#theSyarifs’ Wedding Dinner Event…

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Back with the third and final instalment of #theSyarifs‘ wedding. This entry will feature photographs of the wedding dinner event, which I felt resembled a mini Pesta Perdana event, with the local Malay entertainment scene’s personalities making their presence by gracing the occasion. It was a long day for the newly-weds as well as those who had worked hard to make the whole event tick, yet everyone was smiling throughout till the very end, happiness etched on their faces and sharing the joy of the newlyweds. The wedding dinner event was held at the same venue (Alkaff Mansion) as the earlier morning’s solemnisation ceremony and lunch reception.

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Like the solemnisation ceremony, those who had tuned in to the couple’s official Youtube channel, would have gotten a glimpse of what went on live via the webstream. Unfortunately I heard that the full clip has been taken down by Youtube due to copyright infringements of some of the songs featured. Though you will not be able to view the clip, I hope this entry would satiate your thirst to view some of the event’s happenings as well as see who’s who in the local Malay entertainment scene who had turned up. This was afterall THE “Wedding of the Year” for 2014, for me. It would be criminal not to feature this entry in my blog, especially when the groom took great pains to invite me and the wife to attend. For that I say “Thank You!!!” to Syarif and Malaque for having us, me in particular, for almost the whole day.

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The wedding dinner event was hosted by Ben Muthusalam, Syarif‘s intern-mate when he did his internship with Mediacorp back in 2009. Please don’t ask me why the host’s name has an Indian surname. Maybe his good friends reading this can help to enlighten me cos I’m in the dark myself. Guests were treated to lovely performances by local groups The Trisno Trio and Northbound, as well as a guest performance by Malaysia‘s Dina Nadzir, whose rendition of Katy Perry‘s “Unconditionally“, had my hairs standing. She is such an under-rated vocal powerhouse. We also witnessed Syarif singing a song titled “Malaque“, which he had composed with Trisno Ishak just two weeks leading up to the wedding event.

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The eleven-tier wedding cake was specially baked by Malaque herself, whom some of us know specialises in pastries, desserts and cakes. Also, the cheesecake recipe during the dinner event itself, was specially concocted by her, assisted and executed by Chef Siti Mastura and team. Female guests were fortunate to have received a make-up kit by Benefit Cosmetics, to go along with the main door gifts consisting of a Grey by Ortenhill bag, a lovely jar series, Sugee cake by Chef Siti Mastura and Calvin Klein parfum vials. The gifts oozed class in every sense, a reflection of the newlyweds. All in all, it was a wonderful and memorable wedding event and here’s wishing the newlyweds once again a blissful married life with filial kids in tow… 🙂

Anugerah 2011 Day One Auditions…

Yesterday (19 March 2011) saw the first round of Anugerah 2011 auditions getting underway over at East Point Mall. I was there between 10am-1:30pm to watch the proceedings and run the rule over the potential on offer in this year’s competition. Over the years, we’ve seen how this competition have unearthed rare gems in our relatively small community in the likes of Sarah Aqilah, Aliff Aziz, Hyrul Anuar, Noor Haqmal, Eka Mairina, Rudy Djoharnaen and Indra Hamzah. Who will it be this time around???

I was a bit surprised upon reaching the event venue to see that the long snaking queue that had stretched all the way till the other side of the field next to the shopping centre two years ago during Anugerah 2009, did not materialise. The queue ended just outside the Pet Safari shop situated at the end of East Point Mall facing the MRT line. Deep down I wondered if the competition has lost its zest to attract more from the targeted 16-30 age group to join or the interest in general for this sort of competition has just waned. Nonetheless, an estimated 300 hopefuls were already there at 10am, the earliest I heard coming before 7am to queue up.

The audition hopefuls queueing up to register their cause…

In this very small industry of ours, we can’t expect to get new and fresh stars all the time. Like previous Anugerah competitions before this, there are bound to be serial hopeful competitors, the ones you see queueing up at every Anugerah auditions, either for the singing or acting editions, depending on the year’s target approach. Nothing wrong in joining in again, as Fauzie Laily is a fine example of a repeat contestant made good in the end, but sometimes you wonder if some of them are clinging on to false hopes even after a decade of queueing up and getting rejected, with no improvements made.

So what do I make of this year’s potential??? Since I did not stay throughout and only watched the first 140 contestants, I was shocked to see the ratio of male contestants outnumbering the females by 3:1. In fact the first 20 contestants were all males!!! However quantity does not equate to quality, and this was very much evident when out of the 20-30 odd girls whom I managed to analyse on stage, at least half of them proceeded to the next round. Quite a few have that overall package of looks and raw talent as well. If I were to base on just the first 140 contestants alone, then I wouldn’t be surprised if this year’s winner will be another female. But I do hope that subsequent auditions in the afternoon, evening and even today’s session would unearth even more raw talent and potential that could be polished further.

The hosts of Anugerah 2011: Fauzie Laily & Huda Ali… They will be joined by RIA 89.7FM‘s Nity Baizura who will act as the roving host throughout the competition. Nity was not around yesterday as she was involved in the radio station’s recording of the finals of “Cepat Tepat“…

Dress-wise, I cannot complain too much as most of them came well-prepared, just that I feel when one wears a long-sleeved shirt with vest, it looks a bit old school and not concurrent with the times, especially when combined with the choice of songs that they sing (songs from the 80s / 90s) and the way they styled their hair, kinda reminded me of groups like Carefree, Flybaits and Gingerbread. Of course there were a few who need tips on styling or they came for the auditions straight from working the night shift beforehand, which was forgiveable and understandable. But all these can be worked upon once they advance into the latter rounds and when they get to work with professional stylists.

In my earlier entry promoting the auditions, I did say not to sing songs like Mawi‘s “Kian” or Jaclyn Victor‘s “Gemilang” as they are considered passe and will just bore the judges with no significant element to differentiate them from being better than the other. Before the contestants went up on stage, they were already told not to sing songs by Mawi, but that much-dreaded song along with B8‘s “Bidadari Hatiku“, Afgan‘s “Terima Kasih Cinta“, Imran Ajmain‘s “Seribu Tahun” and Merah‘s “Cintaku” seemed to be the favourites for most of the males. So much so that at one point, guest judge Jatt Ali hit out and said the guys were boring him to sleep. He was clearly miffed and told the remaining contestants to perform a song which is more upbeat or at least with more vigour, even if the song is melancholic.

Judges Jatt Ali, Ann Hussein & Eddy Ali listening intently to the contestants…

Showmanship-wise I think most of them need to polish up and start watching concerts and shows and try to get some tips. Some were too static, some were a little too expressive, while others just could not stop walking to and fro even when the song that they sang was a slow number. Some also need to eradicate bad habits like looking down all the time, closing their eyes or chewing gum or even putting their hands in their pockets whilst singing. The latter two actions I feel are extremely rude. Back in primary school, I remember vividly how we were told not to speak with our hands in our pockets as it reflects rudeness and arrogance. I wonder if they still impart this knowledge of basic etiquettes in school for kids to remember when they grow up.

There was another round of auditions today and based on the information I received, registration was open up till about 1pm. Apologies if my information was wrong or if there were changes made, as I got this piece of news yesterday when I got home. It’s a thankless job for the judges to choose out of hundreds and having to assess more than 500 hopefuls in two days. I hope the contestants would be well aware of what’s in store for them and work hard to achieve it. Time and time I’ve said, singing is not just about opening one’s mouth to carry a tune. There are more things to do than that. For those who have advanced to the latter rounds next weekend, I hope they read this entry and learn something from it or even from their experiences today and yesterday…

 

Snapshots of Anugerah 2011 Day One Auditions

View from the top…

The contestants waiting nervously for their turns…

Mediacorp Suria staff Farah Lydia & Wati Kassim manning the merchandise booth that was selling the upcoming Rock Elektra t-shirts and the television station’s official lanyards…

A close up shot of the pricing of the selling merchandise…

Anugerah Skrin alumnus Aidil Jufri & Firuz Khan came to show their support. Other members of the Anugerah Skrin and Anugerah alumni who came to watch the auditions include Nasriah Zainuddin, Nissa Bahruddin, Chirul and Chico

These were the guys who made it through to the next round. Spot that familiar face holding the microphone??? That’s Azhar Raz from the previous competition…

Our hosts sharing a banter with the audience…

After which, they hemmed up for the cameras…

 

Past Contestants Who Never Give Up…

 

This guy has a decent and what you call a manly voice. I hope he progresses cos he’s cool on the mic and smooth with his delivery…

I remember this guy from the Anugerah Skrin auditions last year. Back then he dyed his hair. Though he passed the first round last year, he was swiftly eliminated by the judges this year…

He obviously doesn’t need any introductions…

I was surprised that Danish did not make it to the Top 24 two years ago. He has matured in his performance since then, just that the jeans were kind of an eyesore to me…

 

Seeing Double???

I swear at first glance I thought he was Imran Ajmain cos he is as tall as the real McCoy…

I thought Riz Sunawan was about to ditch his day job as a broadcast journalist…

This gal reminds me of Nurul Huda of Singapore Idol Season 3. She looks and sounds a lot like Nurul. I wonder if they are related???

 

The Ones With Potential & Package…

Dian Hazwani‘s potential was spotted on YouTube and she was featured in RIA 89.7FM‘s “SG – Terjah Yang Menyerlah” programme a few weeks ago. She can play the guitar and with her image, comparisons are bound to be made between her and Yuna. She needs to create a distinct identity to avoid the unwanted comparisons… 

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 4 Recap…

This past Friday 21st May 2010 saw another round of elimination in the ongoing Anugerah Skrin 2010 season. With each weekly cull, the competition is bound to get tougher and more stiff, with the likely possibility of tensions rising amongst the contestants. So far from my weekly observations and interacting with them, the contestants come across as a very tight unit, like one big happy family. But of course, this is still considered the honeymoon period where everything is very much saccharine and sweet. When the bootcamp week kicks in in a few weeks time, that’s when tensions are bound to rise as witnessed during the last Anugerah Skrin competition, which I don’t need to relate all over again on what transpired. I hope for their sake that whatever disagreements, unhappiness, pet peeves and what-nots that are bound to occur during the bootcamp, their friendship would stand the test of time.

Kunjung Whitaker opening the show with “Di Manakah“, a song which was supposed to be sung by Maiya Rahman. The latter was unable to grace the show due to last minute work commitments. Kudos to Kunjung for taking a short time to master the song…

You must be wondering why I’m touching upon this matter of all topics I would touch on with regards to this competition, or even at such an early stage as this. From what I have witnessed over the past three weeks or so, I have been very much impressed by their spirit of camaraderie, how well they have bonded over such a short space of time and how much they have stuck by each other through thick and thin, the laughter and the tears. Unlike like season’s Anugerah competition where the eliminated ones seldom return during the remainder of the season to lend their support to those still waging the battle, I’ve seen a healthy dose of attendees by those already ousted so far as well as those not involved during the current week.

The customary welcome. In another coincidental scenario that cropped up during this formation pose, the eliminated contestants, Fahmy and Nissa, were paired together. That’s not all. For the third week in a row, the bottom ones had at least three members who were from the same group during the acting segments. Group B must be worried reading this…

This is not to say that those who did not come were not being good sports themselves, definitely far from it, since they might be tied down by studies, personal or work commitments, but this kind of spirit being displayed is what I applaud. I take my hat off to each and everyone of them for being gracious competitors and for taking the time to come down and lend their support to their competition rivals. This was even more significant when almost everyone was seen wiping tears away after the show ended, showing how much they love the two who were eliminated – Muhammad Fahmy & Nissa Bahruddin – and were shocked by their exits. I hope for their sake that this kind of spirit would continue to be forged even after the competition ends. So what did the judges have to say this week???

Khai sharing his words of wisdom…

Khairudin Samsudin (Khai) highlighted the lack of thinking actors amongst the contestants as most of them tend to use the examples by their mentors as the benchmark for their respective roles. What they should not do is to follow / mimic their mentors and instead find alternatives within them to improvise and perhaps do even better than their mentors. Khai also pointed out the need to play around with the words on their scripts so as not to come across as being formal. Adding on, he also urged them to use more of their body parts and not be too one-dimensional with the body language. To cap it off, he advised them not to just act, but react.

Group photo during the commercial break…

After the “excitement” of hearing Rilla Melati‘s comments last week, this week she was a bit toned down, focusing instead on Raja Razie and Muhammad Fahmy. The uncanny thing about Rilla‘s comments on Razie was, they echoed similarly to what I had said in the last entry about him being a bit stoic and stiff, with the possibility that he was verging on stereotype. Though I had said I see him being able to carry off fatherly roles well, Rilla‘s analogy on him drifting towards ancient roles wasn’t too far off either. Moving on to Fahmy, she remarked that he had to maximise his screen time as he was one of the most good-looking contestants she had come across in any similar reality competition. His biggest mistake was constantly looking away from the camera, which she had difficulty in appreciating the acting without seeing his facial expressions.

The bottom 4…

As for our guest judge Ariati Tyeb Papar, her cool, composed yet stern demeanour gave the impression that she was speaking through gritted teeth. She noted the improvements made by most of the contestants but also lamented the fact that some were still playing catch-up. This was very much evident with what the viewers had seen during the video montage, where the mentors were frustrated with the contestants for failing to get into character and feel. Ariati clearly pointed out the need to prepare one’s self before a shoot, to understand their scripts and also for each member of the group to display the important element of teamwork, so that their scenes would come off well. I thought this was an advice which is often repeated but perhaps not heeded by the contestants due to jitters and excitement during the actual shoot. This is where they need to learn how to focus and channel their concentration to what is expected of them.

Muhammad Fahmy & Nissa Bahruddin ended their respective journey in the competition…

Personally, I was extremely surprised that Nissa got eliminated so early in the competition as she was one of those who had displayed a keenness to do well in this competition. But I did mention in my last entry that no matter what happens to her this past week, I believe we won’t be seeing the last of her just yet. Off-camera Nissa is very much a likeable and bubbly character. It was no wonder that most of the contestants, including those in Group B and those who were eliminated earlier seated amongst the audience, were seen shedding tears for her. It was just bad luck that on the day Nissa was celebrating after officially graduating from Nanyang Polytechnic with a Diploma in Media Studies, she had to suffer the ignominy of disappointment of this magnitude. As for Fahmy, he has lots of room for improvement and like I told him after the show, I sincerely believe I won’t be seeing the last of him too. The journey doesn’t end for them provided they still have vested interest in this line. Maybe it would be good if they were to enrol in acting workshops to enhance their talents further.

Anyway I hope that so far whatever comments and reviews that have been done by me or my fellow counterparts would be taken in well by the contestants. Any form of criticisms, be it positive or negative, are meant to be taken objectively and not personally. I’m thankful that I am given the opportunity to interact on a weekly basis and get to know the contestants on an acquaintance level, which to me is good enough to understand their personalities and give them the benefit of doubt where necessary, something which I never did previously as I was only reviewing from the comfort of home. The contestants too need to strengthen their mental resolve when it comes to receiving criticisms as it would prepare them for what lies ahead in future. I don’t think all of us are harsh, even if we are, we’re still not on par as those around the region. Just take the comments in your stride. It shows that we care and we want you to improve and eventually help lift the standards of our local Malay acting industry… 🙂

Other Highlights of the Show

Our resident joker off-camera, Mr Dyn Norahim of Warna 94.2FM



Group B showing us their respective voting codes for this week… Till then…

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Drama Episode 3 Recap…

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Drama Episode 3 aired last Tuesday at 8:30pm and the repeat being shown last night at 11:00pm for viewers to discern the capabilities of this year’s contestants. This week, Group A, with ten contestants left, resumed battle to gain not only supremacy in the competition, but to avoid the dreaded elimination. Rewind back to a fortnight ago, we saw quite a few static and unconvincing display by about half or slightly more of them. So would the trend continue or did the buck end there??? Let’s analyse their individual showings…

Raja Razie – He needs to open up a bit more rather than remain stoic and serious throughout. When the role called for him to loosen up, he still remained serious and tensed. I see Razie being able to carry off fatherly roles well at the rate he is going. He has to adapt and be on the same wavelength as his younger colleagues. Too serious at times when he did not need to.

Nissa Bahruddin – I liked the way Nissa played this two-faced character of hers, complete with the bitchy face that one feels so tempted to slap if they had the opportunity. So if Nissa was able to instill such hatred in the hearts of viewers like myself, then she deserves a pat on the back for a job well done. This Marina Yusoff / Elfaeza Ul-Haq look-alike (I still can’t decide!!!) is destined to go places in my opinion, no matter what happens to her in this competition.

Muhammad Dzar – Like Ariff Salleh from Group B last week, I’m beginning to fear for him cos he’s absolutely damn good at playing the bad guy and is in danger of being typecast in future for such roles. His smirks, sly looks and hand gestures are hallmarks of what and how the role required him to be. A consistent and competent performer amongst the guys. He needs to maintain and improve on that level and not rest on his laurels.

Mariah Mahfar – She bears a slight resemblance to Misha Omar. But that’s besides the point. For the second week she’s acted in, she has been made the central figure on which the other characters bounced off. There was a marked improvement from the last round with regards to maintaining her emotions and I must say she did play the victim role very well. At times the way she speaks with a slight slang, reminds me of Salwa Abdul Rahman‘s character “Mawar” in the old 80s movie “Kolej 56“.

Group 1 – The scene called for the actors to create a tensed atmosphere amongst themselves and as the minutes passed, there was a creditable amount of synergy and teamwork shown. They were literally bouncing off each other’s energies and maintaining that level as how it should be. Definitely a good start to the show and showed a decent amount of improvements they have worked on over the past fortnight.

Muhammad Fahmy – Some observers, me included, felt that Fahmy was extremely fortunate to survive the last round and it was interesting to see how he would fare this week. Though I liked the mysterious role he portrayed, I can’t help but feel that he was trying to remain suave than be the hero at the start of the scene. The tone of his voice also suggested he needs to study more on human emotions and how to translate it through his voice projections. Though not that great, one could see that he had tried to work on improving from the previous fortnight’s abject performance.

Halimah Yahaya – The classic damsel in distress role at the start. Though the running away scene in the beginning was more or less credible, I thought it could have been more convincing if she had grimaced upon falling rather than after picking up her bangles. Unless of course if she was afraid of hurting herself for real in the process. Sometimes one has to get real cuts and bruises to achieve the desired impact. At times I was confused by the role that she portrayed, be it the victim or the murderer cos her emotions and facial expressions were the same almost throughout.

Shahril Kahar – The posture Shahril, or Eddie as he’s affectionately known as, did whilst running with the knife in hand was a bit too rigid for my liking, but the blank facial expressions he did bore the hallmark of a psycho. I like the fact that when his role demanded him to be angry, he was able to channel his emotions into it, but when he cooled down, that’s when you see the stark and abrupt change with no seamless transition. I wonder if it’s like that or due to editing.

Group 2 – Patchy at best but definitely not as bad as what we saw two weeks ago where there were too many individuals who wanted to steal the limelight for themselves. What the three of them could work on is to strike a balance between their dialogue and emotions cos it’s not always in tune with what they were supposed to deliver. Even the fighting scene came off a bit too awkward as though they were told to freeze when Fahmy‘s character stopped Shahril‘s from wielding his knife.

Biwa Mastura – If Biwa‘s last performance was inconsistent in my opinion, there was certainly a distinctive amount of improvement this week where she carried off her character with the kind of standards one would expect from someone who wants to ace this competition badly. It was difficult to find much flaws in her performance and I hope she continues to maintain that level.

Mohamad Idris – My goodness, what a big difference a fortnight made, where he was almost doomed and appeared incapable of pulling off his role. This week, everything Idris did, seemed like he had been touched by Midas. Let’s hope then that his supporters are kind enough not to subject him to the Bottom 6 again.

Sakinah Rahim – I would not go as far as to say that Sakinah played the role of spoiler, but there was an element of convincing one’s audience which was lacking in her array of arsenal. Granted her role was more challenging than the other two, in that she had to juggle between experiencing pain from being shot at and trying to speak with the situation around her tensed. Her eye movements could also have been done better.

Group 3 – This group somehow continued the tradition of the last fortnight, having the best performers individually and as a unit. For their sake, I hope the tradition of the last fortnight does not rear its ugly head again, i.e. the better performers being eliminated, and that people would vote based on who performed better than who looks better or who is my friend / relative / colleague / crush etc. Though I did say Sakinah was a bit of a spoiler, the scene towards the end was a definite tearjerker and I had tears welling in my eyes listening to her dialogue. I dunno what came into me then… LOL!!!

This week, the contestants have finally come to realise what this competition is all about as well as the essence demanded and the substance being asked from them. One could see how they have improved and it actually bodes well for future weeks’ episodes, so long as they maintain the same level or improve. Right, so you have less than 24 hours to vote for your favourites. What are you waiting for peeps??? Go on, VOTE!!!

Group A Contestants Promote Their Voting Codes…

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

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

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

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

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


Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Show Episode 3 Recap…

I began last week’s variety show recap by saying I was gutted by the result. This week I guess the only word that comes to mind is “Deja Vu“, a feeling that resonates loud inside. When Mohamed Nur and Siti Aisyah were eliminated, it was widely noted that they both appeared in the third group of Group A‘s acting segments. This week, Alfhian Dalan and Sarah Anissa who were the unfortunate two to be eliminated, also appeared in the third group of Group B‘s acting segments. The coincidence does not end there. 

Somehow I am beginning to feel as though I’m being some sort of a jinx to those I had proclaimed as best performers of the week in my drama show recaps. Remember how I had said that Aisyah was the best performer last week only to see her knocked out in the end??? It happened to Alfhian this week after I had said he was the best male performer. I’m beginning to wonder if my words might have had an impact on voters working extra hard to save their favourites from elimination or result in the voters of the better contestants being complacent that they had done enough. Either way, to borrow a quote from my counterpart, Iskandar, “Reality competitions are an absolute bitch…

The eliminated two this week. Photos courtesy of Mediacorp Suria

 The highlight of the variety show this week for me would have to be the judges not mincing their words to get their thoughts across to the contestants, either to those who were awaiting their respective fates or those in Group A who were seated in the audience. Though the tone of voices by the judges was subtle, one could see that they were giving their thoughts through gritted teeth; the words that came out from their mouths left an indelible mark, so much so that one could see how shakened and worried the contestants were. Even the ones seated in the audience felt it and they all would do well to take heed of what the judges had to say for future challenges ahead.

The panel of judges: (From left) – Khairudin Samsudin, Rilla Melati & Keatar H M

This was what the judges said last night:

Khairudin SamsudinGroup B was relatively better than Group A. However, this competition is meant for national viewing and not some school acting competition. Having watched the latter in the past, Khai admitted that some of the acting there were better than the ones he saw from the contestants. For a show meant for national television, the contestants need to buck up and not subject themselves to humiliation. On a sidenote, some came for the shoots unprepared by not memorising their scripts.

Keatar H M (Guest Judge) – Bro Keatar, a senior theatre activist and veteran television actor who sits on the Malay Artistes Association‘s executive committee as the Deputy President (for those of you cynics out there who wondered who is he and how qualified is he to be the guest judge), kept his comments short, simple, swift and sharp. He said that they were all not working as a team and were too individualistic.

Rilla Melati Bahri – Her words stung the contestants the most. I think the term made famous by legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, “Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee” befits her perfectly. Behind that petite frame and captivating smile that still charms the socks of many a man out there, Rilla certainly hit the nail on the head when she said that too many were lost in their own world or to put it in her exact words – “Syiok Sendiri“. There was simply no synergy of emotions being passed on from one actor / contestant to the other.

Adding on, Rilla pointed out painstakingly that acting is a craft in which there should be developments being seen and improvements being made in terms of diction and expression. She did not see the benchmark on what they had set out to portray. There should be actions and reactions between each player and no mimicking. Human emotions should be natural and progressive. If mimicking was what the producers were looking out for, then the competition shouldn’t be held altogether and instead employ the parrots over at the Singapore Jurong Bird Park.

As you can see, even though the analogy used was a bit strong, which resulted in the studio audience falling silent and in awe, I for one think that Rilla‘s words meant well and I hope the contestants would see where she’s coming from. As for those who think they can get away by coming to the shoots late or not coming prepared, welcome to the world of entertainment industry where your reputation is on the line every single minute and tongues will wag for nitty-gritty things you do. Even when the judges are not there in the flesh to watch you act out your scenes live, they have their trusted informers at hand. Every move you make now is being scrutinised, not only by the production team but also the public.

Professionalism is an attitude that is universal no matter what we do. Everyone has his / her own problems to solve but when it comes to work, do it sincerely like you mean it to be. There is no point wanting to be in this industry but your attitude states otherwise. Ask or look around you. The workforce industry, no matter what field you delve into, is the same everywhere. Your performances or productivity levels can be tip-top, excellent and even out-of-this-world, but if your work attitude sucks, then all your good efforts are wasted and go down the drain for nothing. All these negativities have to stop if you dream of some day representing our country, acting in a foreign production. If your attitude is already like this, will you still be proud to carry our flag and represent us??? Think about it…

Congratulations to the ones who had progressed to the next round. I hope that for Alfhian‘s sake, he has done enough to impress producers out there to make him a television star of the future. He certainly has potential and looks and when I watched the various VTs on him, he is comfortable expressing his thoughts in a very structured and matured way. As for Sarah, her looks are her plus points. I had said that her performance was not bad, but not spectacular either, which shows that there is much to work on. But given time, she will improve and I believe that is not the last time we see her on national television…

Highlights of the Show

A bulk of the Group A contestants who will duke it out next week. Even Mohamed Nur who was eliminated last week came to lend moral support to his previous fellow competitors, which is always a nice thing to see…

The studio audience preparing themselves for the show…

The pre-show host, Dyn Norahim, explaining the dos and don’ts to the audience. That’s Netty Fiona, from the production team, sneaking up from behind…

 
 

Roze Kasmani, the guest performer of the show, kicking things off by singing her current single on the airwaves, “Harum“. I thought she sounds much better live. Here’s wishing Roze all the good things to come in due time…

 

The resident hosts, Suzairhe Sumari and Huda Ali welcoming us to the show…

Group B easing tensions by posing for the cameras during the first commercial break… After what happened last week with regards to the coincidence in dressing of the eliminated contestants, I couldn’t see any from this photograph, other than the fact that Alfhian and Sarah were aligned front and back. Even then it wasn’t supposed to be that way since they were all leaning against each other…

Suzairhe trying to crack a joke to ease Group B’s tensions…

Relief etched on the faces of the contestants who were safe…

And worried ones on those in the Bottom 6…

Till we meet again next week. Group A‘s contestants promoting their voting code numbers. I certainly like Mohamed Nur‘s sense of humour. And no, that’s not Ramli Sarip in his youth on the rightmost side of the photograph. All the best for next week, guys!!!

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety Episode 2 Recap…

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

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

 

The eliminated – Mohamed Nur and Siti Aisyah

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

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

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

Huda Ali getting the perspectives of the judges…

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

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

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

Other Highlights of the Night

Dyn Norahim, the pre-show host…

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

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

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

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

 The bottom six…

 

 And down to the bottom four…

Anugerah Skrin 2010 Variety & Drama Episodes 1 Recap…

Anugerah Skrin 2010 kicked off in earnest this past Tuesday night with the first half hour being a live programme from the studio, dedicated to introducing the Top 24 contestants in this year’s competition, as well as the resident judges and acting mentors responsible in guiding their respective journeys. I believe the hosts, resident judges and mentors for this season’s series need no further introduction as I had already done so in my previous entry.

As compared to the usual theatre setting that we have all been accustomed to in the past, this year the atmosphere will be a bit humbling in that the live shows will commence from the studio. For those of you who have been fortunate to attend studio shows before, you would note that depending on the set-up, it can either be spacious or otherwise. With the audience making up of close family members or friends of the contestants, movement around the set was very much restricted and I had a difficult time getting the right angles to capture the shots from the studio without the moving cameras blocking my views. Hopefully for future live shows, I would be able to get better shots to be featured in this blog.

It was only apt that the show began with last year’s Anugerah series singing competition winner Sarah Aqilah, coming onstage to introduce the contestants by singing the show’s theme song. Somehow I just felt that subjecting the contestants to dance to the song was a bit off. They could have just kept it simple by sticking to the basic catwalks and model-like poses. Or if they really needed to dance, then perhaps it should not have been a live show and perhaps recorded so that they could get their steps right. Too many were not in-step, which is a grave injustice to their kind choreographer Mr. Rosley Kassim.

I thought for someone who has not been doing live hosting for ages and being thrusted to the fore only because Huda Ali is down with chicken pox, Shahril Wahid could be forgiven for being nervous and fluffing his lines somewhat. And the bug also spread to someone as experienced as Suzairhe Sumari though his wasn’t as glaring and very much minimal. But I don’t think they are grave issues. It is afterall only the first show with them trying to get some chemistry going between them. In due time and as the weeks progress, I’m sure we’ll see the hosts exploding, moreso when Huda returns.

I like the interview segments with the respective resident judges and hosts, with them outlining their hopes and expectations. As Rilla Melati had laid down her first basic rule on what she expects from the contestants, which is to look at this competition and subsequently career, way beyond the life of glamour and stardust, at least two of the contestants during the introductory video footage mentioned something that had experienced people in the industry who were seated around me cringing. One of them mentioned that he has to improve on his acting cos who knows he might get more fans and another said that in ten years time, he would like to see himself as a star. You’re only at the first step boys, but clearly your intentions and directions are way off what the judges had spelt out. Good luck to you in the following rounds lads!!!

The Top 24 contestants were split into two groups, A & B, with six males and six females in each group. Each week these contestants will be asked to act in different drama genres to test their acting skills. They may spar with each other as well as several experienced actors. This week, we were treated to the recorded segments by Group A in the second half of the show, which was televised straight after the live studio recording. Well what do I make out of their virgin forays on television (ok I’m wrong to use the word “virgin” cos some of them might have appeared on television before as extras / bit-part roles)??? After watching it a few times (since I had recorded the show), I tend to agree with my counterparts at Gumbira.com that the ladies are much better actors than the guys.

Looking at the six girls, the standouts for me were Nissa & Aisyah. Biwa and Mariah seemed a bit patchy with their emotions as they drifted from being focused to a point where their facial expressions showed that something was bothering them. Or in the words of mentor Seri, they were just not giving their all. As for Halimah and Sakinah, they were almost as good as Nissa and Aisyah. However, their scripts were limited and they played more on the safe side as their soft characters did not allow them to push themselves harder. But still it has to be said that overall the ladies were much better. If you were to ask me who should be eliminated, I’m hard pressed to find an answer. But if push comes to shove, then I think Mariah will be eliminated. Don’t sue me, it’s just based on my own personal opinions.

As for the guys, I think the ones that impressed me to some extent were Muhammad Dzar, Raja Razie and Shahril Kahar. The former I believe has had some acting experience in the past, which is why I think he had the extra edge over the rest. As for Idris, Fahmy & Mohamed Nur, it is a pity that blessed with better looks over the three guys who impressed me, they could not back it up with convincing performances. The part where Fahmy knelt down and begged Mahriah‘s character to give him a chance, felt like a big joke, as he was too confused over the correct emotions he should portray. When we were watching it from the giant screen at the studio, the whole audience roared with laughter. One of these three look likely bets to be eliminated this week and that is not a laughing matter.

And so we await for the results this Friday when one male and one female contestant will be eliminated. As viewers’ votes account for 50% of the total votes, I beseech you to vote for those with real talents, not because they are cute, pretty, handsome or related to you. We too have the responsibility to lift our local acting standards through the votes we make to the rightful and deserving contestants. Remember, your personal favourites might one day represent us in drama series or movies through regional tie-ups and you would do well to vote wisely and not subject them and our industry to embarrassment in future if they were to come up short. Till then, here are the numbers to call and sms your respective votes for Group A, which has been kindly provided by Mediacorp Suria, all credits to them:

Voting Period: Tuesday, 4 May, 9pm – Friday, 7 May, 6pm

Voting format via SMS: ANU <space> Contestant’s Code and send to 73388
Voting format via IVRS: Call 1900-112-77, followed by Contestant’s Code

Contestants Code SMS Format IVRS Format
Biwa Mastura 1 ANU <space> 1 and send to 73388 1900-112-7701
Muhammad Dzar 2 ANU <space> 2 and send to 73388 1900-112-7702
Nissa Bahruddin 3 ANU <space> 3 and send to 73388 1900-112-7703
Raja Razie 4 ANU <space> 4 and send to 73388 1900-112-7704
Sakinah Rahim 5 ANU <space> 5 and send to 73388 1900-112-7705
Mohamad Idris 6 ANU <space> 6 and send to 73388 1900-112-7706
Mariah Mahfar 7 ANU <space> 7 and send to 73388 1900-112-7707
Muhammad Fahmy 8 ANU <space> 8 and send to 73388 1900-112-7708
Halimah Yahaya 9 ANU <space> 9 and send to 73388 1900-112-7709
Mohamed Nur 10 ANU <space> 10 and send to 73388 1900-112-7710
Siti Aisyah 11 ANU <space> 11 and send to 73388 1900-112-7711
Shahril Kahar 12 ANU <space> 12 and send to 73388 1900-112-7712

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