I just got home from Mediacorp TV Theatre, my virgin experience sitting in a live Anugerah televised event and this was all thanks to the kind invitation from Mediacorp Suria. I must say it was an experience that made me feel bittersweet. The sweet part was seeing the competition live as compared to watching it on television and taking in the atmosphere. The bitter part was having to listen to the incessant wisecracks coming from uncivilised people in the audience who could not shut their mouths when they were supposed to.
Look, nobody is preventing you from shouting yourselves hoarse for your favourite contestants, but when the hosts were presenting or when the panel of judges were giving their views, you jolly well shut your bloody gaps instead of drowning the atmosphere with your cacophony. Too many people, especially from the Sein Ahmad and Azhar Raz camps, had too much to say, too many unneccessary things to voice out. I’m sure some of this uncalled-for quips could be heard by the viewers at home. Let me put this nicely to you in Malay: “JANGAN MALUKAN BANGSA DENGAN PERANGAI KORANG YANG TAK BERTAMADUN!!!” Really, in this age of modernisation, some people dunno when to be rowdy and when to respect watching a live show.
Zaibaktian being interviewed by Dyn Norahim, Warna 94.2FM deejay who was the pre-show host…
Back to the show, this week and next week, the contestants sang and will sing songs from Singaporean artistes from 2005 onwards. This is the reason why the theme for both weeks will be “Rentak Kita” as per mentioned in my last entry. Joining the resident panel of judges who need no introduction by now was RIA 89.7FM‘s Programme Director, Mr. Hassan Salleh. The show was graced by the presence of local artistes sitting in the front row like Zaibaktian, Elfee R. Ismail, Aliff Aziz, Syarif (Sleeq), Didicazli, Syed Azmir and Ross Revalina amongst others, while the second row was made up of the female contestants “taking a break” this week.
Rewind back to what happened last week where it was a mad rush seeing all twenty contestants performing, I was eager to see how the boys perform today and given the opportunity to sing slightly longer than the previous week, which to me wasn’t such a good gauge as they only had 30 seconds at best. To me, a better gauge would be singing half a song. That’s where you can clearly capture their emotions to the songs they sing and get a better idea on how they execute the songs. I hope in future rounds they would get to sing a bit longer.
Stylish or too girly??? You be the judge…
Before I say more, I just wanna voice my displeasure at how the boys are being styled. Actually I wanted to say this last week but did not do so as I thought it was a one-off. But when I saw it again just now, I can’t help but have to bring it up in this entry. While the military get-up looked slick on the boys, the make-up on their faces somehow made them looked more feminine than they should. Male contestants do not have to put too much make up on their faces. A little powder would do. What we have been seeing for the past two weeks is that they had a thick wad of powder on their faces and lip gloss that really showed as though they had put on lipstick as well. I would expect the ladies to be all made-up but the guys??? C’mon, I’m sure we don’t want them to look like those at Changi Village do we???
Another thing I did not feel comfortable watching was the dance choreography when the contestants performed as a group in the last segment of the show. The dance steps came across too girly for my liking. For the benefit of doubt, I would perhaps point to the fact that the boys are not natural dancers to know whether their steps made them look more girly or not. Perhaps also, they were too mindful of their coordination and having to sing at the same time that made them looked more graceful than they should. I dunno, I just felt my eyes were feeling a bit sore from watching them dance. Can we have more manly steps in future, Mr. Eddy???
Ok this review is turning into a review of complaints. I guess I will finish my round of complaints by saying Gani Karim and Ann Hussein need to brush up on their Malay. While Ann‘s vocabulary is limited (she doesn’t have much to say really), Gani seemed more at ease expressing his views in English. When he realised he had to express it in Malay, he jumbled the words up and at times made the audience laugh. Even Eddy Ali was seen grinning away at how Gani was finding it difficult to voice out his opinions. Ann also seems to stray away from her standing as vocal coach, preferring to comment on how handsome a particular contestant she likes looks, rather than how they performed vocally.
But for all the negativities, one point I need to highlight is that I saw a complete turnaround from last week’s excitement by the hosts to the point they were competing with each other for who would trip on their words the most. There was none of those just now and all I saw was an extremely confident and polished performance by both hosts. And I hope they would maintain that level of confidence as the weeks progress. A strong host anchoring a big event like this is needed to carry the show forward even if the spotlight is on the contestants. Like I told Fauzie afterwards, he did great and it showed.
Finally my thoughts on each contestant tonight:
Kamsani Jumahat – He sang Merah‘s “Cintaku“. The song has that rockish edge to it. The boy was also dressed for the occasion. Sadly, there was nothing rockish about the performance even though it was a confident one. He did nothing wrong vocal-wise, but lacked the charisma to carry it off. Could do well to make use of the space on stage to strut around and give facial expressions which best befit how a rock song is performed.
Ize Suliman – He sang a song penned by local songwriter Jaliboy called “Kau Bintangku“. It doesn’t take a professional vocal coach or musician to detect that Ize was unsure at the start, lagging behind the tempo of the song. But to his credit he eventually regained his composure and did the song some justice. However, he lacked crowd interaction and feel. In danger of elimination unless his fans save him via their smses.
Wawan – This was the guy who was the best male contestant last week as shown in the charts, which meant he got to choose his group members in the group segment. From my observations of this boy, he is fond of tweaking the songs he is supposed to sing and rearranging the song to suit his taste. Last week I said I tend to hate the songs he sings, but this week, I take back my words and say his rendition of Rauzan‘s “Kasih Mengapa” was beautifully done. A pity however, his vocals fell short and was a bit pitchy towards the end. I just hope it is not a sign of complacency on his part.
Azhar Raz – He continues to put in an almost flawless performance this week. When it comes to nailing a song with the snap of the fingers, you can always count on Azhar to pull it off, especially when the song is as difficult as Iskandar Ismail‘s “Adakah Mungkin“. The potrayal of emotions to the song is evident for all to see, but in terms of crowd interaction, he still needs to improve. A pity however that his set of fans seem to spoil it all with their wisecracks and constant bellowing from where they were. He was the best up to this point.
Chirul – He made Fauzie Laily an extremely happy person for singing his song “Selalu“. But Chirul did not make the judges and this person reviewing, happy persons watching his performance. Seeing him from the audition rounds, we know he has lots of potential and in the words of Gani Karim, he has the most manly voice amongst the male contestants. His performance just now was patchy to say the least and he went flat several times towards the end. There should be a consistency to his performance if he wants to progress further.
Izam – I noticed that Izam loves to sing songs of a rockish nature. Nothing wrong with that actually cos that’s where his strengths lie and what his voice is suited to singing. I think he listened to the comments made by the judges on Kamsani and used them to his advantage when singing Merah‘s “Andai“. Cos what we all saw was a confident performance complete with playing with the microphone stand and strutting all over the stage. Even though the showmanship was good, vocal-wise he seems to lack the cutting edge of a rocker. He also did not exude the aura of a champion.
Sein Ahmad – One of the crowd favourites solely for his looks, he needs his fanbase to up their ante on their sms-es if they want him to emerge as champion. He came across as one of the weakest in my opinion, going flat on the low notes. Even though to his credit, he tried to open up and do a bit of dance steps to Zaibaktian‘s “Lelaki Baru“, it was actually irrelevant to a song of that nature. He also showed no emotions when the song is supposed to make one regret of his “wrongdoings” and wanting to turn over a new leaf. He needs to learn to feel the song he sings.
Hydir Idris – Surprise!!! Surprise!!! Our birthday boy of the day emerged as the best performer of the night!!! Actually it’s no surprise that he was the best performer. He has been going from strength to strength with each round and just now, he just changed my opinion last week, from being a potential semi-finalist to a possible champion this week. It was there for all to see. His performance was well-measured, his voice was extremely soulful singing Aliff Aziz‘s “Nyala“, even better than the original version with all due respect to Aliff. With looks to go along, this boy is THE PACKAGE they are looking for. It was no wonder the whole auditorium went berserk no matter which camp they supported. He had them all under his thumb. He would do well not to let all the hype get to his head. It was touching to see him overcome with emotions and crying when the show was over, listening to the audience singing him the birthday song.
Group performance – I think both groups gave patchy performances at best. It was a matter of who made the least mistakes to get the judges’ nod of approval. The group consisting of Wawan, Azhar, Ize & Kamsani sang Didicazli‘s “Sederhana” while Chirul, Izam, Sein & Hydir sang Syed Azmir‘s “Ke Alam Rahsiamu“. The former group did not do well as a unit, with their harmony going off and Wawan especially was guilty of not replicating his performance from last week. One wonders if he sings better with a female by his side or a male cos clearly his duet with Kunjung last week was one of the best we’ve seen so far in the competition for their intense chemistry. The latter group did slightly better and collectively, they stood out with their nonchalance. Even their harmony was good.
And so, we await till next Tuesday, to see which two of the contestants will be booted out from the competition. In case you dunno how you can do your part in voting for your favourites, you can refer to my previous entry on how you can go about doing so. Till then, hope you guys like this review and thank you to Fauzie Laily for helping me piece some of the missing puzzles. He knows what I’m referring to…