Back with another review of Elit Suria, this time combining my thoughts from watching the recent two episodes involving Groups A & B once again. Like the first fortnight, the third and fourth episodes saw two more contestants being eliminated each week, making it a grand total of eight contestants seeing their journey halted from progressing into the semi-final rounds. Episodes 3 and 4 also saw a slight twist to the hosting segment, whereby the contestants interviewed special guests and discussing on the particular week’s themes as a duo, and not individually like the first and second episodes. This was a challenge to see how well they worked together and if they were able to capture the essence of hosting as a team. Group A‘s theme of the week was Films, whereas Group B‘s was Travel, two themes which are closely-related to the media industry and ones that attract eyeballs to info-ed shows pertaining to them. If the first two episodes were graced by female performers, the recent two bucked the trend and gave the males centrestage. The third episode saw Rudy Djoharnaen, winner of Anugerah 1999, and the recent fourth episode had Singapore Idol alumnus and Anugerah Planet Muzik 2018 award nominee, Farhan Shah, as the guest performers. I’ll dive straight into my observations on both episodes henceforth.
If I’m not mistaken, Nurul Aini was very ill during this particular episode, but the masses didn’t know the high level of professionalism she displayed to soldier on through the night… Massive respect!!!
It is difficult as a home viewer to assess the contestants in the first Style segment, as the cameras take turn to pan between the week’s guest performer and them. However, from the short time I was able to view, it was easy to see who deserved to top their respective time onstage. Those short 3-4 minutes onstage accompanying the guest performer, needed to be used to its maximum. The caveat, according to the judges however, is not to overdramatise their movements and prancing onstage, even if they had to fully utilise their moment. Judge Najip Ali mentioned in the third episode, what they are looking out for is not a ready-made star, but someone with a huge potential to make it in the industry and eventually become a household name through their natural aura, charisma and aptitude. I still don’t get much vibes from this particular segment, especially when I watched the fourth episode. Other than Asyraf Iskandar and Erna Ellieyana, I dunno how the others, most notably Farid Azhar, connected their style and character portrayals to the week’s theme – Travel. They could have at least substituted that sporty look with an immigration officer’s or a pilot’s or a steward’s or even a cargo handler’s outfit. No surprises that he came off last in that round. Which begs the question, who was responsible for their outfits and character portrayals onstage??? Was it themselves or the producers???
Rudy Djoharnaen performed Dato’ M. Nasir‘s “Bikin Filem“, accompanied by the contestants. Here we see Haziq Halim and Hana Rosli…
Onto the hosting segment. If in the last entry I lavished praise on the ones who did well, for this entry, I will focus more on the ones who did not do particularly well in my eyes, most notably Atiqah Hassan and Fadzli Jani for Group A, as well as Faiz Zainal, Erna Ellieyana and Farid Azhar for Group B. I actually sympathised with Atiqah as it is not easy to speak fluently and most importantly, clearly, when one is wearing braces. I think her overall performance was hampered by it and I am not sure what other problems she was facing during the recording of her hosting segment with Fadzli, because her facial expressions and body language showed that something was bothering her. The way she presented was also akin to watching a children’s programme host speaking in a monotonous tone. Fadzli, whose energy and outgoing style caught my eyes the last time out, seemed lost when paired with Atiqah. There was hardly any chemistry between them, making their performance completely flat. I finally bumped into Atiqah for the first time over this past weekend at the Twilight: Uniquely Local flea market expo at Suntec City Convention Centre and managed to ask her what happened during the recording of her hosting segment. Indeed she said that she was bogged down by the braces and having to mouth her words carefully. This is why I prefer to watch the shows live, as I get to talk to the contestants post-show to understand some of their difficulties that may affect their performance, so that I can give a more compassionate and understanding assessment afterwards, rather than watch and whack like some others from the comfort of home.
Judge Najip Ali dispensing his words of wisdom to the contestants…
Faiz Zainal seemed nervous next to Amyrah Mustafa, and somehow his slightly higher-pitched voice made his hosting style looked out of sync when complemented with his more composed partner. There was a reason judge Khairudin Saharom specifically asked them much later on if they felt comfortable hosting with one another. Though they tried to be cordial and complimentary towards one another, somehow their respective answers and hesitancy in trying to find the right words were not convincing enough. Amyrah, whom I personally thought didn’t do much wrong, was told that her energy did not complement that of her co-host and guest personality. Faiz on the other hand, was taken to task for not grasping the essence of his questions and merely stating his lines as it is. Erna Ellieyana, or Ellie as she likes to be called, was reminded by judge Nuraliza Osman to lessen her child-like traits and style a fortnight ago. Though she tried to escape from that, her voice and most importantly, the way she pronounced her sentences resembled that of a schoolkid reading from a book out loud to their class. Farid, on the other hand, was quite static and did not show much emotions, making his performance a bit wooden. I was actually surprised that judge Nuraliza actually complimented Ellie on showing significant improvement from the last time out, but I felt that if there were any, it was only minimal. The only thing I liked about her performance was her trying to liven up their segment with her bubbly personality.
Haziq Halim and Hana Rosli were the top performers for Episode 3…
I need to highlight one thing which I found most pleasing over the past fortnight, and that was how much Farahnurmadina probably took my criticisms in the last entry in her stride (or from others in her private circle), and gave a more polished and confident performance when she was paired with Asyraf Iskandar as they interviewed their guest, actress-writer-director-producer, Seriwahyuni Jaes. Though I did not mention names in that last entry, I was specifically referring to her when I brought up the topic of not speaking with an English twang. I was super turned-off when I watched her introductory clip then and thought to myself then, “Girl, why do you need to do that???” It did not look nor sounded good as it came across as made up. Fortunately for the latest episode, she kept that to a minimum, making it barely audible, and gave a very good performance next to Asyraf. It was refreshing to watch them, which had me smiling and nodding away in front of the television screen. It probably helped that they had someone like Seriwahyuni to dispense tips and such prior to the cameras rolling, especially with someone who has bags of experience in front of the cameras and an endearing personality like her, their synergy and energies were just bouncing off one another, making it probably the best of the six interviews between the two groups. So well done to Farah and Asyraf!!!
This was Group B answering questions in the first round of the Bestari segment…
For my favourite Bestari round, I noticed the eagerness, determination and effort in most of the contestants to do well and win that weekly $300 cash prize, judging by how fast they raised their hands to answer. The two who eventually won during their respective week’s episode, Haziq Halim and Amyrah Mustafa, showed how hungry they were to excel in this round, most notably the latter, whom I felt had something to prove after her earlier hosting segment was not given glowing assessments by the judges. I was amazed by their level of knowledge, especially Amyrah, who answered six out of seven questions correctly in the second round of her episode. I was stumped by some of the questions posed during that particular episode where the questions had something to do with travelling and places in the world and could only get about half of them correct. The way Amyrah answered them correctly showed that she is perhaps someone who is well-travelled or probably had done her homework beforehand. It has to be said, that nothing is more attractive than a lady with brains (at least from my personal point of view), and this was the second time in the competition that she has aced this segment. I would like to see the other contestants in the upcoming weeks upping their game and showing the same hunger as their two main rivals.
Farhan Shah performed his hit single, “Istimewa“, along with the contestants…
The last round, which is the X-Factor round, is probably another segment that I still am trying to get used to. This make-or-break round either brings out the best in the contestant or leaves them on the brink of elimination. For some, it either makes them come across as cocky or gives away their feeling of nervousness. However, as I had mentioned in the last entry, this round more or less confirmed who would leave the competition or who would progress. For the third episode, Atiqah Hassan was let down by the way she spoke. When she posed a question at the end, the tone of her voice was not that of someone questioning her audience, but ending her sentence with a full stop. For the fourth episode, I think it was easy to pinpoint who probably had the lowest marks by virtue of the contestant who tripped on his words, Faiz Zainal. He was a bag of nerves and his forced smile tried to hide how nervous he was. Anyway, in this segment Farah reverted back to my earlier grouse about her speaking with an accent, even though it was only momentarily. I am not sure if she has trouble pronouncing the letter “R” or certain words, because I know some people speak with a bit of an accent to hide the fact that they cannot pronounce words containing the letter “R” correctly. However I am sure she will minimise that in the semi-final rounds onwards as she has at least two weeks to work on it.
Judge Nuraliza Osman sharing her thoughts while Najip Ali listened intently…
Other than the eliminations of Atiqah Hassan and Erna Ellieyana whom I felt were more than justified, I found the results slightly unkind towards Fadzli Jani and Farid Azhar, who were also eliminated in their respective episodes. But Group A‘s male contestants were technically strong to begin with and I think Fadzli was let down by his hosting segment. I had expected Faiz to be eliminated as I did not see him doing his best for both the hosting and X-Factor rounds. His only saving grace, and this proved to be very crucial, was him entering the second round of the Bestari segment and answering that one last question which Amyrah probably gave way to her fellow competitors to answer, so as not to make them look bad. Farid on the contrary, did not manage to enter the second round. Hence this is why it is paramount that they do their best for every challenge they pit themselves in, as their consolidated marks from all the segments will eventually be the deciding factors. It is not all doom and gloom for the eight eliminated contestants as they still have the upcoming Wildcard episode later tonight to give off their best. However, only two will advance to the semi-finals. I already have in mind who will progress based on their performances this past month. I just hope the rest will up their game and prove me wrong, even though I will not mention who or if you guys already have an inkling who I have in mind.
Erna Ellieyana and Farid Azhar were still able to smile upon their elimination as they will get a reprieve in the Wildcard episode…
The semi-finalists have all earned their places fairly. Slowly as the weeks progress, I can see their respective potentials and most importantly, their personalities appearing to the fore. In the X-Factor round, I detected that Hans Hamid, Fatin Taha and Hana Rosli could possibly have a future in radio broadcasting or as a newscaster some day, if they are interested as they have the calm, soothing and confident voices associated with those jobs. However, Hana looks and behaves more like a performer onstage, though she should lessen the overdramatisation of her expressions, as well as her emotions at times, cos it can be a bit of a turn-off to look for the average viewer, since she tends to showcase a certain vulnerability by crying in front of the cameras, be it when she’s sad or happy. Haziq and Amyrah, confident and hungry as they are, might want to consider practising in front of the mirror and look at their facial expressions and body language when they smile or speak. There were times when their features displayed a slight tinge of arrogance, so they might want to work on it a bit to up their likeability factor even more with not only the judges but viewers in the studio and at home. Other than that, I think the two of them are quite the clear favourites based on form. As for Asyraf, there were instances where he spoke like an excited kid, so he might want to tone it down a bit, but I love his devil-may-care attitude and principle to just “Go Je!“. He is one person who looks as though he enjoys himself onstage. Farah??? I do not want to sound like a bad record, but I already mentioned her shortcomings and her improvements to be made earlier so I’ll give her a break here. Till the next entry!!!
Vendors @ ChiChi Lala: Play & Learn Tea Party
Little Fikra is an exclusive art education integrating the expressions of art and Islamic teachings for the young ones. It is the brainchild of Rudy Djoharnaen and his business partner, Maya. Children will get to learn essential art skills such as painting and drawing techniques through topics related to Allah’s creations such as Nature.
Little Fikra extents the learning process by exploring and re-creating the works of Islamic Art & Design. With Little Fikra, these young achievers could develop and strengthen their creative skills, promote self-expressions and also self- exploration. When children strive to understand themselves, they will learn the meaning of appreciating, praising and glorifying Allah as our Creator.
Partyweqz Singapore offers a one-stop party planning service customised to meet all your party planning needs!
Little Quran Kids is a programme for 3-6 years old to help them memorise Juz Amma in 3 years! Their mission is to put Allah and Rasulullah (Peace Be Upon Him) in our childrens’ hearts by giving the best Islamic environment and techniques.
Core values: Submission, Solah (Prayer), Sabar (Patience), Syukur (Gratitude) and Sayang (Love).
Mini Monsters started off in 2008 as the Education Outreach arm of award-winning TV production house Dua M Pte Ltd. The company aims to revive an interest in the Malay language by offering an interesting and fun approach to the teaching of the language. Its motto “Berhibur dan Belajar” (Entertain and Educate) sums up the company’s philosophy in its approach of developing educational materials, courses and syllabus that are relevant to today’s generation of children.
In just six years, Mini Monsters has grown into Mini Monsters Limited and is currently helmed by its Director of Content Development and co-founder Rilla Melati Bahri. The aim is to always give the best to all children while instilling a lifelong love for the Malay language and inspire change through creativity and innovation.
At DTS, they strive to re-educate the community on healthful eating in order to regain control of their personal and family’s health. Through personal and group coaching, DTS coaches will help you discover your bio-individuality so you could better understand what works for you in your journey to be healthier than you are today! With better understanding of your own body, DTS coaches hope to help you battle diet-based diseases that you may be at risk of getting, through better management of your daily nutritional diet and lifestyle.
DTS will be sharing tips on how to tackle toddlers’ fussiness in food at ChiChi LaLa: Play & Learn Tea Party.
Diana by Design is a distributor for Naelofar, Nora Danish and House of Dolls by Fazura. Diana by Design is a distributor for Naelofar, Nora Danish and House of Dolls by Fazura.
A SAHM of twins who started her sewing journey as a form of therapy and has not looked back since. She sells her handmade items such as baby/toddler dresses, buckwheat pillows, pouches and many more! SewNanu will be at the ChiChi LaLa Tea Party with their handmade items.
Playworks Consultancy was established in 2005 in USJ, Subang Jaya. As they celebrate their 11th anniversary this year, they look forward to continue their history of providing high quality and professional services and resources to their customers.
Playworks Consultancy started as a consultant and learning resource supplier in the areas of Early Childhood Education. Since their inception, they have grown and expanded in their services. Their very own Playworks Publishing House was established in 2013. Their very first book “Phonics Junction for Little Muslims” was introduced in November 2013. The book has since benefited children, parents, teachers and caregivers in Malaysia, Australia, Brunei and Singapore.
Helwatu Qalbi which means “sweet heart” in Arabic, is a one-stop solution for mummies specially brought to you by us – modest wear for all Muslimah princesses, specially crafted pieces from Hijab, dresses, Jubah, to casual top and bottom.
They believe in nurturing the value of modesty and covering the Aurah from young. May all Muslim princesses grow to be wonderful Muslimahs, thus pearls of Islam.
It is a known fact that to successfully groom a child, we have to start young, like the famous Malay saying, “Kalau melentur buluh, biarlah dari rebungnya…“
Swing by Suhaim is an Islamic concept store that features unique and popular Muslim brands. Swing is an initiative by Suhaim, whose focus is to develop wonderful, engaging and inspiring educational books, games and toys for young Muslims. They develop products such as Tap Genius and Quran Reading system that apply technology to the presentation, learning and transmission of traditional Islamic knowledge and make the understanding and appreciation of Islam a truly enjoyable and meaningful experience. Together, we can help build a sound and dynamic foundation for young Muslims, Insya Allah.
“Serving modest wear for all ages”
n6y.sg will be releasing their Hari Raya collections at ChiChi LaLa: Play & Learn Tea Party…
Sufyaa aims to bring out the best in women from all walks of life, fulfilling the needs of those who are socially conscious, yet with a desire to dress fashionably.
They are passionate and creative in their pursuits to unleash the chic in you. Their designs are ever-changing and they like to keep things fresh in their showroom. With their new Bespoke Collection, you will be at ease to know that you are able to customise your hijab style to your preference from their available prints.
Leather – Crafts – Accessories – Design – Handmade
Forest Child embodies the liberation of attaining stylish nirvana through leather goods crafts with love and good vibes. They are a nature loving team, affectionately calling themselves “Tarzan and the Painters”. Combining their love for craft and the intricate nature of handling leather, they aim to provide signature pieces for the fashion conscious desiring effortless style, accentuated with functionality.
Join Cool Mumz Dancin sessions for mommies who love to have fun, destress and make new friends yet still able to bond with yr lil ones at the same time!
Hayyan.SG is in the business of providing Islamic-based educational and entertainment alternatives to the local community.
Hayyan.SG is inspired by the parable found in the Qur’an in Surah Ibrahim: “See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? – a goodly Word like a goodly tree, whose roots is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the heavens – It brings forth its fruit at all times, by leave of its Lord. So Allah sets forth parable for men, in order that they may receive admonition.” 14:24-25
Hayyan.SG aspires to grow their roots into the fabric of the society and be the “goodly tree” whose fruits and shade it provides brings benefit to others. Insya-Allah!
Sarras Dolls is a one-woman show. Just a little store, Sarras Dolls is born out of curiosity when looking for toys for their only daughter. As parents, we prefer quiet toys and we all know why, right? Unknowingly, we also realise that quiet toys encourages independent play plus it allows the child to interpret how the toy is being played. Creativity checked!
As parents, safe toys are of utmost importance. In Sarras Dolls, products that are chosen are handmade. Extra care has been taken to ensure toys are safe to be played among children. Products are also carefully curated to suit most young children. Featured products are absolutely UNIQUE and ADORABLE.
Although newly established in October 2015, Tarkiz is helmed by experienced associates who were key players in their respective previous employments. Grounded by deep sense of purpose, we tread every aspect of our operations with much thought and deliberation, effecting in a well-balanced and fresh, ideas and activities. Beginning with education in the corporate world, Tarkiz plans to expand its horizon to all levels; catering from newborns to the golden age.
Tarkiz deeply believes in lifelong learning and sees education in all forms, albeit in a relaxed, informal and fun manner. We fuse theory and practical to achieve a holistic experience. Our programmes are conceptualised hands-on activities-based philosophy. Hence, nurturing physical, psychological and spiritual health.
Tarkiz is highly driven in community work. Many of our programmes are designed for community development. Our strong sense of social responsibility directs us, provide conducive environment for youth at risks, and former convicts to reform. We engage, train and place them as freelancers in our programmes so they gain skills and experience for their future endeavours.
After years of being fed a diet of English children’s songs, Malay kids, parents and educators in Singapore can now look forward to a newly created package that has been created to revitalise and rejuvenate the Malay Children’s music industry. “Lagu-Lagu Kita” is a compilation CD of 40 carefully selected Malay children’s songs from a span of 40 years (1950s-80s). It is a project by Mini Monsters and is supported under the National Heritage Board’s Heritage Industry Incentive Programme (Hi²P), a co-funding scheme designed to encourage more the development and creation of innovative heritage products and services that will reach out to as many Singaporeans as possible
For the uninitiated, Mini Monsters is the Education Outreach arm of television production house Dua M Pte. Ltd. and Music & Movement Pte. Ltd. Headed by Creative Director, Najip Ali and Chief Creative Officer, Rilla Melati Bahri, Mini Monsters aims to revive an interest in the Malay Language by offering an interesting and fun approach in its learning. With their motto – “Berhibur dan Belajar” (Entertain and Educate) – Mini Monsters believes in partnering like minded establishments and educational institutions in order to promote active Malay learning. Their courses and products are aimed at giving the best to all kids – at school or at home – while instilling a lifelong love for the Malay language through confidence-building and creative ways.
This project serves to put a name and a face behind every lyricist and composer of these endearing Malay children’s songs that we grew up with, in hope of reviving the songs for the generations to come. Aimed at children aged 4 to 14 years, kids can sing-a-long while they learn about Malay values, lifestyle and customs through the lyrics. This edu-tainment pack is not just targeted at Malay children but children of all ethnicities who are willing and keen to learn Malay in a fun and entertaining manner. Projects like “Lagu-Lagu Kita” can not only bring back the heritage that we may have forgotten but also introduce a brand new audience to the many hidden and forgotten gems of Singapore’s heritage.
I had the honour of being invited to cover the event when it was held on the morning of 10 June 2012 at the Upper Concourse of the Esplanade, Theatres by the Bay. Thanks to the kind people at Mini Monsters for the invitation, I felt obliged to attend and in turn, come out of my blog “retirement”, as this is something I feel close to my heart since young. Back in primary school, I recall learning and singing some of these songs during my mother tongue classes. Coupled with educational shows like Mat Yoyo and other beneficial Bengkel Kanak-Kanak TV programmes, I admit that they have in a way introduced and strengthened my knowledge on the Malay language. Which was why I brought my children along that day to expose them to the songs that my wife and I had learned when we were young.
Seeing the performances of the singers that day (Imran Ajmain, Dalina Jaapar, Rudy Djoharnaen) and listening to the songs they performed, was like a walk down memory lane. I felt nostalgic thinking back of my lost childhood. At the same time, I felt so thankful towards this initiative to revive and to preserve these treasures for our younger generation to pick up and learn and in turn, to pass it down for generations to come. It has been a month since the CD was launched but my daughters insist on listening to them every day!!! This is indeed an effort which deserves to be supported by our community and of course by the schools. Our children can most definitely learn a lot from the messages imparted through the songs, be it in language, moral, religious and ethical values.
The CD pack contains a book & two audio CDs including a CD on the oral history of Malay children’s songs in Singapore as told by veteran songwriters and composers such as Nona Asiah, Yusnor Ef, Drs Bahri Rajib and Khamaliah Salleh. The 40 specially selected songs have been re-arranged and updated to appeal to today’s kids and teenagers. The songs in this compilation are sung by popular and well-known young artistes such as Imran Ajmain, Hyrul Anuar, Syarif SleeQ, Rudy Djoharnaen, Dalina Jaapar and Nurulhuda Ramdzan.
Another special feature of the pack – these 40 songs are categorised into stages to suit children across different age groups. The stages go from Tahap 1 (Beginners) to Tahap 3 (Advanced) and together with a companion guide, it serves to educate them further by explaining the themes, values and reflections found in each of the individual song lyrics. What is interesting is that the book also contains photographs and a brief history of our Malay children’s programmes on national television since the 1970s. One of the photographs featured the book, a picture of the 1988 batch of Bengkel Kanak-Kanak TV graduates has my other half and several friends I’ve made along the way, in it.
“Lagu-Lagu Kita” is priced at $29.90 and can be purchased at the following places:
- Esplanade Shop
- Museum Label @ National Museum of Singapore
- Museum Label @ Singapore Art Museum
- Museum Label @ Asian Civilisation Museum
- Muzika Rekods
- Warisan Media
- Wardah Books
- Mini Monsters – Send your emails to Ms. Lydia Cheriyan (email@example.com)
Fresh from last night’s Bandstand Elektra event, I’ve decided to upload this entry as a filler for earlier events I attended the past month, namely the Muzik Festival Melayu concert at Marina Barrage on 18 February 2012 and the launch of Ritabella‘s Fiza O Collection event held at Joo Chiat Complex on 25 February 2012. Anyway this entry is filled with photographs I took last night during the post-event reception, so it’s a very short entry just to whet your appetite on what is to come in the days / weeks ahead. Hope the weekend has been good so far for all of you…
Just as I had begun my previous entry, Mediacorp Suria reached a milestone on 30 January 2010 when it turned a decade old. And to commemorate its ten years of existence, the premier Malay television channel in Singapore held two big bashes within the space of a week – Fiesta Suria held at East Coast Park on 30 January 2010 itself and Suria Elektra on Friday 5th February 2010. While I will update this domain on photographs of the beach event on a slightly later date, I’m sure the one that people have vested interest in, is the Suria Elektra event.
Suria Elektra featured a stellar gathering of around 100 artistes and these included the unsung performers like the dancers, under the direction of veteran choreographer Eddy, the back-up singers under the tutelage of vocal coach Ann Hussein and the musicians led by Amri Amin, a well-respected music arranger and director. The two-hour live musical extravaganza was not only an evening of musical splendour but it also celebrated the unveiling of Suria’s new logo:
The new Suria logo reflects the channel’s growth. The strong bold letter “S” symbolises the channel’s strength in its aspiration to strife for new creative ideas. The bright orange signifies freshness and vibrancy while the “smiley” shape below the letter “S” characterises the channel as a “feel-good” channel that continues to shine with the viewers. The logo was officially unveiled by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was the guest-of-honour, during the show itself.
Suria‘s prime-time viewership has grown by 33% from 2008 to 2009 with the channel’s local contents constantly been its top-rated programmes. In a press release statement, Mr Suhaimi Jais, Senior Vice President of Suria Programming & Promotions and Mediacorp Eaglevision said that the challenge for them is to continuously improve their contents and keeping them fresh. The change in logo also portrays Suria‘s aspirations to be more innovative and providing up-to-date content.
It was a throwback to the year 2000 when the Prime Minister who was then-Deputy Prime Minister, had also launched the first official Malay channel on our shores. The days when our Malay programmes had to share a common channel with the arts, Tamil as well as children’s programmes now seem like a distant memory. Over the years we have also seen the launching of dedicated channels to cater to our Indian community (Vasantham) as well as for the children / arts / documentaries / lifestyle (Okto).
Before the show kicked off in earnest, there was a red-carpet and pre-show cocktail event. Hosted by roving hosts, Huda Ali & Rilla Melati, clips of the event were shown in brief and it looked grand seeing the invited artistes dressed in their very best. I did not attend the event as my invitation card did not include being invited to it. Even if I was invited, I doubt I would be able to make it as I was still stuck at work right up till 7.30pm, when the card clearly stated that we were to be there at 7:00pm!!! Good thing when I reached Caldecott Broadcast Centre, I was still considered early and had time to make my way into the auditorium. The only downside was having to negotiate my way in and being resorted to strict security checks. But that was understandable as the event was graced by the who’s who in our Malay community circle, distinguished dignitaries and of course, our Prime Minister.
The show kicked off with aplomb, Sarah Aqilah, the winner of Anugerah 2009, came onstage to sing Mulan Jameela‘s “Makhluk Tuhan Paling Seksi“. It came as a big surprise to me that this song was able to be performed on national television and in front of very, very important people who made up part of the audience. You might wonder and question, “What is wrong with that???” Here’s the ironical part. This song was not approved to be aired by our local radio stations due to its apparently suggestive nature, and yet here we are seeing it being performed on a grand scale. I wonder if the so-called “ban” would now be lifted as a result.
I thought the choice of having Najip Ali & Nurul Aini as hosts was spot-on. For someone who has not done live hosting for a few years, I thought Nurul did extremely well, even to the point of improvising her script at certain points to give it an edgier punch. Their chemistry throughout the show, grew as the minutes wore on. Obviously Nurul didn’t look out of place even though she did admit, she was very nervous prior to the show. One could understand her fears, especially since this was afterall a grand event watched by thousands at home and very, very important people in the auditorium.
Sleeq & Maiya Rahman performing a song specially composed in tribute to popular programmes televised on Suria over the past ten years…
It was apt that Eka Mairina & Kunjung Whitaker performed together onstage as they’re our two famous Indonesian imports whose raw potentials were polished in the Anugerah competition. I had envisaged that someday they would perform together but I did not expect it to be this soon. For the record, Eka became champion in 2003 while Kunjung was the runner-up in last year’s competition. That night, they sang the classic hit “Jelingan Manja” and was accompanied by renowned saxaphonist Jari.
Anang Hermansyah performing his current hit “Separuh Jiwaku Pergi“. The whole auditorium felt his emotions flowing in the song and he was given a rousing ovation by a whole row of female personalities that included the likes of Seri Wahyuni Jaes, Mastura Ahmad, Ariati Tyeb and Rita Zahara…
This particular segment whereby Anang and Sarah sang the former’s composition “Belajarlah Untuk Cinta” was both cute and cynical at the same time – Cute because Anang was being cheeky and romantic by holding onto Sarah‘s hands throughout the song and grinning from ear to ear, and cynical because the words to the song was an obvious dig to his ex-wife. They obviously were a joy to listen to, showing good vocal harmony together and having the chemistry that lent credence to the performance. Sarah who was initially coy, showed the audience why she deserved to be crowned Anugerah 2009 champion by hitting the high notes with nonchalant ease. Not that regular viewers needed any reminders.
Vadi, Kym Ng and Suhaimi Yusof cracking up the audience with their short skit…
The girls of Pianka definitely did not disappoint when they sang their first single “Mau Yang Besar“. Though the song is more than a year old, having been included in the Cicakman 2 official soundtrack album, I’ve yet to hear it on this shores. I just hope the slightly suggestive title doesn’t go the same way as Mulan Jameela‘s “Makhluk Tuhan Paling Seksi“, because compared to the latter which I agree has some undesirable tones, the former actually portrays how some ladies’ preferences for material stuff, are conditions warranted in order to win over their hearts. This song has been playing at the back of my head ever since I met them at the Suria Elektra Media Session. Kudos to Edry KRU on another masterpiece composition. He’s not a millionaire for nothing or just by introducing mere pretty faces in the music industry across the Causeway.
As winners of the inaugural Anugerah Band competition, I expected Rancour to at least have more minutes to their segment, cos Sarah Aqilah appeared in no less than three items that night. Surely being winners themselves, they deserved slightly more, yes???
Eiss & “Papa Rock“, Ramli Sarip, singing the latter’s old hit “Teratai“. The hairs stood in awe of their performance…
Ramli Sarip then took centrestage singing “Keliru“…
He was ably accompanied by Zoul (left) and Alif Putra (right). For the uninitiated, Zoul is the younger brother of M. Nasir and Alif was the winner of Best Musician at the inaugural Anugerah Band competition in 2008, where he turned out with the group Putra.
This segment featuring the new faces of Suria over the past decade left me and the audience scratching our heads as to whether it was necessary to have in the first place or merely a filler of sorts because it felt more like a fashion showcase where models do the catwalk along the runway. Even though I have no qualms about their selections and felt all ten of them deserved to be there, I just can’t help thinking that besides the good-lookers, maybe perhaps they could have included the breakthrough artistes or artistes who are plus-sized but still became household names like Fadhilah Samsudin (Erlin Montel), Zamberi Abdul Patah (Cik Leh in “Jeritan Sepi 2“) and Haryani Othman (Cikgu Bedah in “Tahu Nahu“). Granted, you need to look good to be on television, but a more realistic perspective could probably have given these people a fairer opportunity to receive some form of recognition for their good performances and making viewers remember them by.
Unlike his haunting hit “Angkasa” which has now topped the local radio charts for a ninth straight week, I found Hady Mirza‘s next single “Hentikan“, taken off his “Sang Penyanyi” album, which he sang that night, needing a lot of getting used to as compared to the former. “Angkasa” is easier on the ears as it is a typical ballad and sappy song. What made it even more special was the fact that it was Hady‘s first Malay single since “Jangan Memandu Di Pinggir Jalan“. However, the message the song “Hentikan” brings with it with regards to world peace, ending strifes and wars I believe, is more important and that’s what make this next single of his a song of pristine substance. I also do not dare to bet against this song following the footsteps of “Angkasa” and topping the local charts in time to come.
When Suria Channel was first launched on 30 January 2000, Siti Nurhaliza was slowly making waves as the hottest singing sensation this part of South-East Asia was witnessing. Back then when she donned a striking kimono and singing “Kurniaan Dalam Samaran“, I doubt that anyone of us, me included, would have envisaged seeing her being conferred the status of a “Dato‘” within a ten-year period. But such has been her colourful journey and without waxing too much lyrical on her achievements that need no further reminding, she has definitely gone on to become a brand name that the whole Nusantara has come to love and in the case of certain quarters, dislike. The title bestowed on her was a matter of when, not if. She would have gotten it even if she had not married a “Dato‘” as well.
That night Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza sang three songs to the delight of the watching audience. The first, “Batas Asaku” was taken off the official soundtrack of the movie “Perempuan Berkalung Sorban“, which was based on a novel by Abidah el Khalieqy, and was first published by the Yayasan Kesejahteraan Fatayat in Jogjakarta in 2001. After addressing the audience, she followed up her segment with a medley of Bukan Cinta Biasa and Destinasi Cinta, two songs that needed no further introductions. I guess in any appearance she makes, be it for a showcase, a concert or even a brief cameo, the audience would never get enough of her and that night was no different.
I certainly did not expect Taufik Batisah to sing “Sesuatu Janji” taken off his “All Because Of You” album, simply for the sole reason that he already has a more recent album entitled “Suria Hatiku“, one that has produced hits after hits with every single being introduced on the airwaves. But was I complaining??? Not one bit, cos amongst all his songs, this is my personal favourite and little wonder too, since I got him to sing this song when he recorded a greeting for this blog which I posted in the entry before last. I half-expected him to do his somersault, which he executed when he sang the same song at Anugerah Planet Muzik 2008, but I guess the space constraints didn’t allow him to. Or perhaps that special moment in 2008 was reserved for the regional audience. Still, I enjoyed it all the same.
The show came to a rousing end when the Anugerah alumnus, which consisted of Fauzie Laily, Maiya Rahman, Hyrul Anuar and Eka Mairina came on stage to sing Adam & Stacy‘s “Menggegar Dunia“. This was followed by Sarah Aqilah appearing for the third time that night, along with Eiss and Kunjung singing Faizal Tahir‘s “Gemuruh“. I just felt the first song, which is punchier as compared to the second one, would have been a better choice to open or end the show. The performance which reeked of zest and energy, as demonstrated by Fauzie, Maiya, Hyrul and Eka, would have been a fairer reflection of what Suria is all about – Vibrancy.
If there were any complaints or misgivings I had, then perhaps it would have been the fact that certain people were apparently overlooked for this event. The show was meant to be a celebration of the past ten years and it was fair to have those performing or those who made an appearance that night being given the opportunity to do so. Yes it was commendable to have the Anugerah alumnus between the years 2003–2009 performing, but what about those before that, most notably Aqmal Noor (winner in 2004), Indra Hamzah (winner in 2001) and Rudy Djoharnaen (winner in 2002)??? While Aqmal is slowly making inroads as seen by his win at last year’s Rentak Singapura event for his composition entitled “Warkah Dunia“, the other two have been relatively quiet and not heard of since.
Suria also had non-singing competitions like Juara (2002) and Anugerah Skrin (2006) in search of the next big thing in acting and hosting. Though the potentials of Nurul Aini as the night’s co-host and Huda Ali as roving host during the pre-event cocktail reception, were discovered and eventually polished to be who they are now, I hope no one has forgotten the likes of Firdaus Abdul Rahman (who appeared as “Captain Zero” in the comedy sitcom “Ahakz” and lately as the teacher in “Dikir Putri“) and Shahril Wahid (who played the handicapped character in “Gerimis Di Hati“), winners of Juara and Anugerah Skrin (Male Category) respectively. Both are accomplished theatre actors and they have definitely brought their experiences to the screens. One can only recall how Shahril‘s character in “Gerimis Di Hati” was excellently portrayed and I wouldn’t bet against him winning something at next year’s Pesta Perdana event just for that role itself.
If the segments that night were already too packed for a two-hour programme, then perhaps they could have just made cameo appearances, just like the catwalk segment that featured the new faces of the past decade. I think a small gesture like that could have gone a long way in refreshing the minds of viewers, that these guys also had had their moments of joy when they created history with the channel. I hope in future, winners like them would be remembered, even if they’re mentioned in brief or shown short clips of their performances. They are all unique in their own rights, skilled in their respective crafts, and should not be reduced to mere footnotes or forgotten altogether. I could be wrong in my analysis though, as perhaps they could have been invited to perform or make an appearance, but could not make it due to personal commitments. Shahril for the record, was invited as a guest that night.
I just found it extremely unfortunate that on a week our premier Malay channel celebrated its milestone, unsavoury news in the print and alternative media with regards to a home-made video of a former actress / host, as well as news of the arrests of a famous comedian and a rock singer came to light. Everyone seems to have an opinion one way or another about these incidents as they’re being talked about almost everywhere on the Net. Even my blog statistics jumped because people were searching for the name of that former actress / host and their search results led to this domain. I will not delve too much on it, but I hope the public’s opinions on artistes in general will still be as positive as ever and not look down on them nor stereotype this career path as was famously portrayed in Allahyarham Tan Sri P. Ramlee‘s classic “Ibu Mertuaku“.
Like any offender, I believe the people who have made the news of late, should not be made outcasts or pariahs throughout their lives. We all make mistakes, whether they’re minor or severe, and the only way for them to lead normal lives again after this, is for us to offer them support & encouragement to be better people and accept them as part of society. Do not ostracise them just because as artistes, they are expected to be role models discerning youngsters look up to for inspiration. I’m actually heartened by the fact that fellow artistes have voiced their support in one way or another via their Tweets and Facebook statuses. This spirit of togetherness and protecting one another is what I admire and applaud, even though we’ve all heard before about the industry being harsh and bitchy due to a lot of backbiting.
Which reminds me of this entry I typed last July entitled “Be True To Yourselves“. When all these incidents happened, became the talking points and ended up being tabloid fodder (ok granted we only have one tabloid paper in our midst), I was eeriely reminded of what I outlined through several pointers in that particular posting. I certainly did not expect some of what I mentioned to be uncannily prophetic. Though I will not quote everything on what I typed back then, I will just end this entry with three paragraphs from that post I made, which relate to what has been happening around us of late and I hope we would all learn something from these recent episodes:
“Which is why I hope that up-and-coming artistes like our new batch of Anugerah contestants as well as those that are already established, would succeed without having any skeletons in the closet or deceive the fans through cunning ability spinning yarns after yarns of crap. One can put up a false front in front of the public, pull the wool over the eyes of the legions of fans, but shit catches up with the bull eventually since the latter needs to defecate afterall. In other words, one can only go so far with bullshit but life has a way of revealing dirty little secrets through time and when one leasts expects it.
Be thankful that there will always be an ever caring and protective arm around your shoulder, shielding you away from any possible backlash from your own fans or the community, when the paparazzis come a-calling, catching you in the act with your pants down. Cos too many of our local acts think they can get away with misdemeanours done mostly with the opposite sex or through various forms of intoxications. We are afterall, living in a society that is still conservative and sensitive. Being in the public eye, one should know better than to do things that could jeopardise their growing reputation as an established brand in the industry.
This entry, even though it looks as though I’m dissing someone or some people, it has to be said that it is also a reminder I want to share with all local artistes out there because I want to see our small industry succeed, without having to go through nasty episodes, which would eventually lead to a lot of unhappiness and ostracising. Everything that is to be done should be from the heart, laced with integrity and filled with unbridled honesty. That’s how one achieves blessed sustenance in any work or endeavour that we put our will into. I am very sure that most of our local acts are true to themselves and honest in their approach to their craft. For that, I will always continue to support our industry, no matter how much we seem to lack in several areas of professionalism.”
P.S. You must be wondering where are the post-event reception photographs. This entry was already too long for my liking that I’ve decided to split it into two. I’ll try to upload the photographs before Monday. Till then, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this review and thank you Suria for inviting me to the event as well as providing useful information which I have included in this entry…