Anugerah 2017 Grand Finals Miscellaneous Snapshots…

Mohammad Shahfiq was instantly mobbed by his fellow competitors when the cameras stopped rolling, but as this shot was being taken, I could hear him tell them in Malay, “Hold on for awhile, I would like to meet my parents first…” Just look at where his eyes were looking at and you will realise the humility, gratitude and class that he possess. The judges truly crowned a deserving winner…

As the title above suggests, I am not doing any reviews at all for this particular entry, as I still have 4000-odd photographs that I still need to edit from last Tuesday‘s penultimate episode. In case anyone is waiting for me to speak about the final results or summarise the competition as a whole, well you just have to wait a wee bit longer as the fourteenth instalment of Pesta Perdana, happening this coming Friday, takes precedence. This entry is more of a filler to bridge the empty void between last week’s Grand Finals and Pesta Perdana. Here are some miscellaneous photos from the night whereby Mohammad Shahfiq became the latest winner of the Anugerah competition.  These shots were taken pre-show, during the commercial breaks, post-show as well as the dinner reception afterwards. Enjoy!!!

Sinar Lebaran 2016 Pre & Post-Event Snapshots…

sinar-lebaran-2016-3486The performing artistes of Sinar Lebaran 2016 (from left): Khairudin Samsudin, Huda Ali, Iskandar Ismail (Eiss), Fuad Rahman, Sarah Aqilah, Ziana Zain, Sezairi, Nurul Aini, Sufian Ahmad and Aisyaah Aziz

We’re in the final day of Tasyriq (three subsequent days after Eiduladha) and I thought it would still be fitting enough for me to share these long-held photographs during the night where Sinar Lebaran 2016 was recorded at the new Theatre @ Mediacorp situated at their new premises at Stars Avenue. Furthermore I was not invited to cover the recent recording of the Rayakustika programme, which was televised this past Hari Raya Haji holiday, so there seems to be a void somehow of Eid-related stuff. Anyway, I seldom post photographs of Sinar Lebaran recordings over the years so all the more I saw the need to share them. Since I had promised more stuff to be shared on my blog a few days ago, this post is dedicated to featuring some of the celebrity guests who had attended the Sinar Lebaran 2016 recording on 28 May 2016. Enjoy!!!

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 6 Recap…

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Shah Iskandar and Huda Ali welcoming us to Episode 6

Back again with another round of recap of this year’s Anugerah Skrin competition. However I’ll try to keep it brief. The keyword here is “try”, and not “brief”. Hahahaha. Episode 6 saw the return of the Top 6 in Group B, who again have had the advantage of seeing their Group A counterparts slugged it out the previous week. Based on the first four episodes alone, these advantages did not necessarily mean they gave better or stellar performances. I note a certain degree of nervousness amongst the contestants, the fear to express themselves and just let go. I do not blame them because they are relatively young, still getting to grips with this newfound attention on them, and it can be very pressurising judging by the small conversations I had with some of them. Oh and also the matter of having to remember their lines which can be lengthy and wordy.

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Seriwahyuni Jaes (right), joining Khairudin Samsudin and Sharon Ismail on the judging panel…

Before I proceed further, I would just like to apologise for saying that Episode 5‘s guest judge, Izzat Yusoff was supposed to make another appearance in Episode 6, when in fact it was Seriwahyuni Jaes who was in the hot seat. I was actually half right, because Izzat was indeed backstage and was part of the deliberating process between the judges when it came down to who was to be eliminated at the end of the show. He had told me after Episode 5 that he would be back the following week, but at that point of time I guess he himself didn’t know whether it was appearing on television or otherwise. I only found that out after Episode 6 had ended. Continuing from the previous week’s theme, the acting segment required the contestants to act in period / classic roles from films of yore and hosted a fictitious variety show titled “Pop Skrin“.

Anugerah Skrin 2015 Episode 6 364Fadli Kamsani & Wirda Elliesa…

First off, the pairing of Fadli Kamsani and Wirda Elliesa. If I were to chart a graph of their hosting performance, it would look like a steep mountain. They actually started off well, even if Wirda‘s energy when she said, “Pop Skrin“, could have had a bit more zest to it. After that, it went downhill as Wirda stumbled and forgot her lines, with Fadli having to save her, but got lost himself along the way. As hosts, both have the looks which you do not easily reach your remote controls to switch channels. However, alleviating pressure from within and learning the art of ad-libbing are some things that they could work on and this comes only through countless experiences over time. To give them the benefit of doubt, it was only their third such outing and without any teleprompters nor cue cards. Even seasoned hosts tend to trip on their words, with cue cards in hand.

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Iskandar Shah as Laksamana Bentan and Syaiful Ariffin as Sultan Mahmud

The first acting segment of the night saw Syaiful Ariffin and Iskandar Shah taking on the roles of “Sultan Mahmud” and “Laksamana Bentan” from the film “Sultan Mahmud Mangkat Dijulang“. I don’t want to say much other than this was the best acting performance throughout the six episodes of this year’s competition. 2010‘s winner, Syirah Jusni, tweeted that she had goosebumps watching them and she was not alone, as I had also felt the same thing watching them live. They had stage presence, the lines were delivered in tones that were required according to their respective emotions and the energy both of them gave off literally bounced off the other. Finally I got to see Syaiful producing something which I know he is capable of and was equally reciprocated by Iskandar. Well done guys, but do take note of guest judge Seriwahyuni‘s advice. It’s minor technical stuff which would be lost upon most viewers, myself included when I was watching, but it was sound advice indeed to make you even better actors.

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Ain Zainal and Yaya Hamid…

Back from the commercial break and we had Ain Zainal and Yaya Hamid up next with the hosting segment. Both actually did not begin on a good footing, with Yaya slightly tripping on her lines and Ain momentarily forgetting what she had to say. To their credit however, they kept going without missing a beat. I can see that Yaya‘s confidence in hosting seems to grow as the weeks progress, even if at times her saccharine voice and way of presenting still belong to children’s programmes. Ain on the other hand seemed to be holding back for reasons only known to her and also I detected and forgive me for being slightly harsh, a lack of sincerity in her presentation style that night. It could be the reason why Seriwahyuni had commented that presenters should know and have a feel of what they want to say and in turn the audience should feel it as well. I did not get to feel it watching Ain‘s performance live as well as afterwards when I was studying their performance again.

Anugerah Skrin 2015 Episode 6 1198Wirda Elliesa as “Permaisuri” and Fadli Kamsani as “Datuk Bija Sura“…

The next acting segment brought back the pairing of Fadli Kamsani and Wirda Elliesa as “Datuk Bija Sura” and “Permaisuri” from the classic film “Dang Anum“. I believe both contestants had been hampered and affected somewhat by their earlier hosting performance as they somehow did not express themselves fully. Emotions were somewhat lacking at vital points and there was a distinct lack of stressing of words and intonations, especially on the part of Fadli. A waste really given his role as a scheming minister could have been better with better delivery of his lines. His facial expressions could have also been expressed by being more sinister rather than looking like a pervert. Wirda at least tried to do better by showing different facets to her character, a distressed-turned-vengeful queen. Judging by the way she played with her facial expressions, I think she might do well if antagonistic roles were given to her. Still overall, it felt like an average performance and the judges also said the same thing.

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Iskandar Shah and Syaiful Ariffin…

Iskandar Shah and Syaiful Ariffin returned for the last hosting segment of the night. Watching them host felt like watching their earlier acting segment all over again. Iskandar especially, I felt, was still in his character mode as he mouthed off his lines complete with melody. He was also moving his head a bit too much. I did not notice this on the night itself as I was snapping photographs away, but I realised this when I watched their performance again on Catch-Up TV. This pairing also fell victim to the tripping of words felt by the others throughout the night with Iskandar the main culprit. Syaiful‘s hosting is not that spectacular, but he delivered them in calm and measured tones. His energy however needs to go up a notch because I noticed that his general hosting style lacks a bit of vibrancy at times from the first time I observed him in Episode 2. Still I thought they were both good to progress into the semi-finals by virtue of their virtuoso performance earlier in the night.

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Yaya Hamid as “Mak Labu” and Ain Zainal as “Mak Kundur”…

Finally the last acting segment. Yaya Hamid and Ain Zainal got the roles of “Mak Labu” and “Mak Kundur” respectively from the film “Bawang Putih Bawang Merah“. Watching them act felt as though I was transported back in time when I was an avid fan of programmes involving Bengkel Kanak-Kanak TV SBC. Yes, I am sure you know what I am trying to get at, it felt like watching a children’s role play show. I was disappointed that Ain did not maintain her level of consistency from the previous rounds we’ve seen of her. There was a lot of holding back by both young ladies in their roles, a lack of feel, emotions and grasp of the lingo required to deliver their lines. In terms of realism, Yaya was supposed to be the elder sister but ended up looking like the younger one. The whole performance felt amateurish at best and too much over-the-top facial expressions by Ain, which was not matched by Yaya.

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Yamin Yusof and Ain Zainal upon learning their fates…

Truth be told, I was generally shocked at the end of the show to see Yamin Yusof and Ain Zainal eliminated, partly because I felt they did just enough to progress. This sentiment was felt by many others and a quick scan on social media showed a lot of unhappy voices at the judges’ decision. Yes I was quite shell-shocked that night and told myself I had to re-watch their performances again, especially that of Ain‘s. Watching it live whilst snapping away their photographs, my attention on their respective performances might not have been given its full focus, hence that feeling of being surprised and disbelief. However after reviewing over again, I believe the judges had made an astute decision. Whoever performs on the night, they go through, simple as that. Ain‘s performance was lacking in a number of aspects. Even if many, including myself, initially felt Wirda was supposed to be eliminated by virtue of her hosting debacle, the fact remains, the acting segment carries 70% of the overall marks. That could have probably saved her from elimination and by the skin of the teeth.

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The semi-finalists…

I would like to apologise to Ain for perhaps making her jinxed when I remarked in my Episode 4 entry that she was good for a semi-final appearance. When I said it back then, it was my personal view, not to mention confidence, that she was good and consistent enough, but I had also cautioned on jinxing her with my praises. Perhaps she might have put unnecessary pressure on herself to perform that night, maybe the expectations got to her, but I believe this is not the end of the journey for either Ain and Yamin. Privately, I have heard a lot of positive things about the latter, his quest to better himself, to do a lot of research, improve his diction etc. These are the kind of attitude that will endear themselves to directors and producers out there. So long as they remain humble, have a sincere attitude, positive work ethics, they will do well, God-willing. They might have ended their journey in the competition but their actual journey in the scene has only just begun…

Snapshots of Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 6

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3 Recap…

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

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

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

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Hosts Shah Iskandar and Huda Ali

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

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Danish Ashraf and Nabihah Zainodin…

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

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

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Shida Lestaluhu and Yamin Yusof

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

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

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Kamarul Arifin and Syafiqah Shahlan

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

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

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Nurul Nadia and Zaidi Zailee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snapshots of Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode 3

Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode One Recap

anugerahskrin2016promoposter(Promotional graphics poster courtesy of Mediacorp Suria)

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

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

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Hosts of Anugerah SkrinHuda Ali and Shah Iskandar

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

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

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

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Group A mentors – Muhammad Najib Soiman and Rilla Melati

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

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

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

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Zaidi Zailee and Amalina Roslee

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

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Nabihah Zainodin and Aidi Isham

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

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Shida Lestaluhu and Kamarul Arifin

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

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Danish Ashraf and Syafiqah Shahlan

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

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Yamin Yusof and Nurul Nadia

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

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

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

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The ones who live to fight another day…

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

Snapshots of Anugerah Skrin 2016 Episode One

Pesta Perdana 13 Snapshots

PP13

It has been a fortnight since Pesta Perdana 13 was upon us. A lot of post-event thoughts and comments were made on the winners or what happened during the event itself, some of which have been downright vile and preposterous in my opinion, but that is something I will discuss on another day. I am still in the midst of editing the 3400-odd photographs I snapped that night but just to satiate your wait, I’ll be sharing selected photographs I took during the pre-event cocktail reception, during commercial breaks as well as during the post-event reception in this entry. Hope this will be a good filler before I share my after-thoughts… 🙂

Pesta Perdana 13 Media Conference

pp13mediaconference

Graphics photo courtesy of Mediacorp Suria

The bienniel Pesta Perdana event, will make its long-awaited return this 28 March 2015 at the Mediacorp TV Theatre. The prestigious awards, now into its thirteenth edition, aims to recognise, acknowledge and honour the best talents in the local Malay television industry. It will also take viewers down memory lane with this year’s 50’s theme, in line with the ongoing SG50 celebrations. Pesta Perdana 13 (PP13) attracted more than 145 entries from 13 local production houses who are vying for top honours in the fiercely contested programme and performance award categories. A total of 32 awards and a special Lifetime TV Achievement award are up for grabs this year.

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The PP13 media conference event was held at The Ballroom @ East Coast

This highly anticipated event, which will be the final time the awards show is held at the current Caldecott Broadcast Centre‘s Andrew Road premises before shifting to One North later this year, also offers Suria viewers the opportunity to become judges as they vote for the Most Popular Male Personality and Most Popular Female Personality categories respectively. Voting for Popular categories have started since yesterday, 14 March 2015, and will run till 28 March 2015 at 9.30pm. The results will be based entirely on public voting and will be announced on the night of PP13. Votes can be submitted through these platforms:
  1. Mobile App: Toggle Now
  2. Website: xinmsn.com/pestaperdana
  3. Facebook: fb.com/mediacorpsuria

 

Code details are as follows:

 

MOST POPULAR MALE PERSONALITY

  • Fir Rahman – Code: L1
  • Hisyam Hamid – Code: L2
  • Imam Shah – Code: L3
  • Norman Ishak – Code: L4
  • Syarif SleeQ – Code: L5

MOST POPULAR FEMALE PERSONALITY

  • Farhana M Noor – Code: W1
  • Mastura Ahmad – Code: W2
  • Nadiah M Din – Code: W3
  • Nurul Aini – Code: W4
  • Wahyu Rahman – Code: W5

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The media conference was hosted by Fiza O and Fauzie Laily

I had the honour of being invited to attend the PP13 Media Conference held at The Ballroom @ East Coast on 4 March 2015, to announce all the award nominees. The event venue, as some of you might have known by now, is owned by Warna 94.2FM‘s A. B. Shaik. The media conference event saw the hosting chemistry of RIA 89.7FM‘s Fiza O and Fauzie Laily rekindled. Both of them had a field day tickling the guests with their witty and funny quips. They were also dressed according to the theme of the awards show this year, which is 50s Vintage. The event also saw Hyrul Anuar performing the theme song for Pesta Perdana, “Malam Gemilang“, accompanied by two of his good friends from AltoAura, Reyza Hamizan and Azura Goh.

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Hyrul Anuar performing “Malam Gemilang“…

From the list of nominees announced this year, I note the wave of newer and younger generation of actors being nominated for their respective roles in the last two years. Which can only be good for the local entertainment industry, as they continue to hone their craft and complement the established and veterans in the scene. I’m also happy to see the likes of Farhana M Noor and Izyan Mellyna being nominated for Most Promising Actor / Actress. As I’ve said before in this blog, they have caught my eyes for their talent and potential, which can only get better. But do not discount the others nominated in their category. Asraf Amin, Atyy A. Malek (Nurhayati Abdul Malek) and Faizal Rahman will give them a run for their money.

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Madam Zakiah Halim addressing the guests…

This year, there are also additions from Malaysia in the nominations list. The last Pesta Perdana event saw one nominee, Fauziah Nawi, whereas this year sees Iqram Dinzly, Keith Foo and Sharnaaz Ahmad being nominated. When asked by Berita Harian entertainment journalist Shahida Sarhid about the influx of Malaysian artistes into the nominations list, Mediacorp Malay Segment‘s head, Madam Zakiah Halim explained that they welcome the presence of the Malaysian actors over here, just like how our very own actors are welcomed over there and being nominated in several of their awards shows. This is good not only for bilateral exchange, but also the sharing of knowledge as well as good sparring in acting for both sets of countries’ actors. And I couldn’t agree more. I believe our actors can benefit from working with some of these actors, in turn even paving the way for them to work across the Causeway and hopefully, beyond.

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Keith Foo certainly looked delighted with his nomination…

Pesta Perdana 13 will be telecast live on Mediacorp Suria on 28 March 2015 at 8:30pm. This year’s show will be hosted by Suhaimi Yusof and Huda Ali and the guest-of-honour will be Member of Parliament, Mr. Zaqy Mohamad. I end this entry with the full list of nominations as well as photographs taken during the media conference event.