Monday, October 19, 2009

Would MJ Be Proud? The very late review...

Rolling in his grave screaming murder (no pun intended)...
or Smiling down on us with a hee-hee?

My very late review (sorry folks, I've been spazzing over major comment clean-up *pfft* and some back-end tech stuff) of last week's MJ-themed Spectacular.

I was also ruminating. It was a tough week. We've lost a wonderfully unique voice. Tough week. To be honest, I've been holding off on two posts - this review and the other is the interviews I've done with them for this week's 'For Someone Special' theme -because I've got so much to say but don't know where to start....plus I thought I could cheat and see Iz's review - but he hasn't reviewed it either...so...

....biting the bullet.....here we go... Ow!

I loved the opening of the show. It was refreshing to see something other than the usual 'execution-style' line-up. The show opened with the Idols spread out across the stage in MJ-esque poses, with an MJ impersonator doing his classic moves in the background! This was followed by Gurmit comin' out in 'too short' black trousers ala MJ and doin' some MJ moves himself - imo slicker than the MJ impersonator! (didja all know Gurms was a dancer? yupe he was!)

The atmosphere in theatre was amazing! I know I say this almost every week, but it just gets louder and louder every week. My theory is that as the number of contestants dwindle, the group of fans per contestant increases, thus, louder collective screams per contestant. Bottom line - it gets louder every week.

Plus, like me, everyone was excited about MJ week. I have been looking forward to this since the beginning of September when they did the trailer shoot! Hee hee!

Ok, on to the review....

Faizal Isa - 'Billie Jean'
I think this was a pretty good start to the show. He looked comfortable on stage, looked stylish in the white suit and the hat toss was good :) But this time, when he asked me where he should toss the hat towards, I said to toss the hat to the side and not to the mosh (like he did with his scarf previously) - you won't get it back sweetie!
Overall, my only gripe was that his diction wasn't consistent, but am sure as he gets more practice, this can be worked on. Plus I thought it was so adorable how he said 'I will give a surprise every week'. <-- aww so sweet right?

Judges said :
Dick – You did not disappoint tonight. You are one of the few contestants who can rock a fast song.
Flo – You know the song “Smooth Criminal”? You are no criminal tonight.
Ken – That was a bad impersonation of Michael Jackson. It was a little bit too predictable; you can’t do the same thing every week. You need some colour in your performance.

Agree/disagree? I agree with Dick, he's definitely one of the few who can successfully do an uptempo song. I don't agree 100% with Ken, because I don't think Faizal was trying to 'impersonate' MJ. This is a tribute, so some will tend to incorporate the 'moves' and styling into their performance. But in terms of predictability, I kinda agree, but would rather see it as Faizal being consistent. So, perhaps in that light, I hope Faizal amps it up this week.


Sezairi Sezali - 'Thriller'
This is what I call artistry. When I heard he was playing the guitar this week, I was so super excited! And actually to be honest, I would have preferred to hear Airi sing the song accompanied by just his guitar. Cut the backing track - it sounded a bit overwhelming.

I think he gave it his best and I thought it helped make the show interesting.

Some people have commented that he 'stole' this accoustic version from youtube. I don't believe so. Over 2 weeks ago when Airi first told me he wanted to sing Thriller and that he was gonna do it accoustic style, I remembered that a girl had done the same and it was played on 987FM a while back. I told him so and he said he'd also heard it and when he did, straight away he tried doing his own accoustic-style version and this is what you saw him perform. Its his own interpretation. Yes, perhaps he was inspired by someone, somewhere, but he put the arrangement together himself.

Judges said :
Dick – You sounded quite cool but I felt you were trying too hard. Very pitchy in the high notes.
Flo – There is a cool quiet comfortable quality about you.
Ken – You have the most original style tonight.

Agree/disagree? I didn't hear the pitchy parts - but perhaps it was because the screaming was so loud! Seriously very very loud! I agree with both Flo and Ken. He was original, creative and very cool/comfortable with his guitar. I hope Airi continues to bring out the guitar often because with it, he seems so much more at ease and that helps his performances.


Nurul Huda - 'Ben'
OMG best performance ever by Nurul k! I totally 'bought' the emo behind the song. I thought the song showcased her vocals. She gave an honest, earnest performance with no gimmicks...well done girl!

Which is why, it was really really sad to see her leave the competition.
The only thing I didn't really like about Nurul that night, was the top half of her outfit. The jacket/shirt/tie thing is cute, but I felt it made her look a bit like a waitress. A more 'funky' top would have gone great with the shorts.
But thats such a small thing. She did everything else right!

Judges said :
Dick – It was a touching performance, very nice.
Flo – TODAY predicted you as the weakest link but you have proved them wrong.
Ken – You sounded quite good but I do not see star quality in you.

Agree/disagree? I totally agree with all 3 judges who gave her kudos. As for star quality - perhaps it was the outfit, because I think Nurul is one of the most relatable and approachable Idols. She's not afraid to laugh at herself and she's the one Idol that hardly ever self-censures during interviews - with Nurul, what you see if what you get. And I love that about her!

Sylvia Ratonel - 'The Way You Make Me Feel'
I thought she started off strong. Walking in from the middle of the audience with dark aviators on made for a good eye-catching start. But somewhere along the way, I kinda lost interest. She seemed to have lost interest too and her performance seemed like she was just going through the motions - I felt she wasn't really present. Don't get me wrong, her vocals were top notch as usual, and she looked hawt in the all black figure-hugging outfit, but something felt missing for me. But I guess overall, it was still a fairly good performance.

Judges said :
Dick – You can tackle all genres and you do it well. Tonight you were a little bit ok for me. You’re losing the fire; that was not 100% from you, only 70%.
Flo – Vocally you did not nail it but as a performer you have blossomed. You have become a star. Welcome to the Top 10!
Ken – Out of thousands, you have lived up to expectations. You will be in the Top 4!

Agree/disagree? I agree in part with Dick and Flo - that it wasn't 100% performance. But I also agree with Ken - Top 4 material! Bring it tomorrow!


Charles 'Stitch' Wong - 'Remember The Time'
The Beatboxing is BACK!!! He started his performance with some awesome possum beatboxing of Bad and Billie Jean leading into the musical intro of Remember The Time where he started to sing. To me, it went downhill from there because the sound levels, both in studio and on tv, just dropped. It was like a really 'quiet' peformance when previously he (and the other contestants) had blasting music. So it wasn't as rousing as it should have been, because Remember The Time is a great upbeat song!
Good try on the moonwalk though. I hear he's gonna be playing the guitar for the next theme, so am looking forward to that tomorrow.

Judges said :
Dick – Tonight you did what you do best and then you started to sing! Your singing was half hearted.
Flo – If you have a skill, use it to differentiate yourself from the rest.
Ken – You got to be consistent. Don’t start with a bang and end with an anti-climax.

Agree/disagree? I guess I'll have to agree with the judges. Although I don't think it was as bad as they made it out to be, he was just 'softer' than the rest - technical glitch perhaps? I have to say though, the highlight for me here was when Ken said 'gedebak-gedebok!' <-- I LOLed!

Tabitha Nauser - 'Who's Lovin' You?'
What a wonderful performance! Good job Tabby! I think big songs like this are definitely right up Tabby's alley (LOL, sounds like a mamak shop 'Tabby's Alley'!). Tabby looked superb, and with the new bangs - as my English friends would say 'phwoar!'. Now, if only she'd have let go a little more, it would have been surreal.

Seriously all round good vibes. Even Nat Ho who was sat in front of me, whispered 'eh this one got Star vibes' to me. :)

Judges said :
Dick – That was a good choice of song but I wish you did more with it and gone all the way.
Flo – You look stunning and your talent is astounding.
Ken – You have to be original. You have a lot of potential; you need to develop your own style.

Agree/disagree? I agree with Dick and Flo. Dick's right, at this stage of the competition, they all need to take some risks and lay it out all out there on the table (same as Carrie Underwood's advice to them).


Mae Sta Maria - 'I Want You Back'
I think Mae did a great job with this song. I think she sounded good throughout - both on tv and in studio. She was upbeat and energetic throughout the song and I didn't even realise she seemed awkward in the heels until Dick said so.

I heard her do this song waaaay back at theatres and I loved it then, loved it even more now.

Judges said :
Dick – You delivered a similar performance to last week, you need to up it. You need more energy and got to give a lot more to your performance.
Flo – You are a consistently strong singer however you need to get to the next level. It’s a joy to watch you perform.
Ken – Curb your nerves and use your strength. I hope to see you next week.

Agree/disagree? I thought the judges were unnecessarily harsh on her. Perhaps they were frustrated with her, since they said the same things (about bringing to the next level) last week - they're looking for 'awesome' from her. Tall order? Bring IT tomorrow girl! Power all the way!!


Duane Ho - 'The Girl Is Mine'
Not too bad, started off good, then got a little shaky especially on the lower notes. A safe perfomance that didn't blow my mind, not in theatre and not on tv. But I guess its tough too for Duane to really 'get' MJ since its not really his 'era'.... Duane's just 16....

Hope he 'brings it' for tomorrow night's theme.

Judges said :
Dick – You are the youngest to make it to the Top 10. Tonight I felt you are not mature enough to handle the songs you sing. Still you are a great singer for a 16-year-old.
Flo – I am worried for you as you take on more challenging genres and songs.
Ken – You have certain unique qualities but when compared to the rest of the contestants, you are zero upon ten.

Agree/disagree? Have to agree with all of them, except that I felt 'zero upon ten' was a bit harsh la Uncle Ken. He's definitely not a zero in my book - to be doing this at 16 is no joke. The only other 16 year old who braved Idol and survived is Season 1's Daphne Khoo (who was 16 at the time). So props to him for doing his best week after week.


Malaque Mahdaly - 'Rock With You'
Rock With You is an MJ classic and many people thought she crucified this song. Wait la, she didn't. Actually, she did a pretty decent job of the version she was given/had chosen to sing. She's actually following the Quincy Jones + Brandy version which includes a rap.
Ok, the rap wasn't the bomb, but I thought she performed the rest of the song rather well - I've heard the version she was following, and I think she did it justice.

Judges said :
Dick – That is my favourite Michael Jackson and you totally destroyed it. You were flat all the way and it was your worst performance.
Flo – Today’s performance was completely off.
Ken – Last week’s performance was much better, today not good for you.

Agree/disagree? Totally disagree. I guess it just goes to show, if you want to do a classic tune arranged differently, you've got to make sure the arrangement is good and/or that the audience/judges/viewers know it. Many don't know the Brandy version and that was so unfortunate for Malaque. This is where she should take a leaf from Faizal's book - he always chooses popular songs that are easily recogniseable, makes it easier for everyone to connect with you.
As for the judges, I wish they would keep a more open mind about more 'creative arrangements' of songs.

Fathin Amira - 'You Are Not Alone'
Hands down best performance of the night - vocally spot on and emotionally committed, this was a very sincere performance - I guess it helped that she was singing it to her kid brother.
I thoroughly enjoyed the song, both live and on tv, and I was surprised cos usually I hate this song (too whiny for my taste and MJ's affected gasps and hiccups aren't appealing - the music vid has also scarred me for life - he and Lisa Marie should NOT be nekkid on tv! yikes!)

Good going Amira - you did a great job with this song.

Judges said :
Dick – That was the only performance worthy of a tribute to Michael Jackson.
Flo – The other contestants are in colours of pink and blue but you are still stuck in shades of grey. You need to bring the x-factor.
Ken – Vocally you’re the best performer tonight. You need to learn to sell yourself and be more aggressive.

Agree/disagree? I totally 100% agree with Dick - it was a great performance. As for Flo's and Ken's comments about her personality, there is some truth to what they say. But folks, as much as we give Duane leeway for the fact that he's 16, we gotta also remember that Amira is just a year older at only 17. She's still finding herself, and she's the 'reserved' type, so give her some more time before her personality shouts 'boomz'.

So, did MJ roll around in his grave? I don't think so. I think he would have been proud of our Idols and given each one a pat on the back, just for trying. He should know his songs are not easy to sing and that his moves are not easy to perfect. :) I'd like to think he was smiling down on them and having a good time watching the show on his hubstation or mio TV up in heaven.

The Results Show
While the audience waited for the Results Show (45minute wait!), they played MJ themed games with Matt the wubby - very entertaining :) I went and had my dinner - forgot all about it earlier in my excitement to see the Idols and watch the show!

At 10pm, it was crunch time, and after a few rounds of roller coaster emotions, it was down to Malaque, Charles and Nurul in the 'unsafe' group.

When it came time to say goodbye to Nurul, she was all smiles and positive. It was Malaque who was totally crushed. Sylvia, Airi and Mae were all tearing too. Sylvia later broke down backstage right beside a sobbing Malaque. Definitely the biggest cry fest I've seen since MJ-Teddy and Jon-Gabriel Cheok (at bootcamp eliminations)!

Its gonna get tougher as the weeks roll by.....

















So far, the judges haven't used their 'save' yet. They have 4 more weeks to go before its Top5 where they can't use the 'save' anymore. Lets see who they'll 'rescue'.

Until then, what did you think of the show - do share your thoughts. Are you looking forward to tomorrow night's theme?

Coming up tomorrow night, updates on everyone's profiles featuring their interviews for 'For Someone Special'. Whoops, almost 4am, gotta go Zzzz......*yawn* got school tomorrow sighz.

xoxo, s.

ps. Kudos to the very talented photographer May Tan, who's pictures I've borrowed for this post (taken from the Official SI Facebook photo album. Thank you for the wonderful pics!

14 comments:

  1. nice update you got there. I feel so upset for malaque ! she did pretty well. :)

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  2. Hello summerr,
    Where are the video downloads for MJ week? My friend's from overseas are waiting to see the performance during that week.......please someone post it on summerr's blog.
    Thanks a million:)

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  3. hey Anon!
    I KNOW RIGHT!? the guy that used to upload each week has stopped uploading altogether. :( very upsetting. I have asked the people at Mediacorp to upload to youtube cos I don't have recording facilities at home. I don't even have a DVD drive! (am using a lil netbook!)

    Will try again...in the meantime, lets all go tell 'nazamania' on youtube what a great job he was doing and plead for him to start again :P

    Azhar berry thanks! I felt really upset for Malaque too cos I thought she did a good job - she too was proud of herself cos she had to learn the song from scratch (the only MJ song she really knew was Who's Lovin' You, but didn't she didn't get to do it) and she remembered all her lyrics!

    s.

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  4. hey summer
    thanks for the great review! better late than never! I just wanted to say you're doing a great job on the blog. Much better than the official one that hasn't been updated for a whole week!

    I've been to the roadshows and the tv recording and from what I see he's always with the Idols, I even saw him hanging out with them last night at Project Hope and then after the show, he was at Simpang Bedok with them too! (yes I was there to watch the show and I happened to live near Simpang so went there for supper - I am not stalking him -yuck! - but I would love to stalk malaque or tabby cos they are hot!)

    Why doesn't he ever update his blog? I thought @Izked would have the most in depth blog since he spends so much time with them but he takes so long with each post!

    I understand you're friends with him - can you give him some blogging pointers please? Otherwise why don't you just take over!

    -_- joe

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  5. Thanks for the post summer!!
    I agree with most of your points, especially Malaque's. Loved tabby's!!
    Do you think she looks like demi lovato?
    I was squealing and squealing back at home that the top half of her face looked like demi (cos demi has that cutesy chin thing so bottom half fail)

    Anyway I think amira's perf was touching but I'm tabby fan la so biased heh. I loved tabby's most.
    Maybe its cos she had a little flu so she couldnt give like 1000 %?

    I think she will blow us away with HALO tomorrow.
    EXCITED!!

    And nurul should not have gone out. Her vocals are great, and her character is so fun. It sure is different w/o her right?

    -megatabbyandherawesomevoice fan

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  6. summer, i really want to say thank you for the information you give. i am studying overseas, so i am not able to watch their performances live. but with your breakdown, it really allows me to know more about the idols. thanks for doing a brilliant job.

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  7. Summerr,

    usually i watched the performances uploaded on youtube by this user artdink303..its uploaded usually 3 days after live show..

    oh..gotta share good news too....checkirout:

    http://www.pep.ph/news/23575/Malay-finalist-Fathin-Amira-sings-a-Filipino-song-in-Singapore-Idol-Season-3

    Cheers!

    Lily

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  8. I have to agree with Joe Z. You did a better job than the official blogger. Yes i understand he have a full time job. Not pay for his blogging fee. But please don't give us excuses for all this...

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  9. Ok, dont mean to tekan the official blogger but this is what I think the real problem is.

    It is not only that he has his full time job and cant find time to write. I think he cant write well. Meaning writing doesnt come easy for him and therefore it takes time to churn out a post, esp a long one. For someone like Summerr, words and ideas probably just flow easily and hence she takes a shorter time to put her thoughts on paper or rather blog. Less effort for her.

    The official blogger seems to make more effort at videoing, twittering, uploading stuff on youtube. As for fulfilling his job as a BLOGGER, I think he super fail. I wonder what he does during all those times he is wt the idols at the studio or other locations. Isnt there ALOT of waiting time? He could have easily taken that time to write but I think he prefers to do the videoing? socialising? or just waiting?

    I dont go to his blog anymore cos I am not depending on him for updates and stuff. So I dont quite care that he is not updating.

    My only issue wt it is, he has accepted the job as the official blogger thus he is obligated to fulfill his role. He shouldnt have accepted it in the first place if he doesnt have the basic skill as a blogger, and what is that? Write and write well of course.

    We could have had 2 bloggers giving us their perspective and share interesting updates on SI and the idols but alas we can only depend on one now. Well, at least we have one good one, so that's better than nothing.

    For supporters of the official blogger. Dont think that we are just complaining cos we like to put him down. If you read our posts, I think you can sense our feeling of the frustration here.

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  10. Pls spare some symphaty to the official blogger. All his life, this is the first time he is surrounded by beautiful people. Let him enjoy the moments. It only happens once in a lifetime for him.

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  11. OMG!! to the comment above. I hope you are not telling us that he only takes the job so that he can rub shoulders with the idols, and other celebrities at the functions they attend. Is that why he is spending alot of time socialising with them instead of blogging?

    Ok, even if that was his reason, no one is mean enuff not to let him enjoy those moments as you've mentioned. BUT, dang it, DO YOUR JOB lah so people wont complain.

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  12. To the Anonymous at 2.17pm. I resent you saying its easier for summerr to blog. Yes she may have better writing skills but I'm sure it still takes time for her to think of an angle and what to say.

    She also takes time to do up collages and pictures and tweet (hello, she tweets and twitpics WAAAAAY more than the official blogger, especially on wednesdays at the show - even tonight, I thought Izked was going to twitpic - he didn't send up a single picture at all!). And she started putting videos up waaay before he ever did.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting him down at all. I think he makes an effort, I just feel you need to give summerr A LOT MORE credit for her efforts.

    And don't forget, she doesn't even get to spend the same amount of time that HE does with the IDOLS. For the amount of time he spends with them he should have triple or even 10x the number of posts/pics/twitpics/vids of them, no matter how random.

    I've also noticed she doesn't even feature herself in pictures, whereas Izked always does - so perhaps the Anon above is right, he may be 'enjoying' the limelight so much until he's forgotten the real reason he's there which is to blog.

    thank you summerr for all your efforts, it doesn't go unnoticed for a lot of Idol fans!
    xoxo, v.l.v.d.

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  13. Bottom line is the official blogger thinks he is the IDOL himself...

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  14. To Anon at Oct 22, 12,31 am.

    Ermmm...this is what happens when your words get misinterpreted.

    I thought I was putting Summerr on the pedestal when I wrote abt her writing skills. It was meant as a compliment to Summerr. Yes, I know it takes alot of effort to blog... but my point is her writing skill is excellent and the creative juices just flow. She has the innate ability to write and put her ideas across in a creative way. I was making a point abt their writing abilities. One can write, while the other cant. My other point, altho indirectly, is that Summerr is churning more posts, while the O blogger spends more time doing other stuff, eg, socialising etc.. when he could have squeezed some time blogging.

    I thought my comments above showed clearly how good Summerr is as a blogger compared to the other one. Hmmm... strange how people can read things differently.

    I am a super duper fan of Summerr blogspot. If you cant see that then there is nothing I can do.

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