Pesta Perdana 11 Pre & Post-Show Reception Photographs…

After such a heady month of March where this blog had a post at a rate of every other day, it’s back to its normal hiatus stage. For those of you hoping to view photographs of the recent Rock Elektra event or wanting to read the latest happenings during the Anugerah 2011 auditions held at East Point Mall over the weekend before last in this blog, I have to apologise first and foremost cos I did not attend either events due to more pressing issues at work and at home. I would have loved to attend the latter to see the talents and potentials on offer but alas my schedule was a bit too tight for me to bring to you what went on over at East Point Mall. I know the topic of Pesta Perdana 11 is kinda stale by now, but I did plan a three-parter posting on it, with this being the icing on the cake. Since I did not attend Rock Elektra and the Anugerah 2011 auditions this past weekend, I hope this posting would more than make up for it and acts as a filler. The photographs are a selected few I’ve chosen for your viewing, since only my Facebook contacts are able to view the whole collection…

Roving host & Anugerah Skrin 2010 winner, Syirah Jusni looking splendour…

SleeQ and Fauzie Laily with Berita Harian‘s Entertainment Correspondent, Ms Hanim Mohd Saleh

One word to describe Azzah Fariha Samat & Silver Ang: Beautiful…

I will never fail to laugh in the presence of these natural comedians – Sufian Ahmad & Junaidi Sali

Renowned theatre activists, the husband-and-wife team of Haryani Othman & Khairul Famy Kassim…

Anugerah Skrin alumnus Shahril Kahar, Junaidi Sali & Erwin Shah Dawson…

“Slick” is the word to describe Helmindra J. A. Halim, Nick Mikhail & Fauzie Laily

Without them, our comedy scene is a tad poorer. From left: M. Saffri  A. Manaf, B.J. Kadir, Hamzah Adon (striped shirt), Zainal Ihim, Hussin Saaban & Mahadi Shor…

The faceless character in Kopi Bujang, Effandy Idris and wife Sabrina Ali

My uncle, Jasmani Basri, who came alone that night surprisingly…

Nadiah Mohammad with Erwin… They represent the future…

My favourite couple: Den Sabari and Huda Ali

Silver Ang, her chaperone and Sufiyan Safee

Award-winning stylist and director, Azni Samdin (right) with a friend…

Osman Sulaiman and Shahril Wahid did not win anything that night but they were winners in their own rights…

Broadcast journalist Raudha Osman, Shenthy Feliziana and Nadiah Mohammad

The VVIPs of the event…

The star of Delicatessen, Sufiyan Safee

Best Actor Award recipient, Rafaat Hamzah, revel in his win…

Two beautiful ladies – Sharon Ismail & Rilla Melati

The smile says it all… Congrats Fauzie… You definitely earned it…

A face not seen on our local television screens in a long, long while – Nuraliza Osman

Anugerah Skrin 2010 mentors Seri Wahyuni Jaes & Sani Hussin…

Shahridzuan Selamat and his good friend Sabreena

Another deserving winner – Nurul Aini

Mastura Ahmad along with Eaglevision‘s Netty Fiona, an unsung heroine behind the scenes…

Hyrul Anuar and ex-official blogger of the Singapore Idol 3 season, Budi Iskandar… Nice get-up guys…

Nurul posing with beloved husband Sofian Roslan


Another shot of my favourite couple…

Riz Sunawan clowning around with Keatar H M and Hamzah Adon…

The good people at Mediacorp Suria, Siti Zuraidah, Raudaa Razak and Budi Iskandar

The league of winners – Rosita Hussin, Suhaimi Yusof, Sharon Ismail and Sani Hussin

Fauzie and Nurul rounding off the winners’ league…

 

 

 

 

 

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… 

Cicakman 2: Planet Hitam Gala Premiere in Singapore…

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It’s been quite a happening one week, with a few events occurring to my interest, which deserve mentioning and highlighting. At least this blog is able to be updated and not meant to be a white elephant. I was still tired from my cruise trip which ended last Friday, and I had just started on my previous blog entry on the trip. Naturally, I hate to stop halfway once I’ve started on something. However, a newspaper article in last Friday‘s Berita Harian perked me up when I read that Yusry Abdul Halim of KRU fame would be in town to promote his new film “Cicakman 2: Planet Hitam“. He was not to be alone and would be joined by the gorgeous and my favourite deejay from across the Causeway, none other than Radio ERA‘s Linda Onn.

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Riz Sunawan waiting for the artistes to arrive…

I looked at the schedule and saw that they were slated to make an appearance at The Cathay @ Downtown East between 1-3pm on Saturday 6th December 2008 and The Cathay @ Causeway Point between 2-4pm on Sunday 7th December 2008. As my Sunday afternoons are normally spent on playing football with my neighbourhood gang, the thought of rushing from Woodlands and back to Sengkang was not one that I looked forward to. The distance is also further compared to Sengkang and Pasir Ris and I wouldn’t want to waste my fuel for nothing. Since the movie was also being shown at 3:15pm at Downtown East and not at Causeway Point, it was decided that Saturday was the day to go. Also since both my nephew Muhammad and niece Nurin loved the first edition of the said movie, I thought it would be great if they tagged along as well.

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But first things first. I had to confirm whether the one being shown at Downtown East was the full movie and not a sneak preview. Cos I did not want to be shortchanged watching a sneak preview with a few scenes deleted. That’s why they call it a “sneak preview” for those of you who dunno this. So I messaged the two “ibu pengantins“, Jihan & Janna, and asked if it’s a full movie or a sneak preview. Jihan replied and said it’s the full movie AND it’s the gala premiere so I should come. And came I did. I wasn’t keen on coming so early as past similar events had shown that the artistes’ normally don’t make their appearance right on the dot. Syahindah wasn’t back yet from Kuala Lumpur with my family and Syadiyah is too young to appreciate watching a movie, so it was just us, the kids and their mum, Kak Rashida. We left home at about 1:40pm.

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When I reached the cinema lobby at Downtown East, I was surprised to see that there was not much of a crowd milling around the area where Yusry and Linda Onn were slated to make an appearance. Initially I thought the event was over, but then I saw Jihan and Janna, and they said that both Yusry and Linda will be coming out anytime soon. So it was definitely a good decision on my part to have left home slightly later. From a distance I could see the Mediacorp Malay Newsroom team led by Riz Sunawan, setting up their equipment, to interview the two artistes when they finally appear. I think it was about 2:20pm that Yusry, Linda Onn and the KRU Music Group chief himself, Norman Abdul Halim, finally came out from their waiting area.

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This is not Saiful Apek

A bit funny really that when they appeared, no announcements were made. This was because when they appeared, they headed straight to the area where the Mediacorp Malay Newsroom team had set up their equipment to do their interviews, which was aired that same night during the 8pm news. Walking towards the area, they had to walk past us and all three beamed at us, especially the two brothers which regular readers of this blog would note by now of my affiliation and loyalty towards KRU since they came into the music scene. Somehow there is always an emptiness when the joker of the pack, Edry, is not around, cos his two elder brothers are quite serious people on the surface.

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Yusry being interviewed by Riz Sunawan

Whilst Yusry was the first to be interviewed by Riz Sunawan, Norman came over to me, thanked me for supporting the event and asked how were things in life. He was surprised I did not bring Syahindah along but understood when I told him that the little one was enjoying herself in Kuala Lumpur. He was quite pleased to know that I had brought my nephew and niece along since I told him they are great fans of the first film. Whilst his attention was then diverted by his assistant AC, I took the time to walk over to Linda and asked if she remembered yours truly.

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When I brought up meeting her at Nadia Mustafar‘s wedding last year, she instinctively remembered and said we also met during Umrah in 2006 and that I had gone to her family’s chicken rice shop in Ampang. Her memory’s simply amazing, and to think she has met thousands of people since the last time we saw her. The freshness of her memory was very much evident, without having to remind nor prompt her further. The wife and I were extremely chuffed to meet her again, cos this gal simply has no airs about her, even if she is being portrayed as some sort like an ice queen. She then had to excuse herself as it was her turn to be interviewed by Riz.

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Surprising the “mak pengantin“, Janna

Seeing a beeline being formed at the signature booth, Aida told me to join in the queue as it was getting quite long for our liking. And so we queued and waited for the cue for them to start the autograph signing session. Next to the signature booth, a table was set up to sell the Cicakman merchandise like the comics, colouring books, colour pencils as well as the pencil cases. Oh they were also selling the Cicakman 2 official soundtrack album as well. We called out to my niece and nephew and they showed us which of the merchandise they wanted and we bought for them the colouring books. Seeing the Cicakman 2 soundtrack album having many new singles being released by artistes under the KRU Music Group label, I was swayed into buying it as the merchandise meant for the children are not exactly my cup of tea. I thought it would be worth it and something to remember me by of this gala premiere. It was an honour to know that I was the first amongst the people in the queue to have bought the soundtrack album, thanks to AC, who had by then taken over the microphone to promote the event and merchandise on sale.

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Linda Onn being interviewed by Riz Sunawan

The KRU brothers started the ball rolling by signing autographs on the Cicakman 2 posters that were being given away free to those who had bought tickets to the gala premiere or the merchandise on sale. Once she had finished her interview, Linda joined in the autograph signing session. We took the opportunity to take photos with all of them and once we had finished, we were given three copies of the Cicakman 2 poster by Kak Latifah, who was one of the crew members helping out at the event. It was then I realised that Suria had clinched the deal to be the official TV station of the movie here in Singapore when I saw Alex, one of the familiar faces of Suria‘s Artiste Management Unit.

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The Anugerah alumnus and yours truly…

Subsequently I was alerted to the presence of a few Suria artistes namely Fauzie Laily, Hyrul Anuar and Roslan Mohd. From afar, Hyrul and Fauzie were seen grinning and waving at me and I went up to them to ask how they were. And of course, it will not be complete without a photo taken together. Aida and the kids also took the opportunity to take a photograph with Norfasarie who looked extremely radiant and fresh, even in her current condition. The kids are big fans of her’s and they have never missed watching “2 X 5 Dol“, of which she is one of the two main protagonists of the series. My old friend, Fadhilah of Erlin Montel and FYI fame, was also there to cover for her weekly lifestyle programme.

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Always a pleasure meeting this old friend of mine…

The show which was originally supposed to start at 3:15pm ended up being shown at 3:30pm. A gala premiere is not complete without the movie’s producer, director and actors giving a brief speech on what to expect about the movie. Apparently Norman gave an idea that Cicakman is meant to be a trilogy and that the movie is filled with a lot of cameo appearances by famous personalities in the Malaysian entertainment industry. Handing the microphone over to Yusry, the latter said that the movie this time would have less elements of comedy and more action as compared to the first movie, so as to give a more credible substance to a super hero movie. By the time Linda spoke about her role in the movie and teased being a baddie, I was all pumped up to watch this sequel.

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The kids simply adore Norfa

The movie as a whole I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars. Personally I feel that this movie is much better than the first. The CGI effects have been increased and made to look more realistic and this time the weather effects were much better sans winter. Even though it’s supposed to be make believe, I still have not warmed to the idea of a Malay country having the four seasons. Other than that, the cameos by the different people make you wonder which celebrity is next to be featured. We were pleasantly surprised to see Aida‘s cousin, Nadia Mustafar, appearing in the supermarket scene. Speaking of that scene, I find it mind boggling that Danny (portrayed by Yusry) suddenly came back to life and acted as one of the extras in the background. Blink and you’ll miss him.

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If there are any flaws to the movie, it is probably due to the overacting of certain characters like Tamara Bleszynski‘s “Rrama” and Aznil Nawawi‘s “Professor Klon“. Perhaps it was very much intended by the director, as the latter’s character is meant to be a psycopath who is a little insane in the membrane. Tamara‘s cackling gave me goosebumps as her character became more like a Pontianak than a baddie hell bent on killing Cicakman himself.

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Another flaw of note perhaps come from the similarities to Spiderman and Batman which we have seen lately on our movie screens. “Rrama‘s” costume reminded me of a female Batman and her weapons as well as gadgets of choice resembled the Batarangs and others associated to Batman. Cicakman‘s reminded me of Spiderman, especially now that his costume is even redder than the last movie. Even his mode of movement reminded me of Spiderman, in that he uses his tongue, rather than a websling to move from building to building. I think we’ve seen this already in the first movie.

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Me and the KRU brothers…

But the storyline in itself was a joy to watch. It was compact, fast-paced and at times delved with the emotions. And what is a super hero movie without twisting plots and surprises along the way??? Help for Cicakman came from quite an unexpected form. You need to watch the movie to know what I’m talking about. Again this part reminded me of Spiderman 3 whereby the New Green Goblin came to Spiderman‘s rescue towards the end. That’s a big hint for you people out there to know which baddie suddenly became good in the end. The finale was a clear indication as to who would possibly be the baddie that Cicakman has to face in the next instalment.

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Us and Linda Onn

As for the soundtrack, there are ten songs in them, all from artistes under the KRU Music Group label. It is a good strategy to release new singles in an album like this. New acts like Pianka, Boy and Flava are given the opportunity to introduce themselves to the masses. The only ironical part is the fact that Pianka, a girl group, has a song entitled “Mau Yang Besar” (I Want It Big). Edry, the composer of the song, certainly likes to push the controversial limits accorded to him. But of course there is nothing pornographic about the song nor does it have any sexual innuendos. It’s a feel good song actually with the girls wanting materialistic stuff. Hopefully it gets played on our local airwaves.

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Another special feature in the soundtrack album I also noticed is the fact that all three members of KRU have a song of their own – Edry with “Sumpah Takkan Cari Yang Lain“, Yusry & Melly Goeslaw with “Dibius Cinta” and Norman performing “Planet Hitam“. Even though the main track “Planet Hitam“, which is my personal favourite, is noted as being performed by Tyco, it’s actually just Norman himself performing it in his element. The song is energetic, pumps the adrenaline and most definitely reminded me of the good old days whereby KRU was the kingpin of Malaysian rap.

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Nice to see Tyco being resurrected after eight long years. For those of you who dunno, Tyco is the cartoon version of KRU. My wedding dinner introduction, the one I came in with a bang, was a song by Tyco entitled “With You“. You can check out YouTube for that clip, both the original and my own wedding dinner performance. To end this entry, here’s the video clip of “Planet Hitam“, which is currently being shown on Suria at selected times. For the record, the movie is being launched concurrently in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei today and is the reason why I’m pubilshing this entry to coincide with its launch. You should watch this movie!!!

Video courtesy of “krustudios