Pesta Perdana 10 Review…

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I’m facing a bout of writer’s block at the moment. But as I progress and type this entry, I hope everything will fall into place and at the same time, break the dam and let the thoughts flow. Before I move on, let me just take this opportunity to thank two parties that mattered most, firstly, Siti Zalinah Adam, for kindly inviting me and the wife to the event and for providing an excellent warm service for me with regards to moving around and getting good shots of the artistes during the reception. Oh and not to mention for providing the winners’ list as well, even though I have already noted them down myself. Secondly I would like to say thank you to my outfit sponsor, Jatt’s Collezione, for the nice getup that made me looked a little slimmer than I actually am. At least I wasn’t too overdressed last night like some events I attended in the past. Hahahah…

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Dalina Jaapar interviewing (from left) Rita Zahara, Sharon Ismail & Ariati Tyeb Papar…

Before I embarked on typing this entry, I took the time to surf around to see what was the general consensus of the watching audience, be it live, at home or via web streaming. And I have to say and agree with majority, if not all of them, that Pesta Perdana 10 was an event that somehow failed to live up to expectations, being a prestigious event that our local entertainment industry look forward to year in and out. Ok, maybe in this case, once every two years. Why??? There were quite a few factors which I’m sure for those who watched, would have taken note of. And me being there live at the Mediacorp TV Theatre where it was held, could see and hear the endless grouses around me. And these grouses came from people who have been in the industry long enough to know what they were talking about. Me??? I’m just a novice who is reviewing this based on what I saw and heard with my own eyes and ears.

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Wifey along with Manja Style Award winner Fiza O (left) and Nity Baizura (right)…

The good thing about being invited to such an event was that for once, I did not have to miss my evening responsibilities, as I had all the time to arrive at the Caldecott Broadcast Centre before the stipulated time that was stated on our invitation cards. When we arrived at the reception lobby, I wasn’t expecting a line to be formed just to wait for our cue to enter the building. But I thought ok, maybe they just needed us to enter in batches. But as time ticked by, the queue became longer and longer right up to the entrance of the lobby. All the invitees (artistes, media people, award nominees etc) could be seen getting impatient but to their credit, they killed time by chatting with one another and taking photographs of each other. I also took the time to exchange pleasantries with people I know. Had there been normal fans at the reception area, I can bet that all hell would break loose with them clamouring to take photographs. For the record, we waited close to half an hour before we were allowed into the building.

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The man needs no introduction…

As we entered the lobby of the building where the auditorium was situated, we had to form rows again as Suria staff on hand, had to confirm our attendance and informed us of where we were to be seated in the auditorium. Precious minutes were wasted again so to speak. What made it worse there was that there were only two lifts going down to the auditorium at B3, and only one was in operation!!! As it was getting too crowded at the lobby with people forming rows or waiting for their turn to enter the lifts, some wise heads managed to open the doors to the staircase and that was when everyone started to move. The moment we entered the staircase, our sense of smell was severely challenged with the intoxicating smell of cigarette smoke. It was definitely a great way to minimise waiting time by going down the stairs but one had to “embrace and inhale it all in“, in the words of celebrity lawyer, Rudy Marican, who was walking in front of us.

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The talented siblings, Habriyah and Hasif

The moment we stepped into the auditorium, it was exactly 8.30pm and the show had begun. I dunno why, but I wasn’t quite interested at looking at what was happening on stage. I was more mesmerised by the amount of vacant seats on the lower tiers where we were supposed to be seated and wondering why it was conspicuously “empty” on certain sections. Surely I thought that I cannot be considered “an early bird”??? In the end, we were all allowed to move in and sit when the show went into its first interval. The ushers were unsure of where our seats were supposed to be at so they said we could sit anywhere we liked. I had half the mind to sit at the lower tiers where the nominees were seated but I thought sitting with people from the industry whom I have known for years was more appropriate. So we ended up plonking ourselves in the same section as veterans in the industry. Good thing too since it was an opportunity to listen to their off-the-cuff remarks as the show progressed.

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Mawar Berduri of Ahli Fiqir…

Ok I will not relate everything that went on on stage because I’m sure most of you who had watched it would know who were the winners, the movers and shakers as well as seen for yourselves the major cock-ups that happened. Before I start talking about the negatives, I will highlight the positives in that personally I enjoyed the little skits, the performances (even though some were lip-synched) and most notably the antics of Najip Ali & Nuraliza Osman when they presented the awards and also when Suhaimi Yusof, Jack Neo & Vadi came up to present as well. I think these more established hosts (i.e. Najip & Suhaimi in particular) livened up the show that was close to being a drab affair no thanks to a weary and tired-looking host in Aaron Aziz. Also, I felt that this year, all the winners were justified and not as questionable as in years past.

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Nick Mikhail looking suave

Right, so now I’m pulling out my knives to dissect some of the things that went wrong. I hope that whatever criticisms I dish out henchforth would be taken with pinches of salt; not to paint an extremely bad picture but for the necessary parties to take them up and improve on future productions. I have to apologise to Aaron Aziz, extremely nice and charming person that he is, but I have to be fair and professional and say the choice of making him the host, in front of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Singapore, was an extremely wrong one. I dunno if it was cold feet that he was suffering from, but reliable sources had informed me that it was more due to a lack of rehearsals and training on his part. Now I’m not gonna take everything I heard at face value and believe everything, but indeed the soul of such a prestigious event lie in how the host carries the show for 2-3 hours, even if it means he has to ad-lib or add certain things not written in the script when things go unexpectedly wrong, which is to be expected in a live event.

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Joe Lazarie, he is well known in the theatre circle…

I agree it is not an easy task and I cannot put the sole blame on Aaron himself. I think he tried his best but his best just was not enough. An event touted as huge as this needed someone with character, expertise and most importantly, experience, in this line. Aaron is known as an actor and acting is what he does best, bless him. As the night went on, I wondered what is the point of finding new talents in hosting, in shows like Juara, Anugerah Skrin and such, when you don’t tap their talents or groom them to host big shows like these??? The least we could have was an experienced host who is able to carry the show single handedly on his / her shoulders like Suhaimi or Najip. It’s not about the looks, but how that person can bring life out of an awards show which is typically draggy in nature and awards shows are almost always notoriously known as such. Looks play a part I agree, but I think the watching audience at home are also concerned about how well the host entice eyes to be glued to the google box with his nonchalance and antics.

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Suzairhe reminds me of Usher

Not even having a partner would have improved the show. If you are good, you can singlehandedly do it alone. Sometimes having too many cooks could also spoil the broth. I think I was not the only one in the audience who squirmed whenever Aaron tripped on his lines or sounded as though he was blabbering and trying to find the right words to use. Cos clearly I think the script was lost in his head as shown by certain segments of the show whereby he had to refer to his cue cards in front of the watching audience. That is a cardinal sin to make and somehow the word “prestigious” seemed to have escaped my mind to describe the event that was unfolding in front of my eyes. I think the main fault lies not with Aaron, but to whoever that was that chose him above more experienced people. This kind of mistake should never happen again. If this had happened in Malaysia or Indonesia, you can expect and guaran-damn-tee the media scribes to have a field day.

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The comeback kid with the best quote of the night, Shahrin Azhar

I was actually surprised to read the programme notes that the event was supposed to be a 2-hour affair. When I realised that fact upon reading it (since it was written at the back of the programme) at about 10:10pm during one of the commercial breaks, I was left wondering if we would ever finish the show on time or at the most before 11pm because we were only halfway there. I think we all know by now that an awards presentation show can never end within the stipulated time of 2 hours especially when you know you have a grand total of 27 awards to give away plus the amount of time it takes for the winners to get onto the stage to receive their awards and how long they take to give their speeches. A dry run or numerous rehearsals beforehand would have given you an indication of how long the programme would stretch.

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My mentor, Abg Keatar along with Encik JA Halim and wife…

Which brings me to the following. I think the idea of limiting one’s winning / acceptance speech to thirty seconds is a great idea. However with such novelty, there should be a certain degree of leeway towards certain individuals. When you have veteran people in the industry winning for the first time in 40 years of toil, sweat, blood and tears to the profession they love so much, thirty seconds is scant respect one could accord to them to say their piece. They have after all earned it and might never earn it again in future or take up another few years before they can receive it again (touch wood). The least we could do is allow them the time to say something a bit more and perhaps share valuable advice to the younger generation who have just stepped into the scene. Since it is afterall the norm for the veterans to pass advice whenever they give an acceptance speech. I’m sure when the rehearsals and dry runs were made, the people in charge of the audio and sound system would have an idea on who were slated to win. Even if they did not, it’s up to their disgression to gauge how long before they start to prompt the winners that time is up on the actual day. And thirty seconds is just too short for these worthy winners.

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No one can deny Hasnul Rahmat‘s pedigree…

Speaking of which, why in the world was Fiza O the only person not accorded the chance to say something for winning Manja’s Style Award??? Because for those of you who could recall watching the show, the moment they shooed her off the stage before she could walk over to the rostrum, they were waiting for Aaron to come back to introduce the next segment. And the poor guy who had been involved in an acting skit along with Zamberi Abdul Fatah, Suhaillah Salam and Haizad Imran shortly before the earlier award presentation, had to rush back and could be heard panting in front of the screen and buttoning his jacket whilst speaking to the audience. That’s a major boo-boo really. At least if Fiza was allowed to say a few words, they could have avoided such an embarrassing situation and adding on to Aaron‘s woes. And all this being done right in front of the President??? My goodness!!! TV production has never gone to this level!!!

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I think some of us missed watching Rita Zahara read the news on Suria

Another thing that I, along with the majority of the audience, were not happy about was the presence of Xiang Yun, who gave away the Best Actor and Actress awards with Sharon Ismail. Pray tell me what her appearance could do, or be of distinct significance to the show??? I hope I don’t sound racist, but her presence and constant communicating in Mandarin left many in a quandary, to the point one member of the audience quipped loudly that this was Suria and not Channel 8. There was a stark difference to how welcomed her presence and Jack Neo‘s was. Jack was embraced by the audience because he not only spoke in English which was understood by many, but he also took the time and made the effort to speak in Malay, even if his pronunciation left us in stitches. But take nothing away from the guy, he showed great courage and determination to respect the event but sad to say, Xiang Yun was irrelevant to the show. The least the producers could do was pick a Malaysian-born Channel 8 actor or actress who could speak the language (Apple Hong comes to mind) and not make the audience cringed and wondered what was being said. Anyway I wonder if any of our entertainers, no matter in which field they excel in, get to present an award in Channel 8 shows like Star Awards.

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Suhaillah Salam still looks gorgeous as ever. Must be the London air…

It was quite amusing to hear the acceptance speech when the previous Pesta Perdana was the Most Popular Programme, based on the number of viewership it garnered back in 2007. They were hoping to snare another one in the next edition of Pesta Perdana but judging by the reactions I read online so far, I wonder if watching from start till end is the main criteria or whether switching off halfway is still considered as watching throughout. The online hacks generally said the show sucked, of which the majority was attributed to Aaron‘s questionable presentation style while some complained about whether certain winners were worthy. All I can counter them is that winning is not about whether the person or the programme is popular in their eyes, but how good they were in the eyes of the judging panel, of which I have no qualms, as the winners all deserved them and I think the people around me also agreed, since they know and have all the experience to go along with whatever decisions that were made to present the award to the worthy. And it was heartening to see at times they stood up to give their fellow colleagues a standing ovation even if they were sitting quite far from one another.

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When two cousins meet… Noor Atika & wifey…

Maybe another suggestion that can be pondered upon is to open up organising such big events like Salam Lebaran and even Pesta Perdana to other production houses. Some of these companies might have their own ways in going about doing them, perhaps they could inject and infuse other creative elements. Not that Eaglevision is not doing a good job at it but I think it would be fair to move around so that we do not get almost similar or repackaged products year in and out. The other production houses have shown their worth through the quality programmes that they are able to churn out and win for that matter. I’m sure given the opportunity, they would be able to do a good job as well. Eaglevision under Suria‘s banner could assist in various ways. In a small country like us, I think competitiveness just to gain ratings in this small industry should not be a hindrance for them to want to work together. Who knows, a working synergy might just improve things as we go along. Now that’s an experiment that I’m willing to see, not an experiment on an inexperienced host on a big stage.

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I think no one can begrudge this win cos Wahyu‘s stock rose after Jeritan Sepi 3

I think I enjoyed the last event of the day the most, which was the reception afterwards. Not only was it an opportunity to snap photographs of the artistes in their finest regalia, it was a great time to meet old friends in the industry and created windows of opportunity to get acquainted to new ones. A pity that I could not get a lot of photographs as some were either too busy or I did not want to disturb their privacies either tucking into the scrumptious spread or chatting away with their fellow colleagues. Zalinah was such a dear at allowing me into the photography area to get good shots but not many artistes went in there to have their shots taken. I thought I was more fortunate getting them to pose for me while I moved around the reception area. I really cannot thank her enough.

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The glamour couples of 2008: Norfasarie & Baihakki, Nurul Aini & Sofian

I think the most humbling experience I had whilst meeting everyone, was my conversation with Rafaat Hamzah. I have always admired his brutal honesty, not to mention his talents, and during Anugerah Skrin when he was one of the judges, and gave some damning verdicts on some of the contestants. I agreed with most, if not all of his comments back then, even when most people wrote in forums, complaining on national radio and such saying that he was too strict and uptight, even too honest for his own good. But I felt to progress one needs that kick up the backside to improve and to me he was a shining light in that programme. Anyway, whilst talking to him, he told me that he follows this blog regularly. I was quite embarrassed upon hearing it, afraid somewhat that I might have said some wrong things, but he reassured me that he likes reading what I type and to continue doing what I do best. That’s an encouragement coming from someone who shares my trait in being brutally honest in life.

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Another couple who got hitched in 2008, Yusmaini & Eka Mairina

Hope you have enjoyed viewing the photos I’ve taken as well as this review. For the record and before I end, below is the roll of honour at this year’s Pesta Perdana 10:

CATEGORY 1: PELAKON LELAKI TERBAIK DALAM WATAK UTAMA (BEST LEAD ACTOR)
Hasnul Rahmat Cinta Hati – Media Reel

CATEGORY 2: PELAKON WANITA TERBAIK DALAM WATAK UTAMA (BEST LEAD ACTRESS)

Rahimah Yusof – Projek Cerpen: Natasha Arina – ThreeG Karma

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Just loved their Sleeq-ed performance that night…

CATEGORY 3: PELAKON LELAKI TERBAIK DALAM WATAK PEMBANTU (BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE)

JA Halim – 1988…Segaris Sinar – Shortman Films

CATEGORY 4: PELAKON WANITA TERBAIK DALAM WATAK PEMBANTU (BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE)

Mastura Ahmad MANdai UNITED – Timor TV

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Azhar Nor Lesta came with his nephew…

CATEGORY 5: PELAKON TERBAIK DALAM WATAK KOMEDI (BEST ACTOR/ACTRESS IN A COMEDY ROLE)

M Ramlee – Zero Downpayment – Eaglevision Productions

CATEGORY 6: PELAKON HARAPAN TERBAIK (BEST NEWCOMER – ACTING)

Hasif Md Nasir – 1988…Segaris Sinar – Shortman Films

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Syah Iskandar looking cool in this outfit…

CATEGORY 7: PENGACARA TERBAIK (BEST HOST)

Suhaimi Yusof – Pesta Perdana 9 – Eaglevision Productions

CATEGORY 8: BINTANG CILIK TERBAIK (BEST YOUNG STAR)

Nur Habriyah Md Nasir Kerana Fateha Telemovie – Eaglevision Productions

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Faizal (of Kadir & Kadir fame) and Ashmie… Just received news that Ashmie was involved in an accident earlier today. Get well soon & speedy recovery bro!!!

CATEGORY 9: DRAMA TERBAIK (BEST DRAMA SERIES)

1988…Segaris Sinar – Shortman Films

CATEGORY 10: DRAMA KHAS TERBAIK (BEST DRAMA SPECIAL)

Yazid Pakai Lampin – Qaboom Communications

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Eligible bachelors all around (from left): Shahril Wahid, Effandy Idris, Eddy Sali & Wan Mohd Arshad

CATEGORY 11: RANCANGAN HIBURAN TERBAIK (BEST VARIETY SERIES)

Anugerah Band 2008 – Eaglevision Productions

CATEGORY 12: RANCANGAN HIBURAN KHAS TERBAIK (BEST VARIETY SPECIAL)

Sinar Lebaran 2007 Eaglevision Productions

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Fauzie Laily still looking upbeat despite not winning the Most Popular Male award… At least his latest single has climbed up the local charts…

CATEGORY 13: RANCANGAN INFORMASI TERBAIK (BEST INFO-ED PROGRAMME)

Mentari Sr 1 – Qaboom Communications

CATEGORY 14: RANCANGAN KANAK-KANAK TERBAIK (BEST CHILDREN’S PROGRAMME)

Ekstra! – Dua M

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Marina Yusoff… Still looking beautiful as ever…

CATEGORY 15: ARAHAN TERBAIK – DRAMA (BEST DIRECTING – DRAMA)

1988…Segaris Sinar – Sanif Olek – Shortman Films

CATEGORY 16: ARAHAN TERBAIK – HIBURAN (BEST DIRECTING – VARIETY)

Sinar Lebaran 2008 – Amirudin Abbas, Neng Hayati & Zaharian Osman – Eaglevision Productions

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This is Nadiah Mohd of Rahsia Perkahwinan 2 fame…

CATEGORY 17: VIDEOGRAFI TERBAIK – DRAMA (BEST VIDEOGRAPHY – DRAMA)

MANdai UNITED – Timor TV Art Team – Timor TV

CATEGORY 18: SKRIP TERBAIK – DRAMA (BEST WRITING – DRAMA)

1988…Segaris Sinar – Seri Wahyuni Jaes – Shortman Films

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A very loving couple: Kak Yana & Abg Suhaimi Yusof

CATEGORY 19: SKRIP TERBAIK – HIBURAN / INFORMASI (BEST WRITING – VARIETY/INFO-ED)

Jalan Sr 2 – Idzwan Othman – Oak 3 Films

CATEGORY 20: DESAIN PEMBUKAAN TERBAIK (BEST OPENING TITLE DESIGN)

SEKSa – Screenbox Creative Post – Screenbox

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Maiya Rahman has taken great pains to assert herself in the industry. Hopefully she can break the monopoly of male singers…

CATEGORY 21: REKA IMEJ TERBAIK (BEST IMAGE & STYLING)

MANdai UNITED – Timor TV Art Team – Timor TV

CATEGORY 22: LAGU TEMA TERBAIK (BEST THEME SONG)

Kerana Fateha – Rintihan Hati – Composer: Mayuni Omar – Lyricist: Amanah Mustafi – Artiste: Hariani Hassan Bakri – Eaglevision Productions

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Our old friend, Fadhilah Samsudin

CATEGORY 23: RANCANGAN PALING POPULAR (MOST POPULAR PROGRAMME)

Pesta Perdana 9

CATEGORY 24: PERSONALITI LELAKI PALING POPULAR (MOST POPULAR MALE PERSONALITY)

Suhaimi Yusof Code: L5

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Sani Hussin – One actor that can bring any role you give to him and he will do it with ease…

CATEGORY 25: PERSONALITI WANITA PALING POPULAR (MOST POPULAR FEMALE PERSONALITY)

Wahyu Rahman – Code: W5

Credits to Suria for the information given above…

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And that’s Sani‘s sister, Rosita… I think they should start giving her meatier roles other than those in comedies cos she has the potential…