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!!!

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Drama Episode 2 Recap…

(Graphics courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

Anugerah Skrin 2010 returned this past Tuesday night for the second episode of the Drama Show. After watching Group A‘s performance last week, it was up to the second twelve contestants who made up Group B, to up the ante and prove to the watching audience that they too deserved to be where they are in the competition. Cos let’s face it, time and time again, we keep on hearing the same thing about having looks but not enough talent to boot. So it was Group B‘s turn to show that they are made of sterner stuff. As mentioned on last Friday‘s results show, the theme for this week’s drama segments was “Romance“.

Shahril Wahid, the host for the show…

Due to its general theme, naturally I was expecting a lot of love being showered all over by the characters portrayed by the contestants. However, I was surprised that all three segments ended up as tensed affairs culminating in shouting matches and in the case of the last one, it ended with one of the guys (Fadzli Mohamad who played as “Zul“) getting “beaten up”. So much for love and romance there. But hey, I’m not gonna start blaming the scriptwriters about it for the apparent “misleading”, since weekly general themes are afterall not supposed to be rigid and open to expansion. And so, I begin by scrutinising the performances of each individual contestant:

Syirah JusniSyirah kept her portrayal simple, with her facial expressions matching her voice intonation. Not much impact due to limited lines. But where she lacked, she made up for it with astute delivery. Well she has to, as she has some theatre background, so the onus to perform better than the rest weighs heavily on her. A looker who at first glance reminds me of Huda Ali but she looks like Fiza O in this snapshot…

Aidil Jufri – He has an easily likeable face to begin with. Aidil displayed good portrayal of angry emotions at the start, but then his momentum went downhill a bit as Erwin‘s character came into the picture. He needs to strike a good balance and show a smooth transition between anger and calm. His voice tones and breathing somehow betrayed his outlook as one could see the jitters in him.

Aziela Roza – Along with Halimah YahayaRoza was another contestant I had the benefit of witnessing during the auditions. Somehow, Roza seemed unfocused of what’s happening at the beginning, looking down and trying not to smile. Even when Syirah‘s character appeared, she was still trying to stifle her laughter. To her credit, she improved as the scene progressed, the highlight of her performance being the cracking of her voice when she pleaded with Erwin‘s character, which to me is an art that not many of the contestants could do naturally, period.

Erwin Shah – On the surface, Erwin comes across as a nice boy who is incapable of showing his anger. For this role, he had to open up and act as the protective brother to Roza‘s character. Alas his real-life good natured personality got the better of him. Even when he tried to show his anger, one can’t help but feel that he needs to work a wee bit harder on this aspect. By the way, Happy Belated Birthday to you bro. He celebrated his birthday this past Tuesday 11th May 2010.

Collectively as a group I would say that their chemistry is at best patchy especially between Aidil‘s character and Erwin‘s. I just felt that both guys were not going all out when they were interacting with each other. One could sense how much they were holding back, just by looking at the uneven flow of emotions being put forward. The ones who did reasonably well were Syirah and to some extent, Aidil. Roza needs to remain focused and Erwin needs to shed away his goody-goody image and personality for his character, if he wants to be taken seriously. Cos even when he tried to show his anger, I felt like laughing seeing him with a goofy face.

Nasriah Zainuddin – The most unique contestant by virtue of being the only hijab-wearing lady. While Nasriah‘s cries and mucus-inducing performance were rather commendable, her naturally stern-sounding voice did not lend justice to her overall.  Her role required her to be soft, yet firm with her stand against pre-marital sex. As such she should learn to soften her tone and be a little more gentle in the way she speaks, cos she did sound like a gangster when she asked Ariff‘s character who were the other couple who came into the scene.

Firuz Khan – I could not find much fault with Firuz other than the fact that his eyes were shifty when it was not his turn to speak. He would do well to learn to be aware that the cameras are still focusing on him even when he remains quiet and not break character. His strong point was matching his tone of voice with the anger on his face. The classic eye-ball popping expression was simply spot-on.

Jasmine Amira – I did not quite like the way she entered the scene and said, “Eh Zed??? Kau rupanya…” The tone of her voice and her expressions did not come off as natural. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw that was, why did she ask the question when she already knew it was him, since she uttered those words even before she looked at his face. Her overall performance was also forgettable as she drifted in and out of emotions, unsure of when to press on with her tone and when to be relaxed.

Ariff Salleh – My namesake did a tremendous job portraying his character as a rich playboy who sees women as nothing more than sex objects. However, as the segment neared its end, he undid all the good work he had done by confusing the viewers whether he had meant to laugh or cry after losing Nasriah‘s character. It would be interesting to see how he fares in other roles after this as I’m afraid that with this performance, he might be typecast as a villain in future.

In a nutshell, this was an opposite of the first group’s performance. While the earlier group’s male characters had little chemistry, I thought the two guys here were feeding off each other’s energy very well. But the one whose chances of progressing to the next round I fear the most is Jasmine. She seemed quite troubled trying to balance the different emotions of her character. Yes it was quite challenging for her but the same could be said of the others as well. The nice thing about this scene was it was filmed a stone’s throw away from home.

Diana AmranDiana‘s voice reminds me of Huda Ali. At certain angles she looks like the real McCoy. Heck, even when I saw her from the back at the results show last Friday, I almost called her “Huda” until she turned around and saved me from possible embarrassment. But I think she is a cross between Linda Onn and my old friend, Liza Hanim. Ok I know I am drifting away from what I’m supposed to do and that is to comment on her performance. Frankly speaking, I only have one word to describe it: Excellent!!! Enough said!!!

Alfhian Dalan – When I watched his overall performance, I can’t help but be reminded of another old friend, Nick Mikhail. In fact I could imagine Mikhail himself delivering this role with extreme ease. Personally I feel that Alfhian was the best performer amongst the guys this week with his suave, yet cunning outlook. He obviously knew when to be devious and play around with his facial expressions, even when he did not have lines to deliver.

Sarah Anissa – Even though Sarah could be commended for being able to bring the tears out, her voice projection seemed rather muffled as I tried to listen to her dialogue. One thing Sarah needs to be wary of is how she delivers her lines. Besides muffling, she was also dribbling over her words. It’s not a rap-fest my dear. Her emotions should also remain focused and not drift away from what she had portrayed originally, but overall she did well. Not bad, but not spectacular either.

Fadzli Mohamad – He has the look of a villain, but his role required him to be soft-spoken, which came off a bit odd in my opinion. His facial expressions showed that he looked sly and his apparent forced tone of voice did not come across as natural. When he spoke softly to Sarah‘s character, or to be fair at least he attempted to, he was smirking when he should have put on a softer stance.

Collectively, their chemistry as a group was excellent, the best of all who had performed over the past two weeks. Diana and Alfhian stood out with their excellent deliveries and their confidence actually spread on to the other two, even if Fadzli had come up a bit short individually with his patchy performance. Fadzli it has to be said, is possibly playing with fire, especially if the judges’ votes are not kind towards him.

I have good news for Group B. I think overall they did generally better than Group A. Could it be due to the extra week of practising on their own, even though they would have gotten their scripts a few days before filming their respective segments just like Group A??? One thing’s for sure from my own personal observations, as it stands right now, there are several raw diamonds in Group B waiting to be polished further. In the weeks to come and provided they are still in the competition, we would hopefully be seeing them improve on their respective performances and capture the imagination of audiences alike. Till the results show tomorrow night, here’s a reminder that the lines to vote for the Group B contestants will close tomorrow evening at 6pm. The voting codes have already been included in the snapshots I took above…