Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mambo Mania : The Late Review

Did the Idols Mambo Enough?
Seeing as its Idol Day, its fitting to review last week's performances just before tonight's show. (Aw who am I kidding right? Sorry la, was busy, and well, reviews take time to put together! So its now or never cos in less than 4 hours, its another show already!)

Mambo Mania was supposed to kinda be 'disco' night, but turns out it was more like an 80s night (disco is more 70s). The song list promised a night of catchy finger-snappy, toe-tappy, booty-twitchy songs, but did the Idols' renditions live up to it?

I was lucky enough to be in studio, sat with vocal coach Ann Hussein for half the show, and then later with Iz for the second half (cos we were to be interviewed - ugh, not my best moment - so unprepared - so fail! LOL! summerr doesn't do tv). If you saw my gazillion tweets/twitpics, you'll notice the 2nd vantage point was waaaay better! Indra's seat always blocked by camera la!

Anyway here we go with the review :

Sezairi - 'Play That Funky Music' by Wild Cherry

I actually quite enjoyed Airi's performance. I thought he kicked start the show quite well. I liked the arrangement, I liked his new hair. I thought he looked kinda cute in those bright colours. He looked comfortable to me. I really truthfully did enjoy it at the studio. Even on tv when I watched it back, he still sounded good to me and looked comfortable.

Judges said :
Dick – It was a very confusing performance.
Flo – You were a cool cat but tonight you became a wild cat. I miss the sincerity in your performance.
Ken – Tonight you were trying very hard.

Agree/disagree? I totally disgaree with all 3 judges. I didn't find the performance confusing (neither did I find the fact that he wore his glasses a clash with his outfit - the glasses are a part of him wat!) I didn't think he was insincere either. A few comments also came in saying he was trying too hard to 'ape' Glambert from AI. I disagree. Just because the arrangement was Adam Lambert's doesn't mean he was 'copying' him. Overall I thought Airi did a good job and showed us a more playful side to him, which was nice.

Duane Ho - Tainted Love by The Pussycat Dolls

The original version of this song was by Softcell, but Duane decided to do the updated PCD version which I think was a good choice cos it made it sound a bit more contemporary. I know Duane's been labeled Mr PCD for his booty moves, but to be honest, I found the performance a bit overload on the booty shaking front. I also found the vocals, in studio and even more so on tv, shaky - too busy remembering the choreo maybe?

Judges said :
Dick – A very cute performance.
Flo – A1 for courage, but a disturbing performance.
Ken – Your survival is based on the compassion of viewers.

Agree/disagree? Kinda have to agree with Flo on the 'disturbing' front. I love Duane and all, but its like Dick said, maybe he should stop doing that. I didn't know where to put my eyes, I felt guilty watching a 16 yr old guy shake his booty like that, but at the same time, I kinda enjoyed watching him be so confident and out there, and again at the same time I felt disturbed that I was 'enjoying it'. I was very confused.

Tabitha - 'Ain't Nobody' by Chaka Khan

I always thought this was a 70s song - I stand corrected. (Chaka Khan looks so 'old' I thought she was from the 70s mah!). Anyway, great song choice (I heard this was Malaque's first choice too, whoops looks like thats TWICE Tabby's gotten one over on Malaque - previously was on MJ week), this song got everyone clapping and movin' in their seats. Nicely done Tabby!

Judges said :
Dick – Great song and I hope to see you in the finals.
Flo – You’ve got unbelievable stage presence for a 17-year-old.
Ken – Singing was not good but you look good on stage. You should be in the finals.

Agree/disagree? Totally agree with judges on all counts. Except for when Ken said singing no good. She was awesome in studio and strong when I watched it back again on tv. She aced vocals, and presentation (17 yrs old!!!). Plus she looked like she had fun - not like when she was singing Ting Hai - ooh painful! So job well done for TabbyN.

Charles - 'Take On Me' by A-Ha

Aiyo, from the get-go we already know its an AhBeng song. But its SUCH a nice ahbeng song to dance and get high to :) I thoroughly enjoyed Charles' performance too. I was a little nervous for him on the high notes - but he managed to pull it off, so it was overall good for me, both in studio and on playback. I also thought he looked v cute :)

Judges said :
Dick – The song suits your voice and you carried the high notes well.
Flo – That was a tough song to sing, your beatboxing saved it for me.
Ken – You sing best when you sing intimately. You should do away with the distractions and focus on the singing.

Agree/disagree? Agree with Dick. Agree with Flo that it was a tough song to sing. I didn't really enjoy the beatboxing that much. I totally agree with Ken on the fact that he is best when he sings intimately. An Jing and Fall For You song were amazing. Goosebumpy. I would love to hear Charles sing like that again. Hopefully he'll do so again tonight with 'Fly Away'.

Sylvia - 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' by Whitney Houston

When I heard her practice this song I thought - home run. But somehow with the full music, she seemed to be a little distracted and drowned out. But definitely way more present this week than previously. She seemed to enjoy the song and was moving about quite a fair bit. Again, something was missing in her performance. Vocally I think she was strong, in fact she sounded good live and on tv, but like I said, something's missing - the magic in her eyes, just not there. I must sound like a broken record when it comes to Sylvia. Thing is, I think she has got so much potential, maybe its nerves? Cos I've seen her at practice and its like a force to be reckoned with.

Judges said :
Dick – The others are strong this season. You’re strong too but I don’t think you’re fighting hard enough.
Flo – Too distracting of a performance, however I don’t think you’re in danger this week.
Ken – You gave the best performance of the season when you sang Mercy. Tonight it was the best performance in terms of pitching, but it was still too mild.

Agree/disagree? I have to agree overall. But Flo's 'not in danger' comment, aiyo, too close to home, she was bottom 2. And Gurms said it this time. So its definitely true. I hope Singapore will keep voting for her because she is one of the reasons why the show is worth watching - she has real potential. SylviaFM, hope you feel better for tonight's show and kick some real a** because you deserve to keep going for at least a coupla more weeks - if not all the way to Indoor Stadium!

Mae - 'Kiss' by Prince

I thoroughly enjoyed Mae's performance. Imo, best performance of the night! She was totally committed to the 'role' she was playing while singing the song - and I loved it! Her vocals powered up here and there and although not the full-on blast I was hoping for, it was better than the week before. I didn't really like her 'tail' though, but I guess thats the 80s style, I recall Madonna had one of those - ugh!

Judges said :
Dick – You’re the most beautiful tonight and it was the best performance tonight.
Flo – Your voice is back! Take a chill pill; you’re in the Top 8 so enjoy the ride.
Ken – Another disappointing performance.

Agree/disagree? Agree with Dick that it was the best performance. Disagree with Ken about the whole 'another' disappointing performance thing. Maybe its Uncle Ken's way of pushing her, but a you know what Uncle Ken, I think a compliment this time round is well deserved - Mae did awesome! Whole crowd loved her too!

Faizal - 'That Thing You Do' by The Wonders

Faizal looked so cute in those bright blue plastic glasses - but I'd wished he would've taken them off sooner so we could see his face/eyes better. He was his usual self. He did the song fairly well, but I guess because the song wasn't anything outstanding, I felt he didn't really shine. It was a safe song to sing, he could have gone for a more edgy song from the 80s.

Judges said :
Dick – Even if you wear a Mickey Mouse hat, the audience would still love you.
Flo – You are one of the few who can carry off a dance tune but tonight it felt very messy.
Ken – You’re not like a singer in a competition but like a singer in a weekly show doing cover versions.

Agree/disagree? I'll have to agree with all 3 judges. Dick is right, no matter what Faizal does, he has this magic connection with the audience and they'd love him no matter what. Flo is right in that he's one of the few who can carry a dancetune. And Uncle Ken's comment made a little sense to me. When he said it, I remembered those shows I used to watch on RTM where the local artistes would sing covers of English songs and thats what Faizal sounded like. Don't get me wrong, they were really good (those local M'sian artistes) but in a competition like this, I guess Ken's asking for what Kara always asks for - artistry. Time to step it up a notch Faizal....

Malaque - 'Last Dance' by Donna Summer

Having lost out to Tabby again at song selection, I thought this song was a pretty good 2nd choice. But the title gave me a chill, call me 'pantang' but somehow it set off alarm bells. Plus, she was going last. Then, that night, when I first saw her, I thought to myself - she's gonna get it from the judges (and viewers) for wearing that lacey thing. Comments like 'bat wings, what time are taking off etc' came to mind. I thought to myself, 'the girl doesn't need all that'. But oh well. Lo and behold, when it was time for Malaque to go on - the lighting was GORGEOUS! And when she stepped out, she looked great. I think she sang really well and it was a fun performance. Watching it back again, I realised yet again what a beautiful tone of voice she has. Definitely not the weakest performance for the night, in fact, I think she and Tabby should tie for 2nd place.

Judges said :
Dick – You look like a big laced bat! You’re the most pitchy singer of all, but tonight you redeemed yourself.
Flo – My colleague from TODAY predicted you would be voted off tonight, but I don’t think and I hope he is wrong.
Ken – Your face is getting prettier each week, but your voice has no symptoms of improvement.

Agree/disagree? See what Dick said about the bat thing. Actually she did look quite vampire-like. Flo, looks like the TODAY guy was right. :(
I disagree with Ken actually. I think Malaque's vocals have improved over the past few episodes. There was perhaps a hiccup on MJ week, but that wasn't her vocals, it was cos you didn't know the song.

Overall, imo, the weakest that night was Duane, probably due to the dancing. But much kudos to him for the courage to do that. I can't imagine ever being on stage much less shakin' muh booty to the cam so many times. It takes a truckload of guts to do what Duane does every week, which is to come out of his shell. (AND do his friggin' O-Levels!!!)

We were even stevens again - 4 boys 4 girls. Would it be a boy or a girl heading home this time?
Personally, I couldn't bear to see any one of the 8 go home. This week, it got really tough for me. I couldn't decide - I just didn't want any of them to go home.

As I watched Gurmit announce the words 'bottom 3' for the very first time, my heart truly sank. As Sylvia, Tabitha and Malaque stood there, and I thought to myself, 'I guess Singapore hasn't really learned'. I couldn't think of any one of the 8 to send home, but I felt it shouldn't have been those 3 girls standing there.

I hope now, that its very very clear that those 3 got the least number of votes, that their fans will rally even harder now to keep Tabby and Sylvia in the competition. It was a teary goodbye for all (hardest for Iz because he and Malaque were very close), except Malaque herself who says she knew it was coming since she'd been 'unsafe' and in the 'bottom' so often. She even said candidly her family didn't vote for her cos they wanted her to go back to cooking school.

Bah. I say she shoulda stayed on a few more weeks. But thats just my opinion.

Anyway, the show's gonna start in just under 3 hours, I gotta get going, got a few more posts to schedule for tonight before I head off to the studio! Watch out for my tweets/twitpics tonight!

xoxo, s.


  1. malaque was great that night ! she doesnt deserve to go home :'( ! sadded !

  2. Yes I agree with you. I am glad that the overhyped/overrated Mae Sta Maria (who can't even measured up to Gayle Nerva of season 2) is finally out tonight. The deserving ones got through to Top 6 - while some of the guys should go home next week.

    Nurul should have stayed too.

  3. yeah. i agree too. but think about it. 2 girls left in the competition. they can just leave anytime. gosh. i don't know when will faizal be in the unsafe group. he's never in the unsafe group. i wish the SI producer could do something about the voting system. like one number entitled to one sms. if they are serious about this competition, they shouldn't make us vote like mad just for our idol to stay in the competition. the rich ones have the advantage to get their idols to stay on. & the kids who don't care about money.

  4. Hi summerr,
    can you be specific about the comment you made. What do you mean by "looks like thats TWICE Tabby's gotten one over on Malaque"
    like to know where you heard it from or should i say whom did you hear it from? Are you getting your facts right!

  5. Hi Anon,
    sure. During MJ week, both Malaque and Tabby put down 'Who's Lovin' You' as their first choices to sing. But Tabby submitted first, so she got the song. Same thing happened for Mambo, both girls chose Chaka Khan's 'Ain't Nobody' as first choice, but Tabby submitted first, so she got the song.
    Facts are 100% correct or else it doesn't go to print. I can't reveal sources obviously, did you hear something else? Do share...