea on what they are all about and what they stand for. Berita Harian, being the official media besides Manja magazine, has also not written much about the competition and the groups still in contention. Maybe I’m being too harsh and a little too expectant since it’s only a week into the competition. I’ll reserve more flak or praise as the weeks pass by. Right, so now on to my review proper.
This week, the first six groups battle it out to win the hearts of the judges and voting audience. For those who are interested in voting, you may start to vote as at 9:00pm just now and it will end at 6:00pm next Tuesday 20th May 2008. Smses cost 60 cents and pre-paid card holders are ineligible to vote. For the uninitiated, this is how you should vote: Band <space> Group Code and send it to 73388. It’s that simple really. The following are the codes to vote for this week: Fatskunks (1), Cucu Datuk Merah (2), Virus Cinta (3), Helven (4), Edmushyta (5) and X-Tech (6).
First Performance – Fatskunks (Kau / Buka Api)
This group is different than most of the groups on display in that they have a raggae / R&B / jazzy feel to them. I dunno what it was they were trying to put across but it did not give me good vibes other than the fact that the lead vocalist’s voice was their saving grace. Not convincing enough but I believe they have a lot of supporters out there who could save them from being eliminated.
Second Performance – Cucu Datuk Merah (Terharu)
This group is touted as one of the favourites by the others in the competition and it is easy to see why when you see them perform minus the vocals. I didn’t quite understand why there were too many cooks trying to spoil the broth when one vocalist or at the most, two could have been enough. Worse still, those who sang seemed to have eaten cheese before they performed and it was evident when you hear the unnecessary slang. To top it off, they forgot the lyrics on a number of occasions. Truly a performance not worth remembering.
Third Performance – Virus Cinta (Kau Atau Aku)
I thought the show only properly kicked off when this group came on stage. From the short clips I saw of this group from the audition stages, I thought they would be one of the dark horses of the competition. And I was not made to feel disappointed when I watched their performance tonight. Turning a pop song like “Kau Atau Aku” into a ska-flavoured one certainly did not spoil the essence and I feel this group still have more up their sleeves if given the opportunity to progress.
Fourth Performance – Helven (Marabahaya)
This song requires one to add zest and punch in the delivery and I only felt it at the start during the rap part. Watching them perform this song is like charting a graph where the performance level went up at the start, goes down with the non-singing part in between and then up again with the rap and ended off on a slight whimper, though it has to be said that their showmanship was quite a sight to behold. Harmonising is not their greatest forte and they would do well to avoid singing songs that require them to do so. Funnily enough, this song by Pop Shuvit has yet to be played on our local airwaves / did not catch on with the listeners.
Fifth Performance – Edmushyta (Farhana – Putri Bumi Kenyalang)
I can’t fault the vocalist’s delivery of this song other than the fact he tripped on his lyrics once, which is a minor factor that most people might have missed out. There might also have been a slight pitching problem but overall I thought he made a difficult song to sing quite easy in the end. Maybe the only grouse I could say is that wearing what he wore (a vest) and singing the song he sang did not quite match up. Reminds me of a wedding singer actually. One of the better performances but still lacking that oomph factor.
Sixth Performance – X-Tech (Pangeran Cinta)
Best performance of the night by a mile. This is to be expected since this group is afterall the champion of Band Remix in 2006 organised by RIA 89.7FM. Everything from the execution to the delivery to the showmanship, I felt that none of the other contestants could touch them tonight. I think they have just set the standards to achieve what is needed to win this competition and the rest would do well to learn from them. I’m salivating for more from them in the coming weeks ahead.
Random Thoughts – I thought the judges were ok tonight, surprisingly, since regular readers of this blog would know I’m not Eddy Ali‘s biggest fan. The only thing I would like to point out is that Addy Cradle is too nice to be a judge. He would do well to express his own opinions without trying to repeat what Jatt and Eddy had already said before him. To be fair to him, he did improve as the show went on but commenting on three or four of the performances was not enough to know what goes on in his mind. He should also show enough gumption and say which performances were bad rather than say they were good to mask whatever failures there were. Still, Addy‘s comments on the technical aspects were refreshing in my point of view. Likewise Jatt‘s who is a veteran in the scene.
Six down this week and another six to go the following week. I can’t wait to see what Knightwings have in store. Ever since I saw the lead vocalist performed at last year’s Band Remix competition performing for Opurzit Youth who were eliminated from the Top 20, I have a feeling he’s destined for a career in the music industry. Cos it’s difficult to sing a rock number and in a high pitch voice without going off key or off pitch. And everyone knows that I always have a soft spot for singers who manage to make my hair stand when they open their mouths to sing. This guy is no different. Hopefully he would repeat the same performance he did last week.