Anugerah 2011 Episode 9 (Semi-Final Results) Recap…

Faith” and “Hope“. These two words kept my interest going in this year’s Anugerah 2011 competition. I had faith that besides our astute and well-respected resident judges, the voting public would contribute to the betterment of our local Malay music scene by voting for someone who could be one we can be proud of, to carry our flag high when they are representing us overseas in future assignments / showcases. I also had hoped that for all the misgivings and shortcomings that the contestants have shown in the early stages of the competition, that they would display marked improvements to justify why they deserved to progress ahead of perhaps more deserving ones who have been eliminated.

Somehow, when the results of the three finalists were announced last night, both sets of beliefs I had seemed to have been thrown out of the window. No, I’m not bitter at the results, even though two out of three of my original picks as finalists were eliminated. I’m just left baffled by how things have worked out right from the start. As early as Episode 3, I wondered if this was the best we could offer from our local pool of talents. However I thought it was unfair to come to such a conclusion at such an early stage given the fact that most of them do not have experiences performing in front of a live audience before. And so I persevered and continued to hold on to a belief that with each passing episode, I would see improvements being made by the contestants.

Yes I observed improvements being made in every remaining contestant, but there was also a consistent tendency for them to take a step forward and two steps back. When they have improved on something, they tend to undo the good by doing something that we do not expect them to do whilst performing or by repeating an old mistake again. A competition of such magnitude demands each contestant to get better and better than their last performance and with each episode, they should be gaining in confidence and stature. Somehow I do not quite understand why this current batch seems to hold back a lot and seldom letting it all out. Even in an episode where there was no pressure on them to perform well like last night, their performances as a group left much to be desired. I was squirming at my seat watching them sing Glenn Fredly & Dewi Persik‘s “Hikayat Cintaku“. Though above average marks could be given to their dance moves, their vocal harmonies were haywire and they went off-key on many instances. This was not what I had expected from semi-finalists and at this stage of the competition.

What left me stumped and gazumped throughout the competition was the way the voting was made by the public. I’m sure people out there will be quick to discredit the resident judges and their respective choices. But this show is audited by a respectable and renowned international auditing company in KPMG Pte Ltd. Any discrepancies will be subjected to legal proceedings. Even when I spoke to judge Eddy Ali after last night’s show, he expressed his disappointment at the choices of the voting public and lamented the fact that they (the judges) are always to be blamed for the better contestants being kicked out and not doing enough to save them from the jaws of elimination. There is only so much they can do to judge and say who performed well on the night. The rest is up to the voting public to dictate who they think deserves to go through. Sadly, the better performing ones do not get enough sms votes to add on to the good marks they received from the judges.

As the competition has shown, the better ones seemed to get knocked out one after the other. There are no conspiracy theories to begin with, they simply did not attract enough votes to keep them in the competition. Coupled with the fact that the lesser performing contestants are blessed with ardent and generous followers, what you get is a competition that is very much skewed and lost its zest in quality. I accept that this is the name of the game and the reality of this sort of competition, but I make no apologies when I say some of these so-called loyal voters are irresponsible and voting on blind faith. Is this the standard you feel is worthy to stand side by side with other artistes from the region??? You are supposed to contribute to the betterment of the local music industry, to help raise our standards in the eyes of the region but what have you done so far??? This year’s competition only proved that we are not yet ready to progress to a system whereby the voting public is given 100% power to choose who progresses and who gets eliminated. Already giving them half the reins to judge and what you get are unexpected results, can you imagine giving them 100% free reins to dictate???

Syed Azmir performing his latest single “Jangan Kau Lupa“. It was understood to be his last television performance but I think we will not see the last of him just yet…

I did rant on Twitter last night that I have lost faith in the system of the competition, most notably this voting mechanism and the power enjoyed by these voters. There is a grudging respect in their undying loyalty towards their respective favourites but at the same time, I have disdain for their apparent tone-deafness. This show of blind faith has contributed in one way or another, and to me at least, the worst Anugerah competition in its history. No disrespect to all three girls who have made it this far, but being finalists, they are expected to perform beyond their comfort zones and prove why they deserve to be in the Final. I still retain a little ounce of hope that they will rise to the occasion given the fact that they have two weeks from now to get their acts right. They need to and they must, as their future employer, a certain Dato’ M. Nasir, will be one of the guest judges. This guy is meticulous and I’m sure he demands a certain standard from his soon-to-be protege. Can the girls do it??? For their sake and for the sake of our local Malay music scene, I really hope they do themselves justice.

Introducing the finalists of Anugerah 2011: Rahayu Ridwan, Shikin & Erlina

History was made last night when we have for the first time, three female finalists. Not quite a surprise really, as the girls in general have shown that they have been the better performers, though it has to be said that Ace and to some extent, Epul, Firdaus Haridan and Syazani have done commendably in proving that the guys have something to show for as well, though their best were still not enough. Somehow I felt last night’s episode was a waste of one hour and should have just lasted for half the time slated. Too many redundant segments were done just to kill time before the announcements of the finalists were made. Even the contestants were lacklustre in their performances and it showed too glaringly. I think the competition needs some serious tweaks beginning with its judging system. I’m all for an absolute judging system whereby the voting public is redundant or only contributing a maximum of 30% of the total marks.

The finalists being interviewed by Diana Amran and sharing their thoughts on the results…

The judges, with all due respect, should also be changed, some if not all. We cannot have judges blatantly showing their favouritism towards certain contestants, just because they used to come over to the judges’ homes when they were younger. That kind of remarks are too personal and somewhat unprofessional in my opinion, and only discredits the judges from being fair towards other contestants, even if their favourites are justifiably good. I also hope that in future, there will be some form of transparency in the announcement of results, like how much the judges had assessed the contestants and how many votes from the public contributed to their total tabulations. This is to avoid feelings of discontent by the masses and questions on whether the results were fixed or was it too good to be true…

The gorgeous newscaster, Hazlina Halim, dropped by after the show to congratulate the finalists. Here they are joined by Mediacorp Suria‘s Promotion Executives Budi Iskandar Sa’ad (left) and Siti Zuraidah Taib (right) as well as Eaglevision‘s Netty Fiona Othman (second from right)

P.S. Can somebody please inform a certain Top 18 contestant not to make an ass out of himself weekly by displaying his childish and boisterous antics, be it at the Mediacorp TV Theatre or at the Mediacorp reception area??? If you want to make a name for yourself in this industry, please learn to behave like a human being and not act like a buffoon shouting at the top of your voice and making a fool of yourself. Oh, and grow up please!!!

Author: Pujangga Malam™

Well-known on RIA 89.7FM as a controversial and sensational critic able to invoke thought-provoking and sometimes, fiery responses from fellow listeners. Have since evolved into a distinguished blogger of reputable claim with takes on the Malay entertainment industry and football-related matters. Brutally honest and believes in only reporting the truth as I see, hear or experience it. Self-styled critic who does not mince his words and is definitely a non-conformist.

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