Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Judge FD : "I want to see Cheerleading Squads!"
I caught up with Judge FD just before the taping of Episode 6 while the Judges were having their dinner and of course we wound up discussing the show. At first it was just about belly dancing, I said I had observed a fair number of belly dancers on the show and was wondering if he could tell me more about the intricacies of it since he took lessons. And my first reaction was - men can belly dance meh? And the rest of the conversation went as follows...
FD : "Did you know that most, if not all, belly dance masters are men?"
Me : "Seriously??"
FD : "I met a young boy* the other day, and he's just finished his NS, his name's Darren. And Darren I tell you, just got on a table and started to belly dance and he was amazing!
*When FD said young boy I thought a 5 year old, but I guess in relation to his age, a guy finishing NS would be considered 'young' and 'boy' - LOL, sorry FD I couldn't resist!
"Belly dancing isn't as easy as you think. There are 7 different shimmies, 8 different pops, there's what they call a freeze shimmy. There are so many tricks you can do. You can walk a drum around a stage while shimmying. (He means, stand on a drum, and like, dance on it, and move it while dancing on it!)
"People have got to get around this misconception - belly dance is not about being sexy. It is an art form. Yes it is sexy, but it's not about that. It's not about watching a naked woman gyrate. It's about being in awe of a woman's ability to control her body. Controlling different parts of her body independently of each other; shimmy hips while doing a figure 8 with the top half of your body - can you do that? It takes a lot of skill to do it. It's all about the isolations. Isolating actions on one part of your body from another.
"Desert Roses make belly-dance very entertaining, but what people don't see is the degree of difficulty in belly-dancing. If you really want to appreciate belly-dancing, go to Shiraz at Clarke Quay. You will see the true degree of belly-dancing, all the best belly-dancers perform there.
"There are some tricks that they do that will astound you. For instance, balancing a razor sharp blade on their chest while dripping hot wax onto themselves without flinching, because if they flinch, the blade will cut them - now that is control. (I don't know about you FD, but dripping hot wax on yourself is crazy! Kids - DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!)
Me : "So how'd you get into belly dancing?"
FD : "I started belly dance lessons because my wife was doing it. It was just a way to bond and learn something together. Now i want to start learning the middle eastern drums. Its actually quite painful when you're starting out, you get callouses and all but ultimately, I want to accompany my wife while she dances, so we can perform together.
Me : "Let's talk about OMG now, its been 5 episodes, how do you think it's going?"
FD : "I love the show, I love this format. I think its a great format. What I want to see, and I know these people exist, are the Chinese acrobats and the Cheerleading squads. Its about choreography, and the beauty of that is that it can change every week.
What else - percussion groups with real drama. I would love to see the 10-year old drummer that was featured somewhere. Oh, and there's this Chinese girl who plays the er-hu on Orchard Road - she's damn good! (I actually know who he's talking about, she sits on a motorised chair outside Paragon!) Or an acapella group, we haven't had that on the show yet, and I know there are many really good ones out there.
"I think Singaporeans are afraid. Take away the $50,000 and the fanfare, and what One Moment of Glory is, is a 90-second commercial for your talent. A FREE 90-second commercial."
"If people can spot you on the show, pick you out and sell you, it could make your career. You will earn more than $50,000. All those event companies and talent scouts, send your people here to watch the talents you could be selling to your clients. Talent managers, send your talents to the show and give them this priceless exposure. Use this platform.
"Back to talents. I'm still waiting for a Susan Boyle. Maybe, an HDB aunty who has this amazing operatic voice, but with no dress sense. If you put her in a room with two people you still wouldn't see her... until she opens her mouth to sing -now that would blow me away.
"Like I said, I think Singaporeans are afraid. When you're a professional, your reputation could be at stake. But, if you want to break into the industry, you have to be on the show. It is the best tool for anyone wanting to break into the industry (FD means the entertainment industry).
"You know, even if the ratings are not superb for this season, I think we must continue to do OMG, for the sake of growing talent in Singapore - we must do Season 2 and 3."
At this point, FD's finished his dinner and its time for him to head to the make up chair. Talking to him has helped me look at the show from another perspective. Most people see the show as a talent show with a $50k prize. I don't think many people see the potential of a show like this in terms of getting exposure.
What FD says is so true - this is a FREE 90-second commercial for anyone who wants to showcase their talent. If you're looking to gain exposure, this is such a great platform - you're on National TV. Plus, being on the show means there's a marketing team promoting you on various platforms before your episode airs - interviews on radio, newspaper, magazines plus roadshows. On top of that, you're most likely to be featured on the show's trailers which run across all Mediacorp channels, and on Channel 5 on high rotation. That's a lot of eyeballs.
And mind you, ratings for the show have been going up (my satellite ears overheard this), so people are taking interest in the show as it builds.
So if you (or a friend you'd like to nominate) have a talent that's unique and want to be in the entertainment industry, skip the fear, bite the bullet and come on the show! Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact the producers!
OMG revs up to the next stage!
After tonight, we'll have our Top 8 Contenders and they'll move into the Elimination Rounds next week. The show gets waaaay more exciting and dramatic - there are weekly themes the contestants will have to work within PLUS the added competition from a weekly 'Mystery Challenger'. (If you join the show now, this could be YOU!)
So difficulty level is up and stakes are up too! If you are a chinese acrobat or an HDB Aunty with a golden voice reading this (or your mom is) we would love to see you (and her) on the show. Or if you're the captain of an AWESOME POSSUM Cheerlading Squad, get on the show and do your school proud. Even I would love to see cheerleaders on the show - Bring It On is one of my fave movies :).
Time to get goin', more to do in prep for tonight's review, so Happy OMG Day everyone! Don't forget to tune in tonight at 8pm, only on Channel 5!
ps. Thanks to FD for that cool impromptu interview!