APM2011 After-Thoughts & Post-Event Reception Photographs…

This entry will be the last on Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 and I have to admit, it is getting a bit stale already, as a fortnight has passed since it was held at Max Pavilion Singapore Expo on 15 July 2011. I did say in my review that I would be putting up photographs of the post-event reception as well on a later entry, so this is basically it. I’ve even managed to interview several personalities during the reception to get their thoughts on the show, to share with us what are their upcoming plans, and for the award winners to say a word of gratitude to family, friends and supporters which they might not have been able to do so when they received their awards on stage. Indeed this was something new I have value-added on to this blog as I have never / seldom done any interviews other than the usual promos / greetings. Guess there is always a first to everything huh???

Post-Event Photographs

Actually this shot of Sarah Aqilah and Rahayu Ridwan was taken during one of the commercial breaks…

Elly, Renni & Reela of local girl-group DyndaVega had to leave the show early to attend to a private matter. They were nominated in the Artis Singapura Paling Popular award category…

 Always a pleasure to meet Linda Onn (seen here with the wife), one of my favourite DJs from across the Causeway

Tujuh, with Nazri of Aryan Band (right). The group was also nominated in the Artis Singapura Paling Popular award category…

The present and the future of our local Malay entertainment scene – Alyph (SleeQ), Azzah Fariha, Malaque Mahdaly & Syarif (SleeQ)…

Some of the Top 18 contestants of Anugerah 2011 not wanting to miss out on the glamourous night. From right: Syazani Rahim, Faziz Taufiq, Azhar Raz, Erlina and Shikin Imran. They are joined by Mediacorp Suria‘s Budi Iskandar Sa’ad (left), Elly of Dynda (second from left) and Netty Fiona Othman of Eaglevision (third from left)…

Lagu Terbaik Singapura nominee Faizal Isa (right), with Janz Abdullah, the composer of his hit debut single “Maafkanku (Oh Cinta)“…

Aliff Aziz looking smart in his outfit. I think what was missing was a tall hat and a walking stick. He would have looked like an Englishman from the Victorian age…

Fauzie Laily, Hazlina Halim & Khairudin Saharom – Multi-talented individuals in our local entertainment scene…

Talented director Adi Yadoni with wife, local actress Wahyu Rahman. She is also the manager of up-and-coming local talent Awi Rafael, former frontman of Bhumiband

My favourite couple, Huda Ali and Den Sabari. They celebrated their first wedding anniversary that night…

Attending an awards show is never complete without taking a photograph with Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza

The living, breathing Barbie-doll – Amanda Imani

The two Idris-es (Ize and A’Trez) who make up X-Clusive

Smokin’ hot Farah Asyakin

Nity Baizura and Fiza O looking all glammed-up…

Hyrul Anuar (left) never fails to don something stylish to a prestigious event. He is seen here with renowned choreographer Eddy

Hady Mirza sharing his thoughts with yours truly…

Hyrul is flanked by Faizal Isa (left) and Farhan Shah. It took a lot of courage for the latter to attend the event as he was on crutches after recently undergoing an operation on his injured knee due to a freak accident. Speedy recovery bro!!!

Another one of my personal best shots of the night, this time with SleeQ and Amanda Imani, as my subjects of focus…

No matter what the online critics might say about the show, I believe Aura Shai as the producer of APM2011, has done a stellar job…

After-Thoughts By Guest Performers, Award Winners, Host & Invitees

Thank you to everyone featured on this clip…

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Side-Issue

Source: Gua.com.my

P.S. – I actually want to comment more on this article I have included above and I have to admit I felt so tempted to rebutt in full glory, but I guess I will not run the risk of a lawsuit, even if I were to tell the probable truth. It is afterall between him and the organisers. I already said in my review that the reason his performance began late was because his keyboardist’s PC had to hang at the wrong moment. It was something neither him nor the organisers could have envisaged nor do anything about. Anyone seated near the centre that night like myself would have noticed how his keyboardist was frantically trying to get things going and as a viewer, I sympathised with her and hoped that viewers at home would be able to share my feelings as well. Nobody would want such a thing to happen on a live show. It was just bad luck that it had to happen that night.

As a professional artiste, I believe one should know what award category one is being nominated for, or what is going on during the show. Even if a person is stationed backstage, I believe it is the norm to have monitors at the back to prompt performers and stagehands on the proceedings or at the very least, the sounds are loud enough to inform what is going on onstage. To have an idea of the sequence of events during a particular show, that is one of the reasons why rehearsals are done. In his case, he was only nominated for two awards and the Most Popular one is always given away towards the end. Was it too difficult to remember??? I might be wrong again but based on my observations, I did not see him seated amongst the nominees throughout the whole show nor did he walk the Red Carpet. Even celebrated performers as big as Dato’ M. Nasir and Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza were seen seated amongst the audience. I do hope success has not gone to his head cos as a performer, I still love him to bits and not many have stage presence and charisma like he does. Attitude, a positive one, also plays a part in the likeability stakes…

Performances @ APM 2011

Apologies for the delay in posting this entry. I have been quite busy of late so this entry might be a bit stale to some or most of you. For those of you who are linked to me in Facebook, you might have seen my collection of photos of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 which I had uploaded this past Sunday. For the benefit of those not linked to me, this entry will be based on the various performances on the night. Hope you like the photographs I had snapped for your viewing pleasure…

Orkestar Trio

Bloco Singapura

Opening Act – “Senyum”

Sezairi Sezali

Hady Mirza

Taufik Batisah

Sarah Aqilah

Alyph SleeQ

Syarif SleeQ

Rahayu Ridwan

Didie Alias

Amanda Imani – “Selamilah Cinta”

Sezairi Sezali – “Matahari”

Sandhy Sondoro – “Malam Biru”

Ana Raffali – “Tolong Ingatkan Aku”

Sleeq – “Untuk Dia”

Atilia & monoloQue – “Kekanda Adinda”

SleeQ, Ana Raffali, Atilia & monoloQue – “Kalau Berpacaran”

Shylla Amzah & Ajai – “Lagu Teman”

Sarah Aqilah – “Seikhlas Cintamu”

Hafiz AF7 – “Awan Nano”

3 Suara – “Di Mana Di Mana”

Ning Baizura

Jaclyn Victor

Shylla Amzah

Aryan Band – “Azura 2011”

Afgan Syah Reza – “Terima Kasih Cinta”

Afgan Syah Reza – “Dia Dia Dia”

Dato’ M. Nasir & Taufik Batisah – “Hey” & “Bukalah Hatimu”

Hady Mirza – “Angkasa”

Hady Mirza & Rossa – “Ku Menunggu”

Rossa – “Ayat-Ayat Cinta”

Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza & Jaclyn Victor – “Menghitung Hari”

Melly Goeslaw

Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, Melly Goeslaw & Jaclyn Victor – “Jika”

Faizal Tahir – “Hanyut”

Faizal Tahir – “Selamat Malam”

Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza – “I’m Falling In Love”

Award Presenters @ Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011

Ning Baizura & Afgan Syah Reza

RZ, Sarah Aqilah & Dyn Norahim

Syazwan Zakariah & Scha Alyahya

Dato’ AC Mizal & Huda Ali

Winnie K & AB Shaik Ahmad Banafe’

Puan Zakiah Halim

Linda Onn & Halim Othman

Nity Baizura & Ady Putra

Hafeez Glamour & Nora Danish

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 Review…

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 returned to these shores last Friday night after a four-year absence, venturing in Kuala Lumpur in 2008 and Jakarta in 2009, before taking a break last year due to the economic slowdown. 2010 also saw the birth of our very own AnugeraHitz.SG, so it was understandably taxing for Mediacorp Radio‘s Warna 94.2FM & RIA 89.7FM to organise Anugerah Planet Muzik, moreso in Singapore where we do not have the privilege of having mega sponsorships from big companies as what is being enjoyed by our regional counterparts. As such, we have to lower our expectations on seeing more of such big events being organised here. Unless of course if our mainstream media organisations can pool their resources together and give what the consumers would want to see. Anyway, the event celebrated its tenth year in existence, a long way since its inception in 2001 held at the now-defunct Harbour Pavilion. I still remember that 20 January 2001 event like it was yesterday.

Judging from last Friday‘s attendance at the Max Pavilion Singapore Expo where the event was held, I think a working collaboration of such magnitude is still far away from getting materialised. Just imagine, we had one of the best line-ups in Anugerah Planet Muzik history, yet the venue was only about half full. Who should we blame this for??? The economy??? The organisers??? The consumers??? The event venue??? The promotions team??? I’ve said it before and I say it again, we here in Singapore are suckers for free shows, no thanks to the monthly exhibitions at Singapore Expo where we can watch guest artistes performing without paying a single cent. The timing of the event could also have played a small part in not enticing people from attending it. It was only a month ago that we had Maher Zain performing here to a sell-out audience, and tickets to his concert did not come cheap, especially for those who came in big groups or as a family.

I find it extremely odd that even with the likes of Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, Afgan, Rossa, M. Nasir, Hady Mirza and Taufik Batisah just to name a few in the stellar line-up, it was difficult to attract bums to seats. Not only that, it is a mystery to me that the event felt more like a SingaporeMalaysia affair with mostly Singaporean and Malaysian artistes in attendance. The Indonesians had their host in Daniel Mananta and performers in Afgan Syah Reza, Rossa, Melly Goeslaw and Sandhy Sondoro, but other than them, only Judika was seen sitting behind Aliff Aziz amongst the audience. No one can deny that the Indonesians produce good music and good talents, but I hope it doesn’t breed a sense of pompous attitude that they do not support an event such as this. At least accept the invitation of the organisers to come and make the effort to meet their fans over here. We already have a sizeable number of Indonesians working or attending school here and it would be nice to meet their fellow countrymen.

Taufik Batisah, Hady Mirza, Sezairi Sezali, SleeQ, Sarah Aqilah and Rahayu Ridwan opened the show with “Senyum“… Not forgetting Orkestar Trio and Bloco Singapura before that…

Speaking of the venue, I had major reservations when I first heard that it was gonna be held there back in April. Unsavoury memories of APM2006 were still fresh in my mind and to tell you the truth, I had not stepped foot at that event venue since then till last Thursday afternoon, when I dropped by to watch Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza and Jaclyn Victor rehearsing for their tribute segment with Melly Goeslaw. I did not attend any concerts or shows held there for the past five years, for the sole reasons that I was sceptical of the poor sound system which I experienced back in 2006. There were also other factors that made APM2006 the least enjoyable or to put it harshly, “the worst”, in my opinion. I would not want to bring it up here as I had already done so back then, also in this domain. But I’m sure the organisers have taken into account the shortcomings and strived to make it a better experience for those who had paid to come and watch the event as the years go by.

As a whole, I personally feel that this year’s Anugerah Planet Muzik event is probably almost on par with the ones held back in 2002 and 2004, the years I felt were the better-produced ones in its history. Coincidentally both editions were also held at Singapore Expo, though at Halls 6 and 3 respectively. Ok some of you might say that I’m saying this just because I have finally gotten what I wanted, which is getting official media accreditation, something which I had fought hard to attain all these years and that I had to say nice things so as to get future invitations to such events. I’m sorry to disappoint my haters and dissenters, but what I observed live was very much different than couch potatoes at home. And I have a strong feeling that those who bothered to come, some even dressed up to the nines, would say that it was all worth coming and paying every single cent to watch it, no matter if they had sat nearer to the stage or way at the back.

Malaysia‘s Didie Alias introduced her hosting colleagues with a modified version of Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Romance“…

Yes, I know just by reading my Twitter timeline, Facebook wall, as well as online reports on the event, commenters out there did not paint a rosy picture. It is Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM) afterall, and what is being organised by our local Malay radio stations or even by our own Suria channel, will never be good for those watching at home, especially those who were watching from outside this country. This show has always received flak from the foreign media, who have too high expectations given that it is a regional event, so it was not a surprise for me to read the negative commentaries. I attribute some of these bad press to the fact that most of the foreign media did not turn up due to the lack of invitation and were not granted transportation & lodging as well by the organisers. I didn’t know that such practices are the norm in entertainment journalism, at least across our shores. I certainly learnt something new here cos I thought it was the job of their respective employers to provide these sort of arrangements to cover events. I’m still a newbie at this, so please forgive me for my ignorance.

Anyway I have to admit hand to heart, the show has its niggly flaws to contend with (which show is perfect you tell me???), but if you look at it in the bigger picture, would anyone else from Malaysia or Indonesia bother to do a similar show or even give our own local acts their due recognitions on stage??? Already from my Twitter timeline I read how so many people from outside this country have not heard of our local artistes, other than those who have made a name for themselves there. This is one of the reasons why Anugerah Planet Muzik is held, for artistes in each country to be introduced and known to the region and for the established ones to maintain their positions. If you ask me before this event was held, I have never heard of the likes of Amanda Imani, Aisya Hasnaa, Zivilia, Blackout, Astrid, Govinda and Febrian before this, just to name a few of the region’s newbie acts, but thanks to APM, I now know that even though they are new to the scene, they do not lack in quality.

The awesome foursome who lit the night up with their antics…

Likewise I hope that people outside this country would get to know our acts better and who knows, their presence on stage would open more doors for them across our shores. The problem with viewers outside Singapore is that they are too nationalistic in their views over their respective music scenes and think they have the bigger and better industry. Of course they do, that I do not deny, but isn’t music meant to be shared and enjoyed universally??? No matter what the foreign media or entertainment bloggers or even general viewers might say about APM, it is an event such as this that brings the region together and for the musicians, performers, producers, lyricists and composers to build a working network, so as to bring up the quality of music in this region through the proliferation and exchanging of ideas. In this respect, the words of Gigi‘s front man, Armand Maulana, – “Keep the peace, love & respect for music” – rings true.

Though I had said that this is probably one of the better APMs in its history, the best was still the one in 2005 held at Suntec City Convention Hall where it was a sold-out event and it had a proper Red Carpet event, complete with artistes coming in limousines and the fans lining up the passageways to clamour and jostle for photographs. Now that’s what a Red Carpet event should be about. Not that this year was not good, but it could have been done slightly better. I heard and I saw for myself how fans were coming forward to grab the artistes or stepped forward on the Red Carpet themselves when it was supposed to be exclusivity for the artistes to walk on. Why they were allowed to do this was because there were no barricades separating the artistes and them. Some who had grabbed the artistes or stepped foot on the red carpet only served to slow down the smoothness of the proceedings. Still, I thought it was much better than in 2006 where the artistes had to “do the catwalk” on stage to be introduced to the audience. My other gripe would be more artistes should have walked the carpet even if they were not performing or presenting awards. Quite a few of our nominees were in attendance. At least give them their deserved spotlight on their big night.

The suave Adi Rahman

In any awards show, the host/s have a responsibility of keeping the interest of viewers going. I like the make-up of this year’s hosting line-up, especially the introduction of Malaysia‘s Lady Gaga, Didie Alias, and Indonesian MTV VJ, Daniel Mananta. They brought a new and more creative element into the mix, a breath of fresh air no doubt. Didie‘s over-the-top antics stole the show, while the rest looked more than happy to play the supporting role. However, some of what was written on their scripts and planned antics were unnecessary, like the dig on Malaysian actress Rozita Che Wan and her reported beau, Shahir, for instance. It’s like a recycled joke when Adi Rahman used to profess his love for Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza in previous APMs that he had hosted before. I was just amazed the Lady Gaga segment at the beginning of the show passed by without any hoo-ha, given the fact that her “modified” songs brought so much consternation over the past week on this island, due to the furore surrounding the National Day Parade‘s “Fun Pack“.

The opening segment comprising an all-Singaporean affair, which had never been done before in the history of the show, was a fresh idea and one that had the audience cheering right from the start. It gave an impression that our local acts, acting as our ambassadors, were the ones who did the welcoming to their regional counterparts and the audience watching at home to the show. Everyone looked as though they were enjoying themselves, most notably our newly-crowned Anugerah 2011 champion, Rahayu Ridwan. However, I personally feel that it would have been better had a song by any one of our local acts be sung instead. Looking at their comfort on stage, whilst rapping is the forte of SleeQ, our three Idols are more known as crooners rather than rappers. Part of the lyrics to the song “Senyum” also related more on the original performer’s (Malique) life, which does not really reflect much about welcoming us to the show. Some of their voices were also inaudible at times or drowned by the live music, due to technical problems with the microphone volumes.

The affable Fiza O 

I will of course, not describe each and every single performance per se, as you can view all of them on YouTube, thanks to the people who have uploaded them. Personally I enjoyed a bulk of the performances that night and three hours went by a little too fast for my liking. From the various solo and group performances, to the teaming up of regional acts on stage, APM 2011 delivered in its live entertainment value. I was extremely proud of our local acts, each and every single one of them, who showed that they were able to stand tall along with their regional counterparts. There was no inferiority complex whatsoever, just confident performances throughout. Aryan Band, is one that needs a special mention as most people in Singapore have also not heard of them before this, yours truly included. Just by their name, I thought they were from Indonesia. Their rendition of “Azura 2011” had the hairs at the back of my neck standing by the end of their performance. No wonder Luncai Emas Sdn Bhd have signed them up under their label. This group is certainly about to go places in the upcoming future.

Other local acts that need to be given props are Sarah Aqilah (“Seikhlas Hatimu“) and Sezairi Sezali. The former has certainly grown and improve from her Anugerah 2009 win and I do hope she would go on to build a proper singing career once her studies are over. Sezairi on the other hand, impressed with his soothing vocals when he performed “Matahari“. Other notable performances that I enjoyed that night were Amanda Imani (“Selamilah Cinta“), Afgan Syah Reza (“Terima Kasih Cinta” / “Dia Dia Dia“), and the tribute to Anugerah Khas Planet Muzik recipient, Melly Goeslaw, by Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, Jaclyn Victor and Melly herself. 3 Suara, which comprises Ning Baizura, Jaclyn Victor & Shylla Amzah, was another that grabbed the attention with their sultry showmanship. Even though I also loved Ajai and Shylla‘s duet, performing The Lion Story & Zahidah‘s “Lagu Teman“, it would have been nice if the original singers were given their dues and opportunity to perform on the night.

Daniel Mananta is definitely a hit with the ladies…

Surprisingly, I did not quite enjoy two of my favourite performers’ performances and I’m sure you can more or less guess who. Though I love Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza and Faizal Tahir to bits, I thought their performances that night did not quite work out as it should be. The former’s song “I’m Falling In Love“, which is a new single in her upcoming English album, is a bit too identical to Kylie Minogue‘s “Can’t Get You Outta My Head“, along with the dance steps. As for the latter, I’m sure you know what happened when he went flat and off-key when performing “Hanyut” and “Selamat Malam“. The delay to his performance was caused by the hanging of his accompanying keyboardist’s PC. But he should have saved the day by engaging the audience with his witty quips, which he is known for, rather than keep quiet and let the seconds and minutes go by.

From what I read online, a lot of people were blaming the organisers and production team for this particular boo-boo and this also included the four-minute loss of transmission towards the end, which I felt was quite unfair, since most of these comments were made by people who did not watch the show live. The loss of transmission was due to the heavy storm which descended outside the event venue just before Dato’ Siti was awarded the Most Popular Regional Artiste Award. Acts of God like these are unavoidable and there is no way you can prevent if such a thing were to occur. Some went so far as to comment they demand an explanation from the organisers, even if they have to wait till the end of time. Be realistic, don’t be ridiculous!!! As for Mr Superman himself, I hope he had done enough sound checks beforehand to know what could possibly go wrong on the night. That’s the reason why you have sound checks and rehearsals leading up to a show.

Other unsavoury bits of news I heard were some artistes smoking in the waiting room and throwing their cigarette butts on the carpeted floors. I dunno if this is plain stupidity or ignorance or simply a lack of common sense on their part, but they could have caused a fire to break out as a result and more damage to the show. Basic etiquettes like not chewing gum when you’re on stage performing or even when accepting an award, should also be drummed into the heads of wannabe artistes out there. Not only is it rude with millions in the region watching your every move, it reflects badly on the country you represent. There is a time and place to enjoy that puff or chew the gum, but don’t ruin your newly-built reputations when the media is ever ready to pounce on your flaws and bring you down. If you are a Singaporean artiste, you will count yourselves very lucky the media here are very much forgiving and always giving the benefit of doubt. Malaysian or Indonesian artistes do not exactly enjoy that liberty.

Looking at the winners, I don’t think eyebrows need to be raised with most of the choices, even though many people have been questioning the wisdom in crowning the Lagu Serantau Paling Popular Award to our Asian Idol, Hady Mirza. No doubt his win in that category was a bit surprising. I also did not expect any of our local acts to win in that category for the sole reason being our population size, as compared to our regional counterparts. If voters from other countries are crying foul, then it’s their fault for not working hard or having the presence of mind to vote for their respective favourites, given the fact that they were already told via the official radio stations in their respective countries on how to go about voting for their favourites. Either way, the tech savvy ones simply did not bother to vote nor having the initiative to find out how to do it. No point calling it a farce when other sets of fans have worked hard to make it possible.

But the crowning of Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza as the Most Popular Regional Artiste (Throughout The Decade) was the one that surprised me in terms of what it meant for her in future. By virtue of winning this award, and what the television viewers did not get to see due to the loss in transmission, it was announced that she is automatically exempted from being nominated again in upcoming Anugerah Planet Muzik events in this particular category. I dunno if this was an executive decision made by the organisers or one that the diva herself had agreed upon beforehand, but I hope for her sake, she is not “banned” from being nominated again and that it was in agreement that she would give way to others, just like what she did with Anugerah Juara Lagu and Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian back in her home country. This win was very much expected given the fact that she is well-loved by people from the three countries. Ten in a row, it will take someone equally special to top that feat and may never be repeated in our lifetime.

I also would like to go on record to say I like the delectable mix of award presenters that night, even though it also has to be said that a constant complain at every APM is the “recycling” of performers and them backing up as presenters as well. I think the ones that were most enjoyable that night were Dato’ AC Mizal & Huda Ali as well as Halim Othman & Linda Onn. Their banters were off-the-cuff, natural and showed uncanny chemistry between them. Linda certainly impressed me with her natural usage of Bahasa Baku, something that even most of us do not practice every day. The only downside to the scripts were the sexual innuendoes which I felt were a bit unnecessary or the jibes on their fellow presenters’ private lives. There is a place for jokes like that, but not when the show is watched by millions of viewers of all ages in the region.

I have a niggly issue with the finale though and I need to do a bit of complaining about it. I thought it could have been done much better by having a final rousing performance by any of the acts to end the night, but it was not to be. Instead, it ended with the hosts thanking everyone and the sponsors and it was left to them to dance along to the accompanying music and waving to the audience in the hall and at home. For most of the good things that happened that night, it had to end off with an anti-climax like that. I think the one in 2007 where the show ended with Kris Dayanti, Hady Mirza, Diddy and the late Yanie (May Allah bless her soul), was an example of a good finale. I really hope that the organisers would think about this aspect the next time they stage APM anywhere in the region, as it would be a waste to end off a good show with nothing more than what was displayed, plus the traditional showering of confetti upon everyone seated at the front and on stage.

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 was, in my humble opinion, a generally enjoyable event. A pity then that the arena was only about half full when it should have been a sell-out. The line-up was great, the performances were mostly excellent. Yes I detected a few technical problems when I watched it again on YouTube and that is something that the organisers should take heed and note for the betterment of future productions. Given the economic climate, I feel that if it were to be organised here again, it should be held at a smaller venue where the acoustics would lend justice to the performers as well as those watching in the arena and at home. Kudos to those who paid f0r and dressed up for the event. The ones who enjoyed themselves were those who were in attendance. It was two different experiences soaking the atmosphere live and watching from the comfort of home. And that is where we get the accolades and flak from different sets of viewers. Anugerah Planet Muzik 2012 if it is to be staged, God willing, will probably be held in Jakarta, though I hope that it would be in Kuala Lumpur instead.

P.S. A big thank you to Mediacorp Radio Warna 94.2FM & RIA 89.7FM for the kind invitation to the event. Thank you also to my outfit sponsor Jatt’s Collezione for the top I wore the other night. In case you are wondering why there are no photographs on the performances, award presenters as well as post-event reception, I have planned to upload them in subsequent entries so you need to come back soon…

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 Roll of Honour

Sandhy Sondoro

Vokal Terbaik (Artis Baru Lelaki)

Amanda Imani

Vokal Terbaik (Artis Baru Wanita)

Ana Raffali, Suhaimi Meor Hassan & Altimet

Vokal Terbaik (Duo / Kumpulan Baru)

Lagu Teman – The Lion Story & Zahidah

Lagu Terbaik Singapura

Awan Nano – Hafiz AF7

Lagu Terbaik Malaysia

Cintailah Aku Sepenuh Hati – Ari Lasso

Lagu Terbaik Indonesia

Sayang – Dayang Nurfaizah & Marcell

Kolaborasi Terbaik

(image credits: Dayang Nurfaizah’s blog site)

Faizal Tahir

Artis Lelaki Terbaik

Rossa

Artis Wanita Terbaik

3 Suara – Jaclyn Victor, Ning Baizura & Shylla Amzah

Duo / Kumpulan Terbaik

Awan Nano – Hafiz AF7

Lagu Terbaik

Energi – Kotak

Album Terbaik

(image credits: Bagaz.Minang)

Melly Goeslaw

Anugerah Khas Planet Muzik 2011

Hady Mirza

Artis Singapura Paling Popular

Lagu Singapura Paling Popular

Lagu Serantau Paling Popular

Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza

Artis Serantau Paling Popular (Sepanjang Dekad)

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 Pre-Show & Red Carpet Segment…

Nope this is not a review of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011. Not so soon and definitely not my style. Cos I would love to take my time to read what the foreign media and entertainment bloggers would have to say before I come out with my own thoughts and also to agree with them or to defend the organisers and production team as and when I deem fit to do so. But I know most of you entering this domain would want to see photographs or clips I took during the event. Fret not, cos I have planned to split up my entry into several parts so it does not have to come out as too long-winded for you to digest. For starters, I’ll begin with the Red Carpet event as well as several photos I snapped of our local acts already seated amongst the audience, which most of you did not get to see at home. Enjoy viewing the pics and clip!!!

Roze Kasmani (right), with manager Raudha Ismail and Shah Shamshiri, the lyricist to her debut single “Harum“… 

Revalina looking spiffy in their outfits…

Mediacorp AMU artistes Komrad and Yanie from the girl group EVE

Warna 94.2FM‘s AB Shaik and RIA 89.7FM‘s Nity Baizura were the hosts for the Red Carpet segment…

First up on the red carpet were SleeQ and Sezairi Sezali, Singapore‘s 3rd Idol

Sarah Aqilah making her debut at APM 2011

Anugerah 2011 winner Rahayu Ridwan also made her debut fresh from her win a fortnight ago…

Surprised to see Hady Mirza in this new style, breaking away from the boy-next-door image we’ve been so used to seeing, but it was fresh nonetheless…

Love this shot of Taufik Batisah and Rossa

Good looks, soulful voice, no wonder the gals go gaga over Afgan Syah Reza

Stunning outfit worn by Winnie K that night. I initially thought a bride was on the loose…

Our very own Huda Ali wearing an Ashley Isham creation…

He might be a Dato’, but AC Mizal (with wife Emilia Rosnaida), is still the spunky and sporty fellow that we know…

Dato M. Nasir (with wife Datin Marlia Musa) is still very popular and well respected on these shores judging by the cheers he received…

Prolific composer Ajai, walked the carpet with Aisya Hasnaa, one of the nominees for Vokal Terbaik (Artis Baru Wanita)

Atilia flanked by MonoLoQue

Aryan Band, one of our local acts signed by Luncai Emas Sdn Bhd

Hafiz, Akademi Fantasia 7 winner was a crowd pleaser not only with his voice, but his infectious smile and not forgetting, the hair…

Suria FM‘s Halim Othman with Nora Danish, who was a hot favourite with fans clamouring to take photographs with her…

The gorgeous and tall Amanda Imani. She could easily be a supermodel with the height she has…

An example of a local act who has flown the flag high across the shores, Ady Putra

Farah Asyikin, winner of Vokal Terbaik (Artis Baru Wanita) back at APM 2008

The gal with the trademark baju kurung / kebaya, Ana Raffali

Sandhy Sondoro looked glum throughout, but his voice has made the region take note of his abilities…

Shylla Amzah looked as though she was loving every minute on the red carpet…

One word to describe Ning Baizura: Stunning!!!

Jaclyn Victor, a vocal powerhouse in her own right…

No surprises to see so many people clamouring to take photographs of Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza by the side…

Always a pleasure to see Linda Onn back at the place where she spent her childhood. Am sure she felt the same way too…

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 Predictions

Ever since Anugerah 2011 ended, this blog has since quietened down with no entries to show for, when I had an entry or two published almost every week during the period of competition. This blog will continue to be quiet as it embarks on its annual hiatus come the months of Ramadan and Syawal. But before it goes into its traditional hibernation mode, let me just fill the spaces of this domain with my own predictions on the possible winners of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011, which makes its long-awaited return on Friday night at Singapore Expo‘s Max Pavilion. Yes, the regional awards show is finally coming home and I am so looking forward to it, moreso as this year will be the first time I will be attending the event as part of the media brigade. So out of sheer boredom and something to anticipate the event, I present to you my own personal picks for the various awards up for grabs. My picks will be the ones I highlighted. Disclaimer: This is just for fun so don’t sue me if I get it wrong in the end…

VOKAL TERBAIK (ARTIS BARU LELAKI) / BEST VOCAL (NEW MALE ARTISTE)

Aris – 1000 X Maaf

Febrian – Cinta Itu Gila

Igo – Kemenangan Cinta

Sandhy Sondoro – Bunga Mimpi

Sezaire Sezali – Matahari

VOKAL TERBAIK (ARTIS BARU WANITA) / BEST VOCAL (NEW FEMALE ARTISTE)

Aisya Hasnaa – Lagu Mahu Kamu

Amanda Imani – Selamilah Cinta

Ana Raffali – Tolong Ingatkan Aku

Mytha – Seperti Yang Kau Minta

Roze Kasmani – Harum

VOKAL TERBAIK (DUO/KUMPULAN BARU) / BEST VOCAL (NEW DUO/GROUP)

Ana Raffali, Sohaimi Meor Hassan & Altimet – Kalau Berpacaran

Azlan & The Typewriter – Kelibat Si Penyair

Govinda – Bawa Aku Lari

Projek Pistol – Wanita Seluruh Dunia

Zivilia – Aishiteru

KOLABORASI TERBAIK / BEST COLLABORATION

Amarah – Siti Nurhaliza & Kris Dayanti – Composer: Audi Mok, Lyricist: Siti Nurhaliza

Berteman Rindu – Didicazli & Giselle – Composer: Didicazli, Lyricist: Didicazli

Harus Bagaimana – Atilia & Maliq & d’Essentials – Composer: Widi Puradiredja, Lyricist: Widi Puradiredja

Kalau Cinta – Aliff Aziz & Joanna – Composer: Panji, Lyricist: Panji

Sayang – Dayang Nurfaizah & Marcell – Composer: Omar K, Lyricist: Nuur Iman

ARTIS LELAKI TERBAIK / BEST MALE ARTISTE

Faizal Tahir – Adrenalin

Glenn Fredly – Lovevolution

Hady Mirza – Sang Penyanyi

Hafiz – Masih Jelas

Judika – Setengah Mati Merindu

ARTIS WANITA TERBAIK / BEST FEMALE ARTISTE

Agnes Monica – Sacredly Agnezious

Ana Raffali – Ketika Aku Kecil

Astrid – Lihat Aku Sekarang

Rossa – Harmoni Jalinan Nada & Cerita

Sarah Aqilah – Sarah Aqilah

DUO/KUMPULAN TERBAIK / BEST DUO/GROUP

Andra & The Backbone – Love, Faith & Hope

D’Masiv – Perjalanan

Kotak – Energi

3 Suara – Jaclyn, Ning & Shila – 3 Suara

6ixth Sense – + – x /

Ungu – 1000 Kisah 1 Hati

ALBUM TERBAIK / BEST ALBUM

Cari Jodoh – Wali – Producer: Sujana

CTKD – Siti Nurhaliza & KrisDayanti – Producers: Aubrey Suwito, Audi Mok, Charly ST12, Siti Nurhaliza & KrisDayanti

Energi – Kotak – Producer: Pay BIP

Ketika Aku Kecil – Ana Raffali – Producer: Aidit Alfian

Sang Penyanyi – Hady Mirza – Producer: Hady Mirza

3 Suara – Jaclyn, Ning & Shila – Producers: Irwan Simanjuntak, Paul Morrison, Kevin Chin & Aylwin Santiago

LAGU TERBAIK SINGAPURA / BEST SONG (SINGAPORE)

Harum – Roze Kasmani – Composers: Imran Ajmain & Alyph SleeQ, Lyricist: Shah Shamsiri

Ku Tetap Kan Menunggu – Hady Mirza – Composer: Hady Mirza, Lyricist: Hady Mirza

Lagu Teman – The Lion Story Feat. Zahidah – Composer: Haramain Osman, Lyricist: Haramain Osman

Maafkan Ku (Oh Cinta) – Faizal Isa – Composer: Janz Abdullah, Lyricists: Aina Azizi & Khairul Anwar

Matahari – Sezaire Sezali – Composer: Haramain Osman, Lyricist: Haramain Osman

LAGU TERBAIK MALAYSIA / BEST SONG (MALAYSIA)

Awan Nano – Hafiz – Composer: M Nasir, Lyricist: Buddhi Hekayat

Hanyut – Faizal Tahir – Composers: Audi Mok & Faizal Tahir, Lyricists: Audi Mok & Faizal Tahir

Kalau Berpacaran – Ana Raffali, Sohaimi Meor Hassan & Altimet – Composer: Sohaimi Meor Hassan, Lyricists: Sohaimi Meor Hassan, Ana Raffali & Altimet

Kekanda Adinda – Atilia & MonoloQue – Composer: LoQue, Lyricist: LoQue

Noktah Cinta – Hafiz – Composer: Ajai, Lyricist: Sheikh Qalam

LAGU TERBAIK INDONESIA / BEST SONG (INDONESIA)

Cari Jodoh – Wali – Composer: Apoy, Lyricist: Apoy

Cintailah Aku Sepenuh Hati – Ari Lasso – Composers: Sandy Canester & Pay BIP, Lyricist: Ari Lasso

Karena Ku Cinta Kau – Bunga Citra Lestari – Composer: Dewiq, Lyricist: Dewiq

Pelan-Pelan Saja – Kotak – Composers: Pay BIP & Kotak, Lyricist: Dewiq

Rindu 1/2 Mati – D’Masiv – Composer: Rian d’Masiv, Lyricist: Rian d’Masiv

ARTIS SINGAPURA PALING POPULAR / MOST POPULAR SINGAPORE ARTISTE

SG1 Aliff Aziz

SG2 Didicazli

SG3 Diorama

SG4 Dynda

SG5 Faizal Isa

SG6 Farhan Shah

SG7 Fauzie Laily

SG8 Hady Mirza

SG9 Hyrul Anuar

SG10 Imran Ajmain

SG11 Rancour

SG12 Revalina

SG13 Roze Kasmani

SG14 Sarah Aqilah

SG15 Sezaire Sezali

SG16 SleeQ

SG17 Syed Azmir

SG18 Taufik Batisah

SG19 The Lion Story

SG20 The Sallys

LAGU SINGAPURA PALING POPULAR / MOST POPULAR SINGAPORE SONG

LP1 Angkasa: Hady Mirza

LP2 Biar Hati Mencintai: Sarah Aqilah

LP3 Dunia Yang Fana: Zaibaktian

LP4 Harum: Roze

LP5 Hingga Ke Akhir: Urban Sensation Feat. Rauzan

LP6 Janji: Tujuh

LP7 Kali Pertama: Chosen One

LP8 Kesuma Jiwa: Boy Raven Feat. Man Toyak

LP9 Maafkanku (Oh Cinta): Faizal Isa

LP10 Matahari: Sezaire Sezali

LP11 Menanti Cintamu: Revalina

LP12 Tiada Dua: Taufik Batisah

ARTIS SERANTAU PALING POPULAR / MOST POPULAR REGIONAL ARTISTE

AS1 Afgan

AS2 Agnes Monica

AS3 Aliff Aziz

AS4 Faizal Tahir

AS5 Hady Mirza

AS6 Hujan

AS7 Rossa

AS8 Siti Nurhaliza

AS9 Taufik Batisah

AS10 Ungu

AS11 Wali

AS12 Yuna

LAGU SERANTAU PALING POPULAR / MOST POPULAR REGIONAL SONG

LS1 Aishiteru: Zivilia

LS2 Angkasa: Hady Mirza

LS3 Baik-Baik Sayang: Wali

LS4 Berteman Rindu: Didicazli & Giselle

LS5 Cerita Kedai Kopi: Malique Feat. Salam

LS6 Join Kopi: Blackout

LS7 Khatimah Cinta: 6ixth Sense

LS8 Ku Pinjam Satu Bintang: Alyah Feat. Riz AF

LS9 Masih Di Sini Masih Denganmu: Goliath

LS10 Menanti Cintamu: Revalina

LS11 Tiada Dua: Taufik Batisah

LS12 Tinggal Kenangan: Saleem

Anugerah 2011 Grand Finals Review…

(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

Anugerah 2011 came to an end this past Tuesday night, amidst feelings of general discontent with the competition as a whole and its direction, from the masses. We have heard and we have read how the public had commented about the performance levels, lacklustre displays, potentials or lack thereof of each contestant and the overall quality of the competition on various online platforms notably Facebook and Twitter. Myself, not withstanding, had also voiced my thoughts and what I have been feeling on a weekly basis, culminating in those comments I made in Berita Minggu, two Sundays ago. Truth be told, if vocal abilities were the only prerequisites and being the traditionalist that I am, discounting physical appearances and marketability factors, then Shalyza Rosly (Shalyza), Baby Sulastri and Siti Norulhuda (Norul) would have been my personal top picks who should have graced the Grand Finals.

Guest-of-honour Mr. S Iswaran enjoying the night’s proceedings…

For the first time in Anugerah’s history, we saw an all-female affair in the Grand Finals, a fair reflection of how the competition this year had progressed with the male contestants sorely lagging in many aspects, though it has to be said that I would not mind seeing Ace get his shot at stardom had he progressed till the end, by virtue of his gradual improvements weekly. The two-hour grand finale this year was graced by Mr S Iswaran, Minister from the Prime Minister’s Office, 2nd Minister for Home Affairs and 2nd Minister for Trade and Industry, a welcomed return after also gracing the 2007 Grand Finals edition.  All the three finalists walked away with MediaCorp Artiste Management contracts, recording contracts with Luncai Emas, R Records & Putrivision Empire, as well as holiday packages with Prestige Tours and Travel.

Some of the guest artistes and eliminated contestants of Anugerah 2011 

The champion also walked away with $10,000 cash and the opportunity to work with the legendary and highly respected singer-songwriter-composer-producer and Managing Director of Luncai Emas Sdn Bhd, Dato’ M Nasir, who was also one of the three guest judges of the night. Reshmonu, another one of the guest judges, is a singer-songwriter from Malaysia and the founder of record label, R Records. He will be producing the single for the 1st runner up, while the 2nd runner-up will be releasing her single with Putrivision Empire.  The night saw Reshmonu performed his hit single “Oh Anok Anok“, with Anugerah 2007 and 2009 Champions Aliff Aziz and Sarah Aqilah. There were also subsidiary awards for challenges in choreography (won by Epul), hosting (Norul), media (Shikin) and lyrics-writing (Rahayu Ridwan) throughout the course of the competition. These are challenges that the top 12 contestants had participated in. Winners of each challenge received a trophy.

Our resident hosts welcoming us to the show for a final time this season…

Observing the semi-final round, my personal picks who should have graced the Grand Finals would have been Shikin, Ace and Baby Sulastri by virtue of who performed better during that round. But of course that is not the name of the game, as general voters had their say to go along with the judges’ judging criterias. What the judging criterias are till this day, are still a mystery to me, but I believe looks and marketability factors are part of them, like it or not, for those who have a vested interest in these kind of competitions. Though traditionalists like myself would frown upon the looks above talents factor, on the flipside of it, you cannot deny that you need a looker to keep your interest on the google box going if you’re watching a particular programme. Or for the fact that looks sell in the industry, be it in endorsement deals or clinching coveted roles. Harsh as it may sound, but that’s the reality of the entertainment world. Just look at what’s happening in the West or in Korea where artistes are clamouring to look better by going under the knife, for popularity’s sake.

I thought the girls looked stunning in their outfit…

I know I have been harsh with my comments and reviews throughout the eleven weeks of competition. But I still approached the Grand Finals with a clear mind and starting everything on a clean slate. Well that has always been my approach in every episode. If I did not adopt it, I would not have attended the penultimate episode and just watched it from the comfort of home. Deep down, I still held on to the belief that one, if not all three finalists, would justify their rightful places and make it a truly grand final. My hopes were slightly raised when I saw encouraging words on Facebook by people who have been working closely with the finalists, to give them their opportunity to shine and let them do their thing on the night for they have been working hard for the past fortnight. Though I did not expect to be floored, my only hope was that the night would not end up as a total disappointment or an anti-climax. This is the grand finals afterall and that certain standards need to be met, since these are supposed to be the creme de la creme of the competition.

The show began with all three finalists singing the theme song “Anugerahku Gemilang” along with 2009 winner Sarah Aqilah. While I have to applaud all three of them for a rousing start, I only liked the first and the last part of their performance. They started off well but perhaps due to jitters and the pressure weighing upon them, all three seemed to have gone off-key in between. I did not exactly get to hear them going off-key clearly that night, as their voices were drowned by the cacophony of noise by the audience. Listening to them a second time at home brought out the negative part of their performance clearly. I felt the highest note in the song need not have to be done as none of them have showed their prowess in that particular aspect so far in the competition. They should have just stuck to their comfort zones as they were not judged on that performance. Still I thought they did quite ok overall and felt their positive energies, leading to a feeling of confidence that the rest of the night would not be so much of a disappointment as I had initially expected it to be, such is the pessimist that I am.

Round One – Finalist’s Song Choice

By virtue of being code number “1”, Shikin kick started things off with Jaclyn Victor‘s “Tiada Lagi Indah“, a song that needed her to control her vocals well and hit the high notes at the right moments. I agreed with judge Eddy Ali when he said she started off slowly but finished the song quite well. She sounded a bit bland in the beginning and went off-key slightly as she entered the chorus. But I simply loved her ending, so much so that for the first time in the competition, my hairs finally stood. Regular readers of this blog would note that I always use that as a gauge on whether a singer would impress me or not. By the end of the song, my goosebumps were clearly seen. For that I have to thank Shikin for making me forget momentarily of how disappointing and poor the standard of competition had been so far.

Erlina was up next performing “Takkan Pisah“, a song made famous by Eren of Kangen Band. While the song is beautiful, I could not help but feel that it was a wrong song choice, for the fact that the song was not challenging enough and not testing Erlina‘s vocals to the maximum. Still when she had it quite easy, Erlina did not quite performed to expectations. As had been the norm in the competition, her low notes were found wanting and she sounded as though she was shivering from the experience of gracing the final stage. She was pitchy almost throughout the song and it bothered yours truly so much that I thought, one of the earlier eliminated contestants would have done much better had they progressed and had their voters supported them well enough.

Rahayu Ridwan was next and she was another who had something to prove to the audience and viewers at home that she deserved to be in the Grand Finals over someone as vocally-accomplished as Baby Sulastri. Though she was not as bad as Erlina‘s earlier performance, it was not as controlled as Shikin‘s. I detected quite a few loose notes and parts that were pitchy when she performed Salma of Mentor 5 fame’s “Aku Permata“. However, to her credit, there was a degree of maturity in Rahayu‘s performance, in that she seemed to have slowly mastered the art of understanding the song that she sang and expressing all her emotions into it. Still, I was not entirely convinced even though I know and I heard that she was the favourite to win that night. The first round to me was won by Shikin.

Round Two – Group Performance

This was supposed to be the performance that should have salvaged Erlina from the brink of obscurity from this competition and also for the fact that she seems to be more at ease whenever she performs in a group. Somehow this performance was remembered more for their nifty footwork than their vocal prowess and this was very much reflected from the comments made by judges Ann Hussein and Reshmonu. I dunno if it was the song choice, or jitters, or having to balance their dance steps and singing, but it did not quite work out for me. Of course credit should be given for their dance moves but the basis of this competition is singing afterall. It was ordinary by standards and I was surprised that at this stage, Shikin who is considered more accomplished vocally as compared to the other two, could make the cardinal mistake of going off-key. In terms of showmanship, Rahayu won this segment hands down but like what Ann Hussein and Reshmonu had said, they would prefer to hear her sing, diplomatic but yet cryptic in their assessments.

Round Three – Lyrics Writing Challenge

This whole competition saw the contestants being put under extra pressure having to go through various challenges like hosting, choreography and facing the media. The most daunting task was saved for the Grand FinalsLyrics Writing. The three finalists were given only three hours during the recorded boot camp programme to come up with the lyrics to the melody composed by local musician Mansor Mohd. Being novices in the industry and raw to such a challenge, I did not expect much from them as I personally felt it was not fair to burden them with this sort of obstacle, without going through the basic foundations beforehand. There is only so much they can learn within those precious minutes during the boot camp and having to listen to the melody and putting them into words. But I’m sure the experience of learning from respected lyricist and guest judge Hartinah Ahmad was one that the finalists savoured and would put to good use in future.

As I was not expecting much from this segment, what I was looking out for was who would give a better account of themselves in terms of expressing their feelings into the song and how the lyrics would connect with the audience. Whilst Shikin (“Indahnya Kisah Kita“) and Erlina (“Perasaanku“) chose a more upbeat approach with the themes of “friendship” and “teenage love” respectively, Rahayu (“Pesan Rindu Buat Ibu“) stuck to a more sombre mood with “mother” as her inspiration. I dunno about you, but I felt that the lyrics to Shikin and Erlina‘s songs seemed like they were left hanging in the air with no proper continuity and in judge Sheikh Haikel‘s words, “phrasing”, which were left wanting. I also did not feel as though their songs were telling the audience a story.

Rahayu on the other hand, I thought came to the fore this time and made me forget her performances in the previous two rounds. Something special about her song was that the tempo and melody were slightly different and downbeat as compared to Shikin and Erlina‘s. I didn’t know they could change the tempo of the song, as I thought that everyone was given a standard template to sing from. Though Rahayu‘s low notes were still suspect, credit should be given to her for her attempt at lyrics writing. Not only did I feel a certain connection to her song, I felt the genuine sincerity that she put into her effort and that translated into her giving off an emotional performance. This was the start of her redemption for the night.

Round Four – Singing With Mentor

This particular segment has been quite a mainstay in recent years. The last edition in 2009 had the finalists singing with established singers like Nana, Iskandar Ismail (Eiss), Maman (Teacher’s Pet) and Azyza, whereas this year, the finalists were required to team up with those who have extensive backgrounds and experiences in music composition as well as in album production. The mentors this year were singer / producer Jaliboy, Razak (Ajaq) Bajuri who was a bassist with the uber-popular 90s group, SLAM, and Mayuni Omar, no stranger to local music lovers for his hit compositions, most notably Hazrul Nizam‘s “Kaulah Segalanya” and Nurun Nuwarrah‘s “Kau Ingin Ku Miliki“. The finalists were tasked to sing with or being accompanied by their respective mentors.

Shikin got things underway with Jaliboy when they performed “Kalau Berpacaran“, one of the current hits on our local airwaves and Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 nominee for Best Vocal (New Duo / Group) and Best Malaysian Song. Though I love the original version immensely, this new arrangement did not go down too well with my tastebuds. It was rearranged to make it into a rockish song but there was nothing rockish about the performance other than the melody. Shikin I felt was playing second fiddle to Jaliboy instead of the other way around. I dunno what happened to Shikin, but this song certainly did not suit her at all judging by the fact that her voice cracked on quite a few instances during the song, especially when she tried hitting the high notes.

Erlina was up next with Rossa‘s “Ku Tetap Menunggu“, accompanied by Ajaq. I finally got to see the positive aspect of Erlina‘s performance in this round, but it was a little too late to have any bearings in the minds of the judges. Though she did not do much wrong and gave her best performance of the night, she still kept to her comfort zone and sang a song which did not challenge her vocals at all. I believe this kind of song is not competition-material and only retained a certain degree of feel-good factor to those who listened to it. It was too safe, when at this stage, you are supposed to wow the judges and audience watching. I thought at this point, Erlina‘s spot as the one in third place was finally sealed and it did not help when earlier we saw how the public votes were not enough for her to mount a serious challenge.

I said that the earlier round for Rahayu was the start of her redemption for the night. If that was her redemption, this performance, singing Radja‘s “Takkan Melupakanmu” accompanied by Mayuni Omar was more or less the signal that showed she was about to walk away as the champion in this year’s competition. Rahayu maintained her consistency at understanding what she was singing and putting all her emotions into it. She was also consistent at maintaining eye contact with her accompanying mentor on the piano even when she was drifting away from him. I felt that of the three finalists, Rahayu was the most fortunate to have Mayuni Omar as her mentor, as his strictness would have done wonders to her composure, showmanship and performance as a whole and it certainly showed. Finally saw the aura of a star in her, even though her singing still did not resonate in my head.

Round 5 – Jury / Producer’s Choice

I was inclined to switch off by the time this round came about, as I felt anything they do henceforth would not hold much bearing on the results. Scheming through my Twitter timeline, as well as taking in the atmosphere at the Mediacorp TV Theatre, it was clear in the air that Rahayu was about to be crowned champion. This was more or less confirmed when I saw the latest public vote standings, as at this point, Rahayu was merely lagging Shikin behind by about 4%. Taking in the judges’ assessments of the finalists so far, and what we would get would still be a win, unless Shikin‘s supporters worked harder by voting more for her. Still, I went through the motions and observed what the three girls had in store for the audience and viewers at home.

Shikin performed a classic hit “Cahaya” (anyone out there knows the original singer??? Is it Khatijah Ibrahim???) with a cabaret-styled arrangement. Deep down I was hoping for her to up her performance as the only one that stuck in my head was her very first one. But it was a little too much to ask for. There was nothing special about Shikin‘s performance here as surprisingly her low notes were found wanting. The dancer in her at least made up for it and saved this segment for her, but I was pretty convinced that Shikin would be the first runner-up.

The first thought that flashed across my mind when host Fauzie Laily announced that Erlina was about to sing Sherina Munaf‘s “Pergilah Kau” was, another safe song for her. Still I do not understand why when given a safe song, Erlina contrived to make things difficult for herself by not giving off a better performance than the last or at least maintaining that same level. I wondered if she had given up the competition by then and thought that no matter what she did, it would not matter at all. The whole performance was pitchy at best. A pity really as it only enhanced the feeling that she would come in third place.

Melly Goeslaw‘s “Risau” was the jury / producer’s choice for Rahayu to perform. What more can I say about her performance other than the fact that she has somewhat mastered the ability to put forth her emotions into a song and expressing them with such intensity that it momentarily makes one forget that her singing still needs lots of improvement to be worked upon in terms of pitching and other technicalities. Though I know most people who were watching have not heard of the song, yours truly included, at least she made the effort to tell the story of the song through her expressions and emotions. What was telling was her focus and this reminded me of what Ajai said about her performance during the Wildcard Round, that she was focused, she put her emotions into the song and what we had was a singer.

Anugerah 2011 Recap

Rahayu getting emotional when her name was announced the winner of Anugerah 2011

By the fourth round, it was no longer a mystery as to who would walk away as champion of this year’s Anugerah competition. Rahayu might not be the winner in some people’s hearts or the purists for that matter. She is also not the most vocally-accomplished in this year’s cohort, but she did the best out of what she possessed, and that is the ability to inject emotions and sincerity in her delivery, something which was sorely lacking in most of the contestants this year. Based on my observations and my approach to the competition, that is those who performed on the night deserved to go through, I thought Rahayu was the one who displayed more hunger and will to win as compared to the other finalists, even though Shikin was my favourite to win.

Sarah Aqilah was tasked to handover her mantle to the new winner…

The challenge for Rahayu now is to work on her singing and I’m sure a lot of people would agree that she has some way to go when compared to her predecessors who have won before her. No doubt her commercial value is her plus point, but that needs to be substantiated with what she has been introduced into the industry for – singing. My hope for her is that she would not disappear like past winners before 2005. Though I am not entirely impressed by her singing, I certainly do not begrudge her on winning as I personally felt she did better than Shikin and Erlina on the night. The song dedication to her mother was one that tugged the heartstrings and one that brought out the best in her, which throughout the competition, I did not see. I’m not ashamed to say I was slightly moved by her delivery on that song, as I felt the love and sincerity she put into it.

A very pleasant performance by Sarah & Aliff Aziz singing “Kalau Cinta

However looking at the bigger picture, the whole competition was a major disappointment and to readdress what I had mentioned before that this is the worst in its edition. The fault does not lie solely on the contestants and I feel it is extremely unfair for them to shoulder this blame alone or the bulk of it. The fans and supporters who voted relentlessly week in and out should shoulder a major part of it as they were the ones who had the power to vote, or did not do it for the other contestants who were much better than those who had progressed. A case in point was the Wildcard Round. So many of the better ones had to go through the ordeal and mental torture of that round just to prove themselves all over again, that they deserved to progress when their earlier rounds have showed us their true capabilities.

An energetic performance by Reshmonu with his hit “Oh Anok Anok“… 

I read comments from my Twitter timeline that guest judge Dato’ M. Nasir was being haughty and arrogant with his assessments. I beg to differ. I think he was trying to be very diplomatic and not kill the confidence of the finalists. How else can I explain his hemming and hawing during the first round, trying to find the right words to express himself nicely, and when he commented on Erlina‘s singing in the third round saying, “You are here because there is something good about you…“??? I certainly think he was using reverse psychology to express his disappointment and boredom at the quality on display. Just ask any body language teachers out there and they will tell you that when a person speaks with his hands resting on his cheeks and shrugging, it shows his complete boredom on what he’s observing, and can I blame him???

Ace and Baby Sulastri performing the first verse of “Bintang Yang Bersinar“…

Certainly not, since he is the one who is supposed to produce an album for the winner. Definitely he was not impressed with what he had seen and it was only the first round and we all know that first impressions last. Reshmonu was another one who was not impressed entirely but at least he was tactful enough to bring out other positive points in the finalists. As for our resident judges, I can safely say that having been on the journey with the contestants, it was just not right for them to slate the finalists on their grandest stage, as this might affect the public votes swinging against or for them. Any negative comments against them would surely result in sympathetic votes for them. We saw how this year’s competition have shown that the voters are irresponsible and this was what happened when they contributed to such a poor competition for their blind faith on some of their favourite contestants.

They were followed by Epul and Shalyza

Looking at the smses that appeared during the programme as well as comments made online by those who followed the competition, also highlighted and questioned how come the better ones were eliminated. The answer was in the hands of the public who voted. Nothing the producers or the resident judges could do to save the better ones when they are being audited by professional auditors. I also personally feel that it is not fair to Shahridzuan Selamat and Zaharian Osman who had composed the lyrics to the theme song, which till this day is still stuck in my head for its catchiness. The quality of the competition and how it panned out did not lend credence to the lyrics of the song which said, “Anugerahku nan gemilang, Anugerahku nan terbilang…” It felt more like “Anugerah kurang gemilang, Anugerah kurang terbilang…” as was stated by someone on Twitter.

The Top 12 performing “Aku Bukan Superstar“…

Anyway, the competition is over. Whatever negativities that was brought up by the public should be taken into consideration for the next edition, whenever that will be. The system should be set such that we do not allow our good talents to fall by the wayside and this can only be done when the public votes are limited to a certain percentage or scrapped once and for all. Only with that, can we then perhaps hear more truthful comments by the judges and not diplomatic ones. I think the one who was very consistent, upfront, blunt and honest was Rilla Melati. The judges, resident and guests, no matter how much I love some of them, either need to change or should learn to brush up on their usage of the Malay language. We want to produce contestants who speak good Malay, we should also have judges who have that capability as well and not struggle to find the right words to use whenever the cameras start to pan on them.

Rahayu singing “Aku Permata” once again after her coronation…

The various challenges introduced into the competition this year were good and refreshing ones. However, in the search for the all-round entertainer, the competition lost its way and the very basic from which the entertainer should be good at, and that is singing. I also feel that too little time was given to the contestants to work on their lyrics writing skills. It’s what we Malays like to call “Bidan Terjun“, the finalists were heaped added pressure to produce something that they have not done before and somehow it made them looked silly on stage during the Grand Finals, and this I feel is not fair on them on their most memorable night in their lives so far. I think all the contestants should have gone through a workshop right from the start and not confined to just the finalists. Many of them could learn from the experience. Who knows if they are not cut out to be singers, they could at least be good lyricists in future???

With the pressure off, she certainly sang much better than the first round…

No matter how much some of us still feel aggrieved by the elimination of certain contestants or not agreeable to the winner, let’s close ranks and continue supporting the local music industry, Rahayu being the winner, as well as Shikin and Erlina who have gotten themselves the opportunity to record singles with R Records and Putrivision Empire. They are still very young. Given time and ample opportunities, they would want to prove that they are not flashes in the pan. What we saw last Tuesday night could have been much better but the girls gave off everything they got in those two hours, performing seven songs, something which they have not done before during the competition, a test of their stamina and mental resolve. Just that I was surprised the last segment involving the Top 12 contestants was quite an anti-climax with them miming, and certain contestants singing over the lines of others as they were not at the recording.

Introfucing the new winner of AnugerahRahayu Ridwan

Yes there were few hits and many misses in this year’s competition, but there is still hope yet for the vanquished to improve themselves and come back better the next time round. They should look no further than resident host Fauzie Laily who is a stunning example of one who did not give up, and look at how he has progressed since then. Congratulations once again to Rahayu Ridwan!!! It has to be repeated that no one should take that away from her nor begrudge her on winning. I sincerely hope that she would carry our flag high and do a good job when she takes the stage alongside other big names in the industry on the night of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2011 in less than a fortnight away. I already know the segment she will be in but I will not disclose it to you, as it is meant to be a surprise for viewers out there. All I can say is that I am looking forward to that particular segment and so should you. I end this entry with Rahayu thanking her supporters for their votes and undying support for her…