Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Better than Ep 1

Just finished watching Episode 2 of Singapore Idol, and I must say I actually enjoyed this one more than I did the first episode on Sunday. It felt like there was a lot more 'heart' (I found myself rooting for more people) and the laughs were heartier too.

To be honest, part of me was expecting to not enjoy the show, I'm not really an 'auditions' person, my interest usually peaks at Theatre auditions onwards (like Hollywood week) when the pressure on contestants make for REAL drama-mama stuff.

So watching more first auditions just now, the show surprised me. I found it pretty balanced and I liked the profiles they did on a couple of the more interesting contestants (now its beginning to feel like a proper reality show, not just a showcase for freaks --> Krauser *bleah*)

It showcased some good voices : Charlene Tan, Tanna Tiew, Frances Maria Lee, Cheryl Yee, Fathin Amira, Duane Randall (was it?) Ho. Random girl sat next to Hady singing 'Mercy'.
UPDATE : Russell...sorry it was RUSSELL <-- POWER name sia!

Featured some outrageous characters : Sherman 'this-is-my-last-chance' Ng, Ronald 'Ken-went-toilet-during-my-audition' Chan and Yeow 'Jackie-Chan-and-Leslie-Chan-Songs' Wei Dur.

And I loved the heartwarming stories : Tarmizi & grandma, Cheryl Yee & grandma, Charlene & mom, The Brothers Cheok, Cancer Survivor Tanna.

Oh and I also enjoyed the story of the Brothers Cheok, both are just so cute. At first look, Gabe was definitely the cuter one, but after watching a while more, I kinda like Jonathan's sass and sense of humour - he looks like a mischievous prankster with a bad boy streak - bigger personality for sure.

For a more detailed review on the characters above, do scroll beyond my sign-off at the end of this part of the post.

And then there was Syarifah 'I'm-a-confident-person' Noor. I wasn't sure which category to put her in - not that great a voice, not that outrageous a character, and not heartwarming at all. I think I'll just put her down as 'outspoken character'. She definitely had a 'cool' look to her, quirky and unconventional, but the minute she started talking and became defensive with the judges, not so attractive anymore. Despite Dick saying she was 'acting' and Ken saying her 'confidence is fake', she's through to the next round. I'd like to see her do a 180 at theatre auditions and blow the judges away (could happen waaat...I'm optimistic!)- at the end of the show, we see a clip at Theatre and she looks like she's gone Erykah Badu on us (turban on her head?) - 180?

Of course, with the good stuff, there's always the SALAH stuff...check out the various 'Fail' cases.

Open mouth to sing, and handphone rings mid audition : Fail.
Walk into audition and totally face the wrong way : Fail.
Forget lyrics : Typical Fail.
Never tune guitar : Stupid Fail.
Reenact 'Careless Whisper' : Fail. (even Careless Whisper himself was within human hearing range this year! Good job Patrick!)
Sing with pretend mic : Fail.
Sing with ACTUAL mic : LAGI Fail.
Pick nose in public and get caught on camera: SUPER Fail.
Say to camera on a reality show you just joined, "Can I not be on camera?" <-- BIGGEST FAIL!

All in all I had a good time, it was enjoyable and a nice prelude to what looks to be a dramatic Episode 3. (Credit roll featured some pretty interesting soundbites from Judges expressing disappointment, discourse and disagreement. I am hoping for Drama with a CAPITAL 'D'. Sources tell me that there WILL be drama in the form major attitude problems, and apparently, a contestant's b**chy nature really comes out. Plus, its NOT necessarily a girl - EXCITING NOT? *clap clap clap with me!*)

So til next Wednesday, 8pm on Channel 5, we'll have to twiddle our thumbs and discuss all things Idol to keep the fire burnin' and the wheels turnin'!

xoxo, s.

ps. For those of you who missed Singapore Idol's second episode, it is now available on MOBTV. Singapore Idol is provided free, but you have to sign up as a member first.

Previously, I had posted that now everyone overseas who's been wanting to watch can do so, but unfortunately I was misinformed, and this service is only available to Singaporeans due to geo-related copyright issues. MY BAD, SORRY K!


Detailed review starts here.

GRANDMA IS THE SECRET WEAPON Idol producers the world over have featured older family members for that 'heartwarming' effect. Its no different here. Last week, we saw Tabitha Nauser's grandpa story, this week features Tarmizi's and Cheryl's grandma stories. Both yielded the desired 'awwww' effect.

TARMIZI Before I start on him, I have to say I totally enjoyed the mini Beyonce 'Single Ladies' tribute that was a lead-in to his story! That guy with the 'fan' was hilarious (see pic), he could really bounce! That coupled with big teddy bear Tarmizi declaring that he's 'the male version of Beyonce' (seriously??), had me ROTFL! Anyway, his story starts with him saying he can sing, and that Idol is a platform for him (sure, sure) then it takes a look at his relationship with his grandma. CHO CHWEET - but relevence? Dunno.
As for his singing, I totally agree with the judges, maybe it was his personality, but somehow I, too, expected more 'voice' from him. The Voice did not match the Diva personality! He betta BRING IT at at Theatres!

CHERYL This girl has the cutest grandma who says things very matter-of-factly.... via subtitles. I thought their relationship was really really endearing. When asked what Cheryl's strengths were, the woman declared her grandchild just average in everything! Way to be honest gramma! :)
Well, I thought Cheryl had a nice husky voice and was surprised that the a 16 year-old was denied the Golden Ticket. Perhaps the judges thought she was too young, especially after she declared she'd push studies aside to pursue Idol. Looks to me like they made a judgement call to send her back to school.
Cheryl says she'll be back next year, and hopefully there will be a 'next' season for her to fulfil that vow! Cheryl, if you read this, your grandma RAWKS! Suddenly miss my grandma, ...ok being random.

INSPIRING STORIES (+ TEARS) Mixed in among the grandma/grandpa stuff are other stories that make your heart swell for the 'characters'.

CHARLENE. Skinny Singer (dubbed by Dick) Charlene who decided to be a part time singer when her Mom had a stroke. This one in particular got to me because her Mom had been a musical person and the stroke had robbed her of her musicality (her vocal chords aren't what they used to be, and she can no longer play the guitar). She taught Charlene how to sing and how to play the guitar, and now, the Skinny Singer hopes to do her Momma proud by winning Idol. The judges were right however, Charlene's voice does not fit her image. They all loved her voice though! She's actually pretty sweet-looking, and I think with the right hair, makeup and styling, she can wow. Girl, you have the vocal chops, just listen to the judges, get a makeover and hopefully, you'll have a shot girl! What did you all think about Charlene's story?

TANNA. The other story that was very touching was Tanna Tiew's. She is a 1-month cancer survivor. I can't even begin to imagine the courage and determination joining such an open competition like this would take for someone who's suffered through cancer and chemo which just literally suck the life out of you. Its a pity Tanna is not more personable, perhaps it was her makeup or the hat, but she didn't seem as 'human' as Charlene. Nonetheless, still an inspiring story. Unique voice too - so YOU GO GIRL!

THE BROTHERS CHEOK. Featuring family members that audition together is a no-brainer. So when Jonathan and Gabriel Cheok walked in together, it was expected. But what I liked about them is how different they are. Both are cute, like Flo says, 'marketable' and both can sing reasonably well. But my gut tells me Jonathan will be the one who will make more of an impression. Perhaps because he's older, his confidence is more apparently, plus he seems sassy and a little mysterious (hard to read perhaps). Can't wait to see how the journey pans out for both of them - I have a feeling producers will put them on the spot somewhere down the line and make them compete against each other - reality show mah.


FATHIN AMIRA. The one voice that REALLY surprised me came from a girl Dick called Plain Jane. To me, she just looked dazed. Like not enough sleep. Or perhaps she's just one of those expressionless people. And then the voice comes at you...just would not expect a 17 year old to have that kind of voice or emotion (especially for someone who looks dazed right?). Fathin Amira is definitely one to watch. I hope she gets a makeover too, and some 'presence' guidance. This is one girl who would benefit from Zaki's class (see my earlier post). I hope to see her go far.

FRANCES MARIA LEE. The other surprise came in the form of big personality Frances Maria Lee. She was the voice featured in one of the early trailers for the show - the one where Flo says 'She's got da voice!'. And she sure does! I think possibly the best we've seen so far on the show. I agree with the the judge's qualms about the genre she chose to go with. Hopefully she'll pick more current songs later on, am expecting her to sail through the next stage and be in the top24, her voice is too good to not go through.

FLOP #1. Sherman Ng (who looks like a less glam and much older version of Qi Yu Wu) declared 'I know that my songs reach out to the audience'. Somehow, his rendition of Dreamz FM's 'Should I Stay' didn't seem to reach out to this audience. I saw Ken cringe. I was cringeing. Clever though, to pick a song Ken wrote. Maybe that's why he was cringeing, 'you're butchering my song!'. I don't know how he did it, but he managed to convince the panel to give him another chance, and he chose Dick's song 'Mad Chinaman'. Way to butter up the judges dude. Does not work.
Ousted but not defeated, the fler sumore got self-plug, "Hope you'll catch me in the entertainment industry soon." Ok, holding my breath...not.

FLOP #2. Russell Chan. Dude. Have you not watched Idol before. Closing your eyes completely when you sing is a No-No. He looked like a serious case of 'Shiok Sendiri' (self-enjoyment) when he sang. Maybe Ken walked out to give let you be in your 'moment' . Tsk. Poor guy probably watched his segment back last night and cringed.

Sorry this review has come in a little late!

Ok, thats it for this post...thanks for sitting through the review. What did you all think of episode 2? And which characters caught your attention most? Did any one voice blow you away? Or was everything totally predictable? Tell us tell us!

xoxo, s.


  1. Someone copied a link to this blog and asked me to check out via MSN. This blog is obviously created by someone behind the idol show who has access into all these information and pictures and stuff. and it is so skewed towards promoting channel 5. omfg, think we stupid or what? channel 5, you are damn lame yah? resorting to all these tactics used by media like 5 years ago? Why masquerade as a third party when you are obviously someone paid/hired/made to write this blog to promote singapore idol? just do it upfront as it is. don't bluff bluff yah? HONESTLY rules over PRETENSION.

  2. @Anonymous First of all, the correct spelling is H-O-N-E-S-T-Y.
    Secondly, it is true she has access into all these "info and pics and stuff" evidently shown at the top of the blog - the Singapore Idol All Access Pass card.
    Thirdly, she is still the unofficial blogger of Singapore Idol.

    Wow you are observant.

  3. Aiya people, you all first time watch Ch 5 shows meh? They all like to chut all this pattern pattern one la. it is called SELF PRAISE! lol!!!

    they either use TODAY or 8 DAYS to wax lyrical about their own shows, or to make it seem HAPPENING.

    I think only Ch 8 and Ch U shows are sincere and real. Kudos to them!

  4. funnily enough hor that ch u project superstar or ch 8 star idol copy idol format... damn sincere lor... right u obeservant anonymous?

  5. To Anonymous #1, I so wish I was a hired hand and getting paid to do this but I'm not. You can check me out if you'd like, ask around, its not difficult these days. :) I'm a stay-at-home-mom who just enjoys the show and I believes that it is a great platform for people with dreams to be in the music industry. I have contacts and a certain amount of access, no doubt about that though. :)

  6. HAHHAHAA!!! I purposely said that I'm like the male version of beyonce for entertainment value!!! I SO love TV!! HAHAHAHA!! Thanks for the write up!!! =)

  7. Hi, may I know what song did fathin amira sing during this episode of auditions?Please help, thank you. =)