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 Episode 4 Recap…

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

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

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

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

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

Khai sharing his words of wisdom…

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

Group photo during the commercial break…

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

The bottom 4…

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

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

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

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

Other Highlights of the Show

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

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

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Drama Episode 3 Recap…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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…