Thursday, December 31, 2009

Backstage at Celebrate 2010 - the rehearsal vids!

Bye bye 2009, hello 2010 Idol-style - backstage at Celebrate 2010!
Wah, I've never uploaded stuff to youtube so furiously! And omg, as 12midnight is approaching, upload time is increasing! My fingers are crossed that you'll get to see the Idol Resolutions vids soon. I just recorded them backstage at rehearsals for tonight's Celebrate 2010 concert/show which is going on right now in front of me (Da Mouth right now!).

Btw, our Idols did great din't they? I loved it. And I love that song. I find it so perfect that Airi is leading the song, because he's always wanted to go to New York, and New York kinda represents his dreams. And for him to have won Idol (dream come true), and singing this song, I hope will be a sign that 2010 for Airi, will be another 'dream-achieving' one.

While the 'resolutions' are loading, here are the vids I recorded behind-the-scenes and backstage at Celebrate 2010 rehearsals. Its still crazy to think they learned a new song and choreo for a concert in just 3 days (Monday night to Wednesday!)

These are the songs that the Idol finalists performed for the pre-show which is not broadcast on tv. The songs performed are For Your Entertainment, Just Can't Get Enough and Starstrukk! (yes! its finally getting performed for an audience!! WOOT!)

Performing for the pre-show are :
Sylvia Ratonel, Tabitha Nauser, Mae Sta, Malaque Mahdaly, Nurul Huda, Fathin Amira, Charles Stitch Wong, Duane Ho, Faizal Isa and Farhan Shah.

Hope you enjoyed that, Izked is Celebrate 2010 right now, and he's promised to record more from the pre-show including performances by Juxtapose, heregoesnothing! and Sleeq! Can't wait to see it - am sure he'll upload soon! PLUS Izked and I have a special project which we'll announce soon - its Idol related so I think you'll definitely want to know about this :)

Next post, Idol resolutions and what they've got planned for 2010 :)
Happy 2010 peeps! Its gonna be a good year!
xoxo, s.

ps. Bonus vid for you, Mae and Tabby doing more accents backstage, hilarious stuff I tell you...:)

(Un)Crowning Idol by the Media

A 'deserving' win?
That pretty much sums up what most of the local papers (and even online news links) had to say with regards to Sezairi's Idol win. What SHOULD have been a moment of triumph raised more eyebrows and question marks than pats on the back. That's just so sad.

I didn't comment on it before because 1. I thought it would resolve itself and someone would stand up for Airi's win, and 2. I know where I stand when it comes to Airi's win, I don't think it needs to be justified or proven correct - professional auditing says it all. Oh, and also, I've seen Izked's emotional post about this debacle and he's said pretty much all there needs to be said about it.

I decided to do this post to highlight an article that came out in yesterday's Berita Harian, written by Hanim Mohd Saleh, entitled 'Apa salah Sezairi menang?' (What's wrong with Airi winning?). Hanim is a great writer, witty too, and imo, I think Straits Times should carry a translation of her article.

It basically raises the issue of just discrediting Airi simply because he's a Malay Boy. Two things he can't help but be. What irks me is that people can't seem to see past those two superficial traits with which he shares with Taufik and Hady. If you spare a moment to get past that racial slur, you'll see that each of the 3 idols are very different artistes.

The worst part of all this 'Idol-hate' is that those making the most negative comments or complaints either didn't vote or didn't vote enough. You could say that you don't have the cash to splash. I just wanna say, d'you think Airi's voters are flash? His devout fans were perhaps more united in their efforts to vote collectively. But on top of those devout fans, are those who probably watched the show and decided to cast their vote for him too - as Uncle Ken said, Airi did perform better that night.

The votes don't lie. He is clearly Singapore's choice. But because the newspapers are widely read, the impression is that every person and their neighbour doesn't think he deserves it, just turns a great win (especially after what I think was probably a really close fight) into something people don't seem to be proud of.

Airi and I spoke about the backlash a few nights ago. After all thats said and done, he told me he's just gonna 'hold his head up high and walk into the storm'. To which I replied, 'because its calm in the centre of the tornado right?'. I had hit the nail on its head.

To Airi, I hope you get to that centre soon. You deserved this win lor...
Much love, xoxo, s.

ps. Peeps, if you feel the same, lets give Airi some love & support right here on this page - add your comments below k! Sylvia lovin' also very much welcome - heck ANY IDOL LOVIN' is so very very welcome!

Last Day Of 2009...

And what a year it has been....
Big things happened in 2009, but I've been so wrapped up in Idol and the kids, I can't remember past Obama's election (wait, that was last year!), Michael Jackson's passing, Oprah announcing the end of her show, and Lady Gaga's Bad Romance being played everywhere. But more than anything in entertainment, for me (and for you too I hope), this year was about Singapore Idol.

Tonight will be the last time your Top 12 will be performing together (technically 10 + Idol Airi, cos Justin Jap's missing from tonight's line up, he's flying off to the U.S. to go be a doctor!). Celebrate 2010 will see them performing a new song - shall not spoil the surprise - and its the first time they worked together on their own, without vocal coach Ann, to sort out who would sing what on the song ;)

In the meantime, here are some backstage pics from rehearsals at The Float @ Marina Bay (click to enlarge). If you haven't decided what to do yet for tonight, come on down and join Celebrate 2010. Tickets are available at sistic counters islandwide for $30. If you've still got your Singapore Idol Grand Finals ticket stub, bring it along to sistic and you'll get a $10 discount! Awesome not?

Last round of rehearsals start today at 2pm at The Float. There will be road closures tonight, so grab public transport k! Preshow starts at 8pm - don't forget to catch Idol-related bands - Juxtapose (Airi's band) and heregoesnothing! (Farhan's band). Also worth catching - our very own 'idol' ex-intern, Syarif and his partner-in-crime Alif, who together form the fab duo 'Sleeq' - they'll definitely be performing their hit song 'Moviestar'. The Idols themselves have got some pre-show items too, so don't be late.

11pm, we go LIVE, so those at home can tune in to Channel 5. Catch your Singapore Idol Sezairi Sezali with your Top 12, they should be comin' on early, and they'll appear again for the countdown just before midnight.

Thereafter, its a danceparty to welcome in the New Year, all the way to 3am! Come on down and rub shoulders with the artistes! The very hawt Michelle Chia, Jade Seah and Nat Ho have hosting duties alongside our very own Gurms. :)

So, ok folks, last moment to catch your Top 12 all on stage together - really something you don't want to miss if you can help it!
xoxo, s.

ps. I won't be able to be at Marina Bay tonight, gotta be with my kids, but I'll be passing my camera to Izked so that he can film what he can of the pre-show. Definitely Sleeq, Juxtapose and heregoesnothing! So either one of us will put those up later.

pps. I'll be posting the rehearsal vids tonight but only after they've performed (don't want to ruin the surprise song choice), should be before midnight, so watch for them on my Youtube channel, summerr77. (if you know what they're gonna sing, ZIP IT, so others can still be surprised).

ppPs. PLUS, look out for my post featuring vids of the Idols with their New Year's Resolutions for 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Well, for me at least muahahahah <--- *evil laughter*
I'll be meeting them pretty soon, gonna head out to Marina Bay right after this post to catch up with them while they get their hair and makeup done. They've got full dress rehearsals tonight at the floating stage for Celebrate 2010. So look out for my tweets/twitpics!

(pic taken from Izked's Official Idol Blog!)

If you are still clueless about Celebrate 2010, please go to these various places and get CLUED IN!...

Quick Idol-related facts for 'Celebrate 2010' :
1. Singapore Idol Sezairi Sezali will be performing with SI Finalists on the show
2. Sezairi will also be performing with his band Juxtapose during the preshow which is not telecast on tv.
3. The Idols will also be performing 3 numbers during the preshow which is not telecast on tv.
4. Farhan and his band heregoesnothing! will be performing at the preshow too.
5. The actual show will be telecast LIVE on Channel 5 tomorrow night from 11pm. But hello, nothing beats watching it live in person at the venue right?

Tickets are available at and cost $30 (not much to pay for an awesome way to count in the New Year!), AND if you flash your Singapore Idol Grand Finals ticket stub when you purchase Celebrate 2010 tix, you can purchase it at just $20!! (thats a $10 off for showin' your Idol love!)

Anyway, hurry and get tickets, you don't wanna miss out on the pre-show stuff. Plus there are tons of artistes performing that night, so definitely 'the' place to be for the 'countdown'! Party starts at 8pm tomorrow, and ends at 3am on New Year's Day!

Ok, am off to see muh Idols...suddenly miss them tons - and I JUST saw them on Monday tsk!
xoxo, s.

What will summerr do now?

...a note from me...
The last time I was standing that close to a confetti blower was 1st December 2004. And the boy that took home the 'crown' that night made history, and even got a mention by the PM because he represented a Singapore that saw past racial lines. When Gurms shouted 'Taufik!', the feeling was just so overwhelming, and tears were free-flow for so many reasons. Pride, elation, sadness and exhaustion to name a few. I had invested so many hours of hard work, countless burned weekends and nights, and even a few days of my honeymoon for the show.

But it was worth it, the show topped ratings from its first episode to its last, beaten only by World Cup viewership. And I met and got to work with some of the nicest people ever (producers!) and befriended a very talented young man who's grown leaps and bounds since then. That was Singapore Idol Season 1.

Fast forward 5 years, unbelievably, I was standing in almost the same spot (just on the other side of the stage) when the confetti exploded, and the same emotion flooded my being. It was a combo of pride (I was so so proud of Airi and Syl), elation and a sadness that it had come to an 'end'. This time, I was privileged enough to really enjoy the journey WITH the Idols rather than working for the show, and if you've followed me from 6 months ago, I'm sure you'll agree its been an amazing vantage point.....all the fun and only a teeny tiny fraction of the stress. It has certainly been 'enter-dictive' (as put it) blogging about it!

So anyway, I'd just like to take this opportunity to say a few thankyous.

Thank you Benny and Rahmat for opening the doors and letting me in. I would not be in this privileged position if not for the two of you. Rahmat, it was great working with you again, it was like London all over and extended! BennySoh, I love you la, nuff said!

Thank you to Idol host Gurmit and Idol judges DFK for never turning me away when I popped in for a question or a twitpic (and oftentimes that solid kopi-O at the Judges' room!) :) Uncle Ken, you da best, always free for a 'break'!

A special thank you to Supervising Executive Producer Steven Ong for your support and kind words each week. It still thrills me that you bother to read MY blog! LOL!

To Belle, Lene, Eugene, Gillian PoCh and Henri, Suresh and Byron, thank you so much for always keeping me in the loop and accommodating me on your shoots/buses/makans/etc. You guys are truly the legs behind this production! This was such an amazing journey for me, more so because I got to see it from the contestants' POV - can hardly call this 'work' right? (but that doesn't mean I didnt work hard k!), and it was because YOU guys let me follow you! I apologise now for any toes I may have stepped on these past 6 months, and the multiple times my phone/cam flashed while you were filming - sorriiieeee! Also thank you to all the other producers and APs whom I've crossed paths with at one time or another on the show! I had soooo much fun!

To the overworked and underpaid interns who also answer to photographers/facebook admins/runners/idol-minders/ticket-managers. You guys did SUCH an amazing job this season - the promo team is lucky to have you all - especially when you come with such high-tech cams and lenses *fish-eye envy*drool*. Syarif (miss ya!), Ben, Aisyah, James (you're such a sweetie!) & Ash (dude!) - thanks for the TONS of great photos and the random help. Look forward to crossing paths with you again in the future!

To Kak Ann and Indra (whose seat I warmed many Spectaculars in a row), thank you for always being so kind and allowing me to sit in on your keychecks/training sessions. And to Zaki who allowed me to draw a whip on your pic! ;) (or more like din whip me for drawing that whip!)

To the readers who have been reading and supporting the blog, I so so SO appreciate it and I hope you'll keep coming back. I now plan to do what I had initially planned for this blog - review tv shows, ....American Idol is premiering in just 2 weeks folks, and there are a myriad of shows available On Demand now on mioTV/cable, so much to watch! PLUS, I will definitely continue to stay in touch with the Idols from this season and provide updates on their upcoming projects.

And the final and BIGGEST thank you goes to the Idol contestants. Top 24, Top 13 and of course our very own Singapore Idol. Thank you so very much guys, for letting me 'share' your journey, and allowing me to 'share' it with the readers. You guys are the most talented bunch of people I've ever met and I hope you'll all keep pursuing your singing/musical dreams. It was a pleasure working & playing with you all!

Oh, and yes, to my buddy-in-blogging-crime Izked :) How could I forget you, you big teddy bear! Thanks for always sticking by me and sharing the 'intel'/pics/vids - I think we make a good team! We so totally rawked the online scene for Idol dint we? :) Triquetras for-evah!

xoxo, s.

ps. One last shout out to two very special people :
1. The sweetest format owner person I've ever met - Lisa. :) You are so cool!
2. - you are so young and so steady, I totally respect you for handling that crazy crowd week after week, you are the hardest working wubby/host I've ever met!

pps. If I left anyone out its not intentional. I'm just blur liddat.

ppps. Lene, I'm having LONG-DETAILED-SCHEDULE-EMAIL withdrawal LOL!

Touched By An Angel - Sezairi Sezali

Now, you can sing (and emo) along...
I've got the official lyrics (not transcribed k, got it from your Singapore Idol himself who was still up and about on MSN like 15 minutes ago!) Wow, it just hit me again that Airi is THE Singapore Idol. I was MSN-ing with the Idol. O.O
Pretty soon all communikay's gonna have to go thru 'proper channels', no more "hey wassup Airi can I whip out my phone cam and interview you...." *sob*sob* (maybe he'll make an exception for me and this blog :) *hope*)

Ok, drama aside, here's the studio recording of Touched By An Angel, followed by the lyrics, followed by a fan-vid recorded at Indoor Stadium when he sang. Imo, that performance at Indoor, is the one that will bring on the goosebumps and well up your tear ducts - absolutely stellar vocals on that one.


(Music & Lyrics by Ken Lim)

Verse 1
My world had just gone by
Always darkened skies
There was no reason to try

Never could fly

Now I’m tired of searching
And wondering why
It’s not really all that, much far
Reaching out for stars

Time to reach out
Time to be who I am

Finally, I believe
My dreams will unfold
It’s like being touched by an angel
A brand new beginning
It’s amazing
This is, a moment, I will remember

Finally, I can feel
Heaven on earth
It’s like being touched by an angel
My world is changing
I’m living out loud
Feels like, I’m been, touched by an angel above

Verse 2
I’ve waited for so long
For this day to arrive
The world seems a different place
Knowing I can fly

repeat Bridge, then Chorus

Live performance at Indoor Stadium, Singapore Idol Grand Finals, 27th December 2009.

xoxo, s.

ps. pic courtesy of Byron Lim from the Singapore Idol Official Facebook Group.

Sezairi's Crazy!

Ah, found it!!!!
Thanks to azharberry for uploading this vid! I have updated my previous post to include this video of Airi singing 'Crazy' at the Grand here if you're too lazy to go back there :)
(previously when I did my review of the Grand Finals performance show, no one had uploaded 'Crazy' to youtube.)

Sigh...rock songs like this are designed to set the girls' hearts a-flutter....sumore throw in that sexy red Gibson called 'Gurmit' <-- maybe the name potong stim a bit :( sorry Gurms, u noe i lov ya!

Melt can?
xoxo, s.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Night To Remember - the idol finals performance review

I Gotta Feeling...woo hoo....
And I think everyone had that 'feeling' as the big screen split open to reveal the Top 2. Here's my review of the performance show...blow by blow.

Eventhough I've seen that opening sequence like a gazillion times during rehearsals and even with full wardrobe and makeup on, nothing beats the combined effect with the deafening screams of a packed arena.

In fact the minute the flash mob burst out from the stage, the screams began and when the Top 12 (minus the Airi and SylSyl) marched out and 'posed', my heart was thumping - 'We're here! We're finally here at the Grand Finals....tonight's gonna be a good good night.....'

This vid is taken from when the Top 2 make their entrance...

Click here to watch the rehearsal for this number at Indoor Stadium and the choreo session at Mediacorp's training school. You gotta look out for that awesome 'criss-cross' move that they do that didn't get captured on the show - it was my fave part, but the camera was focused on the mosh and the LED lights, wasted much?...oh well.

That aside, I thought it was a great adrenaline-pumping opening. The very first time I saw it back at training school, I was thrown! :) I just couldn't wait, and I love how producers chose to use current songs that everyone would know and could stomp their feet/wave their hands to.

After all the fanfare, it was time to get the competition started. First up for the night - Miss Sylvia Anne Ratonel. She won the coin toss during the Last Spectacular and chose to go first. Her opening number would be her best song for the season, which is 'Mercy' (from Sylvia's Piano Show, click here to watch that performance). They totally upped the ante for this number on all counts - wardrobe, choreo, dancers, makeup etc. I thought it was just awesome!

Sylvia was in her element doing this song. And the black elbow gloves, super shiny short dress and slick moves truly gave 'Mercy' a totally different feel and an edge. It really took 'Mercy' from the small Piano Show stage to the huge Indoor Stadium stage. Click here to watch Sylvia's rehearsal at indoor stadium and also at training school (parts 1, 2 and 3).

Next up is Airi with his best song of the season, 'Virtual Insanity' (from Spectacular 9 'You Asked For It, click here to watch that performance'). Again, both Airi and producers took it to the next level with dancers and great choreo and lighting. The 'feel' was so cool and chic! Watch!

I really loved that he started and ended the song in a lounge-y armchair. Seriously coolcat stuff. Watch his rehearsal footage at choreo here, this was the first time I watched his performance and even then without the costumes and large stage, you can see it oozes coolness to the max.

Round #1 - Best Song of the Season
D : I'm so happy you chose that song, that is the song that identifies you. And hearing it now after all these months, its like a million times better.
F : That didn't feel like a competition, it felt like you had your own show. You are a femme fatale, a showgirl, that was through-the-roof excellent!
K : That was very professional.

D : That was just amazing, and beautiful. I always mentioned you were awkward but tonight finally it just all came together, fantastic!
F : The cool cat is in the house, you've got a very quietly confident prowl to your movements - on the surface looks just cool, but underneath its deadly and lethal. You are proof that you don't have to be over-the-top. You can be quietly confident and totally likeable, congratulations!
K : Out of all the other contestants, you are the one that worked the most diligently on the judges' comments. Today you were smooth, entertaining and personable in your own way, you are not the copy cat that you were.

summerr's take :
Score! I love it when the DFK give good comments. Watching back the show, I found both performances equally good vocally. Both Idols came off smooth, slick and confident too. But where Sylvia had the upper hand was the choreo, somehow the overall effect of the dance and lights and colour seemed more vibrant, and the fact that Mercy is currently more popular. Virtual Insanity is a fairly old (but good) song. So I'll have to agree with Ken that Round #1 goes to Sylvia.

The next round of competition features new songs chosen by the Top 2.
Sylvia decides to go with Coldplay hit 'Yellow'. I loved how she was styled for this song. The dress was perfect and so was her hair. She was just utterly gorgeous. Again, the use of gloves (only one kid glove this time) just made her even more chic.

Watch earlier videos of Sylvia deciding on this song (Part 1 & 2) and the instrumental arrangement for her here.

Under the same category, Sezairi decides on 'Crazy'. Airi + guitar = awesome! I so totally totally love this performance - even now, watching the youtube vid, I sing along and toss my hair (yes I do random things like that!). Great job on this one, Airi totally rawked it, so much so you hardly notice only ONE pant leg is sequined ;) LOL - its meant to be that way btw.

Click here to see the vid I recorded of him at keycheck when he was trying to decide whether or not go with this song - I'm so glad he did because it was TOTALLY AWESOME!

Round #2 : Idol's Own Song Choice
D : D'you know why you're here tonight? I'll tell you why you're here tonight. Every performance you have ever done has been very unique, consistently good and your interpretation of the songs you choose, like the song you chose tonight, I think you just take it to another level.
F : I'm so blown away right now I don't even know what to say, you're not singing like a contestant, you're singing like a winner!
K : I thought Mercy was better tho'. You have been the most consistent vocalist this season, but this competition is also about your ability to connect with the viewers so your next song is your last chance to show the viewers how you feel from the heart. Nothing beats an emotional performance and I think thats what's lacking in this performance.

D : When I first heard that you were gonna sing this song I thought, 'Oh what strange choice of song to pick', but you know what, it showed off your musicianship and thats why you're here tonight!
F : You have just raised the bar, and then some...
K : Round 1-Sylvia, Round 2-Sezairi

summerr's take :
If I had to compare both performances, I'd have to agree with Ken, that Airi won this round. His performance was solid and pitch perfect! But looking at both performances individually, and remembering how it felt back at the stadium and then watching it again on tv, I think they both really pulled out all the stops.
Initially at the stadium, I felt Sylvia was holding back as I could not hear some parts, then watching it on youtube, I was moved. Watching it again on tv, I was also moved by her heartfelt rendition of Yellow. She looked a little stressed no doubt, but if you just listen to her voice, it will move you.
Airi's 'Crazy' had me whooping and yeah-ing and up on my feet singing along. Fantastic song choice and he totally worked-it-out. It is 'cover-worthy' if Universal Music agrees to put it on his debut album (I really hope they do!). Plus, Airi with a guitar is totally sexy!

In this final round, the Top 2 go head-to-head with the Winner's Single 'Touched By An Angel', written by Uncle Ken himself - designed to push both to their limits and force them to emote.
First up is Sylvia in a gorgeous $4000-designer gown. She really did look like an 'angel'. Backed by the choir, this last showdown really does feel like the peak of the competition.

Next up, Airi in a pearly white suit (I don't know how much this one cost), looking like the 'groom' to Sylvia's 'bride'. Seriously, its like you could shrink them and they'd look right at home on the top of wedding cake. Ok, nuff nonsense, watch...

Round #3 : Winner's Single - "Touched By An Angel"
D : We've seen you do so many kinds of songs but I've never seen you do anything like that, I mean, you've turned into a diva :) and you look really fantastic, I think its really all come together in this one song, very well done!
F : I have no doubts about your ability Sylvia, now I wanna give you a chance to tell the viewers why you should be their Singapore Idol ...
Syl : To all my fans and my kebyan thank you so much for bringing me this far. Whatever happens tonight, I am very very lucky, so I want to thank you with all my heart.
K : Throughout the competition both you and Sezairi were picking songs that you were comfortable for yourself to sing, so when I wrote that song, I wanted to make sure that you're stretched to the limits in order to emote, and I saw that that probably topped your Mercy performance. Well done.

D : I wanna say something to you, I want to put some fears of yours to rest, YOU are HERE. You know why you're here? Because you DESERVE to be here. You are a very good musician. In the years I've been in the business I've been waiting to see a new artiste like you, and now we have one, so, thank you for that!
F : The thing about you Sezairi, you don't have polarised audience reactions, you sit very comfortably in that middle ground, and you OWN that middle ground. Do not underestimate your likeability and your chances of winning tonight ever. Tell Singapore why you should be their Singapore Idol.
Airi : This whole journey has taught me that people love more than they hate. The proof of that love is right here.
K : Musically I think you are better than Sylvia. In terms of image, I don't think I need to answer that question. But in terms of vocals and performance, I think you both are very different, because its a question of choice. But either way, I think singapore should be happy with either you winning or Sylvia winning. Good luck.

summerr's take :
Both The Husband and another good friend felt Sylvia totally nailed this one. Perhaps I was too aware of the stress she was under, but I felt that I had seen her do better at rehearsals. That said, it is NOT a bad performance, in fact it was very very good indeed. Its just that I ended up connecting with Airi's rendition more - something that surprised me too, because from the first time I heard it, it felt like the song was written for Sylvia, and she totally became the song. I was blown away by her the first time she sang it to me, and back then, I thought, gosh, its in the bag for Sylvia. So surprisingly to me, on Sunday night, it was Airi who made me cry.
Watching it back on tv and on youtube, I dare say both were on form vocally. Like Ken says, they are both different types of performers because they choose to be.

Overall, I think both Airi and Syl are worthy contenders who put up a seriously good fight. Both upped their games, and gave their all. Top 2, indeed.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show, live at Indoor Stadium and again, watching it back on tv (I recorded it on my Hubstation). Thank you Airi and Sylvia for entertaining us with all your heart and soul - it was truly a night to remember.

"I feel like a winner already." Well said Sylvia.

xoxo, s.