RIA 89.7FM’s Silver Jubilee Celebrations…

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It has definitely been a long while since I last posted something in this domain of mine. I know I had promised before this that my next entry would be a review of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2015. I have been quite tied up with my own commitments and still have to go through 3000-odd photographs from the 5000-odd that I had snapped that eventful night. I hope to post it up soon when I start to clear my annual leave. For now, I’ll share the event I attended about three weeks ago. At least this domain will not be dormant for too long.

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Kaw Kaw SG was the official event venue of the birthday bash…

RIA 89.7FM celebrated its twenty-five years of existence this past 1st December 2015 with a birthday bash held at Kaw Kaw SG, a chic restaurant situated at Aliwal Arts Centre. What was special about the birthday bash was, twenty-five lucky listeners got a chance to join in the fun through a week-long quiz during the week leading up to the event. I was supposed to attend their mini bash when they celebrated their 24th year anniversary last year held at Penang Street Buffet at Causeway Point but family commitments meant I had to give it a miss, but not this time.

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A shot of the cafe’s interior before the birthday bash…

I was fortunate to have been invited to cover the event and soaked in the festivities, not to mention, walked down memory lane reminiscing all the good memories of all the roadshows I attended, competitions I had participated and won, and also involved in some of the productions when I was an intern with both local Malay radio stations. Long-time listeners would remember me as part of the trio who impersonated KRU and won the Impersonation Category when the station organised the talent competition kRIAtif 897 back in 1997. That was the start of my love affair with the local Malay entertainment scene.

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The birthday bash was hosted by DJ KC and Dzar Ismail

Anyway back to the birthday bash. Not only were twenty-five lucky listeners able to join in, some of our local acts in the Malay music scene, were also invited to grace the event. And a birthday bash of this magnitude for the radio station would not be complete without the very pioneers who had paved the way and charted the road to where they stand today as a progressive and trendy station, that supports local acts and strives to give off optimal entertainment to the loyal listeners tuning in.

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The ones who have made RIA 89.7FM what it is today (from left): Hassan Salleh, Abdul Razak Rahim (RZ), Suriani Kassim (SK), Isadhora Mohamed, Raja Razie, Mohd Tahar Ghalib (TG), Morniyati Tukimin and Mariam Mas’od

It was nice to see the likes of Morniyati Tukimin, who was the first voice heard when RIA 89.7FM went live at 5pm on 1st December 1990, Suriani Kassim (SK), Abdul Razak Rahim (RZ), Mohd Tahar Ghalib (TG), Mariam Mas’od, Hassan Salleh and Isadhora Mohamed be a part of the occasion. Though I felt it would have been grander still had the likes of Hafeez Glamour, A B Shaik, Azmi Sempoi, Azmi Oh Yeah, Zarina Safuan, Chairul Fahmy, Zan Sofiyan and a host of other part-timers attended as well, but I guess all of them had their respective commitments to attend to.

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Art Fazil with an impromptu performance of “Relek Brader” with the two hosts…

We had special performances by the two current hotties in the local Malay entertainment scene, Sufie Rashid and Ryan Sufiyan, Farhan Shah who came all the way back from Perth, an impromptu performance by Art Fazil, Didicazli who introduced his new single “Izinkan Cinta“, as well as his protege, Hazirah Musfirah, a 14 year-old rising talent, and last but not least, former member of SleeQ, Syarif, who came with his expecting missus, Malaque Mahdaly. Initially, Dato’ Fazley Yaakob was slated and promoted to perform, but he was unable to make it due to last minute commitments. Nonetheless, those who had performed, more than made up for the non-appearance and everyone still felt contented and left the event feeling enjoyed.

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The attendees and guests of the birthday bash cramming together for a group photograph…

Another special aspect of the birthday bash was, it was broadcasted live on air between 3-5pm, so those who were unable to make it or joined in the fun, were fortunate enough to tune in and imagine the goings-on at Kaw Kaw SG. To complete a celebratory occasion, RIA 89.7FM was also awarded the longest tuned station in Singapore in a recent survey by AC Neilsen. For the record, Kaw Kaw SG was the official event venue sponsor of the birthday bash. Other sponsors for the bash were One Drop Perfumes, Karva SG, Perfect Frames, Nongsa Resorts, Grey By Ortenhill, Heiraz Bakery & Academy, Lovera Singapore, Hello Adiva, Suka Sucre Bistro, Inglot Singapore, Alive Museum SG and “Sambal Belimbing” by Roslan Shah

Anugerah Planet Muzik 2014 Pre & Post-Event Snapshots

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Thank God for the public holiday later today. Yes I’m typing this in the wee hours of Tuesday night. Done with the second batch of photo editing. This time I’ll be featuring snapshots I took before Anugerah Planet Muzik 2014, during the commercial breaks as well as the post-event reception afterwards. Hope this would satiate your thirst for more photos before I post even more with the “Walk of the Stars” event in my following entry, which I hope to put up as soon as possible and finish off with my APM2014 review, hopefully before the end of next week. Yes, am taking my time because I am only doing this on a passion and hobby basis. If I’m doing this as a paid career, I would definitely post everything before the week is out. So yes, please continue visiting this site soon. Enjoy the public holiday today and hope you like this entry as well… 🙂

Te:RaSeh! 2.0 Episode 9 Recap…

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The contestants might have felt uncomfortable performing the Boria during the earlier weeks but they seem to enjoy it as the weeks progress…

It has been a week since Episode 9 of Te:RaSeh! 2.0 was aired, but the high entertainment and humour aspects of that particular episode are still fresh in my head. I think it just edged the seventh episode as the most entertaining of the series thus far. The theme for the night (Horror), ensured that whatever costumes or make-up the contestants put on, were sure to tickle our fancy and scared those with faint hearts. Put in each contestant and how they immersed themselves in their respective characters, it was a laugh-a-minute fest that had people like me and my kids watching the re-runs and still laughing at the jokes days after. I personally feel that Fauzie Laily deserved the Celebrity-of-the-Match award as he was in character (dead World War II Japanese soldier) throughout from start till the cameras stopped rolling, and all the way, even after the show had ended.

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A. B. Shaik doing his best Michael JacksonThriller impersonation in front of his amused colleagues Khairudin Samsudin and Dalina Jaapar

I will not begrudge Azlin Ali as she too was also a deserving winner in her role as Makcik Keropok, when she appeared onstage at the start of the show munching on the Papadam in her hand and sharing it with the rest. When Danial Ashriq (Chucky) did his somersault from the stage during the Final Face-Off (Te:Ra! HabisBoria), Azlin responded in kind by jumping off the stage and treating the already-bewildered audience with her own dance moves. I thought there and then that she was to be anointed the Celebrity-of-the-Match for tickling our bones with her antics, and I was not wrong at the end of the show. For the record, Azlin joins Suzairhe Sumari as the only two celebrities who have won the award twice throughout this season’s competition. No mean feat, but it is also testimony to how good they were in their respective roles and characters given to them by the producers of the show.

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The Mats, always game for a fun shot like this…

It was also a good show as it put everyone at the edge of their seats and willing each team on to win. It was nervy, not only for the contestants but to the watching audience in the Mediacorp TV Theatre, as well as those at home. I felt that the fight between both teams were so close, anyone could have won it. Going towards the Final Face-Off (Te:Ra! Habis – Boria), both teams were separated by just ten points, with the Mats leading by that slender margin. In terms of showmanship, prose and creativity in delivering their lyrics, I felt the Mats edged the Minahs slightly, but with a guest judge who openly showed her support to the Minahs right from the first quarter of the show, I felt it was a losing battle for the Mats no matter how hard they tried and how good they were. I would like to believe that the show of support was deliberately done to shake the confidence of the Mat and dealt them a psychological blow, but no matter how I look at it, it’s not good viewing even for a show of this fun nature.

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The Minahs showing who was the number one last Tuesday

No, I am not saying the guys deserved to edge that last segment just because I’m a guy, but I think if we were to throw aside the bias and be more rational, we’ll agree that the guys showed better creativity when delivering their lyrics. Even some of the Minahs I spoke to post-show, agreed that the guys did slightly better. This is where I hope the Grand Finals tomorrow will be a fair affair. We already have two resident judges who represent each gender and can get away with the bias, though to their credit they have not been showing it so blatantly these past nine weeks. It’s the guest judges who hold the wild and trump cards. We could do without a repeat of last year’s mini-controversy whereby some of the guest judges showed whose side they were on. A judge has to be impartial afterall, even if this is a fun competition to begin with. One can show their quiet / gleeful support for their favourite teams via their votes during the Face-Offs, but not through openly-blatant display for the whole world to know. It somehow kills the spirit of competition and demoralises the other team, resulting in quiet discontent.

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Not surprised with the voting, with the Minahs clinching the overall win…

Though I am a bit disappointed with that particular aspect, I am still pleased to see the Minahs closing the gap as I had earlier predicted. Going into the Grand Finals tomorrow, from what I understand, the winner will win double the points, which means if the Minahs were to win, they would eventually leapfrog the Mats and end up being the dominant gender, not to mention the overall winner. As the score stands, the Mats are leading 5:4. With so much at stake for tomorrow’s Grand Finals, we’re going to see all the contestants giving their all in the special two-hour show. It’s gonna be another heart-stopping affair with the line-up ensuring there will be a good mix of contestants with differing abilities, capabilities and personalities. The Minahs will be represented by Nurul Aini, Huda Ali, Syirah Jusni, Azlin Ali and Nurfarhana M Noor. The Mats will have Suzairhe Sumari, Fauzie Laily, Fadhlur Rahman, Danial Ashriq and Hafeez Glamour fighting in their corner.

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Post-show interview with the Malam 2 Mat hosts Hafeez Glamour and Dyn Norahim. Azlin Ali stayed for the first ten minutes before going off as she had her daily morning show and needed to rest for the night. Nurul Aini and Danial Ashriq stayed throughout…

Before I end my entry, I would just like to commend Wawan Husen from Auraz Band for being the best Celebrity DJ throughout the nine weeks, at least from my personal standpoint. He did so much better and was so fluent as compared to some others who looked a little lost and unfocused, which resulted in some of the contestants and audience wincing and lamenting afterwards about points lost during the Q&A segment. For his reward, I believe Wawan will be back for another round tomorrow. Another three that did well so far and caught my eyes were Ashmi Roslan, Ryan Sufiyan and Shikin Imran. Not too sure though how many will be allowed in the radio conty tomorrow. But what is more important is that, I am hoping for a clean, fun, entertaining and fair fight from all contestants as they not only entertain us with their antics, but also channelling all their efforts for a good cause, winning points and monetary proceeds for their respective charity beneficiaries. I wish all the contestants all the best and play safe!!!

Te:RaSeh! 2.0 Episode 8 Recap…

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Episode 8 of Te:RaSeh! 2.0 last Tuesday (27 May 2014) served up a rare sight not seen in the previous seven episodes – a proper spanking for the Mats and a stunning win for the Minahs in all segments. Something had to give and the Minahs truly rose to the occasion to close the yawning gap that threatened to make this competition a cakewalk for the Mats. Whether the guys deliberately played the role of chivalrous gentlemen and gave the win to the ladies on a silver platter or the ladies found a fighting spirit from within, we will continue to debate for weeks to come, but the fact remains, a win for the Minahs was just the tonic for them to lift their flailing spirits and build on the momentum for the upcoming episode happening tonight.

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Judges Sheikh Haikel, Rilla Melati and Mr. Hassan Salleh were in no doubt who ruled the roost that night…

For the very first time in the competition, the Minahs aced through all the segments and the final scoreline was simply unthinkable, a landslide of sorts, the kind of spankings that they were used to receiving between Episodes 2 to 5 from the Mats. How nice and satisfactory it was that they finally managed to buck the trend and dish some of their own medicine back. The Minahs were also on the charm offensive right from the start with different team chants targeting each individual judge. Though I would give full marks for creativity, the execution and synergy during the delivery could have been done a bit better. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the guys getting walloped for once, even though I did detect that they were being generous by playing it cool.

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The hosts, Khairudin Samsudin, Dalina Jaapar and A. B. Shaik, in costumes depicting the theme for the night – World Culture

It was also nice to see Huda Ali finally get one back against hubby Den Sabari during the Final Face-Off (Dikir Barat). All those practices in private with Den, prior to the show, paid off big time for Huda. It also helped that Den was too immersed in his character to the point he was inaudible. The choice of anointing Izyan Mellyna as the Celebrity-of-the-Match was a long time coming in my opinion, as I felt that she should have been awarded that title in the very first episode when she did an extremely good impression of Diana Ross. A rising star in our local Malay entertainment industry, Izyan is set to make waves, starring in her first movie, “Banting“, which would be released this coming August 2014. A former child star having appeared in kiddy shows like “Ya Alif“, she is also a mean stage singer. Just type her name in YouTube, and you will see some of her performances as she belts out crisply like a professional singer.

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Izyan Mellyna, Huda Ali and Den Sabari had a great time at Warna 94.2FM‘s conty with Malam 2 Mat hosts, Dyn Norahim and Hafeez Glamour.

With all due respect to the Mats, I think tonight will be another episode where the Minahs will close the gap and make it 5-4 on aggregate, leading up to the Grand Finals next Tuesday (10 June 2014). I base my predictions against the line-up tonight and their performances in the previous episodes. The Minahs on paper look a bit stronger to contend with. In their corner tonight will be the one who leads by example – Nurul Aini, the one with the most determination and willpower in her – Azlin Ali, and the fiesty and gregarious Nurfarhana M Noor. For the Mats, we will see Fauzie Laily, Danial Ashriq and Fadhlur Rahman carrying their hopes. The Mats need to kick the show off in style by gaining the upper hand in the first segment (Fuhhh Te:Ra!). From there, they need to build on the momentum for the Q&A segment (Te:Ra Kapa?) and pick the right lyrics for the Final Face-Off (Te:Ra! HabisBoria). Can they do it and prevent the ladies from winning again for the second week in a row??? We’ll get the answers tonight at 8:30pm, only on Mediacorp Suria.

Te:RaSeh! 2.0 Episode 7 Recap…

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It was a hard fought and close fight between the Mats and Minahs in Episode 7 of Te:RaSeh! 2.0, even though the eventual scoreline betrayed what transpired throughout the hour-long show. Yes, the guys were simply brilliant, led by celebrity-of-the-match Suzairhe Sumari, but so too were the ladies, who fought with every sinew and guile within them. I was with the participants backstage prior to the show and the din they created gave me goosebumps, which made it feel like a carnival atmosphere or even the Grand Finals itself. I knew for the first time, this was not gonna be like any of the first six episodes. There was banter and mickey-taking all round, some friendly exchanges of thrash talk between both teams. There was certainly an adrenaline rush felt by everyone and I just knew the night was going to be a bit special as war was about to break out live on national television!!!

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Viewers at home and at the Mediacorp TV Theatre were not to be disappointed. Everyone onstage played their parts well and contributed to a very entertaining and humourous show. Everything we saw last Tuesday night (20 May 2014) was a mixture of planned skits and a spontaneous reaction to what went on. Both teams gave as good as they got. Those that were not slated to battle lent their support and just let their hair down as evident when we saw the Final Face-Off (Te:Ra! Habis – Boria). I personally think every episode should have been like this, with everyone enjoying themselves and making us forget for awhile that it is a competition. Even the judges were not spared from being surrounded and “manhandled”. In the case of resident judge Rilla Melati, she was yanked up to the stage by the ladies. Guest judge, BJ Kadir had his shirt accidentally stained by Mastura Kumari‘s (a.k.a. Mastura Ahmad) make-up. It was extremely hilarious and everyone was buzzing right up till the post-show interview over at Warna 94.2FM was done.

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For the sake of interest in the competition, I would really, really hope that those who are not slated to battle it out for a particular episode, to come down and lend their support for their colleagues and create an absolute corker onstage. Unanimously, people I spoke to from the audience, to viewers at home and even those behind-the-scenes agreed that it was the most entertaining episode to date. Evidently, everyone made the most of their presence onstage, some I have been told, had lost their voices from all the cheering, whooping and singing. Who can blame them??? My only regret is that the personalities involved in this competition would not be able to go on a road tour like last year due to logistical difficulties. We had so much fun last year atop the Hippo Bus and it’s just disappointing that the same could not be replicated this year, seeing how everyone enjoyed themselves this past episode.

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All the contestants played their parts well, immersed themselves in their respective characters and were more confident as compared to the qualifying rounds, where some were seen holding back. Tomorrow, 27 May 2014, the eighth episode of Te:RaSeh! 2.0 will have Den Sabari once again going head-to head with his wife Huda Ali. Joining Den will be Hasif Nasir and RIA 89.7FM‘s Dzar Ismail. Huda herself will be joined by Izyan Mellyna and Seriwahyuni Jaes. Another intriguing battle will resume and both sides will have experienced Dikir Barat enthusiasts for the Final Face-Off. After the euphoria of the past episode, I hope and anticipate for another repeat. If they can even get those who are not involved in the semi-finals to support, all the better. As they say, the more the merrier. Indeed it was a merry affair and long may it continue till the series end in less than a month’s time…