Ratu Episode Five Recap…

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The fifth episode of Ratu was once again held at the smaller Studio 4 this past Tuesday, 25 December 2012, with the theme of the week celebrating “womanhood” and mothers in general. Not surprisingly, when we touch upon the topic of mothers and think of our own, we can’t help but perhaps shed a tear or two when we are reminded of all the sacrifices and hardships that they had gone through to bring us up. And this was very much evident during one of the segments, where the contestants were reciting the poetry extolling the virtues of mothers out there and some were seen tearing or had their eyes glistening with tears, which they tried to fight away from trickling down their cheeks. It was a good tribute to have, but at the same time I also observed who was able to capture the mood and emotion well, which could prove in future whether they are able to replicate when they embark in their journey in the entertainment scene as movie / drama actresses.

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Rahayu Ridwan was a fresh change for once, being the only female guest artiste so far in the competition series…

Our guest judge this past week, Rita Zahara, was a breath of fresh air in my opinion. No disrespect to all the previous guest judges we have had over the last four episodes but I think she is what the competition needs, someone who is extremely comfortable being bilingual, who gave valuable insights as well as advice, and not hesitant / struggling with the things she wants to say. The one that should resonate in the minds of the contestants was the one Rita pointed out that she wanted to see how warm and sincere the girls were with their smiles, not only on stage but also when she observed them backstage. In a very harsh industry known for its backstabbings, dishonesty, insincere and fake outlook by some bad apples out there, the advice she gave was one which the girls and even us, can apply in our daily lives. We might be going through some tough times, but a smile especially towards others, can be a very significant gesture or even cure.

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Judges Nuraliza Osman, Hafeez Glamour and Rita Zahara

This past Tuesday saw another round of culling of the Top 10 contestants. Coincidentally, the two eliminated contestants, Jannah Jakasha and Elfiana Ismail, happened to be the only cabin crews in the competition. While the former’s ousting was kind of expected due to her being quite raw, I was a bit surprised with Elfiana‘s elimination as she had been one of the more confident contestants coming into this past week’s round. Fatin Amira seems to be gaining momentum as the weeks go by, and based on what I had said the previous week about us getting an idea on who might be a possible Top 4 candidate within the next two weeks, I think it might be safe to say that she has the attributes to make that round, bar any hiccups along the way. Since Sheril Izzyana‘s elimination, Fatin Amira has taken over the mantle of someone with the voice for radio / television and Wida Alisa is also not far behind in this aspect. Tiara Atyra also deserves a mention for her composed answers.

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Hosts Fauzie Laily and Marina Yusoff

But there is also another name which I feel might be a possible Top 4 candidate or go on to star in future Metrowealth International Group‘s productions. No I will not mention her identity, other than this being my personal observation and should not be taken seriously by the contestants, or even you reading this. The other day I read a Berita Minggu article on Atikah Suhaime, who was scouted by Major David Teo of Metrowealth International Group via Instagram and who had also attended the media conference to introduce the sixteen contestants of Ratu. The article stated that Major Teo had left comments on Atikah‘s photos and subsequently invited her for screen tests. I noticed this past week that Major Teo had left smiley emoticons on a contestant’s photograph/s, a possible indicator that he might have set his sights on giving her an opportunity like Atikah.

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The girls in their Zalora outfits. Very chic!!!

Though it could mean anything, or I might be over-reacting over smiley emoticons, or that he could have left it at other contestants’ photographs in Instagram as well which I might have missed out, I cannot help but feel that no matter what happens in this competition for this contestant, she can be assured that the big man himself has taken notice of her and might invite her over to Kuala Lumpur, where they are based at, for screen tests soon. But of course, instant success is not a given in this industry and she, along with the rest, knows that the last three weeks of the competition will be crucial and will not be the end of their journey, if they were to carve a name for themselves in the scene. The hard work is only shifting into second gear and the girls know it themselves. Exciting last three weeks of the competition lie ahead, though I hope I will not jinx whoever I had mentioned in my previous paragraphs, since those I had praised in my previous entries have so far gone out.

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P.S. I just wanna say how happy I was with the continued improved styling on the girls as the weeks go on. And after four weeks of tying up their hair in all sorts of styles, we finally got to see them letting their hair down and this I must point out brought out their physical beauty a bit more. When they wore fashion designer, Lulu Alhadad‘s Kaftan creations, I thought that this hairstyling thing should have been done from the start. I mean, if you want variations, you can tie them up for one segment and let their hair go in another. Cos some of the girls don’t look that good with hair tied up in certain styles, but much better when they let them down. This I can attribute to the shape of their faces and whether it suits them well or not. But still, it was a very refreshing change to see them. Am hoping we could see more of it in the last three episodes.

Shahril Kahar & Diana Amran’s Marriage Solemnisation Ceremony…

1st July 2012, was a memorable day for Anugerah Skrin 2010 finalists Shahril Kahar and Diana Amran, as they tied the knot and solemnised their union in a low-key and humble ceremony at Bukit Batok Civil Service Clubhouse. Their wedding was the fourth after Jasmine Amira, Aziela Roza and Biwa Mastura from the Anugerah Skrin 2010 cohort, held in recent months. And another contestant from that batch, teacher and part-time radio presenter Dzar Ismail, is also due to walk the aisle towards the end of 2012. Cupid not only struck the two lovebirds who tied the knot yesterday, but there is also another set of lovebirds who fell in love after they were eliminated from the 2010 competition, Nissa Bahruddin and Nur Nasir.

The wedding which was originally slated at the end of the year was brought forward at the request of the bride’s late father, Allahyarham Amran Bin Ali, who sadly passed away from lung cancer four days before the event. And on another sombre note, the groom’s father was admitted to the hospital three days before. I guess for those of you who do read the local Malay papers over the past weekend, you would have read what a testing period it had been for the two newly-weds leading up to their wedding day. Thankfully with the help of close friends and assistance by other family members, the event went on as planned and it was a beautiful one may I add.

To Shahril and Diana, I know it has been a very challenging period for you both, physically and emotionally, but nonetheless I share your happiness. May Allah bless this union for eternity and may you both be blessed with intelligent, and filial children. Congratulations again you both!!!

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On behalf of the bride and groom, I would like to thank the following for making the wedding event a success:

Charisma Bridal & Catering

Bukit Batok Civil Service Club

Clique Studio Works

Makuanza Network

Sugar Pops & Cuppy Cakes

Gubahan Cinta (Guestbook)

Wandi Air

Fact3 Production

SY Boutique

Wizard of Lights

Martini J

Anugerah 2011 Roadshow Revisited…

Last Saturday 4 June 2011Anugerah 2011 ventured out from its usual surroundings and gave the semi-finalists the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the public in an outdoor setting. As the event venue (Nex Shopping Mall) is situated about ten minutes away from home via MRT, it was also a chance for my family to watch it live, as normally I would be the only one attending the weekly episodes at the Mediacorp TV Theatre. The show was hosted by the show’s resident host Fauzie Laily and roving host Nity Baizura, who took over the duties of Huda Ali, who is away in Kuala Lumpur due to her work commitments.

The event was further graced by the guest performances of rap duo Komrad (J-Boy & Fariq), Anugerah 2007 1st runner-up Maiya Rahman and Singapore Idol Season 3 alumnus Faizal Isa. Each guest performance was special in their own right. Komrad introduced their new single “Aku Masih Cinta“, Maiya wowed the watching crowd with her rendition of Beyonce Knowles‘ “Listen” and Faizal mesmerised with his take on Bruno Mars‘ “Just The Way You Are“, but with a slight twist. He injected Malay lyrics into the song and named it “Puncak Angkasa“. 

I must say, the song did not sound out of place at all. I imagine it could rise up the local charts if he dares to record it and send it to our local radio stations for airplay. I mean, if you can have the Chinese music market with a host of cover songs from English artistes, it wouldn’t hurt to have them in Malay, provided they do not kill the essence of the songs. We used to have quite a few of them, massive evergreen hits back in the 70s, in case the critics out there are quick to denounce my suggestion.

The event was in every word, a good way to expose the six semi-finalists to the public and also for them to gain the experience of performing outdoors. It was an opportunity for them to live the dream, mingling with their fans and signing autographs as well. They basically sang songs which they had performed during the qualifying rounds as well as the recent quarter-finals. I was interested to see how they would perform in a non-competition atmosphere and I must say if last Saturday was a good gauge of their respective potentials, then every episode should be approached in a non-competitive mindset.

All of them performed much, much better than what you have been watching on television weekly. I was also surprised that they seemed to have all the fears in the world come Tuesdays, yet they shed their inhibitions away on an outdoor event like last Saturday. I hope from this experience, they will go on to enjoy their subsequent performances and not think too much about the competition. As the judges have drummed this into them, they should start thinking as singers and not competitors. I’ll let the photos I took do the talking henceforth…

Anugerah 2011 Roadshow At A Glance

 

Fauzie was every bit a joker, teasing his fellow host, audience, guest performers and the contestants…

Nity did an excellent job covering for Huda

Three lovely ladies – Norhayati Samad, Raudaa Razak & Wati Kasim manning the merchandise booth…

The day’s roving host, Anugerah Skrin 2010 runner-up, Diana Amran

Salut to the guys from KomradFariq & J-Boy

Nity looked on as both Anugerah alumni members Fauzie & Maiya took turns taking the mickey out of the other…

Maiya reminded the audience what a vocal powerhouse she still is…

Faizal Isa looking buffed from his National Service commitments…

Belting out his first hit single “Maafkan Ku Oh Cinta“…

Followed by a cover of Bruno Mars‘ hit “Just The Way You Are“, a mix of English & Malay which was titled “Puncak Angkasa“…

Shikin kicked off the semi-finalists’ segment with Adibah Noor‘s “Terlalu Istimewa“…

Bunkface‘s “Revolusi” was Ace‘s choice of song…

Erlina sang the song which she performed in the quarter-finals, Nurun Nuwarrah‘s “Kau Ingin Ku Miliki“…

Baby Sulastri brought the house down with Ayu‘s “Hanya Di Mercu“…

Epul‘s choice of song was Aizat‘s “Lagu Kita“…

Rahayu Ridwan reprised the song she sang in the quarter-final, Roze Kasmani‘s “Harum“…

One of the lasting images of the day’s event, the semi-finalists mimicking Ace‘s trademark gesture, when he sang Shahir‘s “Kebahagiaan Dalam Perpisahan“…

Another lasting image was of Erlina adding a bit of nifty footwork when she performed Agnes Monica‘s “Tak Ada Logika“…

Getting acquainted with life of being a pop star…

Wifey got to take a shot with Shalyza Rosly who was there with some of the contestants who were eliminated earlier…

My daughters wanted to take a photograph with Shikin

And Baby Sulastri, who is Syahindah‘s favourite contestant

Pesta Perdana 11 Snapshots…

I know my Pesta Perdana 2011 Review last week was filled with a lot of words and photos featuring only the hosts and the winners. It was meant to be deliberate so I could break my entries up, lest I wouldn’t have much to feature in the days / weeks ahead, knowing how dead this blog has been for about half a year. So this entry will be filled with photographs during the event itself as well as during the recorded show whereby the Creative Awards were given away. So without further ado, I leave you with some of the snapshots I took throughout the evening…

Television viewers did not get to see Zan Sofiyan during the commercial break entertaining the theatre audience along with the guest magicians…

The hosts – Suhaimi Yusof, Nurul Aini & Najip Ali welcoming us to the show…

Award presenters Khairudin Saharom & Huda Ali

Award presenters Fauzie Laily & Habriyah Nasir

Award presenter Wahyu Rahman…

Who was partnered with Vadi

Award presenters Sufian Ahmad & Kunjung

Eiss performed “Gerimis Di Hati“, the official soundtrack from the drama series of the same title…

Syed Azmir & Maiya Rahman performed “Angin (Bawaku Pergi)“, the official soundtrack from the drama series “Puteri Omera“…

Rifaah Ridzuwanulhakim crooned to “Lara Sepi“, which was used as the soundtrack to the tearjerking series “Pinggiran Ramadan“…

SleeQ put up an energetic performance singing their composition “Singapura Syiok“, the soundtrack of the infotainment programme of the same title…

Singapore Idol alumnus Matilda D’Silva sang “Project Hope“, the song specially composed for the charity show of the same title…

Award presenters Moliano & Rozie Rahim

Award presenters Fadhlur Rahman Rahimah Rahim

Award presenters Diana Amran & Shahril Wahid

Award presenters Bobby Tonelli & Pamela Chin

Award presenters Suzairhe Sumari & Suhaillah Salam

Award presenter and current Editor of Manja Magazine, Ruslina Affendy

Eddie Ali introducing the theatre and home audience to the Perdana Emas Award recipient…

Award presenters Rahima Yusoff & Zaidi Ibrahim

Mystifying Imran performing his brand of magic tricks…

And he was accompanied by Kunjung and Maiya Rahman who performed “Asmaradana”…

SleeQ, Eiss, Aliff Putra, Revalina and Fauzie Laily combined to perform the latest Mediacorp Suria song to close the show…

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…