As always when it comes to big events happening in our local entertainment scene, this domain will always be one of the last, if not the last, to post something on it. For the uninitiated, Mediacorp Suria, along with Metrowealth International Group (MIG) from Malaysia, have teamed up and collaborated to bring you “Ratu“, an upcoming beauty-cum-talent competition on the local Malay television channel. To be hosted by Fauzie Laily and Marina Yusoff, this weekly competition will run for eight weeks beginning this coming Tuesday 27 November 2012 and will air every Tuesdays at 8:30pm. The Grand Final, which will be a two-hour affair, is slated to air on 15 January 2012, same time, same channel. The competition is also proud to welcome onboard RitaBella, or in fact the company that distributes the products, Forever Beauty Professionals, as its principal sponsors.
Along with resident judges Hafeez Glamour and former beauty queen, Nuraliza Osman, each weekly episode will have a different guest judge who will assess the contestants according to the weekly themes and challenges in various scenarios (cooking, culture, media & television, sports etc.). Unlike the different Anugerah competitions we have had over the years, this one will be solely judged by the esteemed panel of judges. The winner can look forward to being the new face of Suria, a cash prize worth $10,000, opportunity to become the new product ambassador for Ritabella and best of all, get to act in an upcoming movie / drama series produced by Metrowealth International Group, which has produced household names in the Malaysian entertainment industry like Shaheizy Sam, Pierre Andre, Maya Karin and Intan Ladyana amongst others. There will also be subsidiary awards like Ratu Elegan, Ratu Kebaya and Ratu Popular. The latter award will be the only one that will be determined by viewers’ votes via Mediacorp Suria‘s Facebook page.
A media conference was held on 14 November 2012 at the newly-opened Mamanda Restaurant, to introduce all sixteen finalists of the upcoming competition. The panel of bigwigs who addressed the media that day consisted of Mediacorp Suria‘s Senior Vice-President, Mr. Suhaimi Jais, Mediacorp Eaglevision‘s Vice-President, Ms. Sabariah Ramilan, Mediacorp‘s Assistant Vice-President for Corporate Communications and Artiste Management Unit, Mr. Azlan N. Salim and Metrowealth International Group‘s Chief Executive Officer, Major David Teo. As I have the benefit of the video clips I have recorded and put up for your viewing pleasure, I will not say more on what we can expect from the competition as mentioned by the panel. In summary, this competition aims to find an all-rounder that typifies the modern young lady. Which is why “Ratu” can also be abbreviated as “R.A.T.U.” – Ranggi (Attractive), Anggun (Elegant), Trampil (Stylish) and Unggul (Excellence).
I will not divulge what is in store for each episode, even though I have the information at hand. I would just like to keep the element of mystery and surprise to anyone of the sixteen beauties reading this entry. As an interesting sidenote, I can only say that it was an eye-opener to finally be in the same sitting as Major Teo, listening to his interesting anecdotes and funny quips, sharing how he has made some household names in Malaysia popular, or at least how they have worked hard to be where they are now. He also shared several useful pointers to the sixteen finalists, what he expects of them when they are ready to take the plunge in the industry. Previously I had the impression that he is quite a cocky person, based on watching some of his interviews on Malaysian channels, but then again to be fair, those interviews were taken out of context and sensationalised to suit the nature of the programmes that were aired. Through the session, I realised that Major David Teo is rather a genuine person who cares for his workers and want them to succeed as much as possible through hard work, honesty, sincerity, self-discipline and personal integrity.
So what can readers expect from this blog in terms of coverage of the upcoming Ratu competition??? I’ve learned over the years of blogging that people are normally curious to view photographs and such and do not care so much on long-winded analysis / commentaries that I come up with, unless they are fans or supporters of a particular contestant in a reality competition and would like to know what is being said about their respective favourites. I have been monitoring these jumps on my blog statistics whenever a particular personality gets married, or if there is a recent big event in the local entertainment scene, cos people are just curious to see the photographs and don’t bother that much about what I type, hence why my entries have been short and sharp in recent times. Maybe that’s why over the years, with blogging on the wane due to the existence of social media, I have been having less and less people commenting on my entries, other than the odd word of thanks for sharing it with my audience. But I am extremely thankful that you are still coming in to this blog from time to time.
Anyway, the subject of “beauty” itself differs from person-to-person. I admit hand-to-heart that I am no expert in judging or analysing beauties of a beauty pageant, as compared to observing a singing or acting reality competition. As such I do not want to be flamed nor have my credibility questioned by perhaps more experienced people in the know and those who are more expert in this field. Imagine the number of silent enemies I were to make if I were to comment wrongly??? In the past I made quite a number of people unhappy with some of my factual and spot-on comments, imagine the multiplication of resentment, if my words were nothing more than make-believe??? I’ve learned from years of blogging that perhaps less could be more and people will still visit this domain of mine. So I guess my subsequent entries on the upcoming Ratu competition will be more photograph-based. It could perhaps help ladies out there who are into fashion learn some tips on styling and such.
If I were to pass any comments and thoughts henceforth (if any) on the show, it will be based on whatever happenings that would have transpired in a particular episode of the competition. It is only fair that readers are able to counter-assess based on what they had also watched and come to an agreement or open to any relevant debate, rather than wonder if I had made it all up. I also think people would be able to understand my rationale better rather than question my credibility on a subject I have little to no knowledge upon, as compared to a singing competition for instance. It took me years to build up a strong foundation, for industry bigwigs to take me seriously and accept my standing as a credible and responsible blogger. I have made enough enemies in the past through my brashness and lack of tact. I do not wish to destroy that through moments of carefree and folly. With that, I hope anyone who wants to go down this road, or even be a blogger of a different subject like food or social issues, could practice basic decorum and common sense. It is one thing to display a high level of IQ and bombastic vocabulary in our postings, but we should also have a sense of EQ as well. Never take for granted whatever media invites we get cos it might not guarantee us more in future. We should always be responsible with what we say as it is more or less a reflection of our personality.
Which brings me to this point. After seeing the girls for the first time during the media conference and viewing some of their photographs online, I cannot help but point out that some of them had too thick a make-up on their faces that day. I do understand the need to look presentable and stylish to the watching media brigade, but I had also expected the girls to appear more natural with minimal make-up. Some looked a little too matured for their age, either from the extra layer of powder on their faces or hair done, and this is something our dear make-up artistes and stylists can work on lending the girls a bit of justice. Through inquisitive research, and viewing photographs on the contestants’ Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts (Sorry for stalking girls!!! I need to comment fairly on you… 🙂), I was extremely surprised to see that some of the girls actually look prettier with light make-up on their faces. I for one, would like to see that more often on the show, cos I believe it gives the girls a natural perspective and to just let their personalities, talents and auras shine through to back up their God-given physical features.
I hope viewers out there will not be too quick to slate the competition or judge the sixteen beauties even before seeing them in action or hearing them speak. I have seen comments online that this is nothing more than a flesh parade or demeaning the fairer gender. And these comments were made even before the auditions were held!!! I think this is something new that Mediacorp Suria is embarking upon and they should be given the room to experiment on a competition that has never been done before, even if it is quite similar to the Anugerah Skrin competition, which was held in 2006 and 2010. Based on previous reality shows, expect the contestants to be very raw and only showing their true worth and credentials somewhere in the middle of the competition. It is a challenge in itself for these beauties to maintain their poise and having to display their qualities for the viewers on a weekly basis. They have been chosen to compete and advanced to this stage of the competition, out of the 200-odd girls who came for audition, not only for their physical beauty but also other substantial qualities relevant for this show. So I hope the viewers can take some positives out of the competition. Who knows we might even learn a thing or two from some of their upcoming challenges, quips and quotes???
To the sixteen beauties, I wish them all the best for the competition. I am sure that whoever signs up for a reality show or to enter this vicious industry we call the “entertainment scene” have an inkling of what they are in for. People and viewers out there are going to talk, good or bad, whether they like it or not. They will be up for scrutiny and will be on the firing line for any brickbats / negative comments. I might add some of my own, but of course I will try not to be too tough as compared to previous Anugerah competitions, as I had pointed out earlier that this is not my forte. What the girls can do is give off their best, do their respective research on any particular challenges they are up for in the weekly episodes and try to keep themselves abreast with current affairs, especially reading them in our own mother tongue. In Marina Yusoff, Fauzie Laily, Hafeez Glamour and Nuraliza Osman, they could not have gotten better mentors (off-camera of course) for tips on how to better themselves or learn more about the scene. They just need to ask, I’m absolutely certain the four of them will not hold back on sharing whatever knowledge they have. See you girls next Tuesday, and don’t forget to smile for my camera… 🙂