Anugerah Skrin Episode 8 Recap…

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 8 005

I foresee another short entry just like the last one. This past Tuesday (15 March 2016) saw the competition saying its goodbyes to four contestants, thus leaving the Top 6 to duke it out in the Grand Finals episode in a matter of nine days from the day I published this entry. As the same format applied from the previous week, the male contestants who were up against one another had to act out scenes from popular drama shows on Mediacorp Suria over the past year or so, with another established actor from the opposite gender. This week saw them collaborating with the likes of Farhana M Noor, Izyan Mellyna, Hashimah Hamidon, Era Farida and Mariana Yati. The guest judges from the previous week, Ariati Tyeb Papar and Zaidi Ibrahim, returned once again to the hot seats.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 8 288

Farhana M Noor and Fadli Kamsani…

Fadli Kamsani was first up with Farhana M Noor, from a scene taken off Rempuh. Judge Sharon Ismail was not quite impressed when she commented that Fadli‘s acting was one-layered and he needed to find more reasons for his character to be unhappy. I personally found the performance quite average because there were times when his body language and dialogue delivery did not quite sync. For his hosting segment, I actually like hearing his voice tone, calm and measured, though I also agree with judge Khairudin that his intonations could be better expressed when stressing of certain words. I also note that Fadli looked a bit tensed and that he was trying to maintain his presentable outlook more than trying to get himself messy. The least he could have done for his segment was wear an apron, or better still, donned the chef’s hat, even if his involvement with decorating the cake was minimal. I was thinking, what was so scary or fearful about decorating a cake???

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 8 722

Iskandar Shah and Era Farida…

Iskandar Shah was next as he paired with Era Farida in a scene from Bubur Masjid Air Katira season 3. Guest judge Ariati pointed out that Iskandar‘s performance seemed rushed and his emotions at the start of the skit, were not in tune with his dialogue. I found the comments a bit too harsh as I thought he gave off a confident performance, though not as the same level as the one he had when he sparred with Syaiful Ariffin a fortnight ago. I liked the way he mouthed off his lines, with firmness, clarity and authority, just what the role called for. His hosting segment felt a bit odd though, in that they classified learning to dance the Zapin as something to be “feared”. Judge Sharon noted that he overacted and that singing during the introduction did not quite suit what was required of him. While I agree that singing was perhaps redundant, moreso because he did not get enough “lenggok” to his tune, actually it was something different and unique that he injected into his style. On the part of overacting, it was minimal if you compare Iskandar‘s style to Danish Ashraf‘s.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 8 892

Izyan Mellyna and Kamarul Arifin…

Izyan Mellyna reprised her role as Farhana in the recently-concluded drama series of the same title. She was paired with Kamarul Arifin. I tried to get a feel of their scene, both when watching live at the Mediacorp TV Theatre and upon watching it again via Catch-Up TV, but both instances I felt a certain feeling of emptiness at Kamarul‘s character portrayal. It felt one-dimensional and hollow, even if he tried and gave off his best to inject emotions and sadness to his character. The dialogue delivery failed to leave an impact on those watching and this was also pointed out by guest judge Zaidi Ibrahim, who said it lacked character. Kamarul‘s hosting also did not quite impress me that much because I felt he was more concerned about how he looked onscreen and his diction, than being natural and getting himself hot and sweaty for his rigorous activity. My mind was made up after watching his acting performance that he would be one of the two male contestants to be eliminated.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 8 1274

Syaiful Ariffin and Hashimah Hamidon…

If I was squirming when I watched Yaya Hamid and Fir Rahman last week, that same feeling returned when I watched Syaiful Ariffin in action with Hashimah Hamidon from their scene taken off Mengejar Mentari. What was most eye-catching about this acting performance was Syaiful‘s intense eye-contact with his sparring partner. It felt so natural even if the whole situation felt a bit wrong. Like what judge Ariati had said, there was sincerity in Syaiful‘s acting though I have to caution him that his intonations can sound a bit off, but it was minimal for this performance. Based on his academic background alone, Syaiful seems the strongest when it comes to acting and he needs a very good sparring partner for him to give off his best as we have seen two weeks ago with Iskandar Shah and this week with Hashimah. His hosting though needs lots of improvement. At times it feels as though I am watching an “orang lama” because he has a kind of style of presenting, complete with facial expressions, that remind me of the actors and personalities from the glory days of Jalan Ampas. Actually he wouldn’t look out of place if he were to be cast in shows depicting that era.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 8 1629

Mariana Yati and Danish Ashraf…

Last but not least, Danish Ashraf. I did say in one of my previous entries, he has been quite fortunate to have been getting roles that fit his personality. In fact his similarities to Anugerah Skrin 2006 alumnus, Junaidi Sali, are uncanny in that they both tend to excel in comedy and antagonist roles. Which is why I felt he has not been properly challenged yet up till this point. Danish teamed up with Mariana Yati from a scene in 2014‘s popular Belah Hati series. For the first time, I saw a weakness in Danish‘s acting performance and this had more to do with him being challenged out of his comfort zone. He looked a bit off trying to balance his emotions which required him to be exasperated, angry and eventually sad by the scene end, which was not easy. Personally I did not quite like his acting performance for this round and thought he looked vulnerable for the axe, but that is me being a bit harsh. However, I felt he was the best amongst the rest when it came to the hosting segment. He has a distinct style of presenting, full of natural wisecracks and funny quips, even if the cynic in me would say he tends to overact. The only complaint I have is the same as the one I made with Fadli Kamsani‘s, in that he should have used an apron and wore a chef’s hat, not only for realism’s sake, but also hygiene purposes cos both of them were dealing with food.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 8 1793

Seconds before the elimination…

I had envisaged in my last entry the ones who would leave the competition amongst the young ladies who competed last week, even though I did not identify their names. I was half correct when I guessed Wirda Elliesa‘s elimination right, but I was caught between Syafiqah Shahlan and Shida Lestaluhu. I think what tipped Syafiqah‘s favour was her hosting segment which she aced amongst her fellow competitors. As for the guys, I had Kamarul‘s elimination spot-on, but I did not see Iskandar Shah‘s coming. It hit me like a bolt out of the blue and I believe, just like Ain Zainal‘s elimination a fortnight ago, a number of people were left reeling in shock as well cos we did not see it coming. I had actually thought the other elimination would go the way of Fadli Kamsani or Danish Ashraf, but both of them made it to the Grand Finals.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 8 2026

Presenting to you the Grand Finalists of Anugerah Skrin 2016 – Danish Ashraf, Fadli Kamsani, Syaiful Ariffin, Nurul Nadia, Yaya Hamid and Syafiqah Shahlan…

Next week, there will be no live broadcast from the Mediacorp TV Theatre nor Studio 4 as footage from the Boot Camp, which the finalists have gone through over two days this past Wednesday and Thursday at Changi Civil Service Club, would be aired instead. Which means, I get a much-needed break from my weekly entries on the competition. Please do not expect any entries on the Boot Camp episode as I will not be making any, but I believe there are other self-styled critics out there who will be doing it, complete with scene-by-scene takes and comments on everything and anything they see. And so we say congratulations to the six finalists – Syafiqah Shahlan, Danish Ashraf, Nurul Nadia, Fadli Kamsani, Yaya Hamid and Syaiful Ariffin. Commiserations are due to the four eliminated – Wirda Elliesa, Iskandar Shah, Shida Lestaluhu and Kamarul Arifin. I think it’s too cliche and oft-repeated, but it is never the end of their journey once they are eliminated. There will always be avenues and opportunities for them. They just need to improve and hone their craft on their own. Others before them have done that, who is to say they cannot follow suit??? 🙂

Snapshots of Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 8

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 7 Recap…

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 7 1643The female semi-finalist contestants (from left): Nurul Nadia, Shida Lestaluhu, Syafiqah Shahlan, Wirda Elliesa and Yaya Hamid

It was all about “Girl Power” this past Tuesday night (8th March 2016), as the first semi-final episode of this year’s Anugerah Skrin competition was aired live from the small confined space of Studio 4. In line with the International Women’s Day celebrations that day, the five young ladies who have progressed thus far at this stage, were given the opportunity to take centrestage. For the semi-final rounds, the contestants are required to act with a renowned actor from the opposite gender and from scenes of popular drama shows on Suria, which these more established actors have acted in. As for the hosting segment, they were tasked to host outdoors and alone, unlike previous rounds where they had a sparring partner amongst themselves. This past week, their hosting tasks brought them to the island of Sentosa. Last Tuesday also saw an addition of two guest judges in Ariati Tyeb Papar and Zaidi Ibrahim, two previous Pesta Perdana winners, no slouches in their respective crafts.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 7 148

Jeff Catz and Nurul Nadia

Nurul Nadia was paired with Jeff Catz for the first acting segment of the night and they acted a scene from the four-part series, SAGA. Khairudin Samsudin commented that Nurul Nadia‘s performance was superb and I feel that it was justified. I think it helped her a lot in terms of putting in the sad emotions when Jeff‘s character blew his top and raised his voice at her. The only downside was her lack of eye expressions which looked as though they disappeared somewhat when she cried. As for her hosting, it was a bit of a hit and miss for me, good in patches and having less confidence during the rest of the takes. At this stage, one’s confidence should be up there already and not stuck with the jitter bug. At times I see Nurul Nadia a bit too meek. She has to come out from her fear and comfort zones if she wants to win this competition. However, I think she might be good enough for a grand finals spot by virtue of her acting performance alone. Finally, the judges realised her voice resemblance to Huda Ali‘s which I had pointed out weeks ago when the competition first started.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 7 320

Norman Ishak and Wirda Elliesa

I personally thought Wirda Elliesa did slightly better than previous weeks, when she was partnered with Norman Ishak for their scene taken from Firasat. However, she was told that her character’s supposed firm traits had more anger instead. This is where the finer technical details of their acting are scrutinised by the judges as we get closer to crowning them as winners. For the laymen like us who watch from the comfort of our screens, we feel that it was believable to an extent, but perhaps not in the eyes of the judges. I personally felt a bit uncomfortable watching the preview scene when they were interviewing both of them, cos when Norman was being interviewed, Wirda was looking down and adjusting her hair, instead of towards the camera, a slightly bad habit I noticed since the earlier episodes. Some viewers might view that as lacking in manners, but to give benefit of doubt, I believe she might have thought that the focus of the camera was on Norman alone. As for her hosting, it felt quite ordinary and the questions posed were too basic though I dunno if it was part of the script or they had to think of the questions themselves. Instead of “promoting” the Luge, I think the attention of the viewers was more on her than what she was presenting about.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 7 630

Fido Ahdross and Syafiqah Shahlan

For the first time in the competition, I detected a lack of confidence in Syafiqah Shahlan’s acting performance. She has always been a model of consistency but during her segment with Fido Ahdross, when they played out a scene from A&E, I could sense that her mind was probably not focused with what she had to deliver, thus resulting in a lack of emotions and an overall average performance. Not for the first time that night that the judges pointed out the lack of expressions in the contestants’ eyes. Syafiqah‘s saving grace was her hosting performance which had the word “FUN” spelt out in capital letters to indicate her personal experience and even the audience who might have felt the same, just by watching her segment. The only grouse I have is they could have gotten a better instructor who could speak the Malay language fluently. It felt odd watching a Malay-sounding named person speaking in English for a Malay programme. Worse, his grammar was atrocious for someone who is more comfortable speaking in English. I’m sorry, it’s my OCD kicking in…

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 7 990

A. Mahadi and Shida Lestaluhu…

I did say in my Episode 3 entry that Shida Lestaluhu was probably not ready for a comedy role yet. A month has passed since I made those remarks and even though I feel that she is still not yet ready, I note a better performance from her alongside A. Mahadi. They had reprised a scene from the highly popular Menantu International drama series. At first glance, the ad-lib of the tie on the mannequin in the scene felt normal, but upon watching again, I agreed with the judges that it sounded a bit off. Shida‘s intonations could also have been expressed better especially on the parts where she had her verbal joustings complete with traditional Malay idioms. For her hosting, I think she did better as an individual as opposed to having a sparring partner. But like what judge Sharon Ismail had pointed out, she has to be aware of her camera angles and not be seen as though she is looking down on her interviewee.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 7 1470

Fir Rahman and Yaya Hamid…

Finally we come to Yaya Hamid. If you compare her performance as well as Nurul Nadia‘s, whom I felt were the better performers of the night, I am more inclined to say I enjoyed Yaya‘s performance with Fir Rahman more. Their scene taken off Kosmopolitan, was a public display of affection (albeit in a private office setting), which had me feeling uncomfortable and squirming, for the fact that it seemed almost believable. I liked the way they interacted with their eyes towards the end, I thought it felt quite intensed and electric. I feel that Yaya‘s acting has steadily improved as the weeks progress, though I would also caution her that she can still improve on her stressing of words along with her emotions. Her hosting segment was good to a certain extent. There were times where vibrancy and zest were missing in her presentation delivery but overall I thought she still did ok. She was brave enough to let her hair down just going through the motions of the trapeze act.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 7 1754

The guys ready to rock Episode 8: Syaiful Ariffin, Danish Ashraf, Iskandar Shah, Kamarul Arifin and Fadli Kamsani

As expected, there were no eliminations in Episode 7. However Episode 8 will be slightly more brutal and intensed than previous weeks, in that four contestants will be given the axe, two each from the guys and ladies. I am not sure who amongst the ladies will be eliminated at this stage, because my personal observations might not tally with the judges. However based on the judges’ comments, I more or less know who will be saying goodbye to the competition this coming Tuesday. I will not say it here because I do not want to make the young ladies’ respective morale drop even before Tuesday has arrived. They left Episode 7 still smiling, which was a rare sight, and I do not want them to come into Episode 8 all sad and gloomy. Before I end, I just want to say, I love this particular entry as it is the shortest to date for this year’s Anugerah Skrin competition!!! 😛

Snapshots of Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 7

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 5 Recap…

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 5 018

Shah Iskandar and Huda Ali along with the Group A contestants at the start of the show…

We’re halfway through the competition and frankly speaking, I was in two minds whether to do an entry for this episode or wait till the sixth one is over before I combine both into one recap. Why I decided against doing it in the end is because I don’t want my entry to be too lengthy for you to read and digest. By the way, the Top 6 from Group A once again returned to the fore last Tuesday (23rd February 2016) on our television screens. The two earlier rounds showed that they were still relatively raw and had many rough edges that needed polishing. Personally I felt that Group B had a distinct edge over them in terms of knowing what is to be expected of them when it was their turn to be in the spotlight. Episode 5 was Group A‘s third foray and I was hoping it will be third time lucky for those still in the competition to produce much better performances than what we have seen in Episodes 1 and 3.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 5 119

The judges grinning away at the hosts’ banter when introducing them…

For the first time in the competition, the judging panel welcomed a guest judge who was not from the fairer gender. Izzat Yusoff, who will forever be remembered for his breakout role in “Soldadu” close to two decades ago, a “Pesta Perdana” winner back in 2013 for his supporting role in “Anakku Sayang“, as well as part of the stellar cast of “Di Pinggiran Ramadan“, which had also bagged the Best Drama Series award, took his seat alongside Khairudin Samsudin and Sharon Ismail. The unique thing about the guest judge for this particular round is that, Izzat will again be in the hot seat for tonight’s episode with Group B. I believe his scheduled presence for a second consecutive week is to have a certain standardised continuity in terms of the judging and evaluation, since there was no elimination afterall by the end of last week’s episode.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 5 613

The live hosting segment from the TV Theatre returned last Tuesday with the contestants paired up as hosts of a fictitious variety show titled “Pop Skrin“. The same pairings were also tasked to perform the acting segment together. Again, there was a first for last week’s episode. There were no more rigid boy-girl pairings from the ones we saw in the first four episodes. Instead we saw only one mixed pairing in Yamin Yusof and Syafiqah Shahlan, coincidentally both kicking off the night’s competition, with the other two pairings, up with those from their respective genders. The acting segment threw up a challenging proposition for the contestants to act out scenes from period / classic dramas of yore. The challenge meant there were to be no stones unturned in terms of researching and doing lots of homework for the roles given to them, especially the lingo that they should speak and is expected of them.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 5 299

Yamin Yusof and Syafiqah Shahlan…

As mentioned earlier, Yamin and Syafiqah opened the night’s competition with their hosting segment. I like their chemistry that night as there was a certain synergised coordination between them that was timed to perfection. There was also the element of listening to the other and reacting accordingly as mentioned by the judges in previous weeks. Syafiqah is a natural and every time I see her host, she seems to grow in confidence. Likewise, there was an improvement in the way Yamin presented, but he has to be aware when his lines are long, he needs to know the right points when to stress on his words and take a quick breath so that the delivery comes off as natural. Also when it comes to banter, Yamin has to learn the art of making it sound natural. Overall, I believe they made a credible start to the night’s competition and I was eager to watch how they would perform in their acting segment next.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 5 499

Shida Lestaluhu (as Tengku Halijah – standing) and Nurul Nadia as Raden Mas

Nurul Nadia and Shida Lestaluhu were next with the first acting segment of the night, acting the roles of Raden Mas and Tengku Halijah respectively. I dunno if it was jitters, but Shida paused momentarily when she was uttering a Malay idiom in her lines, somewhat making me wondered that night if she had uttered them correctly, which fortunately she did. But the momentum of building up her anger went down a bit I feel when I watched their performance again on Catch-Up TV.  The lingo needed for this performance could have been improved, though I note that both of them did try their utmost. I liked the way Shida stressed on her words when she was angry. I thought they were spot on and like what Izzat Yusoff mentioned afterwards, there was clarity in her dialogue delivery. Nurul Nadia, on the other hand, needs to improve on her facial expressions. When she looked distressed, her expressions betrayed her a bit and she looked angry instead. I also have to agree with Izzat that both needed to open up a bit more and be more expressive at this stage of the competition.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 5 684

Kamarul Arifin and Danish Ashraf…

Back from the commercial break and it was the turn of Kamarul Arifin and Danish Ashraf in the hosting segment. I remember just seconds before the cameras went live, I had signaled to both of them to sit up straight but only Danish saw my actions and by the time he nudged Kamarul to be aware of his sitting posture, the cameras had started rolling. As a result when they eventually went live, one could be seen slightly slouched and too comfortable on his seat and the other looking every bit confident with what he was supposed to deliver. I also did not quite like the tone which Kamarul had begun the segment as it sounded as though he was reading straight from the script with little energy and emotions, and this continued throughout with his energy going down as he went on. A pity because I’ve always liked his tone of voice since the first episode. Danish seems to love presenting shows of this nature where he could let his personality shine through and I note that he did not do much wrong, other than be slightly over-the-top than his partner. In that respect, Danish should be aware not to upstage his partner, because it is nicer to see a pairing that is well-balanced than one that is slightly lop-sided.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 5 971

Yamin Yusof as Aduka and Syafiqah Shahlan as Dara…

If there were any mistakes or shortcomings that were evident in Yamin‘s earlier performance in the hosting segment, he atoned them with his acting delivery as Aduka from the classic and popular Semerah Padi movie which he and Syafiqah re-enacted. It was an intense and emotional love scene which I enjoyed, more so because I felt the role was tailor made for Yamin in which he could exploit his low voice tones to great effect and he definitely did. I felt that both of them grasped what was needed of them from this performance, especially the lingo aspects. Other than Ain Zainal from Group B, I am beginning to warm to Syafiqah. Slowly but surely, we are beginning to see who is able to perform in a number of roles well. Her confidence speaking in the Malay language during the introduction clip prior to their acting segment, is proof that she is possibly set for a long career in the local Malay entertainment industry, no matter where she ends up eventually in this competition.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 5 1293

Shida Lestaluhu and Nurul Nadia

As hosting individuals, I like both Shida and Nurul Nadia. They have shown in Episodes 1 and 3 that they have the voice, the calm presence and articulation to be good hosts. However, I was left slightly disappointed by their showing in the hosting segment last Tuesday. They did not start off on a good note with both of them not synchronising their introductory greetings and at the end of their segment, Shida was seen clapping alone which I thought was a bit unnecessary for a studio show with no apparent physical guest artistes. Their performance raised quite a bit of question on my part, whether they had enough practise between them or was it just jitters that let them down. There was a distinct lack of teamwork, understanding, coordination and cohesion between them even though as separate entities, they were still pleasant to look and listen to. For their benefit of doubt, I would say hosting live for them took a bit of wind out of their sails. I tried putting myself in their shoes and I can more or less understand the pressure they went through having to remember their lines and trying to get their acts right.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 5 1517

Danish Ashraf as Hang Jebat and Kamarul Arifin as Hang Tuah…

Down to the final performance of the night. I believe the judges enjoyed Kamarul and Danish‘s portrayal as Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat respectively the most that night, as it was the most intense. I thought Kamarul redeemed himself well from his earlier hosting performance, though the first part when his character called out Hang Jebat, it felt as though he was giving commands at the parade square rather than calling out his adversary. This is where they should learn to refine their voice tones, record their voices a few times during rehearsals and note the differences. Danish continued where he left off and maintained the level of consistency in his performance, though I would like to caution him when Kamarul brandished the Keris in front of his face, he was shown gulping down his saliva. In terms of realism, it showed that his character was afraid which I doubt it was meant to be so, though to give benefit of doubt, I assumed his throat was dry then. Also, the end when his character laughed, it did not quite sound off as natural. The energy between them though was good.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 5 1731

Surprise… Surprise… No eliminations were made in Episode 5

Again as I had mentioned earlier, there was no elimination in this episode. All their marks will be put together alongside Group B and from there, two will eventually be eliminated. What do I make of that decision??? I think it was a nice surprise as I had expected two from either Kamarul, Yamin, Shida and Nurul Nadia to have said their goodbyes, had they retained the same format last Tuesday. Honestly, I would be loathed to see any of them eliminated at this stage because I believe that minor details separate them. To rank their performances alongside Group B would be a much better comparison and the onus is now on the latter group to go one better tonight to avoid being eliminated. I believe from Group A, Danish and Syafiqah are safe enough to enter the semi-finals. They must maintain their level of consistency and challenge themselves to do even better now that the group stages are almost over. We shall see tonight if the competition will be more intensed or otherwise…

Snaphots of Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 5

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 Recap…

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 005

We’re coming into the fourth week of competition and last Tuesday, Group A returned to our television screens intent on showing that they have improved over the past fortnight. I was also eager to watch and see how they would perform after going through the various classes and guides from their respective mentors, Rilla Melati and Najib Soiman. Anyway, quirky or sadistic as it may sound, I’m beginning to like the idea of seeing two contestants being eliminated each week. It means I have two lesser paragraphs to type as the weeks go on, by virtue of having less to comment on their hosting and acting segments. I might sound lazy but really, it can be quite tedious having to break down typing your posts throughout the week with other commitments in hand. Not to mention watching the programme again on Toggle.sg to restudy their performances before making my personal assessments and editing the photographs I snapped live from the Mediacorp TV Theatre.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 003

A beaming Siti Hajar Gani joined the panel of jury last Tuesday

Speaking of the Mediacorp TV Theatre, from the comfort of the large venue we’ve been accustomed to, for this past Tuesday and tomorrow, the show was and will be brought to you live from Studio 4, a smaller but more intimate venue. For those who have not been able to watch live shows at Caldecott Broadcast Centre, the place is about a quarter of the size of its TV Theatre counterpart. The audience is much closer and you can literally hear them from where you stand on stage. Movements are a bit restricted though due to space constraints and unlike the TV Theatre, I was stuck to one place. Though I am used to the venue having covered events like Anugerah Skrin 2010 and Ratu back in 2012 and 2013 before this, I still feel a little uncomfortable at times due to the restricted space. This past week, Siti Hajar Gani joined the judging panel, alongside our resident judges Khairudin Samsudin and Sharon Ismail.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 062

Hosts Shah Iskandar and Huda Ali

I am not sure if the change in venue of the live broadcast had something to do with a slight change in format for the competition, pertaining to the hosting segment which was held outdoors for the first time this year, but it does feel that way, even though it might be coincidental. This week, the contestants were brought to the Kampung Glam area to record their respective hosting clips. Unlike the first and second episodes where they did their hosting live at the TV Theatre, they were given the opportunity to experience hosting outdoors as well as relate on the history of some of the roads, places and landmarks found in the area. Which I found very useful as a viewer because I learned something new and valuable from the nuggets of information that were shared. Props and kudos to the producers and script writers (Netty Fiona Othman and Nurul Akhmar Elias) for doing their research and sharing it with us.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 256

Danish Ashraf and Nabihah Zainodin…

Danish Asyraf and Nabihah Zainodin kicked off the night’s competition and their task was presenting history nuggets to the viewers on Kampung Glam as well as the Sultan Mosque. There was a distinct lack of confidence on the part of Nabihah, forgetting her lines as well as looking unsure at certain points. Together with Danish, both sounded as though they were reading directly from a script in front of them. I get the impression that there was probably neither natural storytelling nor understanding of the history beforehand. At least that’s what I get from my own observations which can be interpreted differently by other viewers. This is where as presenters, one should also do their respective homework on the people or places they are presenting to the viewers. Prior understanding will more or less equip them and make their presentation more natural and believable.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 194

The theme for the week, which was light-hearted, felt like it was right up Danish‘s alley, something that suited his personality and speciality. But I was actually surprised that he somehow held back for reasons only known to him. I believe he could have exaggerated his role a bit and added more funny or over-the-top reactions. I am not sure if they had confidence issues that night, but Nabihah looked extremely uncomfortable and moody, even when the whole performance was supposed to be otherwise. It prompted judge Khairudin to comment that as an actor, she needed to identify the right graph and climax to her scene, which felt quite ordinary, at least to me. Her hair also seemed to have given her a bit of a problem and as a viewer, I was a bit irritated to see her hair covering her face more than half the time without getting to see more of her facial expressions.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 426

Shida Lestaluhu and Yamin Yusof

Shida Lestaluhu and Yamin Yusof were up next and their hosting segment brought them to nearby Haji Lane. I did not get to comment on Yamin when I did my entry on the first episode. His most glaring flaw which I managed to detect then was his inability to mouth his words clearly, making him sound either inaudible or he sounded as though he was speaking through gritted teeth. I’m sure his mentors would have brought this up with him as I could see some improvements during this hosting segment. Though it has to be said, like the first pairing, Yamin‘s delivery did not come across as natural and as though he was reading directly from a script. If I were to be more critical, Yamin was also quite wooden in terms of body movements. Which in a way, might have affected Shida a bit, because the chemistry between them did not quite hit it off. A bit of a waste because Shida is one of the better presenters amongst the contestants, thanks to her natural gift of a voice.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 263

My understanding of Yamin‘s character during their acting segment was that of a nerd whose simplistic way of thinking, resulted in him not having much luck at dating or winning over ladies’ hearts prior to his date. Based on his overall performance, I think there was a slight redemption to his hosting segment. Yamin however, has to be wary that he sometimes deliver his lines without hitting on the right emotions when the scene calls for it, or saying his lines without the right intonations. As for Shida, from this performance, I can say that comedy is not her cup of tea yet, because she was holding back and was a bit too serious for my liking. I had actually expected her to speak with an exaggerated accent, or even added a bit of arrogance to her character, having stayed in New York for five years prior to returning to Singapore. But overall, they both did quite ok even though there is still room for improvement in many aspects.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 630

Kamarul Arifin and Syafiqah Shahlan

Up next was the pairing of Kamarul Arifin and Syafiqah Shahlan. Where I enjoyed their respective hosting segments during the first episode, their pairing this time more or less maintained the same level of performance. Kamarul‘s pleasant voice and Syafiqah‘s positivity made their pairing a generally well-balanced one. Though I would like to caution Kamarul when it comes to energy. During the first part of his hosting, he looked like he was all up for it, but somehow his tone and level went down a notch halfway through, indicating a slight seriousness and then he suddenly became goofy. He also needs to control his facial contortions which I find a bit disturbing sometimes, and this I noticed since the first episode. The last fifteen to twenty seconds of their segment I felt was their best showing, but Syafiqah aced it throughout with her calmness and relaxed delivery, even though Khairudin brought up the fact that at times she sounded as though she was in a debate.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 577

Where they generally did well for hosting, I was squirming when I observed the first part of their acting performance. Kamarul clearly forgot his lines and tripped on his words when he said, “... semua orang tahu saya seorang butik yang terkenal…” As someone who has extreme OCD on mispronouncing of words, spelling and grammar, it did not sit down quite well with me. Moreso when it clearly affected his performance. Again, when it comes to the acting segment, there will be one person who would seem to be holding back. The effeminate character given to Kamarul, I felt was easy to execute, if he had studied some of judge Khairudin‘s past performances in similar roles. He should have just let loose and enjoyed himself out there but I am sure the forgetting of lines clearly affected his performance, which only improved as he went on. As for Syafiqah, Kamarul‘s performance might have affected her somewhat, but I felt she was a bit laxed overall, prompting Sharon Ismail to quip that she was too comfortable with her sitting posture and that her character felt like she had known Kamarul‘s effeminate character for years instead of them just getting to know one another. Their scene felt more like a talkshow than an acting performance.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 827

Nurul Nadia and Zaidi Zailee

Now for the last pairing, Nurul Nadia and Zaidi Zailee. I actually enjoyed their hosting segment the most, probably because of Nurul‘s overall outlook and performance, which I personally felt was the best amongst the eight contestants for the week. I cannot deny and this was also brought up by Sharon, that a good host should be pleasing on the eyes of the viewers and not only good with their delivery. Nurul had the perfect mix last Tuesday, even if it felt as though I was watching Fauzie Laily‘s missus, Nurul Huda presenting but with Huda Ali doing voiceover. No disrespect cos Nurul Nadia does have a passing resemblance to Nurul Huda and her voice tones are too similar to Huda Ali‘s. I’ve noticed this since I first watched her during the auditions back in November 2015. I remember telling Huda when we were observing the auditions that Nurul Nadia sounded exactly like her and I still stand by that even though Huda herself disagreed back then. As for Zaidi, if I were to separate his hosting performance from Nurul‘s, it felt like he did not stand out because his lines were limited and that he delivered it quite monotonously. Which was a pity because he had a good partner to spar with and he did not quite respond with the same energy.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 688

Finally their acting performance. Nurul‘s character as a tomboy required her to look and act the part. However I felt she was too pretty for the role with make up and all. But I note of the time constraints between her segment and the end where they have to look pretty and all in their more glamourous outfits for the final reckoning, so I cannot put the blame on whoever that had styled or made her up that night. Just that in terms of realism, it did not quite come off as believable. That aside and continuing with the general theme for the night amongst the contestants, there was that issue of holding back, both for Nurul as well as Zaidi. Nurul seemed quite afraid to mouth some of her words, whereas Zaidi suddenly mixed up his lines, jammed up and forgotten what he had to say before he was rescued by his partner. There’s also the issue of stereotyping. I don’t believe all tomboys speak with a deep voice and Nurul didn’t have to put up that voice tone, because she did not consistently retain that same level of depth throughout her performance. I think Zaidi was visibly affected by his earlier gaffe because throughout his performance, he was either deadpan or sounded as though he was reading from his script, sans the right emotions and intonations.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 951

Zaidi Zailee and Nabihah Zainodin, the latest casualties to be eliminated from the competition…

Like I said in the entry for the first episode, small margins would determine who would progress and who would be eliminated. I was half right when I guessed that Nabihah Zainodin was to be eliminated just before they announced the results at the end of the show. For the guys, I had half-expected Yamin Yusof to be eliminated but was not surprised when Zaidi Zailee was called out instead. In fact, I thought Zaidi would be eliminated in the first episode. It is definitely ironic to notice that the four contestants who were paired together in the first episode are now out of the competition. As viewers would have seen during the end credits, there were emotional scenes with all the other contestants who had progressed, shedding tears for their eliminated counterparts, though there were also some who cried because they were relieved at the opportunity to be given another shot at the competition when they thought they had bungled big time. I would however, like to advise all the contestants to smile more, especially when they are facing the judges for their post-performance assessments. I know they are tensed, but it does not make for good viewing when they all look so glum, moody and stressed out. Worst is if they were to look down towards the ground. Chin up, smile and warm yourselves to the cameras as well as your viewers. It would increase your likeability factor.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 002

Speaking of likeability, it was announced on Tuesday night that the Top 16 contestants stand to walk away with the subsidiary award of Most Popular Anugerah Skrin 2016 Male / Female contestants. Since the main competition is judged by the professional judging panel, these subsidiary awards sponsored by Radiglow, would be open to the public to vote for their respective favourites. Beginning from last Tuesday, 9 February 2016 right up till the Grand Finals night on 29 March 2016, one can vote for their personal favourites via the official Anugerah Skrin site on Toggle.sg. I believe you need to register and follow the instructions given in the site before being allowed to vote. Being neutral and impartial as always, I will abstain from voting even if eventually I have a personal favourite sometime down the road. At the moment, I do not have anyone I deem to be a standout. Usually for a competition like Anugerah Skrin, the winners or favourites will start to emerge from the semi-final round onwards, just like Huda Ali back in 2006 and Syirah Jusni in 2010. I just want to see a fair competition where the winners for the subsidiary awards are rightfully deserved via votes from their fans as well as loved ones.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 2016-02-09 980

The Top 6 from Group A clearly emotional at the end of the show…

It is getting tighter by the week and I’m sure it will get very emotional with each passing week. I actually am thankful that I am given the opportunity to cover and watch the contestants live and see how they are like off-camera. They look like they are a tight bunch with almost everyone shedding tears after the show was over, but I’m only speaking based on how the competition is still in its infancy stage. It could be different when it gets more competitive and perhaps that’s when we might see some tensions, though I hope it will still be healthy in nature. Acting and hosting afterall need the performers to work together for a common cause and tensions will only affect their professionalism. It is still anybody’s game at the moment and nobody has stood out outright from Group A. I would like to say Danish Ashraf has been quite consistent, but he has also been quite fortunate because his roles so far have been right up his backyard. Between the ladies and gentlemen, the tougher fight is between the ladies because those left in the competition have shown they deserved to remain for the time being at least. It definitely is going to be tough for the judges to decide with each passing week. I’m just thankful I’m not in the hotseat to decide… 🙂

Snapshots of Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 Recap…

anugerahskrin2016promoposter

(Promotional graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

It’s been ages since I last blogged on a weekly basis. Am still trying to get back into that old groove again now that Anugerah Skrin has begun in earnest. I guess when you get older and priorities change, so too do our personal interests. The creative juices and writing flair are probably still up there in my head waiting to be released, just that they need a little coaxing and cajoling because I have been lull for quite some time. I just hope I don’t blabber unnecessarily and go off-point. Unlike the first episode’s recap, I’ll be a bit more thorough with my assessments for this week’s episode. That means I will be more critical of their respective performances. I hope the contestants reading my thoughts and observations will take my criticisms in their stride and try to improve where they might be lacking. There’s nothing personal whenever I pour forth my thoughts, just rational and objective, so do not take heart nor despair if my observations are deemed too critical for your liking.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 001

This past Tuesday (2 February 2016), it was the turn of Group B to have made their television debut in this year’s competition. Ok maybe not all the ten featured made their official television debuts before this. One who is already familiar with the local Malay entertainment scene is Yaya Hamid, who has appeared in  several music video clips and promotional segments in programmes like Jus!, when she promoted her duet single “Jangan Main Cinta” with Hisyam Azmi some time back. As supporters of local Malay music would note, Yaya has released two solo singles “Taman Hati” & “Luar Biasa” before this, and was also featured in Haqym Mokhtar‘s “Semuanya Alright” music video. One could even note Yaya‘s unmistakable voice if you were to tune in to RIA 89.7FM these days and listen to her singing and rapping along to one of the station’s jingles, thanking its listeners for twenty-five years of loyal listenership. This competition is definitely different to what Yaya has been used to and she starts on a level playing field as the rest.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 243

Sharon Ismail and Khairudin Samsudin were joined by Rosita Hussin on the judging panel…

Before I move on, I would just like to correct myself from my last entry when I said that Rilla Melati was mentoring Group A in hosting skill aspects. Based on the information that was shared this past Tuesday, Rilla is in fact mentoring both groups. I like the fact that her role as mentor this year will be of great asset to the contestants. I remember chatting with her after one of the episodes back in 2010 when she was one of the two resident judges. She had hopes then of one day mentoring and coaching the contestants and this year, she got her wish. I hope the contestants are taking in her lessons well along with their respective acting mentors. Speaking of mentors, Group B‘s mentor for acting is Azhar Nor Lesta. As for the judges, Rosita Hussin joined the judging panel as guest judge this past Tuesday.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 045

Fadli Kamsani and Suharti Amy

Fadli Kamsani and Suharti Amy were given the honours to start off the night’s competition through their short hosting segment in the lead up to Syaiful Ariffin and Ain Zainal‘s acting performance. I found their hosting chemistry a little imbalanced in terms of energy, delivery and execution, which made for a little viewing discomfort on my part. While Suharti was presenting in a relaxed manner, Fadli came across as a bit hyper and formal at the same time, with a lot of hand gestures and movements. I like Suharti‘s voice tone and style though, it’s like she’s a natural fit to present info-ed shows in time to come.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 346

As for their acting, I initially thought that Suharti‘s character was that of a student, or at least someone who was below twenty one years of age. Overall, their acting segment was generally good with Suharti‘s portrayal as a filial and concerned daughter, one of the better performances of the night. That was until Rosita commented that by right, Suharti‘s character was already supposed to be a married person. Due to that fact, I guess some points were taken away from Suharti for sounding a little kiddish. That last bit where Fadli‘s character had a heart attack was also a little unnecessary and too sudden though. Rosita was right when she said that there should have been a development leading up to that heart attack scare at the end.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 182

Muhammad Mursyid and Yaya Hamid…

From Mursyid and Yaya‘s hosting segment, I was reminded that hosting itself is an art form and it is not easy to capture the attention of your viewers unless you are confident and well-equipped with what you wish to present. It was clear that they had rehearsed the whole thing, including the part where Yaya was supposed to ask Mursyid if he knew the meaning of the term “house husband” and he was supposed to butt in and say he didn’t know even before she could complete her sentence, as it was shown in one of their rehearsal video clips. Such things should come off naturally without looking as though it was staged. Facial expressions usually give away that fact. There were also several short pauses by Mursyid, probably his own jitters in trying to remember his lines. Yaya was ok, her endearing smile keeping things interesting between them, but it has to be said, she needs to run away from sounding kiddish. Right now, if I were to see her as a presenter, it would be more suited to children shows.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 651

Right from the start, I just felt their acting segment was strange, in that they were switching from being serious to injecting humour and back to being serious in a matter of moments. Yaya‘s portrayal as a pregnant lady also did not come across as convincing, though I admit that I was looking at her as herself and not as the character she was supposed to be portraying. Even Sharon Ismail was not convinced with her portrayal though I would give marks to Yaya for playing the distressed role passably. The judges were quick to point out that Mursyid‘s character was seen flagging a cab when he came into the scene, whereas it was supposed to be Yaya‘s character who was supposed to “see” it first, a clear sign that logic and realism were not at play. Khairudin was also right to point out that Mursyid had played to the audience with his actions and movements. It would have probably worked well if this was a comedy skit for Mursyid, but sadly it was not. By the end of their segment, I had actually feared for their elimination, especially Mursyid.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 253

Farid Azhar and Wirda Elliesa…

Before they went live with this short hosting segment, Wirda Elliesa was teased by wobby host Dyn Norahim during the commercial break due to her passing resemblance to Malaysian rock queen Ella, though I personally am reminded of Dangdut queen, Amelina instead when I look at her. Along with Suharti Amy, Wirda‘s voice was music to my ears that night. There’s a certain huskiness mixed with calm and assertiveness to her voice, making her a possible candidate for hosting serious programmes. Farid Azhar on the other hand did ok. However, if there was a weakness to his presentation style, it felt as though he was trying to protect whatever gold or valuable stuff he had in his mouth. He needs to open up a bit more, add a bit more zest to his voice and not dithering towards being deadpan and monotonous. As a whole, they had a working chemistry going.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 858

Farid shocked the audience and even made yours truly a little startled when he began his acting segment by shouting at the top of his voice in frustration. As experts in the acting industry would often remind us, there are degrees to displaying anger and frustration and shouting at the top of the voice comes across as a bit amateurish, especially when he was overdoing it to stress on his level of frustrations. Farid also came across as rushed and like what Sharon had noted, I was also a bit puzzled as to why the lines suddenly switched from one possible scenario to another without giving them a better transition nor development. Wirda‘s portrayal as a physiotherapist was a good balance to Farid‘s angsty character though I felt she was a bit too touchy for comfort. Wirda though delivered her lines with the needed emotions and calming tone perfectly. The challenge for her now is to get meatier roles than this and to work on her facial expressions because there were moments when she looked like she had an evil agenda hidden when she smiled.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 416

Syaiful Ariffin and Ain Zainal…

When I observed Syaiful Ariffin and Ain Zainal‘s hosting segment, I cannot help but feel that I was watching the hosts of a children’s television programme presenting. Something about their style and excessive facial expressions made me feel as such. Syaiful, the crooner with a host of other talents probably not known to the masses yet, tried his best to project different levels of voice projection and tone, though I struggle to see how it could have been useful to his presentation, especially when his partner was more relaxed than he was. Ain Zainal probably saved this segment between them by maintaining a level of calmness and not rushing through her lines. There are rough edges that’s for sure, but I think in time to come Ain might make a good host.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 095

They had the unenviable task of opening the night’s proceedings via the all-important acting component. Overall, I felt Syaiful and Ain did commendably well as a team, feeding off one another and striking enough balance in emotions. Like the judges had pointed out, they had set the benchmark for the night. Being a freelance theatre practitioner and student, I have high expectations on Syaiful doing better than his other male counterparts and he did not disappoint. Maybe if there was a grouse that I could make, it was that his tears were more visible than Ain‘s when I personally feel that more of the feeling of hurt should have rested on Ain‘s shoulders. Ain it has to be said, has been a consistent performer since the audition rounds. I can see that she is able to carry off different and varying types of roles. Which will bode well for her in her quest to progress in this competition.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 755

My initial fears on Yaya Hamid‘s possible elimination were doused when I observed how Yasmin Arissa fared during her hosting segment with Iskandar Shah. I guess it is safe to say that this segment probably brought down her overall score amongst the judges and signalled her elimination outright. Though from certain angles Yasmin reminds me of Adlina Adil, who was coincidentally watching live in the TV Theatre seated next to award-winning director M. Raihan Halim, there were no other notable similarities I could make between them. Her hosting was amateurish at best and she looked unsure at times, delivering her lines as though she was reading directly from the script. Iskandar Shah on the other hand was a bag full of confidence though I would caution him not to be over-confident and to be more a team player, cos he kinda showed a cocky side, as evident when he stole the limelight from Yasmin at the end of their short segment. Ok maybe that last part could have been planned earlier between them, but it didn’t make Yasmin look good in the end.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 207

As for their acting, it was probably the same as their hosting segment, with Iskandar doing much better than Yasmin. Something about Yasmin that night showed that she was playing catch-up to her other competitors. For one, her delivery of lines and emotions were not up to par and it looked like she was having confidence issues that night. Or maybe her jitters just got the better of her. As for her sparring partner Iskandar, I can see that this kind of antagonist role given to him suits him to a T. He could probably ace bad boy roles given to him from now on without breaking into much of a sweat. But like what Khairudin had pointed out, he needs to be aware of his surroundings and know where his fellow actor is moving before turning towards their direction.

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2 2016-02-02 1061

The dejected look on Mursyid‘s face was evident, whereas Yasmin would probably have expected her fate…

It is only the second episode and the first for Group B. But I believe if there were comparisons to be made between the two groups since the start of the competition, the latter group probably shaded their Group A counterparts by virtue of learning from the first episode, how they could improve on their respective performances and applying it. Which also means, the standard and learning curve would probably go up as the weeks progress, which definitely bodes well cos we want to see improvements made by all the contestants and not remain stagnant or even dropping to unwanted levels. I am still undecided if I would do a weekly assessment every week right up till the Grand Finals. I might continue doing so or I might not. It all depends on my personal commitments for the week. Till then I hope I have been honest enough with my personal observations…

Snapshots of Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 2

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode One Recap

anugerahskrin2016promoposter(Promotional graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

Anugerah Skrin, the reality television competition in search of the new faces to grace Mediacorp Suria channel in acting and hosting, has begun in earnest last Tuesday (26 January 2016). It seemed like yesterday that we had just witnessed the coronation of Erwin Shah Dawson and Syirah Jusni and here we are once again. Now into its third edition, this season’s competition promises to be better and more competitive. Judging by the first episode which I was fortunate to catch live from the Mediacorp TV Theatre, there is potential that it might upstage the 2010 cohort. This year, the show is hosted by the first Anugerah Skrin champion, Huda Ali, along with her 2006 alumnus, Shah Iskandar. Khairudin Samsudin once again returns as one of the resident judges and joining him as a weekly regular will be three-time Pesta Perdana Best Actress winner, Sharon Ismail.

Anugerah Skrin Suria 2016 Episode 1 2016-01-26 011

After a gruelling two-month search, sifting through hundreds of applicants and a few rounds of auditions, the Top 20 (which has since dwindled down to 18 from the first episode) consisting of ten male and female contestants will battle it out for ten weeks before a new set of winners will be crowned. The contestants have been split into two groups, five male and five female contestants in each group. From the first right up till the sixth episode, each group will alternate every week, with every week seeing one female and one male contestant being eliminated. The seventh episode, which will signal the semi-final round, will see both groups combining for the first time.

Anugerah Skrin Suria 2016 Episode 1 2016-01-26 003

Hosts of Anugerah SkrinHuda Ali and Shah Iskandar

To kick off the first episode, it was a special 90-minute show with the first half hour dedicated to showing the goings-on of the audition rounds held at SCAPE @ Orchard as well as at Caldecott Broadcast Centre. They also featured snippets of how some of the contestants were selected via special express passes at selected places in Singapore along with several Skrin alumni members like Nurul Akhmar, Syirah Jusni, Junaidi Sali and Imam Shah tasked to look out for potential candidates. The subsequent hour had Group A duking it out for a place in the next round and they consisted of Aidi Isham, Zaidi Zailee, Danish Ashraf, Kamarul Arifin, Yamin Yusof, Nabihah Zainodin, Nurul Nadia, Syafiqah Shahlan, Amalina Roslee and Shida Lestaluhu.

Anugerah Skrin Suria 2016 Episode 1 2016-01-26 460

Jury panel for Week OneSharon Ismail, Khairudin Samsudin and Mastura Ahmad

Mastura Ahmad, a name that does not need any further introduction, joined the judging panel as the first guest judge of the competition and this year, the Group A contestants will be mentored in the basic technical aspects of acting and hosting by Muhammad Najib Soiman, a very well-respected figure in the local theatre circle, and Rilla Melati, whose wealth of experience in the local entertainment industry will be very useful indeed in mentoring the contestants. Rilla, along with Huda Ali, are the mainstays of this competition since it began in 2006. The debut competition saw Rilla as host, the second one in 2010 as a resident judge and now her status has elevated her as a mentor. Huda as we know by now, was a contestant and eventual winner of the first edition, and hosted the second edition along with Suzairhe Sumari, with Shahril Wahid, the other winner in 2006, taking the role of roving host.

Anugerah Skrin Suria 2016 Episode 1 2016-01-26 910

Group A mentors – Muhammad Najib Soiman and Rilla Melati

Unlike the 2010 edition where I assessed every single individual performance right from the off, I will be changing tack a little this time around. It is only the first week of competition and I felt that I needed to warm up and view the contestants before assessing their respective performances henceforth. Time is also sadly not on my side this time as I am forever busy with my own personal commitments so perhaps for this and the next entry, I might keep things short or just summarise things as I see it. Anyway, I do not want to pressure the contestants unnecessarily like the last edition, even though I was probably the only local Malay entertainment blogger around.

Anugerah Skrin Suria 2016 Episode 1 2016-01-26 762

Group B contestants observing keenly the performances of their Group A counterparts…

As years pass and as I mature along with my thoughts, I want to take up the role of a big brother dispensing advice rather than criticising every single mistake or flaw that I see. I remember starting out as a very blunt reviewer, I did not mince my words and in turn I rubbed others the wrong way. I found out certain contestants felt afraid and pressured by some of my reviews even though I felt it was needed because the local media itself is always too kind towards its own talents, unlike those you see across our shores. I started to change my style during the Ratu competition back in late 2012, amidst loads of negative feedback from the masses on social media towards the contestants.

Anugerah Skrin Suria 2016 Episode 1 2016-01-26 636

Zaidi Zailee and Amalina Roslee

Of course I will not sugar coat my words, but a certain amount of compassion and benefit of doubt will be part of my weekly assessments. There are enough unqualified critics already out there on various social media platforms craving for attention and possible infamy, and though I have no formal background in acting and hosting, my 12-year experience in blogging about our local Malay entertainment scene I believe, puts me in good stead. What matters right now for all the contestants of Anugerah Skrin are the comments made by the judges and whatever tips they can gain from their respective mentors as well as milk the experiences of the hosts whom they will meet on a weekly basis. Never be too shy to ask around and do their respective homework.

Anugerah Skrin Suria 2016 Episode 1 2016-01-26 430

Nabihah Zainodin and Aidi Isham

For the record, the first episode saw the elimination of Aidi Isham and Amalina Roslee. As I was watching the show live and looking at their performances, I couldn’t help but feel that this current competition will be very competitive, with only minor details separating the ones advancing to the next round and those being eliminated. I for one feel that eliminating them in their very first episode is a bit harsh as it meant we only saw their talents within the space of just five minutes (two minutes of hosting and three minutes of acting). But this is the name of the game. I can only hope there will be a Wildcard Round where those eliminated but showed certain qualities to deserve a second chance, be invited again to show their mettle proper. There are ten weeks afterall and surprises might happen along the way. Reality competitions are never rigid in format anyway.

Anugerah Skrin Suria 2016 Episode 1 2016-01-26 364

Shida Lestaluhu and Kamarul Arifin

As for those who impressed me to a certain degree that night, I noted the potential of Shida Lestaluhu and Kamarul Arifin, not on television just yet, but more to radio. I totally enjoyed their hosting segment and as I closed my eyes and listened to them, I felt radio could have a new batch of presenters there waiting to be groomed. They have the crisp and pleasant tones one would associate with the voices of radio presenters out there. Another one that just went out and enjoyed themselves were Danish Ashraf and Syafiqah Shahlan. Based on the judges’ comments, I believe these two impressed them the most that night, with one being told that they did not need the competition to assert themselves into the local entertainment scene and the other having a lot of potential waiting to be released. Their energy and chemistry were the best that night for both hosting and acting, and it will be interesting to see how they fare when they switch pairings in Week Three.

Anugerah Skrin Suria 2016 Episode 1 2016-01-26 545

Danish Ashraf and Syafiqah Shahlan

I believe when the judges said one did not need the competition to assert themselves into the local entertainment scene, it was directed towards the direction of Danish Ashraf. From the start when they interviewed him during the aftermath of announcing the Top 20 who made it to the main television rounds, one could see that he is someone with a lot of self-confidence. It also helps that he has an added advantage after being involved in another recent reality television series in search of the new generation of comedians in Singapore, Kolej Komedi. Whatever experiences he gained during his stint then is being put to good use in this competition. He needs to be mindful not to come across as cocky though as some people might misinterpret his body language as such.

Anugerah Skrin Suria 2016 Episode 1 2016-01-26 504

Yamin Yusof and Nurul Nadia

My only hope is that Danish will challenge himself in more serious roles than the ones he is comfortable with and those that suit his bubbly personality. Because right now I see another Junaidi Sali in him, someone who is equally at ease playing comedic as well as antagonistic roles. Oh and he needs to stop talking about his lack of height cos he was not only talking about it during his interview but also during the short introduction leading up to his acting segment. A bit of it is nice for starters. Repeating it again and again makes him sound like a broken record and might turn others off because this is not meant to get him sympathetic votes. Where he lacks in physical stature, he can more than make it up with his big bag of potential. He just needs to remain consistently good and more.

Anugerah Skrin Suria 2016 Episode 1 2016-01-26 852

Aidi Isham and Amalina Roslee could still afford to smile upon knowing their elimination…

As for the eliminated contestants, like all reality competitions, this is never the end of the road. We’ve seen many reality contestants in this region as well as around the world, get eliminated early but gone on to create a name for themselves. It’s all about passion and hard work. No shortcuts and no two ways about it. I understand Aidi Isham has already appeared as a bit-part actor in several local productions and appeared in both Channel 5 and Suria. He can definitely build on from there, improve and perhaps get meatier roles in future. As for Amalina Roslee, she still has a lot of rough edges which need polishing, especially when delivering her lines and emotions. She might want to consider enrolling herself in acting classes to improve if she still has dreams of being in the scene.

Anugerah Skrin Suria 2016 Episode 1 2016-01-26 907

The ones who live to fight another day…

I would like to speak more on the other contestants I have not mentioned, but I guess I will leave it as it is and wait till the third episode to see more of them. Till then, here’s wishing Group B consisting of Yaya Hamid, Yasmin Arissa, Wirda Elliesa, Ain Zainal, Suharti Amy, Iskandar Shah, Syaiful Ariffin, Muhd Mursyid, Farid Azhar and Fadli Kamsani all the best for tonight’s upcoming episode. They were keen observers during the first episode sitting at the front row and would have picked up several useful tips. Their task will be to up the ante and quality of the performances already seen so far in this new season’s competition. Not that they need any further reminders from me… 🙂

Snapshots of Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode One