Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Episode 8 Recap…

With just less than a fortnight away to crowning the next big thing in our local Malay entertainment scene, Anugerah Skrin 2010 saw another two contestants from the remaining twelve, being eliminated this past week. The recent week was also the quarter-finals round of the competition. As in weeks gone by, there was another guest judge for this particular round and she was none other than Era Faridah, otherwise known as “Kak Fid” / “Cik Sal Boleh“. For the record, the ones eliminated this week were Biwa Mastura and Muhammad Dzar. Let’s see what the judges have to say on the contestants this past week.

Khairudin Samsudin (Khai) personally felt that the progress of the contestants, or lack thereof, was extremely disappointing because at this stage of the competition, a lot of things could have been done to explore on their respective roles given. The contestants had gone through sessions with their mentors and workshops conducted for them but they seemed to not make full use of their time properly. He said that he was swarmed with comments that this year’s batch of contestants pale in comparison with their 2006 counterparts and hoped that those who still remain in the competition would prove the doubters wrong.

Rilla Melati noted that some progress was made especially seen by Raja Razie‘s performance. But as quickly as she had given praise, she went on the offensive and chided some of the contestants who it seemed were being overconfident that they could get by just by relying on their looks. Singling Erwin Dawson out, she felt that his acting is still raw and that a lot of rough edges need to be smoothened. She had likened Erwin as the male equivalent of Rima Melati Adams, someone whose good looks and commercial values are a casting director’s dream for any television channel / medium, but to reach that level, he has to buck up and back it up with assured and convincing performances in future.

Even though Era Faridah did not say much in the first round, she did take time to praise Firuz Khan for his perseverence in continuing to pursue his dreams as an artiste (he is afterall a serial contestant in past Anugerah competitions). She gave useful advice towards the end and said that glamour will come through hard work. From what she observed, they need to remain focused, be comfortable with their roles and not be selfish. I believe these are factors that have been drummed throughout the competition but somehow failing to register on some of them. Thanking the mentors for their guidance towards the contestants, she closed her speech by telling the contestants to never take advantage of their looks and to always project a positive working attitude.

Was I surprised by the eliminations??? In most ways yes, as I had at least expected Dzar to be one of the three male finalists. As for Biwa, I felt that based on her performances throughout the competition, she was at least good enough for another week. But like some of those who were previously eliminated, I wasn’t feeling too sad for them as I feel that they have done enough to show that they have something to offer to our industry in the years to come. Biwa with her theatre background, could only improve on her acting through experience and learning more from her peers as well as through her curriculum.

As for Dzar, I am suitably impressed when I heard him during the contestants’ weekly on-air promotions on RIA 89.7FM. He is extremely comfortable and fluent conversing in our mother tongue, a rare trait to have in our younger generation these days, and he has a natural flair for hosting as witnessed during the Anugerah Skrin Roadshow a fortnight ago at East Point Mall. Coupled with the fact that he has what one might term as a “radio voice“, I had encouraged him a few weeks ago to go for a voice audition if the opportunity arises in future and now with his elimination, I really do hope that he would make use of his God-given talents to pursue another avenue. I already foresee him as the heir to helming the Misteri Jam 12 (MJ12) show and I definitely won’t mind sharing a working relationship with him, as much as I enjoy assisting KC updating the official MJ12 blog from time to time.

This coming week, Anugerah Skrin 2010 reaches its semi-final stage whereby things will be doubly harsh, in that out of the remaining ten who will be fighting for the final slots, four will be eliminated. Who will they be??? Before the results are known,  don’t forget to tune in the Drama Episode tomorrow on Mediacorp Suria at 8:30pm or catch the repeat on Wednesday at 11:00pm.

Highlights of the Episode

Before the show, the audience was laughing along…

To Dyn Norahim‘s jokes…

The eliminated contestants along with mentor Sri Wahyuni Jaes…

Syed Azmir who just turned 26 last Saturday, debuted his latest single “Jalan Terus“, which was composed by none other than the creative duo from Sleeq

Syirah will never fail to look out for my camera… 😛 By the way, the eerie coincidence returned again this past week when I realised both eliminated contestants had to pair up here.

Safe for another week at least. Could they also be the possible finalists???

Not Exactly A Recap…

I did say a couple of weeks ago that I would review again when the quarter-final round beckoned. Well here we are again albeit a bit belated and too close to the results show later tonight. Life has been a bit hectic and haywire for me, no thanks to being maid-less, the whole family’s been down with the seasonal influenza outbreak and of course we have the World Cup. So I have to apologise if I’m not able to assess the contestants this week again and perhaps the following week as well, till normal life resumes.

Anyway based on what I watched last Tuesday night, I felt very much frustrated, not at the contestants, but the scripts, storylines and dialogues used. I dunno how many times I cringed and felt like throwing something at the television screen. I dunno if for this round onwards, the contestants are supposed to think more out of the box and improvise on their respective scenes, to the point of creating their own lines even, but I felt the scripts that were given to them did not lend justice at all and made them look silly at times, to the point of being cheesy even.

Ok I know that there’s some form of tie-ups being made with organisations like the Health Promotion Board, especially the last scene encouraging living a healthy lifestyle, but the scripts could be better rather than be repetitive (“Keyakinan Diri” or “Confidence” seemed to be the commonly used word for the second segment) or not challenging the contestants at all as seen by the last segment. Some only had very little lines to play with while others were more prominent having more lines to say. Even the transitions between emotions and scenes were not smooth.

Surprisingly, DianaSyirah and to some extent, Dzar and Firuz, who have been generally consistent throughout the whole competition, dipped in form. I dunno if it was due to having new team-mates or having to explore on their own since their mentors did not guide them fully this time round, but as a whole, nobody gave convincing or should I say stellar performances that they could be proud of, at least from my own personal observations. But on a more positive note, I would like to say that I am impressed with Sakinah for heeding the judges’ advice to upgrade herself. I think her skin looks much better and more radiant on television as compared to previous weeks.

The results tonight will be quite open and I believe will be down to the votes cast by viewers. Well you have until 6pm to vote for your favourite contestants.



Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Show Episode 7 Recap…

I know I have been away for a bit too long. Can’t be helped when the life is a bit topsy-turvy at the moment, plus the World Cup!!! Blogging is kinda far away from my mind and it’s only now that I have the time to blog on last week’s Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Show. Good thing too that this week there is a reprieve with the Bootcamp going on or to be more precise, had gone on the previous weekend, which some of you might have caught last Tuesday on Suria. Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Episode 7 cum Results Show saw another two contestents being eliminated from the competition. With just a few weeks away from seeing new winners, male and female emerging from the pool of potential talents, the competition has by now begun to show who has the potential to go all the way or fall by the wayside in the weeks to come.

Anugerah 2005 winner, Hyrul Anuar, was the guest artiste of the week. He debuted his latest single “Mata“, inspired by the 80s hit sung by Noor Kumalasari.

In what has become a bit of a fortnightly tradition, the judges seemed to reserve their spicy bits towards Group B, even though they were meant for Group A as well. Resident judge Khairudin Samsudin (Khai) noted even though Group B had the stronger pool of potential talents, some were still taking things for granted and not maximising on their given roles. Singling out Syirah, Diana and Firuz as excellent, he gave a warning shot to the rest to start bucking up or better not turn up to the bootcamp. Adding on just before the results of the eliminated two were announced, he told them to be more creative with their roles and to come out from their comfort zones.

The customary weekly welcome getting underway…

Rilla Melati continued where Khai left off and alluded to the possibility of them taking things for granted due to overconfidence, a kind of feeling that they do not need to work hard as they already have a sound fanbase to rely upon. She stressed that at this juncture, the quantity of fans is not important, but their loyalty and trueness which are paramount. Rilla praised Diana and Syirah for being standout performers. Zooming in on Erwin and Nasriah, she felt that they were putting a form of self-censorship on themselves by not giving their all. Focusing on the latter, she felt unsure if Nasriah‘s passiveness was hampered by spiritual aspects and needs to show some confidence in her portrayal of roles.

Our guest judge for this round, Azhar Nor Lesta, agreed with the resident judges that Group B was much better in terms of delivery and execution. Like the week before last when he addressed the Group A contestants, Azhar repeated his advice on them minding their respective attitudes and discipline on and off-screen. Stressing upon the fact that they are future flag-bearers of the country’s acting industry and heirs to replacing the older generation of actors, Azhar reminded the contestants to always remember who they are in that “Once an artiste, they are always an artiste“. Ending his speech, Azhar urged the contestants to continue giving off their best and even if they did not win the competition, they would still have his respect for good attitude and discipline shown.

Smiling for the cameras before the dreaded announcements were made…

Looking at the cull last week, I was not surprised at Nasriah‘s elimination. In fact I had more or less expected it since the last round ended, as she had flirted with the Bottom 4 placing in the previous two rounds and it was just a matter of time before she got the axe. Likewise Aziela Roza should be mindful of her position in the coming weeks ahead, as she has also been in a precarious position in the first elimination round. Nasriah, being the most unique contestant by virtue of being the only one wearing the hijab, could at least be heartened by the fact that her uniqueness would put her in good stead in future, if a role calls for someone who dons the hijab or she could be used as the face for modelling fashionwear for the Muslimahs.

From the start I felt that by wearing the hijab, there will be a limited number of roles she could carry off convincingly and without contradicting herself, whether to her liking or dictated by the directors. Additionally with the wearing of the veil, it becomes a responsibility to live up to. Expectations by the viewers would be that of someone who is gentle, demure and no touchy-feely with their fellow actors, at least over here in Singapore where we are stricter and expect hijab-wearing ladies to mind their Ps and Qs, unlike those across the Causeway where they can get away with shaking the hands of those from the opposite sex and wear short-sleeved t-shirts for example. Even Berita Minggu raised the issue last Sunday about the behaviour of a fraction of tudung-clad ladies out there.

I found this shot simply hilarious as Syirah still had the presence of mind to smile for the cameras even though tears were streaming down her cheeks…

I guess that could be why Rilla alluded to her dual persona and confusion in whether to go all out or otherwise and whether she was hampered by having to juggle between her spiritual beliefs and public expectations. On a positive aspect, she could be happy that she is the first person since Norazela Rosli to break through to the latter rounds of a reality competition when we all know how difficult it is for the public to accept someone wearing the hijab being in the entertainment line and having to mind themselves of their restrictions as well as the expectations and responsibilities that come with it, not only on-screen but off-screen as well.

The ousted two…

I was however a little surprised with Aidil‘s elimination. Along with Firuz and Erwin, his position had been more or less safe before this and I thought for the guys, he was one of the slightly better performers. Coupled with the fact that he had never been in a position where he was amongst the Bottom 4 before this, his position would be safe. But come to think about it, the judges had said that if he were to proceed to the next round, he would have to put in at least 500% effort. Upon reflection, the guillotine actually befell on both Aidil and Nasriah during the judges’ comments’ segment. The judges’ comments were clear indicators that both did not score highly with them. But there’s still time yet for both to improve and brush up on their skills and I know I won’t see the last of them on our television screens just yet. Till then… 

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Episode 6 Recap…

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Episode 5 cum Results Show was a fresh twist in terms of venue. Thanks to the unavailability of the smaller studios that had been host to the show since the start of the current season over a month ago, for this past week only, the show was held at the bigger confines of the Mediacorp TV Theatre. It was definitely a welcome change and a venue which I much prefer as it is more spacious, and thus allowing more people to attend and support their favourite contestants. Two more contestants – Mohamad Idris & Mariah Mahfar – were eliminated from the competition by the end of the show.

Nana was the guest artiste this past week, as she performed her latest single “Aku Milikmu“. A pleasure to finally meet and chat with her in person albeit for a short while after the show…

After a somewhat tensed episode last week, the judges were much nicer this week with their comments. Nevertheless their pearls of wisdom were still words to savour as they pointed out the glaring flaws which the contestants need to improve on. Guest judge Azhar Nor Lesta, even though he is a man of few words, rammed home the fact that the contestants need to brush up on their command and understanding of the Malay language as they are afterall, performing in the medium. He was particularly disturbed by the pronunciation of a basic word like “hela” which the contestants had mispronounced at the start of the show during the short introductory skit. He stressed on the fact that they should read Berita Harian and Malay books / novels religiously to strengthen their vocabulary and understanding of the language.

For the first time in the competition, I observed no coincidences with regards to these kind of poses and shots I took.

Adding on slighly later when asked by resident host Huda Ali what tips he could give the contestants who have advanced to the quarter-finals stage, he gave two important elements that they should have within themselves – Discipline and Team Player – traits that have been stressed upon them throughout the competition. If they were to follow these two important traits and have them wherever they go, then God willing, they would be successful in their craft. He could not have said it better when he alluded to the fact that it is all fine and dandy if one were to be a good actor but if they lack these elements, nobody would want to work with them. I guess these two points have been repeated over and over again and it could be heard again in the weeks to come.

Khairudin Samsudin (Khai) observed throughout the five weeks of competition so far, there were those who were attentive to the tips and advices given, which translated to improvements being made, with two to three unnamed contestants showing progress. There were also those whose performance levels just seemed to dip as the weeks go on. Khai added on that there should also be a “Master & Slave” element, which is the ability to be in control of the situation and time given during their respective scenes, when to grasp and be the focal point and when to step back.

As for my favourite judge Rilla Melati, she noted that some of the contestants were ready to step up into the quarter-finals, but still sees room for more improvements to be made. She said that she is beginning to see the potentials and commercial value in Halimah Yahaya and Biwa Mastura. An important tip that she passed on was, the contestants have to be mindful of their surroundings, to observe and use real-life events or personal experiences as points-of-reference. Adding on, she urged them to invest in upgrading themselves on how to look better with regards to skincare and the usage of make-up, as with the advancement of technology and the upcoming age of high-definition television, their facial presentation would be magnified even more to the watching audience.

Congratulations to Halimah Yahaya, Sakinah Rahim, Biwa Mastura, Shahril Kahar, Muhammad Dzar and Raja Razie for making it to the quarter-finals and a chance to improve themselves further in the Bootcamp. By the way, the Anugerah Skrin Top 12 contestants will make an appearance at the Anugerah Skrin 2010 Roadshow which is to be held at East Point Mall on Saturday 12th June 2010 between 3-6pm. The guest artiste thus far confirmed to perform that day will be Roze Kasmani

I Have Decided…

… after watching the latest drama episode of Anugerah Skrin 2010 just awhile ago, I will not review nor recap the performances of the Top 16 left in the competition this week and next week. I’m imposing a gag order on myself so that when the Bootcamp stage begins in a fortnight’s time, the contestants will have peace of mind and not be affected by words from the bloggers, as alleged and overheard over the past fortnight.

Why I decided upon doing this is not because I’m disappointed or angry by the contestants’ attitude and mental fortitude towards objective comments made so far, nor is it a sign of personal protest, but rather I’m restraining myself from being extremely harsh with my review when I have been more or less sugar and spice the past four weeks, always giving them the benefit of doubt as much as possible.

All I am willing to say is that there should be a certain degree of improvement made as the weeks progress and when the Bootcamp stage comes along, they would have to up their ante even more. So for their own benefit and to lessen their worries about what the “non-qualified judges” like myself have to say, I’m taking a short break from analysing their performances. I will however still recap on the Variety cum Results shows every Friday so hope you guys would look out for it… 🙂

P.S. I will be back to review the Bootcamp stage onwards and I might adopt a tougher, perhaps harsher form of analysis in future. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!! 😛


Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Episode 5 Recap…

The Variety Episode cum Results Show of Anugerah Skrin 2010 this past Friday night threw up a whole list of questions posed, and most importantly a sound reality check to all the contestants still surviving in the competition. After a supposed “subdued” episode the previous week, the judges came out with all guns ablazing and I believe it could have been a culmination of pent-up thoughts waiting to be set free, either through what they had observed or through word-of-mouth from trusted informers. I will henceforth zoom straight into their respective comments beginning with guest judge Ariati Tyeb Papar. Oh lest I forget, Ariff Salleh and Jasmine Amira were both eliminated this week.

Ariati noted a uniformed similarity between them in that they did not comprehend the scripts well enough and translating it to acting and reacting. The contestants still lack in teamwork, which is a core component in acting, moreso in a competition like this, since they need to attract the viewers to vote for them. Stressing that this is not a solo acting competition, Ariati also added that they need to be mindful of their facial expressions, especially the eyes and the lips. Any slight twitches would result in a change of emotional expressions which would undermine their performance.

Aliff Aziz opened the show with his new single “Boom Boom Boom“. Nice to see the “forgotten one” strutting his stuff again…

Khairudin Samsudin (Khai) said the first group was a disappointment with no sincerity in their acting. They had no reaction, no sense of urgency, no conflict leading to no drama. So far the only sincerity etched on their faces throughout the four weeks of competition have been the look on their faces when the results were announced. When they act, they have to make believe. Khai however had kind words for Diana Amran & Syirah Jusni, saying that he saw two potential winners in them. The third group was at best patchy, with them starting off their scenes well but fizzling out towards the end. Firuz Khan in particular was singled out as saying out his lines like a newscaster.

For the fourth week in a row, I noticed the same coincidence during the opening sequence. The ones eliminated were made to pair up with each other. I don’t think this is staged as the viewers’ votes only end at 6pm on the day of the results show, whereas rehearsals were done way before that for the contestants to know where they should stand etc. Another coincidence I note is the bottom 4. Like the previous weeks, at least three would come from the same group that acted together. This might be due to the judges’ analysis, which goes to show that teamwork is indeed an important component for all of them to make their respective scenes successful…

But the most poignant of all comments given by the judges had to come from Rilla Melati, who stamped her mark as my favourite judge of the competition with her no-nonsense words of wisdom. She recognised the efforts put in by the contestants as the standard of quality in acting had risen. In Erwin and Syirah, she saw possible winners from the Group B pool. However, she did not mince her words when she said she was disappointed by some of the acting being shown, with some of them showing a part of their real-life personality in their acting, trying to come across as cute when the role did not require them to be. When she said, “There’s a thin line between being slutty and being natural…“, the words resonating in the ears of the contestants must be deafening till this day and maybe throughout the whole season.

Rilla did not stop there. She alluded to the fact that some of the contestants have fanpages dedicated to them in Facebook, some of which were created for or by them. There is a possibility of being over-exposed in the media, given the fact that they already enjoy a decent amount of airtime every Tuesday and Friday nights. There is a thin line between inviting people to like them and begging people to vote for them to stay in the competition. She saw within the contestants who are sincere in their approach and who are just putting up false fronts. Deep words indeed and ones which the contestants have to ask themselves again why did they join this competition, what do they want to gain out of it and what are they going to do to sustain themselves for as long as they can???

After reading today’s Berita Minggu on the article featuring Anita Sarawak, I cannot help but feel it could not have come at a better time and I do hope that the contestants would read it up and understand what it means to attain longevity in the scene. The entertainment industry is not just a game to play with when the cameras are rolling. In fact when the cameras are off, a bulk of people’s opinions of you are formed even more, either when they see you up close and personal or when words travel around. As such I hope the contestants understand that this is not something they can mess around with and be mindful of their respective actions. Asking if roles or scripts to be changed and diverting questions being posed to them are not examples of thinking actors that the judges are looking for. It also smacks of pompous and ignorant attitude which would spell the end of their prospective careers even before it begin in earnest.

Singapore Idol Season 3 contestant, Fathin Amira Zubir, was part of the audience cheering for Aidil Jufri. She cut a relieved figure when Aidil was pronounced as safe to go through to the next round. She should know the feeling of being tensed before the results were announced…

Then there is that issue of respecting their peers or those who are already more experienced than them. Throughout my four weeks observing and also listening to some of the complaints by established people in the industry, the contestants would do well to greet or at the very least, smile at their fellow performers / backroom staff when these people accorded them the same amount of respect. Ok they might be stressed out from the competition but a smile would go a long way to improve people’s opinions of them. Even when it comes to conversing with stagehands, they do not have to raise their voices at them if they did not cooperate or if their jokes were to go overboard. The moment you raise your voice, surrounding people will immediately have a bad impression of you. Stagehands might not be glamourous unlike you, but without them, you are nothing too.

RIA 89.7FM‘s Fiza O promoting The Great Audio Experience event which she was involved in the previous day at Orchard Road along with celebrities like Nat Ho, Michelle Chong, Fauzie Laily and Shabir

I have gotten wind of a few gossips and unsavoury stories about some of the contestants which I will not reveal here, nor invite people to squeeze it out of me cos whatever I know is between me and my sources. The competition is still a third gone and yet I have heard of possible frictions starting to build up when the ironical part was, I said just last week how much I loved to see them being  united and showing a strong solidarity between them. If one had read between the lines what I said last week, it was actually a warning to them that this is a reality competition afterall and whether they like it or not, unhappiness amongst themselves will occur sooner or later. Moreso if the contestants choose to listen to the words of outsiders or hangers-on trying to associate themselves with them or think it’s cool to be seen in their company. For me, I choose to hear the stories and take them in with pinches of salt and no matter what people tell me about the contestants, I tend to give them the benefit of doubt as much as I can.

At the same time, I hope the contestants reading this would not get too worked up or affected and just be honest with their approach henceforth. Yes, I’ve heard of them being affected by the words of people from the “New Media”, as what we entertainment bloggers are called, but they have to understand that they were the ones in the first place who had put their pride and reputation on the line when they signed up for this competition. Whether they like it or not, they have to get used to the intense media glare and the differing opinions that come along with it. I was there after the show ended and heard one of the production team members telling them not to care about what the bloggers have to say. I think that’s an ignorant remark to make, especially when so far from what I’ve read amongst my fellow peers, the comments have so far been objective and constructive. If they cannot receive such criticisms, be it good or bad, then I don’t think this line is for them. In no circumstances have I read anything from my peers as well as from myself that might personally be derogatory to them.

The criticisms we have been giving should never, I repeat, never be taken in personally or feel that we are making them look bad in the eyes of our readers and their respective voters / fans. We commented based on what we saw and how we understood their interpretations of their respective roles. We bloggers are honest people, when we feel that it is good, we credit where it’s due, and if it’s bad, we have to call a spade, a spade. At the rate things are going, I think they could count themselves fortunate that there are only a handful of people blogging about the competition and I dare say all of us have been and are very much responsible with our words. For the third entry in a row, I stress on the point that whatever criticisms they receive from us should strengthen their mental resolve and improve on their future performances. Dwelling on their own self-pity will definitely affect their future shoots and when that happens, we bloggers are seen as the “bad guys”…

Anugerah Skrin Drama Episode 4 Recap…

Anugerah Skrin made its return on our television screens again this past Tuesday night with Group B taking centrestage and Group A resting for the week. Based on the first round a fortnight ago, it was noted that Group B had a stronger ensemble of potential actors, with all due respect to Group A, but it remained to be seen if they could keep the momentum going or if they would be lulled into complacency this week. And so, without further ado, I’ll zero in straight into each of their performances.

Nasriah ZainuddinNasriah played the role of a very concerned friend in the group but somehow at times, she appeared like a teacher / mentor. Nothing wrong with that actually, just that she came off a wee bit authoritative. Like the previous round, I kinda attribute that to her naturally stern voice. But other than that, I thought she did herself no further harm by keeping things simple and how the role called for her to be.

Aidil Jufri – The previous round, Aidil played the role of the jealous and overpossessive boyfriend to a mixed reaction, no thanks to his jitters and the inconsistencies of his emotions. This week, he was a picture of calm and since he was asked to play the role of the stubborn and cocky guy, he did it without much fuss and I thought he pulled it off extremely well.

Jasmine AmiraJasmine‘s previous performance disturbed me a lot, simply because she wasn’t focused and did not display the necessary balance between voice projection and emotions. This week, I felt there were two sides to her performance. The first half was peppered with a bit of overacting on her part with regards to her eye movements. But the second half was perhaps what made the judges chose her to be in the Top 24 in the first place. In short, she grew in confidence as the scene went on.

Ariff Salleh – The leader of the pack in the scene. Mr Namesake is beginning to give me a lot of good vibes, not just because we share the same name. For the second time, he showed a lot of understanding of what the role required of him. His execution and delivery was immaculate and it was difficult to find any flaws in his performance. He certainly heeded the call from the judges a fortnight ago, to not overact with his facial expressions.

Group 1 – Collectively as a unit, the group could be proud of themselves that their performance was credible to say the least. My only grouse is that the script could have been a bit more realistic. When Aidil‘s character talked about smoking “sheesha” by the tree in the middle of what appears to be a forest, I thought it came across as a bit of nonsensical. It would also help the two young ladies that their make-up was kept as minimal as posibble since they were supposed to be perspiring from all the trekking done. And as pointed out by one of the viewers who sms-ed during the show, it wasn’t realistic that Nasriah was wearing her tudung so nicely for such an adventure scene.

Syirah Jusni – During the last round, the complaint I had was on Syirah being limited to a bit-part role. This time, she was given a heavier responsibility and continuing from where she had left us wanting more, she did not disappoint and nailed her character with such aplomb, so much so that I personally feel that if she did not make it to the Grand Finals, it would be an extreme catastrophe. But I wouldn’t want to jinx Syirah with my predictions and I certainly hope my words would not bring bad luck to her. If one is able to hate her for this role, then she definitely has done an excellent job.

Erwin Shah Dawson – I loved his introduction during the start, which showcased his likeable personality that I had pointed out two weeks ago. But the role he played required us to hate him. Though he did well when he was interacting with Syirah at the start, his tone of voice and facial expressions betrayed him when he turned to engage Diana. From someone who was supposed to be devious, he actually softened his expressions and came off like a concerned friend when he and Syirah found out that Diana had overheard their conversation. But to be fair, he atoned for it in the second half of the scene.

Diana Amran – One of the better performers seen thus far. However I personally felt that there was a slight drop in her level of performance this week, though the drop was very much minimal, perhaps due to the script, which I will delve a bit more in the next paragraph. Diana is another that I expect to see gracing the Grand Finals, bar any unexpected surprises, cos this competition has turned out to be very unpredictable at such an early stage, looking at some of those already eliminated. 

Group 2 – Like Group 1, they deserved to be commended for creating a situation where it was tensed from the word “go” right all the way till the end. Again the script could have been better cos I simply couldn’t find a more logical enough reason for not killing Diana‘s character just because her mum was frail & ill. That particular line I felt made Diana‘s performance level dropped a bit, analysing through her tone of voice and facial expressions.  This group also appeared more convincing when they were interacting face-to-face than interacting with all three in the picture.

Firuz Khan – For the second time, Firuz was given a role which called for him to be angry. He was however made to be on the receiving end of a tongue-lashing by Fadzli‘s character. An angry Firuz is a joy to watch, cos he does play the role well, complete with eyes widening and tone of voice that matched his emotions. However he has to be careful when it comes to playing the sad role. I thought his performance level went down a bit the moment he started talking about his family towards the end of the scene. His wistful expression needs to be even more convincing than what he had portrayed, but generally Firuz was good.

Aziela RozaRoza was another one who was unfocused the last time we saw her in action. Playing the mediator role between the other two protagonists, she delivered her role without much fuss. I thought the part where she brushed her arms and legs as though she was bitten by mosquitos made it look like it was natural. Well it might well have been the actual case, seeing the surroundings where they filmed the scene. Hearing her speak feels like listening to Fadhilah Samsudin of Erwin Montel fame cos their voices sound so similar.

Fadzli Mohammad – Mediocre in the last round, Fadzli redeemed himself well this time as the angsty member of the group who was always finding fault with the other two characters. When he was angry, his assertive voice, facial expressions and hand gestures were spot-on. But I feel that his performance dropped when he cooled down towards the end of the scene. The trip-and-fall sequence could also have been more realistic. As mentor Seri Wahyuni had said, when the time calls for them to get down and dirty, they have to do it impeccably or at least with more conviction.

Group 3 – I thought that the first part was much better than the second one cos one could feel the frustrations brewing within the three characters. Though the heartwarming part at the end was almost as good, I just feel something was missing, that element of conviction. But still, they could rest on the fact that their chemistry was good and the energy exchanged between them heightened our expectations on what was to be expected next in the scene. The scene however came off a bit anti-climatic, but this wasn’t the fault of the three characters.

More or less the groups were almost equally balanced this week and I’m sure there would be some tough decisions to be made. Towards the end of the show, Seri Wahyuni mentioned about the contestants being affected by comments made by the jury as well as others, which I felt was a bit ironic as I did mention in the last entry that they should receive criticisms, positive and negative in their stride. Comments made by the judges as well as those from others I do not believe were personal but very much objective and constructive. So they should not worry but instead work on their flaws. Every single week of staying in the competition is an opportunity to better themselves. I leave you now with clips of both male and female contestants from Group B, promoting their voting codes for this week.

Fadzli and Erwin were missing in action in this clip as they had other commitments, but here’s their codes again – 10 & 6 – respectively…

And Huda Ali made a cameo appearance at the end…

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Episode 4 Recap…

This past Friday 21st May 2010 saw another round of elimination in the ongoing Anugerah Skrin 2010 season. With each weekly cull, the competition is bound to get tougher and more stiff, with the likely possibility of tensions rising amongst the contestants. So far from my weekly observations and interacting with them, the contestants come across as a very tight unit, like one big happy family. But of course, this is still considered the honeymoon period where everything is very much saccharine and sweet. When the bootcamp week kicks in in a few weeks time, that’s when tensions are bound to rise as witnessed during the last Anugerah Skrin competition, which I don’t need to relate all over again on what transpired. I hope for their sake that whatever disagreements, unhappiness, pet peeves and what-nots that are bound to occur during the bootcamp, their friendship would stand the test of time.

Kunjung Whitaker opening the show with “Di Manakah“, a song which was supposed to be sung by Maiya Rahman. The latter was unable to grace the show due to last minute work commitments. Kudos to Kunjung for taking a short time to master the song…

You must be wondering why I’m touching upon this matter of all topics I would touch on with regards to this competition, or even at such an early stage as this. From what I have witnessed over the past three weeks or so, I have been very much impressed by their spirit of camaraderie, how well they have bonded over such a short space of time and how much they have stuck by each other through thick and thin, the laughter and the tears. Unlike like season’s Anugerah competition where the eliminated ones seldom return during the remainder of the season to lend their support to those still waging the battle, I’ve seen a healthy dose of attendees by those already ousted so far as well as those not involved during the current week.

The customary welcome. In another coincidental scenario that cropped up during this formation pose, the eliminated contestants, Fahmy and Nissa, were paired together. That’s not all. For the third week in a row, the bottom ones had at least three members who were from the same group during the acting segments. Group B must be worried reading this…

This is not to say that those who did not come were not being good sports themselves, definitely far from it, since they might be tied down by studies, personal or work commitments, but this kind of spirit being displayed is what I applaud. I take my hat off to each and everyone of them for being gracious competitors and for taking the time to come down and lend their support to their competition rivals. This was even more significant when almost everyone was seen wiping tears away after the show ended, showing how much they love the two who were eliminated – Muhammad Fahmy & Nissa Bahruddin – and were shocked by their exits. I hope for their sake that this kind of spirit would continue to be forged even after the competition ends. So what did the judges have to say this week???

Khai sharing his words of wisdom…

Khairudin Samsudin (Khai) highlighted the lack of thinking actors amongst the contestants as most of them tend to use the examples by their mentors as the benchmark for their respective roles. What they should not do is to follow / mimic their mentors and instead find alternatives within them to improvise and perhaps do even better than their mentors. Khai also pointed out the need to play around with the words on their scripts so as not to come across as being formal. Adding on, he also urged them to use more of their body parts and not be too one-dimensional with the body language. To cap it off, he advised them not to just act, but react.

Group photo during the commercial break…

After the “excitement” of hearing Rilla Melati‘s comments last week, this week she was a bit toned down, focusing instead on Raja Razie and Muhammad Fahmy. The uncanny thing about Rilla‘s comments on Razie was, they echoed similarly to what I had said in the last entry about him being a bit stoic and stiff, with the possibility that he was verging on stereotype. Though I had said I see him being able to carry off fatherly roles well, Rilla‘s analogy on him drifting towards ancient roles wasn’t too far off either. Moving on to Fahmy, she remarked that he had to maximise his screen time as he was one of the most good-looking contestants she had come across in any similar reality competition. His biggest mistake was constantly looking away from the camera, which she had difficulty in appreciating the acting without seeing his facial expressions.

The bottom 4…

As for our guest judge Ariati Tyeb Papar, her cool, composed yet stern demeanour gave the impression that she was speaking through gritted teeth. She noted the improvements made by most of the contestants but also lamented the fact that some were still playing catch-up. This was very much evident with what the viewers had seen during the video montage, where the mentors were frustrated with the contestants for failing to get into character and feel. Ariati clearly pointed out the need to prepare one’s self before a shoot, to understand their scripts and also for each member of the group to display the important element of teamwork, so that their scenes would come off well. I thought this was an advice which is often repeated but perhaps not heeded by the contestants due to jitters and excitement during the actual shoot. This is where they need to learn how to focus and channel their concentration to what is expected of them.

Muhammad Fahmy & Nissa Bahruddin ended their respective journey in the competition…

Personally, I was extremely surprised that Nissa got eliminated so early in the competition as she was one of those who had displayed a keenness to do well in this competition. But I did mention in my last entry that no matter what happens to her this past week, I believe we won’t be seeing the last of her just yet. Off-camera Nissa is very much a likeable and bubbly character. It was no wonder that most of the contestants, including those in Group B and those who were eliminated earlier seated amongst the audience, were seen shedding tears for her. It was just bad luck that on the day Nissa was celebrating after officially graduating from Nanyang Polytechnic with a Diploma in Media Studies, she had to suffer the ignominy of disappointment of this magnitude. As for Fahmy, he has lots of room for improvement and like I told him after the show, I sincerely believe I won’t be seeing the last of him too. The journey doesn’t end for them provided they still have vested interest in this line. Maybe it would be good if they were to enrol in acting workshops to enhance their talents further.

Anyway I hope that so far whatever comments and reviews that have been done by me or my fellow counterparts would be taken in well by the contestants. Any form of criticisms, be it positive or negative, are meant to be taken objectively and not personally. I’m thankful that I am given the opportunity to interact on a weekly basis and get to know the contestants on an acquaintance level, which to me is good enough to understand their personalities and give them the benefit of doubt where necessary, something which I never did previously as I was only reviewing from the comfort of home. The contestants too need to strengthen their mental resolve when it comes to receiving criticisms as it would prepare them for what lies ahead in future. I don’t think all of us are harsh, even if we are, we’re still not on par as those around the region. Just take the comments in your stride. It shows that we care and we want you to improve and eventually help lift the standards of our local Malay acting industry… 🙂

Other Highlights of the Show

Our resident joker off-camera, Mr Dyn Norahim of Warna 94.2FM

Group B showing us their respective voting codes for this week… Till then…

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Drama Episode 3 Recap…

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Drama Episode 3 aired last Tuesday at 8:30pm and the repeat being shown last night at 11:00pm for viewers to discern the capabilities of this year’s contestants. This week, Group A, with ten contestants left, resumed battle to gain not only supremacy in the competition, but to avoid the dreaded elimination. Rewind back to a fortnight ago, we saw quite a few static and unconvincing display by about half or slightly more of them. So would the trend continue or did the buck end there??? Let’s analyse their individual showings…

Raja Razie – He needs to open up a bit more rather than remain stoic and serious throughout. When the role called for him to loosen up, he still remained serious and tensed. I see Razie being able to carry off fatherly roles well at the rate he is going. He has to adapt and be on the same wavelength as his younger colleagues. Too serious at times when he did not need to.

Nissa Bahruddin – I liked the way Nissa played this two-faced character of hers, complete with the bitchy face that one feels so tempted to slap if they had the opportunity. So if Nissa was able to instill such hatred in the hearts of viewers like myself, then she deserves a pat on the back for a job well done. This Marina Yusoff / Elfaeza Ul-Haq look-alike (I still can’t decide!!!) is destined to go places in my opinion, no matter what happens to her in this competition.

Muhammad Dzar – Like Ariff Salleh from Group B last week, I’m beginning to fear for him cos he’s absolutely damn good at playing the bad guy and is in danger of being typecast in future for such roles. His smirks, sly looks and hand gestures are hallmarks of what and how the role required him to be. A consistent and competent performer amongst the guys. He needs to maintain and improve on that level and not rest on his laurels.

Mariah Mahfar – She bears a slight resemblance to Misha Omar. But that’s besides the point. For the second week she’s acted in, she has been made the central figure on which the other characters bounced off. There was a marked improvement from the last round with regards to maintaining her emotions and I must say she did play the victim role very well. At times the way she speaks with a slight slang, reminds me of Salwa Abdul Rahman‘s character “Mawar” in the old 80s movie “Kolej 56“.

Group 1 – The scene called for the actors to create a tensed atmosphere amongst themselves and as the minutes passed, there was a creditable amount of synergy and teamwork shown. They were literally bouncing off each other’s energies and maintaining that level as how it should be. Definitely a good start to the show and showed a decent amount of improvements they have worked on over the past fortnight.

Muhammad Fahmy – Some observers, me included, felt that Fahmy was extremely fortunate to survive the last round and it was interesting to see how he would fare this week. Though I liked the mysterious role he portrayed, I can’t help but feel that he was trying to remain suave than be the hero at the start of the scene. The tone of his voice also suggested he needs to study more on human emotions and how to translate it through his voice projections. Though not that great, one could see that he had tried to work on improving from the previous fortnight’s abject performance.

Halimah Yahaya – The classic damsel in distress role at the start. Though the running away scene in the beginning was more or less credible, I thought it could have been more convincing if she had grimaced upon falling rather than after picking up her bangles. Unless of course if she was afraid of hurting herself for real in the process. Sometimes one has to get real cuts and bruises to achieve the desired impact. At times I was confused by the role that she portrayed, be it the victim or the murderer cos her emotions and facial expressions were the same almost throughout.

Shahril Kahar – The posture Shahril, or Eddie as he’s affectionately known as, did whilst running with the knife in hand was a bit too rigid for my liking, but the blank facial expressions he did bore the hallmark of a psycho. I like the fact that when his role demanded him to be angry, he was able to channel his emotions into it, but when he cooled down, that’s when you see the stark and abrupt change with no seamless transition. I wonder if it’s like that or due to editing.

Group 2 – Patchy at best but definitely not as bad as what we saw two weeks ago where there were too many individuals who wanted to steal the limelight for themselves. What the three of them could work on is to strike a balance between their dialogue and emotions cos it’s not always in tune with what they were supposed to deliver. Even the fighting scene came off a bit too awkward as though they were told to freeze when Fahmy‘s character stopped Shahril‘s from wielding his knife.

Biwa Mastura – If Biwa‘s last performance was inconsistent in my opinion, there was certainly a distinctive amount of improvement this week where she carried off her character with the kind of standards one would expect from someone who wants to ace this competition badly. It was difficult to find much flaws in her performance and I hope she continues to maintain that level.

Mohamad Idris – My goodness, what a big difference a fortnight made, where he was almost doomed and appeared incapable of pulling off his role. This week, everything Idris did, seemed like he had been touched by Midas. Let’s hope then that his supporters are kind enough not to subject him to the Bottom 6 again.

Sakinah Rahim – I would not go as far as to say that Sakinah played the role of spoiler, but there was an element of convincing one’s audience which was lacking in her array of arsenal. Granted her role was more challenging than the other two, in that she had to juggle between experiencing pain from being shot at and trying to speak with the situation around her tensed. Her eye movements could also have been done better.

Group 3 – This group somehow continued the tradition of the last fortnight, having the best performers individually and as a unit. For their sake, I hope the tradition of the last fortnight does not rear its ugly head again, i.e. the better performers being eliminated, and that people would vote based on who performed better than who looks better or who is my friend / relative / colleague / crush etc. Though I did say Sakinah was a bit of a spoiler, the scene towards the end was a definite tearjerker and I had tears welling in my eyes listening to her dialogue. I dunno what came into me then… LOL!!!

This week, the contestants have finally come to realise what this competition is all about as well as the essence demanded and the substance being asked from them. One could see how they have improved and it actually bodes well for future weeks’ episodes, so long as they maintain the same level or improve. Right, so you have less than 24 hours to vote for your favourites. What are you waiting for peeps??? Go on, VOTE!!!

Group A Contestants Promote Their Voting Codes…

Ok due to my regular futsal sessions every Tuesday nights, I am unable to give an immediate review on the acting segments, which is good timing for me really cos it is not a live event in the first place and I am able to record and analyse the acting later on. So in the meantime, before you guys wait up for my recap, here’s Group A promoting their code numbers for this week. I had a great time recording and laughing at their antics. Such a fun bunch they are…

The ladies (from left): Mariah Mahfar, Nissa Bahruddin, Sakinah Rahim & Halimah Yahaya… Biwa Mastura was not around but here’s her voting code for the week (8)…

The guys (from left): Shahril Kahar, Muhammad Fahmy, Mohamad Idris, Muhammad Dzar & Raja Razie…

Group B contestants, hope I can record something similar on Friday… 🙂

By the way, if you had missed out on watching last night’s acting segments, you can catch the repeat telecast tonight at 11pm only on Mediacorp Suria