Monday, August 30, 2010

OMG Guest Judge : Tay Ping Hui

The King of Caldecott Hill presides....
... and he's a real stickler for details. So OMG! contenders and challengers alike .... beware, thou hath been warned....

Since I found out that TPH (lazy la to type whole name, and I feel like I'm not 'friend' enough to just call him 'Ping Hui'; also I like that it kinda looks like NPH, as in Neil Patrick Harris - ok that was rubbish!)....

As I was saying, since I found out that TPH was gonna guest judge on OMG! (and lemmetellyou I found out pretty late), I almost fell off my sofa (thats where I was when I got the sms).

First of all... *swoon*! Second of all *SWOON*!
How the hell was I gonna survive interviewing him without drooling? I silently reminded myself I was a professional and I could do this. I mean, I've interviewed Tom Welling. I managed to keep the drool in check then, I would certainly be able to do it with TPH right?

Or, I could *fail* and it would be like the time I shook Bradley Cooper's hand and mumbled something like "Ohmygawd you're so much cuter in real life!" to which he replied politely, "thank you" and probably sent finger signals to his publicist that I could be a potential crazy fan impersonating marketing personnel. I proceeded to miss Michael Vartan's outstretched hand (it was some meet the Alias cast thing so they were all in a line shaking hands with media people) and then took a step backward to grab it and stepped on my colleague's shoe. *FAIL*.

Suresh made me wait two days to interview TPH. On his last day with the show, I made sure I arrived at 5pm, the Judges' call time, to try and grab him for a chat. Clad in a simple teeshirt, jeans and a pair of really red sneakers, TPH was on time and ready to go - unfortunately for him, no one else was, so I got to chat with him for quite a while. You're in for a nice long read folks, Judge Swoon has opinions k.

Me : Sorry I didn't come say hi earlier, you musta seen me lurking around with my camera. I wasn't allowed to interview you til today.
TPH : Why?
Me : Producers wanted you to settle in and get comfortable on the show first I guess - you'd be in a better position to do the interview mah.
TPH : Settle in? I'm so settled in already!

Do you think you could have been an Idol Judge?
I think I would be able to do it. Perhaps not as credible. Or might not be as convincing since I'm not directly involved in music. But what I do is I look for the details. I always say, "The devil's in the details" and I'm fortunate to have gained some experience due to the nature of my work. So for a show like this, I'm perhaps more credible?

Were you surprised when the producers called you?
No, not surprised, I've been a judge before. I have never really enjoyed the process of eliminating anyone. Its so subjective. I feel that talent shouldn't be judged this way. I mean, who am I to say that you don't have talent or that you don't belong here? But its the way the show is structured. But there are some parts of being a judge I enjoy - the interactions with the contestants.

People say Singaporeans are boring. Not true. Just look at these guys on the show, they are anything but boring. People say Singaporeans are conversative, no guts etc. That's so not true. These contestants are here, and they come on the show and let themselves be judged. That takes guts. I really admire them, I do. I respect each and every one of them. They put in a lot of effort into what they do.

You know, a lot of people underestimate those 90 seconds. If you're a professional, that 90 seconds could lead to your next big opportunity. Thats whats good about the show.

Have you got any hidden talents?
All my talents are hidden. *cheeky smile*
I've been very very fortunate to be exposed to many things since I was young. And I've always had this natural curiosity. I always wanted to know how things worked, whether it was music or science or anything, it was like a real thirst for knowledge. Maybe I'm overcompensating for something, I don't know.

Fundamentally, I don't think I'm very smart or highly intelligent. I'm hardworking and I ask questions. If you know something, don't pretend that you don't. There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

What do you think of your fellow judges?
They all think I'm being very technical. I'm just into details. I think they enjoy having a person like me on the panel. As a performer, I've done singing, dancing etc, I bring to this my eye for detail based on a combination of visual/audio and the technical details of what they're doing.
All of us look at things very differently. I provide a different perspective from them. FD has very inspiring things to say, and he can say it all in one line. I like him - he's frank and doesn't mince his words.

What kind of acts do you think are at an advantage or disadvantage on a show like this?
Acts that are slower are always disadvantaged, except singing. If you're slow and trying to be poetic, you may not have enough time to bring the audience along on your journey. Acts that are fast paced, heart-pumping type boosts your adrenaline.

Do you reckon there's a market for more talent shows?
Yes, because shows like this provide a window of opportunity for the thousands and thousands of talent out there. Anything and everything goes. Just look at the variety of acts we have here. Personally I am flabbergasted (I was flabbergasted that he used the word flabbergasted, to which he said, "Yes flabbergasted, long word for an actor eh?" - LOL!) by the sheer amount of talents I've seen in 3 days. How can anyone say Singapore is boring? Especially if you have these talents? They just need a platform. The show itself has a long way to go, and I hope to see it grow.

When you say grow, what do you mean? Like how?
I hope to see bigger prize money? Maybe higher stakes? Eventually perhaps it would not be confined to a small stage anymore? Bigger venue?

I've heard people say 90 seconds isn't enough.
That's no excuse. That's the format of the show. You gotta work within the format, work within the system. Its like that in real life too. Pedal to the metal from the word 'Go!'

Any advice for the contestants?
You have 90 seconds. Blow everyone away.
After the 90 seconds, life can dramatically change. You can either head for higher grounds or go back to living a normal life. Whatever it is, after the 90 seconds, leave everything on stage.

At this point Judge Swoon wonders where everyone is. We're sat in the middle of a very empty TV Theatre, with just two crew guys working on the stage. "Are we done?"

Just one last question, list all the 'stuff' you've done on all those charity shows...
Fire work (like Danny)
Cloth/Rope work
Bollywood Dancer
Play guitar
More dancing
Martial Arts Performances

And with that, Judge Swoon makes his way backstage to the Judges' Room for some makan - its dinner time/make-up time before his last night on the show.

Watch Episodes 4, 5 and 6 and you'll find that TPH's eye for detail and his experience from training for charity shows gives him that much more credibility cos the guy's been there done that. But what I enjoy most is his eloquence and his ability to articulate (in great detail might I add) those critiques. Plus he's easy on the eyes la.

Catch Judge TPH a.k.a. Judge Swoon on OMG for the next THREE Wednesdays, 8pm only on Channel 5. Be prepared for lots of TPH because, and I quote, "The devil's in the details", so he'll have a lot to say in detail about each performance ;)

ps. Every night, after the show wraps, TPH is swarmed by fans wanting to say hi and take pictures. It takes easily 20 minutes for his minder to extract him from "just one more pic can?"

pps. Need more Ping Hui? He's on Unriddled on Channel 8, and once that's wrapped, there's a new lawyer-drama series (he tells me the title in Mandarin, and says it loosely translates to Walk In Walk Out) that revolves around a group of friends who are - you guessed it - lawyers. The cases revolve mostly around marriages, divorces, adultery - I am already intrigued, sounds like a must watch that you'll get hooked on after one episode. On Ping Hui's part, he says watch it for the good writing. And watch Unriddled for its great production quality - I caught an ep the other night - have to agree. Find out more at


  1. You are knowledgeable, and careful with details, and experience of many type of performances.
    I am sorry to say that you are not the master of the art of some of the performance.
    I think that you look smarter if you could judge the performance as an audience not as an expert, because hard to get expert judge of different type of talents.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. [Reposted]

    I've read your comment with regards to Tay Ping Hui being a judge really beg to differ, Anonymous.

    1)He said so himself that he wasnt an expert in music in the interview (above).

    2) TBH was invited as a judge cos they allow him to be whatever he wants - What do you mean by him "looking smart"?
    If he just wishes to look smart in the show, wouldnt it mean that he is a very miserable and manipulated man?

    3) Your claim of judging as an audience/expert is baseless - Some judges are more technical whereas some judges are more of a touchy/emotional kind.
    Does that mean that some are less better than the others? NO! We all need different judges to compliment each other, no?

    I'm never a fan of TBH,
    But never an enemy as well

    Hannah Ong

  4. I'm not a fan either. Boring Judge. NEXT!

  5. TBH is good, but I prefer Jeanette Aw, she is my idol even though she has good judgement too!

  6. soory ,typo error, Jeanette Aw is my idol and she has good judgement too!
    She is beautiful but she must put on some weight to be sexy to me!!!!

  7. Jeanette Aw quit the show when she learned that it was rigged. TBH above is Jill's Cuz so he, like more than half the judges were happy to go along with the producers rigging and make sure Jill won.

    He might be good looking but he is fake and has no backbone unlike Jeanette Aw. She also has talent which should be one of the requirerments to be a Judge. The rest of the OMG Judges are unqualified but that's what the producers needed to be able to do their dishonest deeds.

    Such a waste of what could have been a great show. TBH should stick to what he does best. Bad acting in a soap. I agree with the above but Jeanette Aw will not go back on for this reason.

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