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 8 Recap…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Highlights of the Episode

Before the show, the audience was laughing along…

To Dyn Norahim‘s jokes…

The eliminated contestants along with mentor Sri Wahyuni Jaes…

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

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

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

Not Exactly A Recap…

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Show Episode 7 Recap…

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

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

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

The customary weekly welcome getting underway…

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

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

Smiling for the cameras before the dreaded announcements were made…

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

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

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

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

The ousted two…

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

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Episode 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!!!

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…

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Episode 2 Recap…

GUTTED – This one word summed up my feelings on a night whereby I had presumed that separating the cream of the crop from the mediocre would be quite simple and hoping that from previous reality show experiences, the voting public would be wise and mature enough to gauge who deserved to go through and who did not. While I did predict that Mohamed Nur‘s position was precarious alongside Muhammad Fahmy and Mohamad Idris, based on their performances during the first drama episode, I certainly did not expect one of the, if not THE, best performer i.e. Siti Aisyah to be eliminated so soon.

Which goes to show that even when someone performs to or close to his / her potential, they are not considered definite shoo-ins with the voting public having a lot of say at the end of the day and that was what happened when I spoke to a few of the production team afterwards. Remember what I said in the last entry that you should “vote for those with real talents, not because they are cute, pretty, handsome or related to you. We too have the responsibility to lift our local acting standards through the votes we make to the rightful and deserving contestants. Remember, your personal favourites might one day represent us in drama series or movies through regional tie-ups and you would do well to vote wisely and not subject them and our industry to embarrassment in future if they were to come up short…“??? Please exercise your votes correctly…

 

The eliminated – Mohamed Nur and Siti Aisyah

Honestly if you ask me, none of the ladies deserved to go out this past week, even if I had wildly predicted that Mariah Mahfar would be the one to be eliminated. Two of them who made up the bottom three, Halimah Yahaya & Sakinah Rahim, as I had mentioned before, had limited lines during their respective segments and had relatively easier characters to play with, which did not require them to go out of their comfort zones. While it is a relief that their journey did not end, the same could not be said of Siti Aisyah, who made a good impression in her angsty role. All the more I feel that it is an extreme pity for her, as unlike previous Anugerah competitions, there will be no Wildcard rounds this time round for the previously eliminated to be resurrected. I hope I am wrong and that the producers would have some surprises up their sleeves to keep the spirit and interest in this season’s competition going. Maybe they would if future weeks turn out like this.

Seven of the Group B contestants who came to give their counterparts moral support from the stands. From left: Ariff Salleh, Aziela Roza, Nasriah Zainuddin, Erwin Shah Dawson, Syirah Jusni, Aidil Jufri and Diana Amran

After the results were out, I went over to the Group B contestants seated a few rows in front of me who will duke it out next week, some of whom looked quite shakened by the results, and wondered if their fates would go the same route as Aisyah & Nur. I reminded those that I managed to talk to, that sometimes that proving themselves as credible actors is not enough, neither would them being good-lookers. They have to work on their likeability factor when they have those precious few seconds to talk about themselves to the cameras as a prelude to their acting segments. Yes this is a very brutal competition. What comes out from your mouths, what is expressed on your faces can sometimes be misinterpreted by the watching public, which could either gain you supporters or make them turn against you. Though I did not get the chance to share this with Group A, I know they would be reading this and take heed the next time they go into battle.

Huda Ali getting the perspectives of the judges…

Personally I feel the short half hour live variety show is a bit rushed. I would prefer this to be an hour long programme, with the extra minutes dedicated to the panel of judges zooming in at each individual contestant’s good and bad points during their acting segments, pointing out how they could improve, what improvisations they could have made, rather than subject the show’s hosts to read selected one-liners from the judges’ revered opinions. In any reality show, the judges wise words add colour to it and with some of them, what they say would either be remembered or be a source for debate. I think it is a pity that with all the experience that Rilla Melati and Khairudin Samsudin have since they were child stars, their skills are not imparted and shared to the public as well. Even the guest judge for the week would have lots to share. Why I feel this way is because young upstarts who aspire to be in the industry would use the programme as a source for knowledge in time to come and work on it for the time being. Yes I know the mentors would have shared what could have been done to the contestants off-camera, but it is also good to hear other perspectives and sharing it with the masses…

Tengku Adil performing “Mariam“, a tribute to The New Paper‘s 2001 New Face of the Year winner Mariam Daskalapolou

But for all the apparent gripes I have, I should commend the producers for using our local acts to entertain viewers and at the same time promote their latest singles / albums. Tengku Adil, an Anugerah 2003 alumnus and quite the under-rated performer in our local Malay music industry, was given the honour to open the show with his song “Cinta Dia” and performed his current single “Mariam” towards the end of it. I was disappointed I wasn’t able to attend the official launch of Adil‘s single last week at Earshot Cafe situated at the Art House @ Old Parliament Building, no thanks to my reservist commitments to the nation. Seeing him perform live last night made up for what I missed the other day. And so, the stage is now set for Group B to show us what they are made of. Tune in to Anugerah Skrin Drama Episode 2 on Tuesday 11th May 2010 at 8:30pm only on Mediacorp Suria

Other Highlights of the Night

Dyn Norahim, the pre-show host…

Tengku Adil kicked off the show with “Cinta Dia“…

Great to see Huda Ali back on the show and teaming up with Suzairhe Sumari

For someone who just recovered from chicken pox, Huda sure did not look like she had it… 

Group A smiling for the cameras before knowing their respective fates. God knows what was going through their heads then. I noticed something coincidental about the eliminated contestants in this photograph. They were both wearing black vests, unlike the rest. I’m not sure if Raja Razie‘s outfit could also be classified as a jacket or vest but the coincidence between Aisyah & Nur is surely eerie…

 The bottom six…

 

 And down to the bottom four…