Anugerah 2011 Episode 6 Recap…

This entry nearly did not make it, for the fact that my home PC crashed on Monday night and all my photographs are usually stored in my hard disk. My Twitter and Facebook followers would have noted that I had lamented that I will not be able to make any entries or reviews as a result. Thanks to the wifey’s newly-acquired laptop that I am able to retract my previous status. Since my trademark watermark template has gone as well, I am bending backwards and allowing the photographs I took to be displayed without them. I hope any decent person out there who would be saving the photographs I upload henceforth and displaying on their respective sites, would have the basic courtesy to credit this site for it.

Our ever bubbly hosts Huda Ali, Fauzie Laily & Nity Baizura

Anugerah 2011‘s sixth episode showcased the girls in the quarter-final round. Continuing from the previous week’s episode whereby the male contestants were required to host as a side challenge and sing songs by local artistes, the female contestants were tasked to do the same. No doubt the girls had the luxury of watching last week’s episode, taking in the tips that were dispensed by the judging panel and noting the mistakes made by the guys, not to mention having an extra week to smoothen the rough edges, but it only served to increase the expectations of the watching audience that the girls should be doing much better than their male counterparts. So did the girls rise to the occasion or did they crumble from the weight of expectancy??? Read on…

 Solo Performances & Hosting Segment

Shikin (Hosting) – She dispelled all the negative vibes I had from seeing the male contestants hosting last week by delivering a confident performance to kick start the show proper. Her rich voice tone, allied with her cheery personality, had all the attributes of a radio presenter. Even before guest judge Rilla Melati had pointed out that fact, it was already etched in my head that she would make a good radio presenter if given the opportunity and if the singing line is not meant for her. Heck she can even make a good television presenter with the way she speaks and how she delivered with the correct intonations.

Rahayu Ridwan – I chanced upon the tweet made by local singer, Roze Kasmani, earlier in the day on Tuesday informing that Rahayu would be singing her first single, “Harum“. I thought perhaps this was a song that Rahayu could finally sing without feeling uncomfortable as compared to previous weeks. But when she sang, I could not help but wondered if the song was a bit too easy without the need for her to stretch her vocals too much. As the weeks progress, she should be aiming higher and not sticking to her comfort zone. Though her performance was slightly better than previous weeks’, there were still parts when she went a bit pitchy. Exuding the sex appeal in her showmanship was spot on as the song called for it, but then again, it comes as no surprise as she is already a natural stunner. Whatever she does on stage is already sexy enough to the warm-blooded males out there. She needs to cut down on slouching though.

Norul (Hosting) – If Shikin earlier had given me good vibes watching her host, then Norul just raised the bar a little bit higher. Compared to ShikinNorul was slightly more confident and just by observing her delivery, it felt as though she has been doing it for ages. She was full of vigour and excitement, that she was going on and on like an express train. Knowing her background being a regular performer at weekend weddings, she definitely has the edge when it comes to interacting with the host as well as the audience and knowing when to pull the right strings when it mattered. Towards the end, her level of energy and enthusiasm seemed to nosedive a little but I doubt it mattered much to the judges.

Erlina – I dunno why, but everytime I watch Erlina perform, I always fear that her voice would crack whenever she attempts the high notes and this was no different especially when she did it towards the end. I have to applaud her though for being brave enough to sing a challenging song as Nurun Nuwarrah‘s “Kau Ingin Ku Miliki“. Though I agree with Ann Hussein that she delivered an “almost perfect performance”, I cannot help but to observe that her nervousness, her calculative steps, her discomfort at having to move in high heels, the various tempos of the song and having to catch her breaths at the right moments were factors that hindered her from getting it “perfect”. I felt the ending when she heaved a huge sigh of relief was a bit too dramatic for my liking.

Rahayu Ridwan (Hosting) – I think she’s quite receptive to advices and tips dispensed by the good people around her. One improvement I observed has been her tendency to smile more, which brings out her personality and ups her likeability factor. Hosting though is still a long way off for her, as she was nervous at the start, judging by the way she held her microphone, a bit like what Ace did and what I had commented on him last week. Watching her host felt like watching someone reading from a teleprompter, her voice intonations were also a bit unnatural. As judge Rilla pointed out, there seemed to be a confusion of identity with the way she delivered her hosting segment, as her physical outlook and voice did not match. Her hand gesture when introducing Baby Sulastri, could have also been better executed by extending her arms fully rather than half-heartedly.

Baby Sulastri – Power ballads are her forte, that’s what regular viewers of Anugerah 2011 would have noted by now. There is no doubt that when it comes to this genre, few in the competition could be as highly consistent as her. This past Tuesday was no different when she sang Norazela Rosli‘s “Di Sini Aku Menanti“. I think I’m lost for superlatives to describe her flawless performances week in week out. It is as though she can do no wrong. However, she needs to get out of her comfort zone and show to the world that she can be versatile when it comes to singing a song of a higher tempo like what Norul has displayed so far in this competition. It is difficult to judge her sing catchier songs during the group performances as her part is too small to gauge her true potential and versatility. Someone her age should actually be singing happier songs than melancholic ones all the time.

Erlina (Hosting) – Watching her host was like watching a children’s programme on Okto channel. Don’t get me wrong, there was not much that I could fault Erlina for displaying the kind of bubbliness and raw energy associated with someone as young as her. But there is no way that she is suited to host mature programmes with the kind of rawness that she exuded. Her voice control was a bit suspect but that was normal as she was feeling very nervous. At times I felt that she was just going through the motions and hoping that it would slide quickly. Time is on her side, given lots of practice and hosting experiences, who knows she might evolve into a credible host??? As of now, I think she should make do with children’s programmes for starters and build up from there, if she ever gets the opportunity to host a programme. 

Norul – This spunky lass just doesn’t seem to show much weakness every single time she steps foot on stage. Give her a ballad, she will deliver with the snap of her fingers. Give her a song of an upbeat tempo like Eka Mairina‘s “La Di Da Di Da” which she performed this past week, and she aced it with eyes closed. Judge Eddy Ali didn’t like her posture and pointed out that she was chasing the tempo, but I thought she did quite ok, given the circumstances (heels, dancing and catching her breath). If there is any weakness that I can detect from her, it’s her tendency to answer back to the judges when she is being commented upon. No doubt the way she answered back wasn’t rude in any way and merely to defend her personality and music tastes, but I feel there lies within a possible rebellious streak in her. This should be reined in if she wants to carve a career in this industry, as rebelling gets you nowhere but bad publicity in the long run.

Baby Sulastri (Hosting) – If all these while we see her performing on stage like a seasoned professional and possibly forgetting her age, this particular segment probably brought us back to reality and remind us that she is still very much raw, too raw in fact to even match up to Erlina‘s standard of hosting. If Erlina‘s style is suited to those of her age group, this one as Rilla had correctly pointed out, juggled between the Mat Yoyo and Tok Selampit (May Allah bless the soul of Allahyarham Zulkassim Daud) eras as it was too kiddish. I also observed that Sulastri needs to work on answering questions during her interview segments with Nity Baizura, as she almost always repeats the same things over and over again about trying her best or hoping it was the best.

 

Shikin – I did not think that she could perform as well as the one she did during the Top 18 performance as singing Sarah Aqilah‘s first hit single “Biar Hati Mencintai” was a more challenging task than Ziana Zain‘s “Dingin“, which she had sung then. How wrong I was!!! No doubt her very first verse was forgettable as it was slightly off-pitch, but she grew as the song went on. True enough, like what Ann Hussein had said, she did take us to the moon. My only concern for Shikin is that she is still very shy on stage. She should learn to exude more emotions and just let herself go. The past fortnight’s performance was another example of how shy she was even though she sang Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza‘s “Lagu Rindu“, which required her to dance, but not really letting it all out convincingly.

Group Performance

The girls performed Nana‘s “Aku Milikmu“, not an easy song at all given the fact that the original singer is a vocal powerhouse in her own right. At the beginning when each was given a few lines to sing, I felt that all of them were really worth listening to. Rahayu added a bit of R&B feel to the song, Erlina as usual, always enjoys the group performance segment, Baby Sulastri slowly but surely looks like she is finally coming out from her shell, Norul maintaining her consistency and Shikin hitting the high notes when I did not expect her to. It was a performance which the watching male contestants should learn from, full of confidence and just going all out for the final flourish of the night. The only part I felt a little uncomfortable was when Erlina and Rahayu were singing the chorus, as the song key suddenly went a notch down, probably because their range did not reach the level of the song. But overall, all five did much better than last week’s group performance and they should keep up this level.

Personal Thoughts 

I don’t have a lot to say this week as generally for those of us who follow the competition, we will definitely note that the girls are much better than the guys. So much so that in this round, I’m going all out as to say that this year’s winner will most probably be a female. Take your pick between the five who contested this past week and with Shalyza possibly rejoining  next week for the Wildcard Round, your guess is as good as mine. The male contestants who were eager observers in the front row would definitely have learnt a thing or two on how best to showcase their skills the next time they are given the opportunity to do so, or so we can all hope for the sake of the competition to be evenly balanced and not too one-sided as to reveal the severe gulf in class between the male and female competitors.

I’m also hoping that all the competitors will start to be more confident when it comes to answering the questions posed to them. I’m sure before they go live on national television, they would have had a dry run or two and have some ideas on how to answer the questions being put forth. Giving repetitive answers week in and out do not give the impression that they are thinking artistes. They should know that artistes with a certain degree of savviness will always be lauded by the media as being intelligent or at the least, having the intuition to escape from giving cliched answers. Winning the competition just by singing and relying on supporters’ votes are not enough. There is more to that and I hope they learn quickly. I would also like to applaud the girls for having the initiative to improvise on their hosting scripts this week, based on what I heard from credible sources working behind the scenes. If you noticed, some of them had lines which were longer than what could have been originally given to them. For that, I salute them for having the gumption to spice up their delivery and not make it sound monotonous or plain for all to see.

Before I end off this entry, I would like to correct a mistake I made in the last entry about the coming week’s episode. It seems that the Wildcard Round will indeed take place immediately after the results of the quarter-final rounds are announced. The best two male and female contestants will enjoy the night off henceforth. But I’m still unsure how many will get to contest in the Wildcard Round, whether it is two or three each from both categories, for that elusive spot, one from each category to enter the semi-finals. What I do know from the grapevines is that, only those from the Top 12 will be able to contest again in the Wildcard Round. There goes my hopes on seeing the likes of Hakim, Azhar Raz, Efa Fatimah and Dewi Sulastri get a chance to redeem themselves. Apologies if I’m not able to include the voting codes video clip that I normally include whenever I end off my entries, but you can check out www.facebook.com/anugerahsuria once they have uploaded it for your viewing pleasure…

Anugerah 2011 Episode 5 Recap…

Huda Ali, Fauzie Laily and Nity Baizura welcoming us to the show…

Anugerah 2011 continued its episodic journey this week, with the first quarter-final rounds getting underway involving the male contestants on Tuesday night. The contestants were required to perform songs sung by local artistes. As a side challenge for this particular round, the contestants are also judged based on their ability to host short segments introducing their fellow contestants alongside the resident hosts, Fauzie Laily and Huda Ali. But before the show began in earnest, it was the matter of culling the competition which had to take precedence. The guest judge for this round is none other than my favourite from last year’s Anugerah Skrin competition, Rilla Melati.

The gals looking extremely tensed before the results were announced…

Up stepped the young ladies to face the firing squad. It was somewhat a surprise to see only five of them standing to accept and receive their respective fates in the competition, when originally there were supposed to be six. Norul was conspicuously absent from the ones who had lined up, with word going round in the audience that she was unwell. This was then confirmed by the hosts. Fortunately for her, she got through along with Rahayu Ridwan, Baby Sulastri, Erlina and Shikin. Here’s hoping that Norul would be well enough by next week to continue her journey in the competition.

Shalyza, the one eliminated this past week…

Based on what we have seen so far, the girls are much better and stronger than the guys and each has her own differing strengths and qualities to advance. I felt Shalyza‘s elimination was harsh, but such is the nature and uncertainty of a reality competition that one needs to point the finger at the supporters for not voting enough. There was a lady sitting at the row behind me who lamented Shalyza‘s elimination, but the fact remains, if you don’t vote enough, your favourites will not progress unless he or she scores perfectly with the judges. Even then, it is not a given that the contestant will sail through to the next round. However, I am confident that Shalyza will be given a reprieve by going into the Wildcard Round.

Surprisingly, the gals who progressed wore forlorn looks rather than happy ones…

Solo Performances & Hosting Segments

 

Faziz (Hosting) – He was given the honour of introducing the first performance of the night by Syazani. Even before he opened his mouth to speak, one could detect his nervousness just by the way he stood, and his body posture giving away his emotions. I dunno if he had properly run through his short script or not, but I found it “sinful” that a simple word like “Janggal” could be mispronounced confidently as “Ganjal” (is there really such a word in our Malay dictionary???), and even insisted on it after Huda had tried to give hints and corrected him.

A word of advice to all contestants: Please jolly well brush up on your command of your own mother tongue as this is the lingua franca and path that you have chosen to make a name for yourself / make a career out of it!!! 

Syazani – Performing the song that he had sung during the first round of auditions, Merah‘s “Cintaku“, it was difficult to detect any wrongdoing to his performance no matter how minute it was, even if judge Eddy Ali had said the first part of his chorus sounded a bit flat. I thought his performance was coolness personified and sounded much better than even the one he gave during the audition rounds. I felt it was a good start to the performances of the night and a good benchmark for the others to follow.

Firdaus Haridan (Hosting) – Like what guest judge Rilla Melati had correctly pointed out, Firdaus has a warm and may I add, a very sincere smile to go along with his gentle giant personality. Though Rilla also observed and commented that his style of hosting is what you would expect at a school concert, I wouldn’t be too harsh on him as I felt he did quite ok, fluent and also being observant as to mimic Ace‘s style of gesturing whenever he performs on stage. That in itself is good homework that he has done to add a bit of colour to his presentation style.

Ace – I finally got to see why Ace was chosen by the judges to advance into the televised rounds of the competition. Granted, Ann Hussein did brought up a credible point about him sounding like the original singer, Aqmal N, when he sang “Warkah Cinta Dunia“. However it was only the first part that I detected the similarities in style and execution. When he broke into the chorus, he was on his own and he ended the song with much aplomb, that the whole auditorium broke into applause. If anyone had noticed, he almost tripped on his lyrics during the chorus, but he managed to compose himself henceforth.

Syazani (Hosting) – It was evident that hosting does not come naturally for this guy, since he took quite a number of short pauses throughout his two minutes to recall what he had to say. His presentation style was also a bit too relaxed, like conversing with a friend, perhaps a fair reflection of his outwardly cool and calm personality. Like what Rilla had mentioned, he has the potential but he definitely needs loads of practice.

Epul – It took a very brave person to sing a song that might not be everyone’s cup of tea, even if our local act, The Sallys, had rearranged the song that Epul sang, “Kopi Dangdut“, to suit their music style. Though his bravery was commendable, I was cringing at my seat seeing him try to gyrate and pointing to the sky as he sang. At times he sounded pitchy, whereas at the start, he also tripped on his lyrics. Watching him perform was like watching a comedian doing his stuff. This genre is guaranteed not his style and should never be repeated, unless Epul has designs on being part of the new generation of local comedians.

Ace (Hosting) – His nervousness or apparent lack of confidence showed through the way he held his microphone. However he eased into his role as he went on. Credits should be given to Ace for complementing Firdaus in kind by pointing out to the audience the latter’s trademark style of performing. Another good point was the part where he brought up the interesting fact on Aliff Aziz‘s song “Nyala” which was used as a theme song for a drama series, an indicator that he bothered to do a bit of research. Non-fans of Aliff Aziz would appreciate that little piece of trivia, no matter how trivial it might sound. 

Firdaus Haridan – He performed Aliff Aziz‘s “Nyala“, a song very much suited to his vocal range and musical tastes. What I observed was a performance that had emotions thrown into the mix, making it an indelible concoction. Soulful, majestic, judge Eddy Ali was right when he said Firdaus delivered the best performance of the night. If he had exuded a wee bit more of those emotions, I believe those watching and who are naturally melancholic, would be dabbing their eyes.

Epul (Hosting) – I dunno if he had sore eyes or if he had put too much powder on his face and eyes, but the constant blinking of his eyes was a source of irritation for me. I also did not understand what he was trying to put across as he sounded as though he was rushing through the segment and just mouthing off like an express train. But it has to be said, Epul has an endearing quality of being a joker without having the intention of being one, precisely highlighted by Rilla.

Faziz – It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a singing competition judge to point out that Faziz was a major disappointment on the night. Performing a song like Diorama‘s “Sanubariku“, should have been comfortable, easy-going and most importantly give the audience in general, a feel-good feeling. He made things difficult for himself, going off-key as he entered the chorus, going out-of-tune and being pitchy throughout. I would be very much surprised if he were to advance to the next round, when the results are announced in a fortnight’s time.

Group Performance

Just by listening to the contestants’ short interviews prior to this performance when they used words like “cuba” (try), wanting to have a husky voice like Man Toyak to be able to sing and having to listen to the song that they were supposed to perform, Cradle‘s “Sementara“, a few times to get its essence and feel, it was clear that the rock genre is not their cup of tea. And it showed in their performance. There was nothing rockish other than their outfits and doing synchronised dance steps are not what you would expect to see from rockers out there. I’m sure true-blue rockers who watched this particular performance were either cringing or laughing their hearts out. There was also too much individuality, with no teamwork and no harmony. Each wanted to be a standout on his own.

The only good point I could derive from this segment or to be more precise, the video clip prior to this performance, was the sound advice dispensed by Man Toyak for the contestants to always maintain their self-discipline. He was also astute in his observations of previous Anugerah contestants who disappeared from the limelight once the competition is over, citing their lack of initiatives to do a bit of research on the music industry and laziness to self-improve on being better all-round performers, lamenting and complaining instead that their management unit are not up to par. Truly he knew what he was talking about and was not shy to be extremely blunt about it.

My Personal Thoughts

Before I end my entry I would just like to suggest the good people at Mediacorp Suria to place artistes / eliminated contestants / non-performing contestants to sit at the front row, which is normally shown when the cameras focus on the judging panel whenever they share their thoughts. For the past two weeks I attended, some seats at the corners were taken up by the general audience. The previous week, those who had sat there were generally well-behaved. The same could not be said from this past Tuesday night’s affair when we had three or four clowns being so hard up about appearing on national television. I’m sure viewers at home were distracted by their incessant hand gestures and cam-whoring poses, so much so that they were told off during the last commercial break.

Another thing I would like to highlight is the unruly, uncouth, uncivilised and uncultured actions displayed by some of the supporters of the male contestants. I understand that cheering and shouting encouragements to your friend/s on stage are the reasons why you are at the auditorium, but there is no need to heckle other sets of supporters / contestants or exchanging vulgarities with one another. There are young children who are also part of the audience. What they see, they will imitate as they believe it is alright to do so, if others can get away with it. You know, this is 2011, yet a certain part of our society still do not know how to display the correct decorum and actions at different events.

This is more embarrassing and made even worse when the audience had to be reminded not to litter the compounds outside the Mediacorp building on their way home. Honestly I hate the sight of these people as I exit the building, cos not only do they hang out in groups, but after lighting up their cigarette butts, they would be throwing them all over. It’s not that the contestants have not been briefed by the producers to inform their sets of supporters to behave themselves, they have, but somehow in the heat of the competition, everything goes out the window. This rowdiness and social irresponsibility has no place in our society and just giving our community a bad name, but do these idiots care???

As I had mentioned earlier, the results for this week’s competition will not be announced this coming Tuesday when the girls return for another round. The announcement of who will be advancing to the semi-final rounds and who will get their reprieve in the Wildcard Round will be made on the episode which will be televised on 31st May 2011. Based on previous editions of the competition, I believe that particular episode will just be a half-hour affair to announce who have made it and who have not, though it has to be said that I might be wrong. Voting for the male contestants can still be made till 6pm this coming Tuesday 24nd May 2011. I end this entry with the usual video instructions on how to vote for your favourite contestants…

Anugerah 2011 Episode 4 Recap…

Anugerah 2011 continued with its fourth episode this past Tuesday night with yours truly making his first live attendance at Mediacorp TV Theatre for this year’s competition. This week, it was the girls who took centrestage and the guys taking a break from performing. However, the guys still had to go through the painful process of seeing who would be eliminated in this round. After a few teases by our resident hosts Fauzie Laily and Huda Ali, the axe finally fell on Didi.

Hosts Huda Ali, Fauzie Laily & Nity Baizura

Was I surprised by the result? Maybe a little bit, as I felt that Didi at least performed decently the previous week, not too extravagant, but sufficient enough to warrant another stab at the competition, since  we have yet to see him perform a song of a slower tempo to further gauge his potential. The onus is still on the judges to give him a reprieve and allow him back into the Wildcard Round. And if he does, let’s hope he will do much better.

Didi looked at peace with himself even though he felt disappointed with his own elimination…

Solo Performances

Continuing from the previous week’s judging criterias, which are singing and choreography, the gals contesting this week were generally expected to trump the guys as they had an extra week to prepare and had the previous week’s episode to psyche themselves on what was to be expected of them this time round. I also expected the girls to do better as they had already set the standards during the very first episode. Gani Karim once again returned as the guest judge for this week.

Norul – She was given the honours to start things off with Nana‘s “Lafaz“. People might recall the previous edition’s winner, Sarah Aqilah, who also sang this song during the last competition with aplomb. But having seen Norul performed this song at my cousin’s wedding last December, I knew instantly she could pull it off and I was not to be disappointed on Tuesday night. My only grouse is that they were only given about two minutes for us to have a fair account of their performance.

Baby Sulastri – We knew from the Top 18 episode, that this chilli padi is a protege of Ann Hussein, having trained her vocals with our resident judge. Ann‘s revelations during the first episode somehow increased the expectations on Sulastri and hopefully does not put added pressure on her shoulders. Like the first episode, her performance, singing Rossa‘s “Hati Yang Kau Sakiti“, was controlled and flawless. Continuing to be consistent in the weeks to come and who is to say, she does not deserve a final spot???

Shikin – Even though I was impressed with her the last time out, somehow Shikin contrived to disappoint me with her rendition of Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza‘s “Lagu Rindu“. No doubt, any songs by Dato’ Siti which is catchy and falls under the creative ethnic genre is a challenge in itself, and Shikin should be applauded for venturing where angels fear to tread. But sad to say, she was flat almost throughout the song, trying hard to find the right balance between catching up with her breathing, dance steps, the tempo of the song and the style of singing a song of this nature.

Shalyza – When she speaks, I cannot help but hear the slight resemblance to Dato’ Siti, but when she sings, I do not see nor hear any similarities thankfully. There were two sides to Shalyza‘s performance, singing Mila‘s “Aku Lebih Tahu“. She started off quite well but when she broke into the chorus and started to sway to the beats of the song, her voice became pitchy and flat. However she managed to regain her composure and control towards the end. In short, her performance resembled a U-shaped curve on a graph chart.

Erlina – Truth be told, Erlina did not impress me during the last round and I had initial fears when I first learnt she was to sing Jaclyn Victor‘s “Bertamu Di Kalbu“, which Rahayu Ridwan had performed a fortnight ago. I even worried for her when she had to sing the chorus, as the song required her to up her notes, and I had feared that her voice would break. Thankfully Erlina dispelled most of my fears and gave a slightly better account of herself this week. A minimally-improved performance in my opinion, though I need to add on that her low notes are still a bit suspect especially at the start, and the transition into the chorus was flat.

Rahayu Ridwan – I observed that she has quite a following in cyberspace and no doubt she is arguably the most good-looking contestant. But she has to translate that good support and right package that she possess into giving off optimum performances week in and out. I personally feel that she had picked the wrong song to sing, Azharina‘s “Rawan“. As what Sheikh Haikel had correctly pointed out, she only did well when she broke into the chorus and that her low notes at the start, proved to be her source of discomfort.

Group Performance

Norul, Baby Sulastri & Shikin – They sang Gita Gutawa‘s “Salah Jatuh Cinta“, a mid-tempo song that did not require them to hit the high notes. Their choreography was a bit too calculated in my opinion. While Norul seemed at ease with her versatility to sing fast and slow numbers, flirting in the process as part of her repertoire, Sulastri I felt was a bit too controlled. She needs to open up a bit more and show a bit of vibrancy to her footwork. Shikin more or less redeemed herself from her solo performance earlier. Collectively, the teamwork was kept to its minimal and basics. Nothing spectacular surprisingly, given the fact that the two strongest performers so far, were in this group.

Shalyza, Erlina & Rahayu Ridwan – Like the three girls when they first got to know the song that they were supposed to perform, Rossa‘s “Hey Ladies“, I was also surprised and initially sceptical if they were able to pull it off or at least perform to a credible level. Thankfully, they gave a better account of themselves as compared to the earlier solo performances. Erlina, as pointed out by choreographer Eddie, was a standout and she proved that singing catchy songs are more her forte. If I can sum up their performance in one word to describe their excellent teamwork and nifty footwork, it is definitely “Redemption”. A more enjoyable performance compared to the earlier group.

Next week, the guys will be back with another round of competition, this time singing songs by local artistes. Now that the competition has whittled down somewhat, I am hoping that the contestants would be able to sing their songs a bit longer than the stipulated two minutes. It would definitely give us a better understanding of their vocal capabilities and potential, thus allowing them to expand themselves. But before that, if you would like to vote for the six girls who performed on Tuesday, below is a clip courtesy of Mediacorp Suria on how to dispense your votes. You have until 6pm next Tuesday 17 May 2011 to vote…

Anugerah 2011 Episode 3 Recap…

I’m back with another recap of the recent Anugerah 2011 episode. Caught up with work commitments last Tuesday meant I was not able to attend the event live from Mediacorp TV Theatre. Thanks to the “Catch Up” feature on xinmsn.com, which allows us to watch episodes and shows that we would have missed out on television, I am fortunate enough to be able to watch what I had missed out on Tuesday night. This past week, the six male contestants were judged based on their singing and choreography. Hence I expected a lot of catchy songs to be performed.

Solo Performance

Firdaus HaridanFirdaus was given the honours to kick things off with Anuar Zain‘s “Teman Terulung“. There is a reason why contestants in any singing competition seldom sing songs by Anuar Zain, and normally people would compare their singing to the original. People would also observe if they exude the necessary feel and if their delivery is close to its original style. Firdaus though I have to commend him for trying to do it in his own version, somehow did not deliver it as best as he would have wanted to. It lacked feel, and his notes fell flat at different points.

Didi – By now, I know that this guy loves to sing energetic songs. Based on the video montage prior to his performance, he also has a knack of hyping up the atmosphere and cajoling the people around him to immerse themselves into the beats of the song. Performing Estranged‘s “Yang Pernah“, he was in his element and his showmanship was top notch. Like what judge Ann Hussein had pointed out correctly, he needs to break away from that mould and start to sing ballads to show his versatility and for us to judge his singing better. Oh another thing, he also needs to cut down on shifting his eyes away when someone’s talking to him. He looked a bit lost when he was being spoken to by the judges.

Syazani – I found his introductory video a bit irritating when he used the word “Sebenarnya” in almost every sentence he uttered. Unlike the previous week where I thought he did well, this week, I was not that impressed with his rendition of ST12‘s “Biarkan Aku Jatuh Cinta“. His low notes were a bit suspect and the song did not bring out the best in him, which I know he is capable of doing. Though it wasn’t that bad overall, I think he could have done even better. His facial expressions also showed he was a bit uncomfortable with the low notes.

Ace – After watching him this time and remembering what he did the previous week, I’ve come to a conclusion that the posturing and stretching his hands towards the audience, even if it is a source of discomfort to my eyes, is a feature and trademark of his performance, no matter if it’s a fast or slow number and that I should get used to it. He sang Bunkface‘s “Revolusi” with equal energy as Didi. The difference between both was that Ace overdid his actions and went off-key towards the end.

Faziz – The song he performed, “Hapus Aku” by Nidji, was supposed to bring out the best in him. Somehow, it brought out the worst cos he was pitchy and flat throughout. Even though I know he stuck to his comfort zone by not stretching his vocals when the song called upon him to do so, he still came off flat. A dangerous game to play especially when 50% of his votes are from the judging panel.

Epul – I thought Epul did well without any frills and just sticking to his comfort zone. In fact I think his song choice, Aizat‘s “Lagu Kita“, was too easy and did not require him to expand his vocal range and repertoire. Though the song brought out the good side of him, more is expected in the weeks to come, provided of course, if he gets to advance to the latter rounds.

Group Performance

Firdaus Haridan, Didi & Syazani – The three of them performed Syed Azmir‘s “Kuasa Cintamu” to mixed reactions. Besides Ace with his trademark posturing, I can more or less expect Didi to hype up the crowd with his usual “Come on semua…” line before he starts to sing. The thing about his showmanship is that he tries to be a rock star, but somehow he falls short due to his hesitancy to let loose further and just open up a bit more. Firdaus though I know he is a more nimble dancer as compared to the other two, was a bit too individualistic and wanted to be more of the standout. Syazani finally came into his element, though it has to be said, his dancing was kept to its basics. Collectively there was no teamwork, and no harmony whatsoever as each was trying to outsing the other.

Faziz, Ace & Epul – This was easily the best performance of the night. I didn’t expect a band-boy song like OAG‘s “Generasiku“, which coincidentally was the official soundtrack of the popular “Gol & Gincu” season one series, to be converted into a boyband song and which brought the house down. Though the singing individually could have been better, as a team, they were perfect. It was energetic, their teamwork levels were in tune and like what guest judge Gani Karim had said, their synergy was excellent. Epul in particular was a standout and I felt performed much better than his solo performance earlier.

The voting lines are still open as I speak. And if you’re inclined to vote for your favourite contestants, do bear in mind to vote responsibly and wisely as the onus is on you to pick someone that can bring pride to our local Malay music industry. For more information on how to vote, you can watch this video clip, courtesy of Mediacorp Suria