Tuesday, December 29, 2009
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
JUDGES' COMMENTS :
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
JUDGES' COMMENTS :
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.