Thursday, August 5, 2010

Meet OMG Judge : The Flying Dutchman

Ever wondered how The Flying Dutchman got his name?
I actually heard this story on radio. Back in the 70s when he worked at Rediffusion, FD was a deejay there and he worked shifts. He would often help cover a fellow deejay's shift, and this meant he would have to run (really fast) between his studio and another studio. Apparently timing was crucial and the studios were at opposite ends of the building, so FD would run really fast, thus the moniker The Flying Dutchman. I'm assuming he's Dutch. I must double-check this the next time I see him.

Aside from being one(very important)-third of Class 95's major cashcow The Morning Express with Vernetta Lopez and Glenn Ong, FD also runs his own events management company called TFD Pte Ltd (TFD = The Flying Dutchman la!). They even have a 'wedding planning' division called 'The Wedding Entourage' - how cute is that?

Having been in the entertainment industry for over 30 years, what FD brings to the table is experience with a capital 'E'. He's been there, done that - he's hosted, been a deejay, been on tv, in fact, he was the face/host of Singapore's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionnaire and more recently his own talk show Blog TV for Channel News Asia. Always one to ask insightful, provocative questions, FD is influential yet able to laugh at himself. I recently caught him on Channel 5's Entertainment on 5 in what looked like a kaftan, talking about taking belly-dancing classes. Older men who take belly dancing classes and then talk about it on national television are few and far between. I like the fact that although he looks really serious, and he does talk about serious issues, he has a wicked sense of humour and doesn't take himself too seriously.

I managed to catch him in between shutter clicks at the 'secret' Judges photoshoot a few weeks back and have been keeping this interview roasting til now.

What was your reaction to being invited to Judge on One Moment of Glory?
I am thoroughly looking forward to it. I'm waiting to see what kind of talent we're gonna get. I'm excited, because now, if you have a talent, you finally get a chance to show it. Shows like Idol and Dancefloor have proven that Singapore DOES have talent.

A show like this (OMG!) will further prove that we have a lot of unique talent. I say give the buskers a chance to get into the act too.

Any expectations in terms of the types of talents you would hope to see on the show?
Well I hope there will be something that will surprise me. Like, "Oh My God I DIDN'T KNOW you could do THAT!"

Actually I'd like to see the women come to the fore now. I want to see women do well in competitions like this. Look at Sylvia Ratonel, she's done quite well for herself, and I hope to see more women step up and show us what they've got, and maybe even win this.

What kind of 'women-type' talents are you hoping to see?
I don't know, surprise me, speed-knitter? Women can do anything these days!

Hopefully the contestants will take more of a gamble this time, and really go for it, because even at the public voting stage, Judges still get a 50% say, so we have a little more power (compared to 100% viewer-voting formats).
summerr says : I think what FD's saying about the 'more power' bit is that, ultimately, because Judges have a say, the results won't be based solely on popularity or the 'young teen girl vote' which has created a fair bit of controversy for shows like Idol. Real talent, good talent will be recognised here.

How are you going to judge the talents? Its apples vs oranges on this show.
I've been in the entertainment business for over 30 years, I've seen it all. I will judge based on what Singapore can offer and the situation we're in in Singapore. In a local context, we will have people who will make you go 'wow'. It won't be based on what I've seen overseas or on tv, because those people come from a different culture, upbringing and background. We need to keep it local.

Viewers also need to take cues from Judges to go with their heart. Take cues from us, and KNOW that we are honest. Honest and constructive in our feedback and in our decisions.

Singaporeans should go with what's good. There's support for your friend and there's being objective. Singaporeans need to learn to be objective. Otherwise ultimately, it should be left in the hands of the judges. Also something else to bear in mind, depending on the talent we get there may be talent out there that Singaporeans won't understand. Is the Singaporean viewer too mainstream? We'll see once voting begins.

After watching three tapings of the show, I can safely say that FD really does give a lot of specific and constructive feedback. Like, Irene, he comes from he point of view of an entertainer. He judges contestants based on whether they can entertain and connect with an audience. And I have to say, his belly-dancing experience actually helped .... we have a few belly dancers on the show!

Catch Judge FD on One Moment Of Glory, it premieres this Monday, National Day, right after the parade on Channel 5. Or you can't wait, tune in tomorrow morning (and every week day morning) to Class 95's Morning Express (95.0FM for the blur).

Oh and check out this latest OMG! trailer :) It gives you a sneak peek at the kind of humour you can expect from the judges.

xoxo, s.

ps. Upcoming posts - your hosts Gurmit and Michelle who thought OMG shoulda stood for Only Gurmit and Michelle Show.

:: pics courtesy of Shawn Pang, Channel 5 Marketing and my lil Nokia e71 ::


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