Celebrity Friendly Football Match: Mediacorp Suria vs. Persatuan Seniman Malaysia

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Due to personal health reasons and family commitments, I have not been involving myself with anything pertaining to our local Malay entertainment scene since Pesta Perdana ended, in fact harking back to the end of the Ratu Suria competition. You can safely say that I have been switching myself off from the scene. I had initially planned to attend and post weekly photographs of the current TeRaSeh competition which is currently underway, but the fact is, I have not attended a single weekly episode since its inception some seven weeks ago, no thanks to my schedule and also my reservist, which was during Episodes Two and Three. However, thanks to Mediacorp Suria, I was brought out of my “hibernation” for a memorable trip to Kuala Lumpur recently.

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Our kind sponsors for the trip – Orange Coach & Travel Pte. Ltd.

Close to four weekends ago, I was fortunate to be invited by Mediacorp Suria to be a part of the football team that took on Persatuan Seniman Malaysia at Kelab Sultan Sulaiman, which is situated in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Similar to the last Piala Dollah Kassim tournament, the squad that travelled to Kuala Lumpur was more or less the same with Rafaat Hamzah again captaining the side and familiar faces like Shahril Wahid, Sahfuddin Mahfudz, Effandy Idris, Anugerah Skrin 2010 alumnus Md Idris Jamin, Aidil Jufri Jumari, Raja Razie, not forgetting the First XI players Alang, Mohd Helmi and Faliq Sudhir. This team also welcomed a few guest players namely Danial Ashriq, Izzat Yusoff, Hasyf Nasir, Hafiz Nasir, Noe Chicanoe (Opening Act Go Glam fame) and local singer Raja Izzuwin Shah, who also acted as the coordinator of this friendly match, along with his wife Lydia (Shootz 19).

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The Kelab Sultan Sulaiman pitch with the stunning backdrop of KLCC Twin Towers

It was initially advertised that some players from the opposing team were supposed to play, but the only ones I knew who took to the pitch were ex-members of Nico, Shades, KOOL (who are all known as the super group GX-4 by the way) and Kamal Adli. The rest were unknown to me, simply for the fact that I do not watch Malaysian dramas or shows to be kept abreast of who’s who. Acappan and Isma Aliff as well as the President of Persatuan Seniman Malaysia (you-know-who) were initially touted to play, but the former two were not seen and the latter did not change into his gear, but remained a concerned spectator by the sidelines. I was actually looking forward to meeting Isma Aliff, a legend in his own right for the number of comedy films he did back in the late 80s, as well as recording several parody songs which I remember till this day.

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Players warming up before the match…

Anyway, the match was a whitewash, played in three halves of half an hour each. I hope I don’t sound too pompous and arrogant when I used the word “whitewash”, but I cannot describe it any other way. It was too one-sided, even if our team had started the first fifteen minutes playing with a lot of jitters and making a number of basic, silly mistakes, myself included. We were tired as we only arrived in Kuala Lumpur two hours prior to the game, but the moment we scored our first goal through Razif Ariff, we began to dictate play and became more confident. Further goals by Raja Izzuwin Shah, Danial Ashriq, yours truly (yes I had a cameo playing upfront in the last ten minutes, scoring with my first touch!!!) and a brace by Alang, made the scoreline a bit too flattering. You can understand why I said a 6-0 scoreline is a bit flattering.

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Alang celebrating his first goal and the team’s fourth for the evening…

Much had been said prior to the game by well-wishers online, when they saw who was initially supposed to play in the opposing team (no prizes for guessing who). I know it is easy to get sucked into nationalistic feelings or be aggrieved by the constant sniping by you-know-who with regards to some of our artistes making a name for themselves across the Causeway. But the match was indeed a friendly match born out of goodwill and I was glad that it remained extremely cordial from the start right to the end. For that I am very happy that the players were all playing with smiles on their faces and never put ourselves in situations where things could get complicated. We were ambassadors of our country afterall and it was a great advertisement to show that we were professional, gracious and respectful towards our hosts. Let’s hope that we can return the same favour when the second leg returns in June, this time on our home soil.

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Both sets of players in a show of solidarity and friendship after the match ended…

P.S. Special thanks go out to bro Syah Ibrahim and his team from Orange Travel for kindly sponsoring our trip to Kuala Lumpur as well as the the accomodation at Sunway Putra Hotel. The service and hospitality rendered were first class. Thank you also to Mediacorp Suria for again inviting me to join the football team and team manager Ishak Jamid for allowing me to play upfront as a striker for the last ten minutes of the game. I enjoyed the trip very much and brought home memorable moments I could replay in my head from time to time. For the record, Alang was awarded the Top-Scorer trophy whereas Mohd Helmi was awarded the Man-of-the-Match award. Prizes were kindly sponsored by none other than popular radio deejay of ERA.FM and comedian, Johan (Raja Lawak). Last but not least, to the two busloads of supporters who made their way up just to support us, THANK YOU!!!

(All photographs and video clip featured in this entry are courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

Ratu Suria Grand Finals Review…

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I purposely post this entry a week after the competition series ended for the fact that I do not foresee much entries that I will be making between now and March, so a little breather is more than welcome. Afterall, I have been quite diligent with my weekly reviews over the course of the competition. I know most of you who are not linked to me via social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram would not see the photographs I snapped, unless you follow the contestants themselves. So fret not, because this penultimate review on Mediacorp Suria‘s inaugural beauty-cum-talent search competition will have hundreds of them featured, even more than what I normally upload for your viewing pleasure. So where do I begin??? With the choice of the winner, Fatin Amira, of course!!!

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Like the first episode, Sezairi Sezali opened the show, this time performing Dato’ Sheila Majid‘s “Ratu“…

Fatin‘s coronation as the first winner of Ratu was in truth, no surprise to yours truly, and I’m sure to regular viewers of the series as well. She has been very consistent since Episode 4, has a very strong grasp and understanding of the Malay language, confident, composed and dare I say, a certain air of nonchalance which sets her apart from her fellow competitors. I did not say explicitly who were my favourites to win but along with Wida Alisa, both of them were my personal two choices to win the competition, with no disrespect to the other finalists, even though physical beauty-wise, the others had the edge. It was a matter of who was to blink or make that odd mistake that would sway the odds against their favour. I did say in my preview of the Grand Finals, the one who would win would be the one who maintained their poise and composure and not be let down by small mistakes and this was true, as Fatin aced almost every segment that night.

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Fauzie Laily and Marina Yusoff‘s onstage chemistry was one of the plus points of the competition series…

I saw several comments online from sour grapes who questioned the choice of anointing Fatin as the winner as she is not as pretty as some of her fellow contestants. The aim of this competition was not merely to choose who is the most good-looking or who is the most popular. The aim was to choose an all-round winner, someone who is not only good-looking but a person of holistic substance. She has to be intelligent and media savvy, confident in the way she carries herself and have a certain degree of raw potential that could be polished in time to come as a television personality in hosting or acting. In Fatin Amira, I have no doubt that she was the right choice by the judges who carried the heavy responsibility of choosing a winner who could be someone we can be proud of in time to come – a beauty with brains. Above all, I am convinced that Fatin is ready to face the media across the Causeway, whom we all know are more harsh than our own and will always be ready to find faults and not give an inch, what more a yard.

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The Top 6 Finalists!!!

Why I said I am convinced, is how consistent and calm she has been at answering questions throughout the competition. Even when she was interviewed by Hafeez Glamour in his Go Glam radio programme the day after her win, she answered several difficult questions with ease, even those questions that were posed to her fellow finalists during the Grand Finals itself. When she appeared a second time during Dzar Ismail and Nity Baizura‘s Personality Zoom segment last Friday, I posed a challenging question on how she would react if the President of Seniman were to question her credibility and presence in their scene. Her answer suitably impressed me, saying that she is new and will no doubt learn from the people she is working with to improve on her flaws. Opportunities are also available everywhere for people to work and add value to a certain industry, no matter which country they are working at. She ended by saying that people should just widen their mentality and not be hampered by selfish interests. No doubt she is ready and feisty, willing to face the challenges in store.

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The panel of judges sharing a laugh when Aaron Aziz (hidden) made his point across…

I will not put down Wida Alisa for her gaffe that night. I think enough of criticisms online have been hurled at her and I am sure she did not mean what she said on purpose. We all make mistakes, it was just unfortunate that such an error was made on live television, under such pressure-cooker situations. Most of those who have hurled their criticisms are the same people who will equally freeze or make mistakes themselves if they swapped shoes with her. It is not easy to look pretty and answer random questions thrown at you. What more to translate in Malay when we think daily in English. Likewise there was not much wrong with Wan Anisah‘s final answers, other than the fact that it did not resonate with our community and culture. The prerogative was hers to answer as best she could and one that suited her personal interests and personality. No one should put her down for her honesty, at least she did not lie her way just to score points with the judges.

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The suave Awi Rafael performing “Bila Aku Jatuh Cinta“, his second hit single after “Pulanglah“…

It was also good that the finalists were put through a short acting segment to suss their potential in this particular area, since they will after all, go on to star in a movie produced by Metrowealth International Group. They are raw as evident from their voice intonation and static delivery, having no prior background before this, hence one cannot expect a flawless performance. Even most new actors and actresses in Malaysian movies have been panned as wooden before, but they built on the opportunities given to them and improved over the years. Likewise the same can be expected from our Top 3, with Fatin Amira and Wan Anisah the better performers that night in the acting skit they were involved in. Even though the camera was not focused on them, what impressed me was they kept the scene flowing with their facial and body expressions. For that, we have to thank the likes of Mastura Ahmad, Zaidi Ibrahim and Seriwahyuni Jaes for imparting useful acting knowledge to the girls.

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Fatin Amira, the deserving winner of Ratu!!!

Ratu has been a relative success in my opinion, no matter what the critics might say. Critics are always willing to give their piece of mind at anything and everything, but almost always failing to give substantial alternatives and suggestions on how to better the show. This is the first of its kind which Mediacorp Suria has embarked upon, and naturally, glitches are to be expected. Definitely the producers will do a review on how they can better the next edition or if there is another one of its kind, but for the males instead. This is a new venture on uncharted waters, which no matter the storm they faced, at the end of the day, the ship still reached its harbour safe and sound, if I were to put it in such analogy. The opportunity and experience given to up-and-coming beauties was definitely enriching for all the contestants and I am sure they came out better and confident ladies. This was evident in their catwalk during the Grand Finals. Oh how beautiful all sixteen of them looked, especially the opening segment and one wondered why were they not dolled up like that since the first episode???

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Group photo of the contestants, judges, hosts and guests-of-honour after the show ended…

It has been fun covering the competition over 61 days, from the time the media conference was called to introduce the sixteen of them, right down to the Grand Finals. I gained sixteen new friends as a result, all charming and sweet ladies and I wish nothing but the best to all of them on their subsequent endeavours henceforth. If they still harbour hopes on entering the entertainment industry, then I suggest that they sign up with the various local performing arts / theatre groups to hone their craft, learn the ropes from experienced hands and come back for another shot when another reality competition comes around. It does not have to be in acting, because I know some have talents in dance or having the voice for hosting. Do not limit themselves to just acting because with their respective strengths, they can expand and try viable alternative avenues. Anything is possible. To Fatin Amira, congratulations once again on being crowned the first ever winner of Ratu in Mediacorp Suria‘s history!!! I do look forward to seeing her grace our television and silver screens very soon!!!

Official Launch of Piala Dollah Kassim 2011…

It’s back once again!!! Piala Dollah Kassim, a charity football tournament involving the local Malay media and television personalities, which was successfully held last year, makes its return again this year. Now into its fourth edition since it was first conceived and incepted in 2002, the tournament this year has broken the norm of previous years’ editions in having it a year after the last one. Previously the tournament was held once every two years, with a gap of six years between the first and the second editions. I believe due to the success and support from last year’s tournament, especially the Grand Final where two thousand-odd people witnessed it at Yishun Stadium, it is only natural that it has been changed to an annual affair. But for how long it will remain that way, it’s up to the organisers, PERKAMUS, who have worked hard to make it happen again this year. For that, they deserve every pat on the back they get.

The coveted trophy…

This year’s event is probably an emotional one for myself and of course the family of Allahyarham Uncle Dollah. Regular readers of this blog would know by now the family ties that we share as his wife and my mother are sisters. This will be the first time the event is held without him around anymore. Even when he was in a state of coma and bedridden last year, I felt his presence and spirit cheering me on from the stands when I played for the Mediacorp Suria team as its goalkeeper. There were good and bad memories from last year’s tournament, the good of course being able to play in front of a near capacity crowd and the bad, well I’ll just leave it as that, but I tend to take positives out of the few bad ones. This year, I will reprise my role as the team’s custodian once again. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mediacorp Suria for placing their faith in me and it is an absolute honour to represent my family and play in the tournament again.

The launch was hosted by Rosley Jimaen and Deanna Manto

Once again the tournament will be a four-cornered fight between Berita Harian, Dramatis, Mediacorp Suria and the organisers as well as the defending champions themselves, PERKAMUS. The draw to determine the respective match fixtures was recently held at the rooftop of the Singapore Press Holdings‘ building on 25th September 2011. Representatives and several players from the respective teams graced the occasion, not forgetting the various kind sponsors of the event. This year, the beneficiary organisation who will receive the proceeds from the event will be Darul Ma’wa Children’s Home. Several side-events and carnival have been lined up during the days of the qualifying matches and these are kindly organised by the good people of Bikers’ Aid International, a professional fundraiser and charity organising management consisting of 40 motor clubs with mixed races and genders from 3000 motorcycles members here in Singapore and Malaysia.

Cikgu Yusnor Ef with the opening speech…

Though I will not delve much on what happened during the launch per se, it was heartening to hear the President of PERKAMUS, Cikgu Yusnor Ef, appealing to other organisers of football-related events not to misuse the good name of Uncle Dollah and also to seek his family’s approval before using his name for their respective events. I’m sure older readers of this blog would remember how I went on a ranting spree last year, when some irresponsible people came up with the idea of having a football academy using Uncle Dollah‘s name without seeking his family’s approval. And it was just last week that our family found out that a football competition organised in Tampines also used his name without seeking prior approval. We’re not trying to be high-handed, but I’m sure nobody likes others to use one’s own family members’ names without first seeking permission. Like what Cikgu Yusnor said, “Do not misuse his name to the point that it becomes devalued and cheap…” As a family, we do not want Uncle Dollah‘s name to be used by any organisation for their own benefits. Uncle Dollah was a generous man, any event organiser that uses his name in future should take note that any proceeds from their event, must go to a charity organisation. Over the years, the family has been working closely and have absolute trust in PERKAMUS, because they have been doing the right thing.

Uncle Dollah‘s son, Ezaad, urged all players to check their fitness and health before taking onto the pitch so as to prevent a similar occurence of what happened to Uncle Dollah back on 4th Oct 2009.

I do not know who will be playing in the other teams, other than Nick Mikhail, Izzat Yusoff, Amy Kecik, Khairudin Samsudin, Faizal Ramli amongst others, playing for the Dramatis team and Jeff Catz for PERKAMUS. But I’m quite confident that our Mediacorp Suria team, with the injection of new players from the Anugerah Skrin 2010 competition, and retaining half of those who represented the team last year, will try and give the defending champions a run for their money. This year Mediacorp Suria will be represented by renowned television personalities Rafaat Hamzah, Fauzie Laily, Syed Azmir (captain), Shahril Wahid, Effandy Idris and the Anugerah Skrin 2010 alumnus like Shahril Kahar, Aidil Jufri, Mohd Idris Jamin, Raja Razie and Muhd Dzar. We also welcome into our team the likes of actors-hosts Fadhlur Rahman and Taufiq Salleh, who represented the Dramatis team in last year’s tournament, as well as Khairul Ruzaini (the son of actor Jasmani Basri), and Razif Ariff, who are both part-time actors themselves. In short, this tournament is sprinkling with stars all in the name of charity.

The fixture list…

All qualifying matches will be played at the Singapore Polytechnic stadium on three consecutive Sundays, beginning 9th October 2011. The first match will kick off at 3pm with Berita Harian facing off with the Dramatis team. Mediacorp Suria will play against PERKAMUS at 5pm. The 3rd and 4th placing match as well as the Grand Finals will be held on 20th November 2011 at the Woodlands Stadium. Admission to all the matches is free. So if you do not have anything to do for the next three Sundays, do come down and support your local personalities and also help to do your part for charity. See you there!!!

May the best team wins!!!

From left: Jeff Catz (PERKAMUS), Syed Azmir (Mediacorp Suria), Art Fazil (PERKAMUS), Jasmi Ahmad (Dramatis) and Farid Hamzah (Berita Harian)…

How to get there… (Click on the map to enlarge it)

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 Skrin 2010 Variety Episode 9 Recap…

Since the competition’s inception on 4th May 2010 till we reached its semi-final stage this past Friday, we have finally come to its penultimate week. Somehow it felt just like yesterday that I was getting to know the twenty-four hopefuls who would one day be the next big thing to grace our television screens and now here we are awaiting for the day that new winners would be crowned in both the Male and Female categories of Anugerah Skrin 2010. Nine weeks of competition, nine weeks of watching and seeing each contestant growing from strength to strength or falling by the wayside.

Kudos to Shahril Kahar, Firuz Khan, Erwin Shah Dawson, Diana Amran, Syirah Jusni and Halimah Yahaya for reaching the Grand Finals. Looking at their respective pedigrees and potentials, it is clear that the three young ladies’ have been somewhat consistent and have the necessary package to make it in the industry. For the other three gentlemen, I thought Firuz and Erwin were a relative shoo-in as both have seldom (or in Firuz‘s case, never) been placed amongst the bottom few contestants weekly. It was 50-50 between Shahril and Fadzli and I for one had a tough time deciding who was more deserving, till the contestants were asked to switch over during the announcement of results. It might have been nail-biting to some but perhaps the finalists were a fair reflection of each individual’s potential and probable worth they could offer in the long run.

This past week, Rafaat Hamzah, no stranger to Anugerah Skrin as he was one of the resident judges in the first edition back in 2006, was the guest judge. He admitted that he had not had the opportunity to watch this season’s competition as he had wanted to experience an element of surprise. Indeed up till the semi-final rounds, he is surprised that he has not seen a natural performance from any one of the contestants. What he observed were not reflections of how a human being communicate and react in every day life. He stressed on the need for the contestants to learn more and know how a human being reacts, and to widen their knowledge of acting and drama.

Repeating what he had told the first batch of Anugerah Skrin contestants back in 2006, Rafaat said that it doesn’t matter who wins but who is still standing in five to ten years time. Again stressing on the need for them to enrich themselves, he urged all of them not to rest on their laurels and to enrol themselves in workshops or at the very least find an experienced actor / actress / mentor they could tutor and learn the ropes from. He hailed Sani Hussin and Sri Wahyuni Jaes as good mentors they could have learnt from throughout the course of the competition.

The other two resident judges were relatively kind with their remarks this week. Khairudin Samsudin (Khai) admitted that it was a challenge for the contestants to add on and merged two more minutes of their own thought-out script into the one already given to them, and it was difficult for the judges to assess them as the performance level also increased. However, he only gave props to Group 2 for their smooth flow in delivery and flow of emotions whereas Groups 1 & 3 were patchy at best.

We say goodbye and thank you to Aziela Roza, Sakinah Rahim, Fadzli Mohamad and Raja Razie for reaching as far as the semi-finals and providing stiff competition to the remaining finalists…

Rilla Melati also noted that there were improvements made, but cautioned that the next assessment would be more focused on how the contestants would react to performing in front of a live audience. They need to understand what the audience and the viewers at home expect and want to see as watching it live as opposed to seeing it from the comfort of one’s own couch is totally different. Adding on, she said that whoever is chosen to go to the Grand Finals, their lives would be different after the competition ends. Through all the glitz, glamour and fame, they would do well to leave a space for reality as that will bring them further in this cut-throat industry. They would not and might not be rich, instantly or perhaps even in the long run, but what is most important is that they project themselves as good role models for others to emulate. And that is why I say it again that Rilla is my favourite judge this season for all her thought-provoking views.

Tomorrow night is THE night where the winners will be announced and even the vanquished would perhaps be fortunate to be invited to sign on to join the stable of Suria‘s Artiste Management Unit (P.S. I could be wrong with this fact though). Even though there are still a lot of cynics out there who have yet to be convinced by the six finalists, especially with regards to their potential and promise, lets just enjoy the finals and who knows, they might surprise us all by being better actors live than from what we see through their weekly recorded drama segments.

Highlights From This Past Week

Sleeq opening the show with their latest single “Untuk Dia“…

Eliminated Contestants Nissa Bahruddin, Nur Nasir & Aidil Jufri lending their moral support to the semi-finalists…

Likewise Ariff Salleh, Jasmine Amira, Muhammad Fahmy & Sarah Anissa

And last but not least, our kind mentors, Sani Hussin & Seri Wahyuni Jaes

Congratulations to the six finalists!!! (Photo courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

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 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 Variety Show Episode 3 Recap…

I began last week’s variety show recap by saying I was gutted by the result. This week I guess the only word that comes to mind is “Deja Vu“, a feeling that resonates loud inside. When Mohamed Nur and Siti Aisyah were eliminated, it was widely noted that they both appeared in the third group of Group A‘s acting segments. This week, Alfhian Dalan and Sarah Anissa who were the unfortunate two to be eliminated, also appeared in the third group of Group B‘s acting segments. The coincidence does not end there. 

Somehow I am beginning to feel as though I’m being some sort of a jinx to those I had proclaimed as best performers of the week in my drama show recaps. Remember how I had said that Aisyah was the best performer last week only to see her knocked out in the end??? It happened to Alfhian this week after I had said he was the best male performer. I’m beginning to wonder if my words might have had an impact on voters working extra hard to save their favourites from elimination or result in the voters of the better contestants being complacent that they had done enough. Either way, to borrow a quote from my counterpart, Iskandar, “Reality competitions are an absolute bitch…

The eliminated two this week. Photos courtesy of Mediacorp Suria

 The highlight of the variety show this week for me would have to be the judges not mincing their words to get their thoughts across to the contestants, either to those who were awaiting their respective fates or those in Group A who were seated in the audience. Though the tone of voices by the judges was subtle, one could see that they were giving their thoughts through gritted teeth; the words that came out from their mouths left an indelible mark, so much so that one could see how shakened and worried the contestants were. Even the ones seated in the audience felt it and they all would do well to take heed of what the judges had to say for future challenges ahead.

The panel of judges: (From left) – Khairudin Samsudin, Rilla Melati & Keatar H M

This was what the judges said last night:

Khairudin SamsudinGroup B was relatively better than Group A. However, this competition is meant for national viewing and not some school acting competition. Having watched the latter in the past, Khai admitted that some of the acting there were better than the ones he saw from the contestants. For a show meant for national television, the contestants need to buck up and not subject themselves to humiliation. On a sidenote, some came for the shoots unprepared by not memorising their scripts.

Keatar H M (Guest Judge) – Bro Keatar, a senior theatre activist and veteran television actor who sits on the Malay Artistes Association‘s executive committee as the Deputy President (for those of you cynics out there who wondered who is he and how qualified is he to be the guest judge), kept his comments short, simple, swift and sharp. He said that they were all not working as a team and were too individualistic.

Rilla Melati Bahri – Her words stung the contestants the most. I think the term made famous by legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, “Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee” befits her perfectly. Behind that petite frame and captivating smile that still charms the socks of many a man out there, Rilla certainly hit the nail on the head when she said that too many were lost in their own world or to put it in her exact words – “Syiok Sendiri“. There was simply no synergy of emotions being passed on from one actor / contestant to the other.

Adding on, Rilla pointed out painstakingly that acting is a craft in which there should be developments being seen and improvements being made in terms of diction and expression. She did not see the benchmark on what they had set out to portray. There should be actions and reactions between each player and no mimicking. Human emotions should be natural and progressive. If mimicking was what the producers were looking out for, then the competition shouldn’t be held altogether and instead employ the parrots over at the Singapore Jurong Bird Park.

As you can see, even though the analogy used was a bit strong, which resulted in the studio audience falling silent and in awe, I for one think that Rilla‘s words meant well and I hope the contestants would see where she’s coming from. As for those who think they can get away by coming to the shoots late or not coming prepared, welcome to the world of entertainment industry where your reputation is on the line every single minute and tongues will wag for nitty-gritty things you do. Even when the judges are not there in the flesh to watch you act out your scenes live, they have their trusted informers at hand. Every move you make now is being scrutinised, not only by the production team but also the public.

Professionalism is an attitude that is universal no matter what we do. Everyone has his / her own problems to solve but when it comes to work, do it sincerely like you mean it to be. There is no point wanting to be in this industry but your attitude states otherwise. Ask or look around you. The workforce industry, no matter what field you delve into, is the same everywhere. Your performances or productivity levels can be tip-top, excellent and even out-of-this-world, but if your work attitude sucks, then all your good efforts are wasted and go down the drain for nothing. All these negativities have to stop if you dream of some day representing our country, acting in a foreign production. If your attitude is already like this, will you still be proud to carry our flag and represent us??? Think about it…

Congratulations to the ones who had progressed to the next round. I hope that for Alfhian‘s sake, he has done enough to impress producers out there to make him a television star of the future. He certainly has potential and looks and when I watched the various VTs on him, he is comfortable expressing his thoughts in a very structured and matured way. As for Sarah, her looks are her plus points. I had said that her performance was not bad, but not spectacular either, which shows that there is much to work on. But given time, she will improve and I believe that is not the last time we see her on national television…

Highlights of the Show

A bulk of the Group A contestants who will duke it out next week. Even Mohamed Nur who was eliminated last week came to lend moral support to his previous fellow competitors, which is always a nice thing to see…

The studio audience preparing themselves for the show…

The pre-show host, Dyn Norahim, explaining the dos and don’ts to the audience. That’s Netty Fiona, from the production team, sneaking up from behind…

 
 

Roze Kasmani, the guest performer of the show, kicking things off by singing her current single on the airwaves, “Harum“. I thought she sounds much better live. Here’s wishing Roze all the good things to come in due time…

 

The resident hosts, Suzairhe Sumari and Huda Ali welcoming us to the show…

Group B easing tensions by posing for the cameras during the first commercial break… After what happened last week with regards to the coincidence in dressing of the eliminated contestants, I couldn’t see any from this photograph, other than the fact that Alfhian and Sarah were aligned front and back. Even then it wasn’t supposed to be that way since they were all leaning against each other…

Suzairhe trying to crack a joke to ease Group B’s tensions…

Relief etched on the faces of the contestants who were safe…

And worried ones on those in the Bottom 6…

Till we meet again next week. Group A‘s contestants promoting their voting code numbers. I certainly like Mohamed Nur‘s sense of humour. And no, that’s not Ramli Sarip in his youth on the rightmost side of the photograph. All the best for next week, guys!!!