Pesta Perdana 2019 Media Conference

We are just a few days away from the actual Pesta Perdana event itself, relatively about 48 hours on the clock. Dunno why it took me this long to post this entry when the media conference event that took place to announce the nominees in the various award categories happened more than a month ago on 21st February 2019. A combination of being busy with several personal commitments, coupled with being lazy and procrastinating contributed somewhat to this very belated entry. I had half the mind to just skip doing it altogether seeing how short of a time I have to post this up with just a couple of days away. I just had to do it as the memory of the media conference itself, or rather its venue where it was held, was probably the best one I had attended in the history of this awards show. For the first time ever, the media conference was held at the beautiful Skai Suites on the 70th floor of Swissotel The Stamford, one of Singapore‘s iconic buildings and once billed as the tallest hotel in the world.

Mediacorp Suria’s prestigious television awards show, Pesta Perdana, will be held this year ‘live’ on Saturday, 30 March 2019 at the MES Theatre at Mediacorp. The event will be graced by Guest of Honour, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Minister of State, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Manpower. The biennial awards show, now into its 15th edition, honours the very best in local Malay television. This year’s show will be hosted by multi-talented actor, director and host, Khairudin Samsudin. As a celebratory prelude, fans had the opportunity to meet and greet their favourite celebrities and nominees in a special event called Viva Pesta! that was held on Saturday, 16 March 2019 at Mediacorp Campus Town Square. Hosted by A B Shaik and Farhana M. Noor, the event featured an exciting line up of immersive and interactive activities with delicious food and many instagram-worthy moments for the fans. In addition, fans at Viva Pesta! also attended a special prelude TV show, Pesta Perdana Ekstra! hosted by recently-minted Elit Suria winners, Hans Hamid and Hana Rosli. This show will air tomorrow on Friday, 29 March 2019 at 9.30pm on Mediacorp Suria.

Warna 94.2FM‘s Aura Shai was the host at the media conference…

A total of 31 awards will be given out at the Pesta Perdana awards ceremony from over 300 entries received between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2018. Shortman Films’ social drama Bantal Buruk Saloma leads with 11 nominations while Mediacorp Eaglevision’s “Tujuh Hariis close behind with 10 nominations. This is followed by Flipside Stories’ “Mekah Di Hati and Millenia Motion Pictures’ “Tekan Minyak which are tied with 7 nominations each. In a nod to the budding new talents of the industry, this year’s Pesta Perdana boasts a total of 30 first time nominees in the performance and creative categories. Interestingly, for five celebrity families, it is all the more special as they are all up for nominations in the various categories and they are:

  • J.A. Halim, Aminah Ahmad, Helmindra & Fizah Nizam (Father, Mother, Son & Daughter-in-Law)
  • Sani Hussin & Rosita Hussin (Siblings)
  • Seriwahyuni Jaes & R. Azmann (Husband & Wife)
  • Faisal Ishak & Umie Isa (Husband & Wife)
  • Haslinna Ja’aman & Danial Nazim (Mother & Son)

Ms. Sabariah Ramilan, Head of Malay Audience & Eaglevision, Mediacorp addressing the guests at the media conference…

Other nominees include Papahan Film’s “SR115, winner of Best Original Screenplay at the Asian Academy Creative Awards 2018 and finalist at the New York Festivals TV & Films Awards 2019 for Drama and Best Screenplay categories; Xtreme Media’s “Swap Kerja Sr 2, finalist for Outstanding Variety Show category at the 4th Asia Rainbow TV Awards 2018, as well as Filmat36’s “Kembara Kasih Sr 3, nominee for Best Documentary category at the Venice TV Awards 2018 and finalist in the Community Service Programs category at the New York Festivals TV & Films Awards 2019. Two other nominated programmes, “Bonda and “Projek Kasih, are also recognised finalists at the New York Festivals TV & Films Awards 2019 for Drama Special and Variety Special category respectively.

Ms Sabariah Ramilan, Head of Malay Audience & Eaglevision, Mediacorp, said, “For nearly two decades, Mediacorp Suria has been working closely with local production houses and talents to ensure our programmes entertain, engage and remain relevant to our audiences. We are proud to see our programmes receive recognitions at the regional and international stage, but it is right here at Pesta Perdana that we celebrate and embrace the achievements of our homegrown talents.”

Hisyam Hamid being sandwiched by his missus, Mel Hanafi, and veteran actor, J.A. Halim

Though I agree with what was said, I did have a chat with several local personalities in different fields whom I will not name, who said a lot can be done after 15 editions of the awards show. For one and this has been mentioned extensively amongst the people in the industry, it would be nice to have monetary cash rewards to go along with the trophies they receive, something that we tend to see on some awards shows across the Causeway. However, to put things into perspective, Pesta Perdana is like our own local Malay version of the Emmy Awards. If we were to put it along parallel levels of such awards show (the Grammys and Oscars included), monetary awards are not given out, yet the prestige in winning speaks volumes for the artistes’ or production houses’ reputation, potential and quality. Monetary cash rewards means we need big sponsors pumping in big money. In reality, do we have that in the first place???

From left: Ryan Sufiyan, Razi Salam & M.K. Kash from Flipside Stories, and Fadhli Abdullah

For the Most Popular Male and Female Personality categories which are decided by voting, a prominent personality mentioned that it would also be nice if we were to take a leaf out of Channel 8‘s Star Awards show and crown the Top 5 or Top 10 from each category. Voters can have an initial choice of 30 from each category, 10 from the veterans, 10 from the current and the remaining 10 from the up-and-coming cohort. This particular system makes it an inclusive category and not leave the veterans forgotten or feel as though they are cast aside for younger, more good-looking and marketable personalities. I know for a long time, our local television scene has this tendency to favour looks over talents in the name of marketability, but I think it would not hurt at all to have the more veteran ones have their day in the sun. At least they know they have a place in the hearts of viewers and not just the young ones with better social media outreach. For the record, the public may cast their votes for the Most Popular Male and Female Personalities on toggle.sg/pestaperdana. Voting has been opened since 15 March 2019 and will officially close at 10.00pm on 30 March 2019.

Erwin Shah Dawson was seated next to fellow award nominees Aien Aksan (middle) and Batrisya Soffian

Another thing I would like to mention and this I feel is repeated like a bad record on my end cos I’ve said the same thing before in the past, is that certain categories can be expanded or introduced to include more production houses and not just solely limited to one. I have nothing against Mediacorp Eaglevision cos they, like all the other production houses, produce good and quality programmes on television. But when one category is dominated by just them, it doesn’t look quite good on paper as it looks as though it is favouritism, since they are producing this awards show after all, though I do note that this is probably an (only) avenue to honour their amazing in-house writers and producers. They can probably tweak the categories in future or as what I had mentioned in the past before, to have other production houses produce more of these Variety and Variety Special programmes on Suria, not just limited to them and being an in-house production company of Mediacorp. I think once in awhile, a different and fresh injection of ideas from others can produce a different kind of show on television. At least then we can deny the brickbats on social media that local television shows are one and the same.

From left: Atyy Malek, Endang Rahayu, Andy Idris and Huda Ali

With that said, I am looking forward to attending and covering this Saturday‘s event, as it is looking more likely that this will be the only awards show this year that local television will witness. I’ve heard and this has been confirmed by several people that my favourite awards show, Anugerah Planet Muzik, has been consigned to the history books, a big pity really, as this was an event that I looked forward to fervently every year, not only for the array of stars coming to perform and win the regional awards on offer, but also an avenue for our local musicians, artistes and songwriters to be recognised for their contributions to the music scene. My appeal to the powers-at-be is never to forget nor cast aside our local acts. Even if we were to resurrect the one-time Anugerah Hitz SG, I will be more than happy because this domain of mine was afterall first conceived, in the aim of supporting local music acts, though I sometimes blog on other regional acts on show here as well. Doing away with APM took a big chunk out of my interest in blogging and seriously speaking, I really lost interest and almost called it a day when I first heard the news. I guess that partly contributed to why I hummed and hawed before finally deciding to post this entry up.

A beaming Fadli Kamsani, who is now the latest face in Warna 94.2FM‘s stable, seated alongside his good friends, Danish Ashraf (left) and Farhana M. Noor

Pesta Perdana goes live on Mediacorp Suria at 8:30pm this Saturday, 30th March 2019. The Red Carpet event will be shown live on Mediacorp Suria‘s Facebook page from 6:30pm onwards.

Pesta Perdana 2019 Full List of Nominees

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Graphics Posters of Nominees courtesy of Mediacorp Suria…

Snapshots of Pesta Perdana 2019 Media Conference

Viva Elektra 2014

Viva Elektra

(Graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

It’s been awhile since I did a review on an event that I attended at the Mediacorp TV Theatre. Simply because when I accepted the invites from Mediacorp Suria to attend these shows or events, more often than not, I did not see the need to review as they are either a light-hearted affair or for charity. I was there to just snap photos of the event and during the reception afterwards without seeing the need to comment much. Sometimes I don’t need to voice my thoughts as others have done it for me on social media. Anyway there are so many keyboard warriors out there too quick to jump on the bandwagon of criticising without giving substantial suggestions. I guess it’s a favourite pastime now to use one’s handphone keypads to comment every single thing they see on the google box, be it good or bad. I’m guilty of it sometimes when I watch football and passions are running high.

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I note from several people I’ve met of late that this blog has somewhat stagnated and that the writer (or should I say, typist???) behind the words on this domain has lost his zest and panache to hit where it hurts, or to put it kindly, give a wake up call when it mattered. Over the years as I mellow down and become less confrontational and got to know more people, I find that it is a challenge to be as hard-hitting as before. I had to tweak and fine-tune my style so as not to be too cynical or cause frictions with others in the long run. Maybe fatherhood has made me more forgiving, understanding and giving others the benefit of doubt but I like to think I type better when I’m having that red mist and I don’t quite experience that as often as before. Wish I could post more entries but like I said from time to time, I am not paid to blog and this is something I do as a community service as and when I am free from my work, family and personal commitments.

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The front row audience consisting of bigwigs in the local media industry as well as guest of honour Dr. Mohd Faishal Ibrahim

Anyway, I was honoured to be invited again to attend the recent Viva Elektra event at Mediacorp TV Theatre. The two-hour variety special was the fourth instalment by Suria and was previously known as Suria Elektra (2010), Rock Elektra (2011) and Bandstand Elektra (2012). The show belatedly celebrated the formation of MediaCorp’s Malay Broadcast Division, the merger between television channel Suria and radio stations Warna 94.2FM and RIA 89.7FM, hence there was an eclectic mix of performers from radio presenters to television personalities and established recording artistes that night. Viva Elektra in a way, symbolised the division’s hopes to establish a commitment to continually bring high quality programmes to their audience, be it on radio and television. Expect to see more of such shows in the near future involving the radio and television personalities. We are already anticipating cross-platform programmes like TeRaSeh 2.0, R&D and the sixth season of infotainment show JUS! this month. Viva Elektra was just the start!!!

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The men who made the night ticked – Dyn Norahim and Khairudin Samsudin

Looking at how the radio and television personalities collaborated on stage, I had a feel-good feeling that we can expect more entertaining shows on television and radio as well. Yes, I will not deny that I’ve heard rumours going round that certain gigs and jobs are affected due to the merger, but I would like to call upon all the artistes who might feel a little slighted that their places and roles in television programmes might be taken up by their radio counterparts, to treat this as a healthy competition. Granted we might not be like our next door neighbour where there are so many channels one can tune to and for radio and television personalities to still do well when they cross platforms, but there are possible avenues that can be explored. Radio could possibly have seasonal guest hosts like what Fauzie Laily did co-hosting Skoolz with Nity Baizura a few years ago. Or if they were to have a shake-up of personnel, who knows, they might just rope in some of these television personalities into their stables??? Let’s not see it as a form of hindrance to one’s rice bowl, but to work as a unit to lift the standards of our local Malay entertainment scene.

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The cast of Tak2ut (from left): Ashmi Roslan, DJ KC, Fadhlur Rahman and Wan Haddad

Maybe a little criticism I would have of Viva Elektra was that feeling of imbalance in some of their segments. While the skit involving the Tak2ut cast (Ashmi Roslan, Wan Haddad and Fadhlur Rahman) and DJ KC seemed a bit short, the Bangsawan and Pentas Radio segments felt a wee bit too long for my liking. I just feel that the song performed by Eiss, “Arjuna (Mencari Cinta)“, was redundant and only served to prolong the segment, even though the audience and myself were tickled by the humour presented by all the performers involved. It is nice to see new faces on television like Wan Haddad and Nurfarhana M Noor given their big break on a big scale event as this. Also Junaidi Sali who often plays a supporting cast to be given the limelight he deserves after all these years.

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Fauzie Laily (left) seldom gets comedic roles but when he gets them, he excels…

Nurfarhana it has to be said, is a name and face to watch this year. Her stock is rising and it is not easy to score a lead role in one’s debut drama series (Rima Hatiku) and subsequent ones like Follow Fasha, unless one has the potential and package to succeed. She is currently seen in the new season of Di Luar Garisan and will be one of the participants for TeRaSeh 2.0. I won’t be surprised if she scores a hosting gig in the near future cos she has that bubbly personality to do it. You heard it first on this domain. Another one to impress me was RIA 89.7FM‘s Dzar Ismail. I’m a big fan of his daily Singa Maksima programme and from one karaoke session we had some months ago, I could see his hidden talent and passion in rapping, which was displayed that night when he performed “Cerita Kedai Kopi” with Tukangkata and Sezairi Sezali. I know some people do not quite like his sometimes excessive energy levels, but I think he is a breath of fresh air on radio. And yes I still claim credit unashamedly for saying he belongs in radio when I assessed his performances when he entered Anugerah Skrin back in 2010.

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The one to watch this year – Nurfarhana M Noor. A flower blossoming at a continued pace…

Another criticism I would add on will be the choice of performing artistes and some of the songs they performed. Before the show, I saw on social media how people lamented that it’s basically the same faces over and over again. To some extent, I would agree with them as I too felt the same way when I saw the list of performing artistes slated to perform. No I am not attacking or blaming the singers who performed cos they are all excellent in their own respect. My complaint would be a lack of more variety than what we’re used to. Take for instance we have so many bands producing good quality music in Singapore. The likes of Diorama, Tujuh, Klutz are some of the bands that are under-rated here. And if you speak of individual acts, there’s Reyza Hamizan, Sufie Rashid, Chomel, Aidil Akmal, Nurdiana Saad, upcoming acts who deserved to be given their dues and be introduced to the masses.

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The hosts replicating Ellen Degeneres at the recent Oscars and taking a selfie photograph with the audience…

I appreciate that we would want to entice people to watch as their favourites would be performing but it does not send a message that the artistes feel appreciated, even though radio plays their music on a daily basis. There is no point having your songs known on radio when people still dunno who you are. Just ask Audionauts when they won at APM2013. There were still people asking on social media and on newspaper reports wondering who they were. “Rentak Laguku“, the song performed by Aliff Aziz, Eiss and Sezairi Sezali, was another one that I felt was a bit redundant as it was only as recent as last October that we witnessed Amy Search and Bunkface performed the song at APM2013. And even though I love Taufik Batisah‘s “Sesuatu Janji” amongst all his songs to date, I think that was the fourth or fifth time he performed the song at a Suria event, in addition to APM2008.

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Group photo with all the performers that night once the cameras stopped rolling…

Overall, Viva Elektra was an enjoyable show, even if it did overrun by about eleven minutes. The choice of having Khairudin Samsudin and Warna 94.2FM‘s Dyn Norahim was a good one, with both trading barbs at one another and the latter being the brunt of many of the former’s jokes. At certain points, Dyn looked jittery but it should be forgiven as this was afterall his first live television hosting gig. Speaking to him afterwards, he said that it was nerve-wrecking and a very different experience compared to his daily live show on radio. Like many others before him, I am sure he will grow into the role and be better. Am certainly looking forward to seeing him host the new season of JUS! alongside the gorgeous Ainon Talib and Nurul Akhmar come the end of April. For now I can’t wait for TeRaSeh 2.0. It’s gonna be an absolute riot!!!

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 Episode 6 Recap…

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Episode 5 cum Results Show was a fresh twist in terms of venue. Thanks to the unavailability of the smaller studios that had been host to the show since the start of the current season over a month ago, for this past week only, the show was held at the bigger confines of the Mediacorp TV Theatre. It was definitely a welcome change and a venue which I much prefer as it is more spacious, and thus allowing more people to attend and support their favourite contestants. Two more contestants – Mohamad Idris & Mariah Mahfar – were eliminated from the competition by the end of the show.

Nana was the guest artiste this past week, as she performed her latest single “Aku Milikmu“. A pleasure to finally meet and chat with her in person albeit for a short while after the show…

After a somewhat tensed episode last week, the judges were much nicer this week with their comments. Nevertheless their pearls of wisdom were still words to savour as they pointed out the glaring flaws which the contestants need to improve on. Guest judge Azhar Nor Lesta, even though he is a man of few words, rammed home the fact that the contestants need to brush up on their command and understanding of the Malay language as they are afterall, performing in the medium. He was particularly disturbed by the pronunciation of a basic word like “hela” which the contestants had mispronounced at the start of the show during the short introductory skit. He stressed on the fact that they should read Berita Harian and Malay books / novels religiously to strengthen their vocabulary and understanding of the language.

For the first time in the competition, I observed no coincidences with regards to these kind of poses and shots I took.

Adding on slighly later when asked by resident host Huda Ali what tips he could give the contestants who have advanced to the quarter-finals stage, he gave two important elements that they should have within themselves – Discipline and Team Player – traits that have been stressed upon them throughout the competition. If they were to follow these two important traits and have them wherever they go, then God willing, they would be successful in their craft. He could not have said it better when he alluded to the fact that it is all fine and dandy if one were to be a good actor but if they lack these elements, nobody would want to work with them. I guess these two points have been repeated over and over again and it could be heard again in the weeks to come.

Khairudin Samsudin (Khai) observed throughout the five weeks of competition so far, there were those who were attentive to the tips and advices given, which translated to improvements being made, with two to three unnamed contestants showing progress. There were also those whose performance levels just seemed to dip as the weeks go on. Khai added on that there should also be a “Master & Slave” element, which is the ability to be in control of the situation and time given during their respective scenes, when to grasp and be the focal point and when to step back.

As for my favourite judge Rilla Melati, she noted that some of the contestants were ready to step up into the quarter-finals, but still sees room for more improvements to be made. She said that she is beginning to see the potentials and commercial value in Halimah Yahaya and Biwa Mastura. An important tip that she passed on was, the contestants have to be mindful of their surroundings, to observe and use real-life events or personal experiences as points-of-reference. Adding on, she urged them to invest in upgrading themselves on how to look better with regards to skincare and the usage of make-up, as with the advancement of technology and the upcoming age of high-definition television, their facial presentation would be magnified even more to the watching audience.

Congratulations to Halimah Yahaya, Sakinah Rahim, Biwa Mastura, Shahril Kahar, Muhammad Dzar and Raja Razie for making it to the quarter-finals and a chance to improve themselves further in the Bootcamp. By the way, the Anugerah Skrin Top 12 contestants will make an appearance at the Anugerah Skrin 2010 Roadshow which is to be held at East Point Mall on Saturday 12th June 2010 between 3-6pm. The guest artiste thus far confirmed to perform that day will be Roze Kasmani

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!!!

Group A Contestants Promote Their Voting Codes…

Ok due to my regular futsal sessions every Tuesday nights, I am unable to give an immediate review on the acting segments, which is good timing for me really cos it is not a live event in the first place and I am able to record and analyse the acting later on. So in the meantime, before you guys wait up for my recap, here’s Group A promoting their code numbers for this week. I had a great time recording and laughing at their antics. Such a fun bunch they are…

The ladies (from left): Mariah Mahfar, Nissa Bahruddin, Sakinah Rahim & Halimah Yahaya… Biwa Mastura was not around but here’s her voting code for the week (8)…

The guys (from left): Shahril Kahar, Muhammad Fahmy, Mohamad Idris, Muhammad Dzar & Raja Razie…

Group B contestants, hope I can record something similar on Friday… 🙂

By the way, if you had missed out on watching last night’s acting segments, you can catch the repeat telecast tonight at 11pm only on Mediacorp Suria


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 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…