This entry nearly did not make it, simply because I was too lazy and procrastinating whether to do it or not. After such a lengthy entry on the Kuala Lumpur trip, all I wanted was to rest a few days before I start again on the Anugerah 2009 reviews. This past Tuesday, the eighth episode was a resurrected platform for six of the eliminated Anugerettes to stake their claims once again to continue their journey in the competition. It was the last chance saloon so to speak, with regards to winning the hearts of the judging panel. By the way, this past week, there were no votes from viewers so it was purely the judges’ decision as to who would go through to next Tuesday‘s semi-final rounds. Joining the judging panel as the guest judge was Manja‘s Editor Aidli Alin Mosbit.
I thought the idea of making the six contestants – Ize Suliman, Nora Baharom, Hydir Idris, Sarah Aqilah, Azhar Raz & Asilah Osmera – doing the honours of hyping up the show in the first quarter was a good idea to test their interactive skills with the audience, even though it was just to make an announcement. However, the ones who aced it in my opinion, happened to be the ones who were eliminated much earlier (Ize & Asilah) cos they seemed at ease and confident speaking to the microphones. I was surprised that the extra weeks in the competition did not bring the confidence out on the other four when interacting with the audience. Hydir especially was a bundle of nerves and it showed, especially when he forgot what to say and nobody was there to do a bit of ad-libbing for him. Maybe it was a wrong choice to do this, but at the same time, if they don’t, then they might never start to learn how to address the audience.
Ize Suliman – With such high stakes in place, he kickstarted the competition with a rousing rendition of Faizal Tahir‘s “Kasih Tercipta“. I believe he did nothing wrong and certainly made the song his own by singing it in his own style. In fact, this was the best performance I’ve witnessed Ize executing throughout his stay in the competition. He actually set the standards for the night and at this point of time, I thought the only way he could be eliminated is if the other two guys were to raise the bar higher with their own respective performances.
Nora Baharom – Nora as all of us who follow the show on a weekly basis would know, continues to improve with every performance. However, singing Linda AF2‘s “Aku Cinta Kamu“, she somehow stuck to her comfort zone. Contrary to what the judges had commented about her expressions and emotions, I thought she did ok, but there was still that missing element of breaking out and letting herself go when it came to hitting the high notes. It did not help matters when quizzed by the judges, she mispronounced her words and fumbled on her sentence structure, the jitters probably getting to her.
Hydir Idris – If Faizal Tahir was following this reality show, he must have been beaming with pride cos Hydir became the second guy to sing one of his songs, “Sampai Syurga“. Hydir performed as how we have come to be accustomed by his performances. However there were no frills, he kept it simple and surprisingly did not execute as much vocal gymnastics as in previous rounds. Though I detected a few minor pitching problems, it still wasn’t enough to deter the judges from singing his praises.
Sarah Aqilah – In a round where the judges are their only executioners, Sarah was intelligent enough to stick to what she knows best – singing power ballads like Agnes Monica‘s “Tanpa Kekasihku” – rather than experiment with a song that is of a more upbeat tempo. Consistency is also the name of the game and she did herself no harm by keeping it safe. But one can’t help detecting the crack in her voice towards the end of the song. Though the performance was good, I still think the judges over-exaggerated their comments on Sarah being ready for any stage out there. To do that, she MUST get out from her comfort zone and be more versatile. Anugerah is just a basic grounding stage for these wannabes, they need a lot of time and experience to hone their skills to be even better so as to be termed “ready for the world stage”.
Azhar Raz – His forte since the audition rounds is singing songs sung by female singers and in a round where he needed to showcase his strengths, he picked a song sung by Ayu, the second season winner of Malaysia‘s One In A Million competition, entitled “Hanya Di Mercu“. Though his vocal efforts were flawless as usual, his downside was not to synergise his expressions and emotions along with his interaction with the audience. It was difficult to feel the connection between himself and the audience.
Asilah Osmera – If I were to be harsh, I would say that the judges made the wrong choice in choosing her to be in the Wildcard Round. But I’ve seen in Episode 4, whereby her performance actually made my hairs stood, so there is some credibility in putting her in this round. I have to agree with Eddy Ali that Asilah chose the wrong song as she was basically struggling throughout her performance. I was cringing on my seat watching her sing and I thought Asilah should have done better by singing another song that would really highlight her strengths. The judges comments on her literally sounded the death knell on her progress in the competition. But to be fair to Asilah, singing Melly Goeslaw and Kris Dayanti‘s “Cinta“, is a challenge on its own. This song is best sung by two singers, not one.
Syed Azmir was the guest artiste for the night… Excellent performance and showmanship… This guy has added dancing into his repertoire…
And so, from the results, we now know that Hydir Idris and Sarah Aqilah were chosen to progress into the semi-final rounds. However, it has to be said that the judges were “guilty” of announcing the results through their various comments. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know Sarah is going through simply when Gani and Aidli spoke about her being ready for the world stage. It also doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to inform Watson that something was elementary, just by listening to their comments on Hydir being “fresh” and executing “a strong showmanship”, while playing down and being polite with their comments towards the other four contestants.
Awaiting their fates…
Somehow I personally felt that this round was a mere formality even though all six contestants must be applauded for giving their all and in some cases, their best performance throughout their stay in the competition. Even though it was only the start of the show, Gani already let slip through this comment, “Whatever happens tonight, I hope you two will not stop singing…” Ok some might say it’s just a hypothetical comment, but it proved ominous by the end of the show. I hope in future, to keep the audience in the theatre and at home on the edge of their seats, comments like these could be phrased better so as not to announce the results even before others had gone on stage to perform. It gives the impression that this competition is scripted like watching World Wrestling Entertainment when we know it’s not.
The 6 semi-finalists…
Next Tuesday, we will see the Top 6 battling it out in the Semi-Final round. Based on information I received, Hydir will kickstart the competition followed by Kunjung, Wawan, Catty, Chirul and Sarah Aqilah. I believe by now you should know the codes to call or sms your votes in. If not, it’s ok cos I will include it in my next review on Anugerah 2009. For those of you reading this before 3pm on Saturday, if you’re free, do come down to East Point Mall to lend your support to the semi-finalists in the Anugerah 2009 roadshow. Guest artistes like Imran Ajmain, The Fabulous Cats, Liana Jasmay, Diana Danielle, Han and Nurul will be there as well. The roadshow will be from 3pm-6pm…