Anugerah 2011 Episode 4 Recap…

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

Hosts Huda Ali, Fauzie Laily & Nity Baizura

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

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

Solo Performances

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Group Performance

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

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

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

Anugerah 2011 Episode 3 Recap…

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

Solo Performance

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

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

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

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

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

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

Group Performance

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

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

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

Anugerah 2011 Episodes One & Two Recap…

Anugerah 2011 has finally kicked off in earnest and what a rousing start it was based on the atmosphere at the Mediacorp TV Theatre last Tuesday night. I had initially planned to go to the auditorium, but late release from camp where I had been undergoing reservist training for the past week and with massive traffic congestion happening everywhere, meant I could only watch it from the comfort of home. But at least I was able to listen to the singing and what the judges had to say clearly, as I know it would have all been drowned out by the cacophony of noise being generated by the live audience.

The show kicked off with the previous three winners of the edition – Hyrul Anuar, Aliff Aziz and Sarah Aqilah performing the theme song, “Anugerahku Gemilang“. For those of you who have seen the video clip of the song, you would note that it was composed by Shahridzuan Selamat of Revalina fame, and written by both Shah himself and Zaharian Osman, no stranger to the local entertainment industry. The three previous winners were joined by the Top 18 contestants  on stage dancing to the song. One thing I like about the song is that it is fresh, but there are traces of K-Pop, a sign of the current times, where the type of music is the rage amongst pop fans out there.

The hosts this year, Fauzie Laily, Huda Ali & Nity Baizura of RIA 89.7FM I felt were quite energetic but a bit too excited at times. That is quite natural as this was the first live episode with fans from the different camps creating a party atmosphere. Naturally the good vibes just bounced off them. Of course there were unwanted glitches, like the one where Huda made a mistake of announcing the wrong group performing towards the end, but such things do happen in a live setting. Thankfully Fauzie saved the day. From his past hosting experiences, he is getting good with the technique of ad-libbing. Nity looked a bit nervous and presented more like how she often does on radio. Give her time, she should shed those inhibitions away and be even better in the weeks to come.

This week, the theme for the contestants were songs that were composed from 2005 onwards. But I am still left wondering why evergreen songs like Orkes Nirwana‘s “Tak Mengapa” and Alleycats‘ “Kisah Kau & Aku” were classified as songs from 2005 onwards, even though their arrangements have been tweaked. The resident jury – Eddy Ali, Ann Hussein, Sheikh Haikel and guest judge, Beyond DDB‘s head honcho, Amin Hussen, had the unenviable task of contributing 50% of the contestants’ marks, with the remainder being handed to the voting audience. As this was only the first episode, I can understand if the comments that were passed down were kinda diplomatic, since most of the contestants were nervous themselves.

So what’s my take on each individual contestant’s performance??? Read on…

Solo Performances

Dewi Sulastri – She sang Agnes Monica‘s “Tanpa Kekasihku“. Listening to her, it was clear that she has a rich, husky voice suited to sing songs of a rockish nature. She was composed throughout but I felt she was a bit too expressive for a song of a balladic nature and moved about on stage a wee bit too much. Being the first contestant, she was clearly nervous just by listening to her voice.

Azhar Raz – It was interesting to see what the experience gained from the last competition would have benefited or improved Azhar‘s performance. Indeed his vocal prowess is quite unmatched and I was wondering at first if he had picked the wrong song – Jinbara‘s “Farhana“. He nailed the song and its high notes, with the only awkward moments being his unnecessary dance moves.

Erlina – Agnes Monica‘s “Dan Tak Mungkin” was her choice of song. Began the song with a tinge of uneasiness which I credited to her being nervous. Her low notes were a bit suspect and the transition between the verse and chorus wasn’t smooth thanks to the rearrangement of the song. Though judge Eddy Ali said she was a standout, I felt otherwise and thought she only came into prominence during the chorus, but the level quickly dropped as the song ended. 

Faziz – His song choice was Faizal Tahir‘s “Selamat Malam“. He was pitchy in most parts of the song and when he hit the high notes, I felt he wasn’t singing, but more to shouting. He also lacked the much-needed feel and intensity of the song. Definitely a wrong choice of song.

Rahayu Ridwan – This head-turner who seems to be a dead-ringer of Indonesian VJ-turned-singer, Shanty, performed Jaclyn Victor‘s “Bertamu Di Kalbu“. She has looks as her plus factor. What she needs to work on is to smile more to increase her likeability factor and to some extent, minimise the slang when she speaks as it might turn off others who are naturally envious of her package. Her singing did not leave much of an impression on me and I believe she could have done better if she had chosen another song. This song is challenging in certain parts, but Rahayu preferred to stick to her comfort zone.

Ace – Another contestant who sang a Faizal Tahir number, “Sampai Syurga“. But what I observed was not a performance, but an impersonation of the original singer. From the way he dressed right down to the gloves, to the way he postured and mimicked Faizal‘s moves, I doubt it was something that the judges would want to see being emulated, even as the competition progresses. There is always a danger of being sucked into the trap of impersonating original singers, so contestants need to be mindful of their movements on stage and image. Viewers want to see originality, not clones.

Shikin – She sang Ziana Zain‘s “Dingin” with so much aplomb. Her voice control was excellent and she did not need to follow the original singer’s style. In fact her style on its own is already original enough. At this point of time, I thought she was the best performer so far.

Mujaheed – He’s like the Erwin Shah Dawson of this year’s competition in terms of looks, but his manly voice betrays his youth. The way he sang Hazami‘s “Mungkir Bahagia” reminded me of 80s singer Ibnor Riza. Not that it wasn’t good but he seemed to have teleported himself back to those days. The only part I didn’t quite understand was his tendency to look at the floor as though he had dropped something.

Feena – It’s not easy to sing and dance to a catchy tune, especially one like Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza‘s “Ku Mahu“. Granted Feena went pitchy at certain points but she has to be commended for continuing to dance and sing without missing a heartbeat even when she tripped. The only thing I was uncomfortable with was her dressing and the shoes she wore, cos not only the shoes proved a hazard, her dressing only magnified her figure even more.

Didi – There was something about his performance singing Dewa 19‘s “Sedang Ingin Bercinta” that I felt a bit disturbed about, even though his performance, showmanship and confidence that were displayed, showed all the attributes of a budding rock star. I think it had to do with his smug look which he can tone down a bit in weeks to come. And if you want the audience to clap with you, you can’t signal and do it half-heartedly.

Efa Fatimah – Efa played on the safe side by singing a song (Geisha‘s “Takkan Pernah Ada“) which did not require her to stretch her vocals. At times, it went a bit monotonous. Definitely a wrong choice of song. Efa is capable of singing a more challenging song based on what I’ve seen of her in the past.

Firdaus Haridan – He sang Mawi‘s “Langit Biru” with mixed results. At times he was in complete control but his high notes became suspect when he had to sing the chorus. Is it just me or did his hairstyle make him resemble Hazrul Nizam???

Norul – Another strong performer of the night, Norul sang Elyana‘s “Kalis Rindu“. She had everything in her arsenal – showmanship, technique, rapport with the audience –  all brilliantly executed. Yes granted she should have been more flirty but this was only her first performance so I wasn’t expecting it like judge Eddy Ali.

Kim – For someone who has a geeky image, Kim‘s performance was anything but. I was initially fooled by how decent he looks, but he shed his inhibitions when he sang Fiq‘s “Tiga Malam Tanpa Bintang“. His voice is definitely suited to singing rock songs, just that towards the end, he went a little off-key.

Shalyza – I first saw her potential during the auditions and thought that she had it in her to advance further. Nothing has changed after seeing her performed Sharifah Zarina‘s “Langit Ketujuh“. Not an easy song to sing but she pulled it off.

Epul – I was a bit sceptical when I first heard the title of the song (Alleycats’ “Kisah Kau & Aku“), but its arrangement using big bands ensured the song became slightly catchier. And Epul did not disappoint by making full use of the stage with his performance. The only downside was his singing, which I felt was a bit average.

Baby Sulastri – I remember her as a chubby little girl who loved to perform at expo events. How she has grown and what a flawless performance she gave!!! I dare say she even sang “Hanya Di Mercu” much better than its original singer, Ayu.

Syazani – Besides Kim, there’s a likeability factor attached to this young man. Another one whose voice belies his age, I like the fact that he has coolness to go along with his relaxed outlook. I think it’s fair to say that singing Kerispatih‘s “Mengenangmu” made him connect with the audience via the emotions he exuded.

Group Performances

Mujaheed, Kim & Faziz – They sang “Raja Jatuh Cinta” by Numata. It was clear for all to see that all three looked uncomfortable at dancing and singing, with each and everyone calculating their steps. Mujaheed continued to look at the floor for whatever it was that he seemed to have dropped. There was also no harmony nor teamwork whatsoever.

Shikin, Dewi Sulastri & Erlina – The three gals saved the situation from the previous group performance. Singing Liana Jasmay‘s “Aku Tak Percaya Cinta“, their energies were bouncing off each other and they definitely took the cue from Eddy Ali to inject a bit of flirty-ness into their showmanship. I thought it was an enjoyable performance and how a group performance should be like.

Epul, Syazani & Firdaus – I felt as though I was watching some Sinar Lebaran group performance when these three young men were on stage performing Orkes Nirwana‘s “Tak Mengapa” which had been injected a fresh arrangement. For someone who professes to loving evergreen songs, Epul didn’t do the song justice. Only Firdaus and to some extent, Syazani, did well. Firdaus would do well not to overdo his facial expressions, lest it will turn off the voters.

Rahayu Ridwan, Baby Sulastri & Shalyza – The song did not require them to be too energetic as the earlier one by Erlina, Dewi Sulastri and Shikin, so their dance steps were more calculated. Baby Sulastri continued where she left off and showed that she is possibly a force to be reckoned with in this year’s competition. Shalyza looked a bit uncomfortable since her strength is mostly ballads, likewise Rahayu tried to mask her nervousness but her voice was a giveaway.

Ace, Azhar Raz & Didi – Their dance steps at the start seemed cheesy and only highlighted the fact that they were ill at ease with having to dance and sing as a group. Ace seems to be one-dimensional, singing and stretching his hands towards the audience just like how he did during the solo performance. I think only Azhar Raz did well here with Didi again making me feel uneasy with his antics.  

Norul, Efa Fatimah & Feena – The trio performed Alyah‘s “Tak Mungkin Kerna Sayang“. I thought it was a much better performance by Efa this time around. Norul also continued where she left off, showing that she is very much a versatile performer, able to sing both ballads and catchy tunes at ease. Feena was a slight disappointment as I felt her low notes didn’t do herself justice. Collectively, they were good, on par with the previous girl group performance.


This first episode seemed to be a very harsh one in terms of culling the competition. Only the Top 12 would advance, with three from each male and female category eliminated. It was somewhat of a surprise to me that people like Kim, Azhar Raz, Efa Fatimah and Dewi Sulastri had to say goodbye as early as this stage as their performances did not warrant it. But I guess it all boils down to votes by the voting audience, or lack thereof. I hope for their sake that they would return during the Wildcard round.

So what do I make of this year’s competition so far??? Well if I were to use consistency in performing well as a gauge and barometer, then I would say that the ladies are streets ahead of the gentlemen. Already from this episode, I could see three possible finalists in Shikin, Norul and Baby Sulastri. I hope by coming out to say this, I will not jinx their chances of progressing further or lull any of their voters into complacency. They still have the weeks ahead to prove themselves further and even the others could improve along the way.

This coming Tuesday 3rd May 2011, the male contestants will fight it out amongst themselves with the females resting for another week. With two strong competitors eliminated last week, I hope the guys would up their ante and improve on their singing techniques and showmanship, not overdoing their stage antics and also hopefully keeping the make-up on their faces as light as possible…

Anugerah 2011 Beckons!!!

Anugerah is descending upon us once again and this time the stakes are even higher, the challenges even more daunting. From what I’ve heard, new elements will be introduced and seen in this upcoming edition, with the sole aim of producing an entertainer and not just a performing artiste / singer. I’m not gonna delve too much into it as I have not acquaint myself with the Top 18 who have made it this far, bar two who have had experience being in a reality competition – Azhar Raz in 2009 and Efa Fatimah in 2006 when she was in the same Anugerah Skrin cohort that saw Huda Ali and Shahril Wahid emerged as inaugural winners. I know some of you might have seen these clips on Suria or via any of the social media sites, but in case you haven’t, let’s get to know a little bit about the contestants. All the clips are courtesy of Mediacorp Suria






P.S. I am currently away on reservist this week and am caught up with urgent work commitments for the next fortnight. So I do not promise any reviews till much later. If I can do it, I’ll definitely post it up, but don’t hope on it. Apologies to anyone expecting them…

Anugerah 2011 Auditions Afterthoughts…

I left out some pointers in my last entry on the Anugerah 2011 auditions which has finally kicked off in earnest. I knew some things were missing the moment I clicked on the “Publish” button. After going through my entry and subsequently getting wind of some negative reactions from a certain group of people on Twitter who might be new to this blog and my style of commenting, I think it is best that I come out early to defend some of my words and what people can expect from this blog during the competition period.

For the newbies to this blog, I have been reviewing past Anugerah / Anugerah Skrin competitions since 2007 in this humble domain of mine, on top of  reviewing numerous awards shows, concerts, showcases, gigs, performances that I attended and media conferences that I was invited to go to. With the upcoming competition beginning on 26 April 2011, it will be no different. Regular readers of this blog would note that through the years, I’ve mellowed down quite a lot in terms of commenting style, being less brazen and giving people as much benefit of doubt as possible. I noted a few scathing remarks from Twitter about how ignorant I am based on my last entry and how I act like a know-it-all. Some even went as far as to say that this blog should be shut down. I’ve forgiven these people for the fact that they do not know my commenting style and perhaps being new to constructive criticisms / passing remarks, cos if I do not say it now, then others / the judges / mainstream media might highlight them in time to come.

For a start, I hate to blow my own trumpet but to my detractors and haters, it is not easy being an entertainment blogger who is not paid to do this and doing it on my own accord and time, even to the point of investing on high-end video cameras and DSLRs just to give my readers extra value on the contents that I put up. It took me five years of consistent and giving rational views to get me proper accreditation from the mainstream media to cover some of their events. All these is because they acknowledge the passion that I exude and they know that I will always be honest, analytical and sincere in my views. I have no hidden agendas other than to see our local Malay entertainment industry be as big or at least try to be on par in standards with our regional counterparts. If you think you can give better analysis and comments, I welcome you as part of the alternative media brigade cos it is always refreshing to read differing opinions without undermining one another or without getting personal, as I always believe and say again and again that we complement one another through our respective contents and strengths.

So what can readers expect when Anugerah 2011 hits our television screens??? As usual they will get my usual no-holds-barred views and just to let people out there know, I am ready for their brickbats and backlash again when they go all out to defend and protect their personal favourites. I’ve gotten stick from hardcore fans of a few artistes before in their own personal forums calling me a “know-all“, “macam faham” and what-nots. It will be no different this time around. More often than not, I was proven correct as time goes by. A case in point was during the Anugerah Band competition three years ago. I had pointed out the shortcomings of a particular group and I was slammed right, left and centre henceforth by their ardent followers. Within a fortnight, the group was booted out. No, I did not derive any form of extreme pleasure from their elimination other than shutting a few mouths, but I felt a sense of justification that at least my analysis did not fail me and I wasn’t sprouting nonsense. It is also because I think with my head instead of my heart, that I am able to rationalise my thoughts without getting personal.

Followers of any particular contestant need to broaden their mindsets and widen their perspectives when they hear comments from the judges, the mainstream media as well as the alternative ones like myself and my fellow peers, not to mention the viewers who would be sms-ing their thoughts to the programme. When you hear your particular favourites getting criticised or commented upon, don’t be too quick to jump and hurl abuse without thinking through what was being said. Your own friends, family members and fans will always say the nice things that you want to hear to make you feel good and to ease your minds.  In their eyes and based on what they hear, you can do no wrong. But these are the things that can lull a contestant into complacency and think he or she has done enough when there are actually lots of things that could be improved upon. Neutrals like us have your interests at heart too and we also want to see you succeed by first eradicating the mistakes and polishing the rough edges.

Take for example the issue of comparisons with an already established artiste. I’m sure for those who are about 25 years of age and above, we’ve all heard how artistes like Elly Mazlein and Intan Sarafina sound a lot like Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza when they first appeared in the scene in the late 90s / early 2000. Down the years and with the advent of so many reality shows here and across the Causeway, I am sure the issue of comparing or noting similarities with established artistes are bound to appear. If my mind still serves me well, during the last Anugerah 2009 competition, there were voices from the masses and from within the industry who pointed out Sarah Aqilah‘s similarities in terms of singing style and even outfits during the auditions to Ziana Zain. Did she falter and wallowed into self-pity from all the criticisms??? I’m sure we all know what happened next and how she went on to prove the doubters wrong by excelling in the competition.

During the auditions last Saturday, I observed the guys were trying to emulate and copy the likes and styles of Aliff Aziz, Hyrul Anuar and even Anuar Zain, from the voice, the fashion styling right down to breathing techniques. It was extremely glaring when they sang the songs of the original artistes. It is ok if this is an impersonation competition but one has to create your own identity so as not to draw any comparisons to already established artistes. When I say identity, it is not only about one’s physical outlook, fashion sense or singing style per se. It is also through how you want people to remember you by and your music, the soul that defines you as an entertainer or artiste. If someone like Didicazli is known as the “Prince of Ballads” on these shores or if you hear a particular song and you instantly know that it is composed by SleeQ for instance, how are you going to create an identity of your own that when people listen, they know it is you or your own composition???

We look at successful Singaporeans who have done well in Malaysia without giving up their nationalities and passports and you will note that there are not many of them. For those who have done well in recent times like Imran Ajmain and AhliFiqir, you can most definitely learn a thing or two from them and how they have managed to win over the critical and quite demanding fans over there. AhliFiqir for instance, is still revered as the group who have made the art of rapping in poetic Malay hip over there, with no disrespect to groups like4U2C, Nico and even my own personal favourite, KRU, who were in the scene a decade earlier than them. It is a lasting legacy to their credit, even though the group members have gone their separate ways.

To the contestants, I hope when the competition proper kicks in, you will not be distracted or feel disheartened by comments made by the judges, by the unofficial ones from people like myself or even criticisms from other viewers. Comments and criticisms given are meant for your betterment. We want to see you succeed or at least go as far as possible in the competition. As such, take them in with as much positivity as possible and turn whatever weaknesses into your own personal strengths. I do not wish to hear that contestants are affected by comments made by alternative media like us bloggers like how it happened during last year’s Anugerah Skrin competition. In fact criticisms are part and parcel of what this industry is all about. If you are not able to take it in during this infantile stages, then how are you going to cope when you become a star???

If I have to hit out, I will hit out and if I feel there is cause to defend a particular artiste or contestant, I would not hesitate to do so. All these I do because I care for our local industry and I want to see it grow and eventually succeed like our regional counterparts.  I really do not want to blog and having to apologise afterwards to each and every contestant if I know they have misunderstood my words or if they feel downhearted with comments I’ve made. Whatever I say in my blog is meant in good stead and never meant to bring down anyone. Of course there will be times that I will give reality checks but I’ve never attacked anyone personally or assassinate their characters. I hope newbies to this blog reading this would understand what lies ahead in a reality competition like Anugerah. If you are brave enough to want to be in this industry, then you need to put up some firewalls to deflect criticisms and work on your respective flaws. It is all and truly well if you want to rest on your laurels with the fanbase that you have, but the name of the game is to win the hearts of the masses and beyond.

I might just be a small-time entertainment blogger, a minor voice on cyberspace, but I have observed and immersed myself in this industry for 13 years now. It is easy for people to praise and build you up when things are going all rosy. But when things do not go well, they are going to bring you down for the slightest mistake or things you do. In front of you, people are going to say nice things but behind who knows they might not. I take great pains to blog and explain my views in a long-winded way,  explaining my rationale, giving examples and will always give people the benefit of doubt as much as possible. I’m sure my regular readers can testify to that. At the end of the day the mainstream media and fellow entertainment bloggers like myself have the responsibility to dispense information and tips to help raise the standards of the local entertainment industry. I’ve said enough for now. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to be a broken record and let you read again two previous entries I did on what it takes to become a star and how to carry yourself well. Just click on the links here and here

Anugerah 2011 Day One Auditions…

Yesterday (19 March 2011) saw the first round of Anugerah 2011 auditions getting underway over at East Point Mall. I was there between 10am-1:30pm to watch the proceedings and run the rule over the potential on offer in this year’s competition. Over the years, we’ve seen how this competition have unearthed rare gems in our relatively small community in the likes of Sarah Aqilah, Aliff Aziz, Hyrul Anuar, Noor Haqmal, Eka Mairina, Rudy Djoharnaen and Indra Hamzah. Who will it be this time around???

I was a bit surprised upon reaching the event venue to see that the long snaking queue that had stretched all the way till the other side of the field next to the shopping centre two years ago during Anugerah 2009, did not materialise. The queue ended just outside the Pet Safari shop situated at the end of East Point Mall facing the MRT line. Deep down I wondered if the competition has lost its zest to attract more from the targeted 16-30 age group to join or the interest in general for this sort of competition has just waned. Nonetheless, an estimated 300 hopefuls were already there at 10am, the earliest I heard coming before 7am to queue up.

The audition hopefuls queueing up to register their cause…

In this very small industry of ours, we can’t expect to get new and fresh stars all the time. Like previous Anugerah competitions before this, there are bound to be serial hopeful competitors, the ones you see queueing up at every Anugerah auditions, either for the singing or acting editions, depending on the year’s target approach. Nothing wrong in joining in again, as Fauzie Laily is a fine example of a repeat contestant made good in the end, but sometimes you wonder if some of them are clinging on to false hopes even after a decade of queueing up and getting rejected, with no improvements made.

So what do I make of this year’s potential??? Since I did not stay throughout and only watched the first 140 contestants, I was shocked to see the ratio of male contestants outnumbering the females by 3:1. In fact the first 20 contestants were all males!!! However quantity does not equate to quality, and this was very much evident when out of the 20-30 odd girls whom I managed to analyse on stage, at least half of them proceeded to the next round. Quite a few have that overall package of looks and raw talent as well. If I were to base on just the first 140 contestants alone, then I wouldn’t be surprised if this year’s winner will be another female. But I do hope that subsequent auditions in the afternoon, evening and even today’s session would unearth even more raw talent and potential that could be polished further.

The hosts of Anugerah 2011: Fauzie Laily & Huda Ali… They will be joined by RIA 89.7FM‘s Nity Baizura who will act as the roving host throughout the competition. Nity was not around yesterday as she was involved in the radio station’s recording of the finals of “Cepat Tepat“…

Dress-wise, I cannot complain too much as most of them came well-prepared, just that I feel when one wears a long-sleeved shirt with vest, it looks a bit old school and not concurrent with the times, especially when combined with the choice of songs that they sing (songs from the 80s / 90s) and the way they styled their hair, kinda reminded me of groups like Carefree, Flybaits and Gingerbread. Of course there were a few who need tips on styling or they came for the auditions straight from working the night shift beforehand, which was forgiveable and understandable. But all these can be worked upon once they advance into the latter rounds and when they get to work with professional stylists.

In my earlier entry promoting the auditions, I did say not to sing songs like Mawi‘s “Kian” or Jaclyn Victor‘s “Gemilang” as they are considered passe and will just bore the judges with no significant element to differentiate them from being better than the other. Before the contestants went up on stage, they were already told not to sing songs by Mawi, but that much-dreaded song along with B8‘s “Bidadari Hatiku“, Afgan‘s “Terima Kasih Cinta“, Imran Ajmain‘s “Seribu Tahun” and Merah‘s “Cintaku” seemed to be the favourites for most of the males. So much so that at one point, guest judge Jatt Ali hit out and said the guys were boring him to sleep. He was clearly miffed and told the remaining contestants to perform a song which is more upbeat or at least with more vigour, even if the song is melancholic.

Judges Jatt Ali, Ann Hussein & Eddy Ali listening intently to the contestants…

Showmanship-wise I think most of them need to polish up and start watching concerts and shows and try to get some tips. Some were too static, some were a little too expressive, while others just could not stop walking to and fro even when the song that they sang was a slow number. Some also need to eradicate bad habits like looking down all the time, closing their eyes or chewing gum or even putting their hands in their pockets whilst singing. The latter two actions I feel are extremely rude. Back in primary school, I remember vividly how we were told not to speak with our hands in our pockets as it reflects rudeness and arrogance. I wonder if they still impart this knowledge of basic etiquettes in school for kids to remember when they grow up.

There was another round of auditions today and based on the information I received, registration was open up till about 1pm. Apologies if my information was wrong or if there were changes made, as I got this piece of news yesterday when I got home. It’s a thankless job for the judges to choose out of hundreds and having to assess more than 500 hopefuls in two days. I hope the contestants would be well aware of what’s in store for them and work hard to achieve it. Time and time I’ve said, singing is not just about opening one’s mouth to carry a tune. There are more things to do than that. For those who have advanced to the latter rounds next weekend, I hope they read this entry and learn something from it or even from their experiences today and yesterday…


Snapshots of Anugerah 2011 Day One Auditions

View from the top…

The contestants waiting nervously for their turns…

Mediacorp Suria staff Farah Lydia & Wati Kassim manning the merchandise booth that was selling the upcoming Rock Elektra t-shirts and the television station’s official lanyards…

A close up shot of the pricing of the selling merchandise…

Anugerah Skrin alumnus Aidil Jufri & Firuz Khan came to show their support. Other members of the Anugerah Skrin and Anugerah alumni who came to watch the auditions include Nasriah Zainuddin, Nissa Bahruddin, Chirul and Chico

These were the guys who made it through to the next round. Spot that familiar face holding the microphone??? That’s Azhar Raz from the previous competition…

Our hosts sharing a banter with the audience…

After which, they hemmed up for the cameras…


Past Contestants Who Never Give Up…


This guy has a decent and what you call a manly voice. I hope he progresses cos he’s cool on the mic and smooth with his delivery…

I remember this guy from the Anugerah Skrin auditions last year. Back then he dyed his hair. Though he passed the first round last year, he was swiftly eliminated by the judges this year…

He obviously doesn’t need any introductions…

I was surprised that Danish did not make it to the Top 24 two years ago. He has matured in his performance since then, just that the jeans were kind of an eyesore to me…


Seeing Double???

I swear at first glance I thought he was Imran Ajmain cos he is as tall as the real McCoy…

I thought Riz Sunawan was about to ditch his day job as a broadcast journalist…

This gal reminds me of Nurul Huda of Singapore Idol Season 3. She looks and sounds a lot like Nurul. I wonder if they are related???


The Ones With Potential & Package…

Dian Hazwani‘s potential was spotted on YouTube and she was featured in RIA 89.7FM‘s “SG – Terjah Yang Menyerlah” programme a few weeks ago. She can play the guitar and with her image, comparisons are bound to be made between her and Yuna. She needs to create a distinct identity to avoid the unwanted comparisons… 

Anugerah 2011 Auditions Promo…

(Graphics Poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

It is here once again… The time has come to unearth and crown another singing sensation from these shores… Do you have what it takes to be THE STAR??? If you are confident of your own abilities, do come down to East Point Mall this Saturday to register and undergo the auditions for Anugerah 2011. But you have to remember, the last registration will be made at 3pm. For more details and to download the registration form, click on the promotional poster above.

A word of caution:

Please do come prepared for your auditions.

Wear presentably, no flip-flops, no sandals, no skimpy / tight-fitting clothes, no cleavage-bearing outfits, no unkempt hairstyles, no oily faces etc.

Respect and pride yourselves if you want the judges and audience to do likewise.

Pick songs that are current or at least 3 years old. Mawi‘s “Kian” and Jaclyn Victor‘s “Gemilang” are examples that are considered passe and should be avoided. But if you insist on singing them, make sure you bring an element of difference to the way you sing it. Singing is not just about holding the microphone, opening your mouth and letting it all out. There is an art to it, either you have it or you don’t.

Good luck and all the best!!!

Anugerah 2009 Episodes 1 & 2 Review…


Anugerah 2009 has begun in absolute earnest and it has been a lukewarm night by my standards. After a rousing beginning from the likes of Hyrul Anuar, Eka Mairina and Aliff Aziz singing the theme song for this year’s competition “Bintang Anugerahku“, accompanied by the 20 contestants, things suddenly became a little awry when Fiza O twice tripped on her words, probably forgetting the voiceover cue that was supposed to precede her presentation.

Subsequently throughout the whole hour of the programme, both hosts took turns tripping on their words, probably due to the excitement and jitters they felt inside. But in terms of confidence, Fiza who plies her trade as a deejay with RIA 89.7FM, naturally grew as the minutes progressed. But anyway, this wasn’t a show about the hosts, it was about the 20 contestants who are vying to be the next big thing in our local music industry.

Tonight, joining the panel of resident judges Eddy Ali, Ann Hussein and Gani Karim was Adil Hussein. My apologies for not knowing who this guy is but from his various comments throughout the night, the choice of selecting him was commendable as he gave good, constructive views, even if he came across as dead-pan. The judges as a whole, shared almost the same sentiments as myself. Just that I don’t understand why Eddy Ali loves Sheila Abdul so much that he had to mention her name twice, when only one of her songs was sung and that was towards the end.

Looking at all the songs that were performed, sharp-eared viewers would have noted the fact that none of the songs sung were from a Singaporean artiste. This was made deliberate as there will be different themes weekly. Tonight, the theme was an open one, which meant songs by Indonesian and Malaysian artistes were performed. There will be themes solely on Singaporean artistes as the weeks progress so fret not all you local music lovers out there. 

However my only complaint was, why were some songs that were performed (eg Sheila Abdul‘s “Lepaskanlah“, Mila‘s “Ilham Di Mataku” and the one sung by Wawan which I have no idea what was the title to it, even after googling the lyrics), seemed alien or have not been aired on local radio??? I think for the viewers to vote how well the contestants perform and sing, they too need to know the song, so that they could judge fairly. More radio-friendly songs need to be performed in future weeks in my opinion.

For the first time this season, there will be 2 formats for viewers to vote. One is via SMS, the other via 1900 call-in number, as opposed to the mandatory sms voting system in the past. More votes are expected to be made with this new system of voting especially those who are not keen on wasting sms-es. So far nothing has been said about how much one is expected to pay if they were to call the voting lines. Or I might have missed it. Please do correct me if I’m wrong. Right, here are my thoughts on all the contestants:

Sarah Aqilah – She sang Ayu‘s “Hanya Di Mercu“. She surprised me big time with her execution of the song as my only memory of her during the auditions was, she was a dead-ringer of Ziana Zain, from the vocal style right down to how she portrayed her presentation on stage.

Hydir – This boy (he’s only 17) is set for the big stage. His voice belies his age. His boyish charm is sure to bring in the votes and with his looks, he backs it up with a deep, controlled voice. Singing Nubhan‘s “Ada Untukmu” was an excellent choice. My bet to go to at least the semi-finals stage.

Mel – She sang Hanya Memuji, a song that challenges a person to go high and low and having to dance to the beat. She came across quite flat, but only because I detected the nervousness and jitters in her. However I think she atoned herself during the group performance where they sang “Let’s Dance Together“, but only just.
Sein Ahmad – This Anugerah “veteran” was good during the audition rounds, but tonight he did not impress me with a low-key performance of Republik‘s “Hanya Ingin Kau Tahu” and especially the group performance where they sang BBB‘s “Let’s Dance Together“. For someone who is experienced in this field of play, I expected more from him. He looked kinda overawed with the occasion.

Kunjung – This sassy lass is a natural product from Indonesia‘s production line of singers. Her rendition of Ratu‘s “Lelaki Buaya Darat” was oozing with confidence and it would be very surprising if she falters early. She needs to work on her crowd interaction though.

Azhar Raz – My favourite from the audition rounds. His vocal gymnastics are a joy to behold. He also made Hazami‘s “Mungkir Bahagia” so easy to execute. He needs to prevent himself from being overconfident cos his facial expressions do hint of that at times. Other than that, I just love the way he puts so much feel into the songs he sang.

Hafizah – I didn’t quite like the short hairdo. I still prefer her with long hair cos she looks like a doll that way. She sang Melly and KD‘s “Cinta“, not an easy song. Though it did not reach the wow levels, her performance overall was commendable. She grew more confident as the minutes progressed.

Wawan – I like this boy’s confidence on stage as his showmanship smacks of a seasoned performer. Somehow he has this knack of making me hate the song he sings. The song he performed was already alien enough to me even after I had googled the words on the Net, but what made it cringing was his slang, which he could do away in future stages, depending on how far he progresses.

Shera – Contrary to what the judges said about her, I think she was one of the top five female contestants tonight. I like her rich voice and I think if she was given a slower tempo song to sing instead of Jaclyn Victor‘s “Di Bawah Pohon Asmara“, she would nail it well. Again, jitters could have hampered her performance tonight.

Ize – Another Anugerah “veteran”. He showed lots of poise, confidence and control singing Marcell‘s “Jangan Pernah Berubah“. I think along with Hydir, this guy has a chance to go far, with looks being his plus points as well.

Asila Osmera – The judges didn’t like her performance. So did I. She was too nervous, too static for one’s liking. For her sake I hope she improves and shed away all those stage-frights she might have been having. I felt it was easy to connect with her cos she sang Ziana Zain‘s song “Menadah Gerimis” which is no stranger to the listening masses.

Afyq – I wasn’t impressed when the top 20 contestants were named and his was in it. Nothing during the audition rounds gave me the impression that he would go far other than the fact that his fate might be down to the young girls out there. Dafi‘s “Bila Terasa Rindu” was easy on the ears, but the performance wasn’t spectacular.

Izam – Amongst the Anugerah “veterans”, he was the one that impressed me the most. Very confident, very rockish performance. I think he’s really dead serious in wanting to go further than the last time round. Nidji‘s “Biarlah” was done well even if he lagged a bit during the start.

Catty – This young lady continues to impress with her performance. She made a difficult song like Agnes Monica‘s “Matahariku” sounded so simple to sing. And to think many others tried but failed during the audition rounds. Her weight might be a mitigating factor but we should all look beyond that and not let a rough diamond slip away. She is definitely one to look out for.

Ain – His was another name I did not expect to make it to the Top 20 and he looks a little too dreamy for my liking. HijauDaun‘s “Suaraku Berharap” was an easy song to sing, without having to challenge his vocals. Commendable effort but doesn’t have the aura of a champion.

Yani – I laughed when I saw a comment made by a viewer who sms-ed about her earlier in the programme. That person said Yani had already recorded an album. I think that person must have mistaken her for Hariani Hassan Bakri, another Anugerah alumnus. However, even Hariani has not gotten the opportunity to record an album yet. This Yani however got her bearings right singing Misha Omar‘s “Ku Seru“. But she still lacks the wow factor.

Chirul – He was one of the few I had earmarked during the audition rounds with his deep voice and stage presence. And it was there for all to see when he sang “Cinta Ini Membunuhku” by D’Masiv. His falsetto however needs some tweaks cos it made his voice become flat.

Nani – I remembered her from the audition rounds because she gave a flirty performance on stage. There was nothing of the sort tonight and I felt she was in danger of elimination as she looked a little unsure when she sang Mila‘s “Ilham Di Mataku“. The choice of song could have been a distraction to her but I thought she made amends when they sang as a group, singing Jaclyn Victor and Rio Febrian‘s “Ceritera Cinta“.

Kamsani – Right from day one, this young man reminds me so much of Anugerah 2005 winner Hyrul Anuar. From the hairstyle to the showmanship, everytime I watch him perform is like watching Hyrul on stage. He would be mindful enough to steer clear from the comparisons if he wants to progress further. But he did no wrong singing Matta Band‘s “Jatuh Cinta Lagi“.

Nora – She was another I did not quite fancy when her name was announced to be in the Top 20. I felt back then that her looks were more her winning factors. But she proved me wrong when she sang Sheila Abdul‘s “Lepaskanlah” without a hint of going flat nor pitchy. Granted I have not heard the song before, but I felt she did nothing wrong. Fair play to her.

Results At A Glance:

And so, Ain, Afyq, Shera and Mel were eliminated tonight. I kinda expected Ain, Afyq and Mel, but not Shera as I felt she was one of the better ones but in this kind of competition, you need to have a solid fanbase and kind remarks from the judges to help you stay in the competition and I felt she didn’t get that.





It was nice to see Rancour in action with their new single “Biarlah” cos I feel that their career paths have stagnated somewhat after winning last year’s Anugerah Band competition. It doesn’t help that some of them have a day job as civil servants, which is preventing them from pursuing their musical careers further.





In summary, the results were fair and justified. The contestants have for the past month been going through different forms of classes, from vocals to styling and it showed on stage the difference between what I saw during the third round auditions and tonight. One thing they should all learn is to let go of their shackles and enjoy themselves on stage. Once all the jitters go away, they would then be able to express themselves better.

Anugerah 2009 Kicks Off Tonight!!!

Anugerah 2009 will debut tonight 8.30pm on Suria.
Catch the 20 Anugerettes in action and vote for them in the following  format:

Nur Sarah Aqilah Jamil (219)

Nur Sarah Aqilah Binte Jamil (Sarah Aqilah)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 1
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7701

Muhd Hydir Mohd Idris (39)

Muhd Hydir Mohd Idris (Hydir Idris)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 2
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7702

Melissa Sailla Isa (480)

Melissa Sailla Isa (Mel)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 3
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7703

Muhd Hussein Ahmad (36)

Muhd Hussein Ahmad (Sein Ahmad)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 4
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7704

Kunjung Wide Whitaker (297)

Kunjung Wide Whitaker (Kunjung)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 5
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7705

Azhar Hamid (427)

Azhar Amid (Azhar Raz)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 6
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7706

Hafizah Naser (444)

Hafizah Naser
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 7
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7707

Muhamad Safuan Husen (358)

Muhamad Safuan Husen (Wawan)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 8
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7708

Shahirah Jamaludin (495)

Shahirah Jamaludin (Shera)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 9
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7709

Muhammad Idris Suliman (248)

Muhammad Idris Suliman (Ize Suliman)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 10
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7710

Nur Asilah Mohd Osmera (628)

(Nur Asilah Mohd Osmera) Asila Osmera
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 11
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7711

Muhd Afiq Bakry (605)

Muhd Afiq Bakry (Afyq Bakry)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 12
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7712

Muhd Hairizam Mohamadan (634)

Muhd Hairizam Mohamadan (Izam)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 13
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7713

Khatijah Abdul Rahman (530)

Khatijah Abdul Rahman (Catty)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 14
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7714

Nohrain Abdul Rasid (343)

Nohrain Abdul Rasid (Ain)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 15
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7715

Hairani Hassan (259)

Hairani Binte Hassan
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 16
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7716

Ahmad Hairul Md Salleh (144)

Ahmad Hairul Md Salleh (Chirul)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 17
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7717

Suriani Sulaiman (471)

Suriani Sulaiman (Nani)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 18
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7718

Kamsani Jumahat (172)

Kamsani Jumahat
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 19
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7719

Nora Baharom (538)

Nora Baharom (Nora)
Vote via SMS to 73388: ANU 20
or Vote via call-in: 1900-112-7720


Tonight’s event will kick off in the first 90 minutes and will take a half hour break before resuming at 10:30pm, where four contestants, 2 guys and 2 ladies will be eliminated… All the best to the 20 contestants tonight!!!

P.S. Thank you to Siti Zalinah from Mediacorp Suria for the information and photographs of the respective contestants. All photographs belong to Mediacorp Suria. Please credit them if you want to reproduce these photographs.

Anugerah Top 20 Line-Up…


I know this is already stale news by now as it has already been reported in Berita Minggu yesterday and at the same time,, ran a real time update as soon as the names were announced on Jus last Monday, a first of its kind in our local Malay entertainment industry, which shows that progression is in the works, and hopefully more to come. Little things like these deserve every bit of mentioning, no matter how trivial it may sound cos it is high time we make use of modern technology to our advantage. But nonetheless, in case you guys still do not know who has qualified for the Top 20 for the upcoming Anugerah competition, here are the names of the elite 20:


1) Kunjung Wide Whitaker

2) Hairani Hassan

3) Melissa Saila Isa

4) Shahirah Jamaludin

5) Hafizah Naser

6) Nur Asilah Mohd Osmera


7) Nora Baharom (Hope I got the right photo to the name…)


8)8) Suriani Sulaiman

9) Khatijah Abdul Rahman


10) Nur Sarah Aqilah Jamil



1) Ahmad Hairul Md Salleh


2) Muhd Hussein Ahmad


3) Muhammad Idris Suliman


4) Muhamad Safuan Husen


5) Azhar Amid

6) Muhd Hydir Mohd Idris


7) Muhammad Afiq Bakry


8 ) Muhd Hairizam Mohamadan

9) Nohrain Bin Abdul Rasid

10) Kamsani Jumahat

So what do I make of the finalists??? The announcement actually threw up a few surprises for me. Surprise in the sense that a few I thought who were actually more deserving, in terms of vocal strength, were left out and in their place are good-lookers who are relatively ordinary in the voice department. I can more or less understand why some of the better ones were left out, it could have been due to their dressing sense, their attitude on stage or maybe because they lacked the aura to capture one’s imaginations.

The judges had made their picks and it is up to these 20 to now carry the responsibility (I stop short of saying “burden” because they are relatively new to the industry and not fair to heap such a word on) and prove that their selections are not flashes in the pan. I’m happy that at least one of my favourites had been picked and a few I had pinpointed were also in. Now I just cannot wait for the next fortnight to roll over so that we would then be able to witness what they are made of live on national television…

P.S. Thank you to the good people at Suria for sharing the list of Top 20… And apologies if I did not manage to snap the photos of the others who made it to the Top 20 during the 3rd Round Auditions…