Elimination Round #1 has come and gone and folks, I thought it was a great start to the second stage of the competition. If watching every contender perform every week is gonna go like this, I likey. They all had their game faces on woot!
In previous weeks, you only saw four Contenders take the stage when they got challenged, so some had to hang back and just pose. But from here on in, everyone has to work harder (and faster, since its only 7 days from one show to the next) every week to keep themselves on the show.
So there was no Challenger on the show this week. Didn't even notice it la. From start to end I was riveted, didn't even notice it was a longer show - 90 minutes - anyone realised? Definitely a much tighter show than before, and even at the studio, you could feel the excitement and energy backstage - everyone was raring to go.
Oh, and the twist at the end, where they SHOW you the Judges' ranking - fwah! That one took me by surprise, I never expected such transparency - good on ya producers. Historically 'results' on talent shows are always delivered with a bit of mystery - you get some info, not all. But here, they reveal the rank and the voting public gets to vote 'accordingly' at least and not blindly. Again I say, good.
Ok, on now to the review.
This week we had a new guest judge on the show. Veteran entertainer and The Noose's Jojo Joget, Suhaimi Yusof. That guy has got such a great booming voice - he should do all the voice overs for scary movies. How was Suhaimi gonna judge the show? "To walk away with $50,000, thats a wow, so I'm looking for that 'wow' factor."
Ok, 'nuff chatter, on to the review.
Contender #1 : Desert Roses
Collaborator : Amit Gilboa
Amit is Singapore's top middle-eastern drummer plus he's a little bit of a familiar face on Channel 8.
What did the judges have to say?
Beatrice : In the name of collaboration , he had the beats, you had the moves, it was a serious amount of fun and flirtation, that was unexpected, so good job!
Suhaimi : The costumes work. Humour was great with the whole wedding thing. When you move those bellies, that's not a wow, that's a woo hoo! Great job, great coordination. Wonderful.
Irene : As usual, you always bring on more things each time you perform. Amit is so lovable. I would have liked to see more solo of the wedding couple, but that's just a personal preference.
FD : Desert Roses, you bring a great show every time. You're working with one of the best percussionists in the business. I thought the wedding was a waste of time, you didnt need it, but as performers, as always, you were brilliant.
summerr says :
I liked that tonight, Sophia was in the limelight. Based on the past few performances, I thought it was clear that Susan was the 'leader', so it was nice to see the girls changing it up and taking turns to be in the limelight. Amit was just adorable. I loved the energy he and his crew brought to the performance. I'm amazed they managed to tell the story of flirting/courting/marriage in just 90 seconds PLUS time to do include belly dancing floor work (this would be the reverse push ups the girls did) and small instruments (Sophia was playing the zills and Susan and Jessy on flat drums), which are new and we haven't seen the Roses do before and a bit dancing for Amit (the short 'cane' dance he did to 'impress Sophia'). I thought the wedding was not really necessary, but it did surprise me, and in a good way, so all in all, nice on Roses.
Collaborator : Eunice Olsen
"They're really receptive to ideas, which made it so easy to work with them and are a really fun bunch to work with." - Eunice Olsen
I totally cracked up when the Baos! called her Eunice Awesome and she looked so paiseh. She is really that awesome though - great personality, soooo friendly and soooo approachable - you can't not love her.
What did the judges say?
B : Eunice Awesome and Singapore Char Siew Baos!, that was a strong, sound rendition of a hot song. The thing about you guys is that you are always a joy to watch, and to hear. And your strengths are that you sell such an incredibly positive feel-good feeling. But if you wanna stay in the competition for another few more weeks, I'm gonna encourage you to walk on the wild side, don't play it too safe for too long.
S : It's very entertaining but something is missing. It's like a bao without the sambal. Eunice is beautiful and a great pianst, but somehow you don't use her to enhance the entire performance. Its a nice performance, very entertaining audio, but visually it doesn't stand out.
I : Eunice is a chopstick that you use to 'kiap' the char siew bao. Granted that she's not part of the baos, she is just meant to kiap the bao. But you didn't use Eunice for your collaboration enough, maybe if you had placed her in the middle of you all or made her sing a bit?
FD : I don't know what my judges are talking about. Eunice brought a whole new dimension to their sound. Your vocals are not strong enough. I love you because you're old school, but if you want to stay in the competition, your vocals have got to get stronger.
summerr says :
Eunice was like the perfect match for this bunch - she's as shiny and happy as they are. And they looked like they were having the time of their lives on stage - all smiles, very much a Baos! thing.
I agree with Irene and Suhaimi a little on the 'not using Eunice' enough points. The piano could have been centrestage, the set up could have been cosier, Ruby could have 'sat' with Eunice at the piano and moved around a bit more to include her. Stuff like that, to make Eunice's presence more cohesive. Perhaps like Dom, Eunice coulda had a mini solo part, a real short one since its 90 seconds, that was highlighted more prominently.
But, that's visually, in terms of sound, I totally agree with FD. Eunice's piano seemed to make the Baos! sound 'fuller'. It really added a new depth to their sound and changed the 'feel' of the Baos! usual 'accounstic style music. As for what FD said about the vocals, Dom had earlier said that this wasn't Ruby's regular style of singing, but they had managed to coax her to push herself a little more. It must be tons of pressure trying to match 'Lea Michelle's power vocals (I'm pretty sure the Glee version is everyone's default reference for this song right now). But I applaud her (and their) ambition to change up their sound, it did look like they were trying to 'up' their game. To Ruby, I hope you find your vocal 'niche' for next week's show so the judges can comment on something other than vocals next week.
Contender #3 : Luminq Crew
Collaborator : Elaine Daly
"Its different, its gonna be so energetic, i think the audience are just gonna love it!" - Elaine Daly
I love that Luminiq always has a concept. First it was soccer, then it was glamour boys and now its zombies. I really enjoyed their energy - phwoar Vick flying towards the camera at the end was SO COOL! Danial had told me some time ago that he was worried Elaine wouldn't be able to match up in terms of energy - looks like it all worked out. I say it again, I love that Luminiq always has all these themes.
Contender #4 : Rhythm 'N' Moves
Collaborator : Adele Wong
"I think we have similar ideas, so its gone very smoothly. They really take care of me." - Adele Wong
B : You guys are very forceful and very skilful, you've made adele look fantastic and yourselves as well,
S : Wah very nice leh. I feel like I'm watching a movie, it's so good, can you do it again? Well done guys!
I : I think you really brought the essence of chinese kongfu to the stage because there's skill, technique and grace. The only thing is that, you guys are so black, that all you see onstage is Adele. But it was a great colaboration, you brought in a collaborator and you made her the star.
FD : I think the collaboration was great. Personally, I keep going back to what this show is about. You've got 90 seconds to entertain, and you've entertained me for 90 seconds.
summerr says :
Like Suhaimi said, it was kinda like watching a movie. There was a story and the boys and Adele actually made the 90 seconds feel longer, but in a good way, the image of the Great Wall in the back also helped make it feel very 'theatre'-ish. I was so busy following the 'story' that I wasn't even paying attention to the choreography much. But I did see Adele kinda struggle to flick the long shirtsleeves towards the end - perhaps a lighter material like silk would have made that easier?
Taking a leaf from Beatrice, I am hoping that the boys up their game by being unpredictable from here on in. Week on week, Judge B has commented about them performing well, but performing as expected. But what's unexpected? A jazz number with some martial arts moves? A broadway style number with kongfu worked in for a 'streetfight' sequence? Possibilities are endless but not easy to choreo - I hope they go watch So You Think You Can Dance for ideas :)
Contender #5 : Danny Koh
Collaborator : Bosco Francis
"When i saw him on OMG, I thought that he's promoting fire so its good for me too! I've known Danny for a few years because we're in the same magic circle. I'm trying to complement what Danny is performing on OMG." - Bosco Francis
What did the judges say?
B : Danny you know we are a fan of your work and Bosco as well. But as a collaboration I felt it didn't come together. Oftentimes what one person was doing was not necessarily complementary to the other. But however, that aside, the important thing is that Danny here, alone on that stage was good enough. No offence to Bosco, what you were doing was amaizng too.
S : If you wanna stay in the competition you have to do a bit more. Bosco is more prominent and is stealing the show. Maybe reverse the stunt? This time Bosco step on you. (LOL, no more Danny after that!)
I : I disagree with Beatrice, I think this is the best act tonight. You had me glued. Having Bosco is fantastic to look at, great fire eater/fire man, but danny you have to watch it, I've always said you can only eat fire so many times, so you have to think of something else to get into the finals.
FD : Bosco, I've been watching you for years, you're great. I have only four words for Danny - YOU. ARE. A. STAR.
summerr says :
I have to agree with Beatrice. The whole routine could have been done separately. Bosco was doing his own thing and so was Danny. This actually reminded me of the week the Vertical Dancers did the rope and the pole thing. I kept having to look at Bosco then at Danny and then back. It would have been nice if they had some things done in unison.
I didn't even know Bosco was stepping on broken glass. Perhaps they should have broken the glass first so people would know what he was stepping on.
Sorry Bosco and Danny, I know you guys are amazing fire artistes, I was too distracted trying to follow each of you to actually appreciate what you were doing.
Contender #6 : David Lin
Collaborator : Jack & Rai
Advice from Jack & Rai to David on how to write great songs :
1. Break up often
2. Make sure you have a bottle of whiskey handy
3. Have a rockin good time every time you go on stage brotha!
OMG David's video clip with his parents was so sweet. I had no idea he did this tea-making thing - David, next time please make tea for me. And I love your mom, she is sooo cute la.
What did the judges say?
B : David, you could not have lucked out more with these guys backing you, they were awesome, thank you guys! And I admire the ambition in picking a song like this, because it is an anthem. But a song like this, needs a great big soul to carry it. So while in this case while I think this is a great collaboration, I think the song overwhelmed you just a little bit.
S : This is the first time I've seen you perform, but I think the collaborators are too strong for you. Please don't hate me for saying this, but I think you should try malay songs ah!
I : I wanna cry cos Jack & Rai are my favourite all time Singaporean performers. And you picked my favourite (she means David), but, I agree with B, way too strong for you. But saying that I think you have a long way more to go, I mean Jack and Rai were not like that either 10 years ago. When you are on stage with them you needed to up your quotient and you didn't.
FD : The song was just too strong David, you blew it, I'm sorry.
summerr says :
Personally, I love Jack & Rai's sound (I was so starstruck I could never muster up the courage to go talk to them LOL! SO fail right?) and I love this Green Day song. It really is an anthem. I also think it was David's nerves that got the better of him too. I had watched this backstage during the recording and couldn't hear much, and already then I had told David that it sounded like he couldn't hear himself. He has sounded much better at rehearsal. Also, like Ruby from the Baos!, I think David's vocals are not primed for 'louder' more 'power' type material. Maybe some training is required? Give Ann Hussein a call? Sorry David, better up your game next week - I'm assuming your fans will vote you through :)
Contender #7 : Jill-Marie Thomas
Collaborator : Sylvester Sim
Aw the clip before the show was so cute la, Jill's three 'Ma's - Grandma, Mama and Godma. Bet the 'Ma's never thought they'd see their sweet lil Jill get all rocked up like this! Tsk this Sly ah, bad influence with his guyliner and pleather black. :)
B : Jill-Marie Thomas - YEAHHHH!! Rock on sistaaaaa, I'm gonna go your way! There's nothing to say, it was hot!
S : Jill, you have the attitude that will take you a long way. I love your show, your guitar, you hair. This is what I call entertainment.
I : I was a big fan of yours Sly, and I think tonight, you seemed to enjoy yourself. Oh wait sorry you're not a contestant. But I have to say this is such a great pair. Great chemistry tonight, you are fire onstage.
FD : Sly you have found your place in life. Oh wait, he's not a contestant! Jill I loved it. That was the most beautiful noise I have ever heard. It was brilliant - 10 out of 10.
summerr says :
I LOVED IT! This was the one performance I wanted to (and did) rewind and watched again! Woot! Go Jill and Sly! You guys TOTALLY
Contender #8 : Vertical dancers
Collaborator : Melissa Faith Yeo
"You can expect us to be doing a lot of gravity defying stunts, they always come up with new surprises every time."- Melissa Faith Yeo
S : Sorry I was distracted, I mean, you are my distraction. I will never be able to do this in the next 100 years. I just wish I was the pole. I have one final thing to say, whatever it is, keep the mankind alive babeh!
I : I used to go to Thailand a lot for holiday and always thought pole dancing was a sleazy thing. But week after week you always prove to me that its athletic and entertaining. Like Beatrice, I feel so inspired by you that I want to take it up just to get your kind of abs and muscles.
FD : You guys are incredible, its three times the value. You were great and I"m really glad I'm a man.
summerr says :
I loved the first pose where Miko is curled up at the top of the pole for like the longest time (imagine the ab and thigh muscles required to stay so still atop a pole for so long!) - so beautiful. I thought the song choice was a little cheesy, but who was listening to the music anyway right? Looks like the Vertical Dancers can do no wrong at this stage. But I can't imagine what else they're gonna pull out of their hats as the weeks go by - apart from cloth and pole, what else can they 'dance' on?
Phew! That was a long review. Took forever to get the pics up! But what a show. Best collabo of the night has got to me Jill & Sly, followed very very closely by Eunice with the Baos! and Luminiq with Elaine. For me, least effective collabos were David's and Danny's.
Closing comment from Judge B :
"I thought the idea of collaboration is a great one. By having a collaborator, it brings out something in the performer that he or she can't bring out on their own. I think we've had some break through performances tonight. For those who played it safe, I think its time they took a walk on the wild side."
1. Jill-Marie Thomas
2. Luminiq Crew
3. Rhythm 'N' Moves
4. Vertical Dancers
5. Singapore Char Siew Baos!
6. Danny Koh
7. Desert Roses
8. David Lin
Bottom 3 this week are Danny, David and Desert Roses (surprisingly considering they put up a pretty good performance). Viewers had 2.5 hours to vote to change the ranking. Voting lines closed at midnight the same night and the tabulated results will be revealed at the start of next week's show. So don't forget to tune in next Wednesday, 8pm, Channel 5 to see if your favourites made it through. (aiyo so excitinggg!)
Next week's theme is 'Come On Baby Light My Fire!'.
Sounds like the theme should be right up Danny's alley, so expectations of him will be high - he's under even more pressure to come up with something that will blow everyone away. I can't imagine how everyone else will incorporate 'fire' into their performances. Songs about fire for the singers. Bring back the candelabra for Desert Roses, what will the dancers do? Oh and who/what will the mystery challenger bring?
Can't wait for next week, when we'll start seeing Challengers again - I love the Challenger element, it keeps the show exciting and the Contenders on their feet. I say WILDCARD please - I want C-Murda back! And I want to see Jamila, Fatema and Nadia come back as a trio :) And cheerleading squads - where are you?
Producers are still on the lookout for more Challengers. To sign up, email email@example.com. sg or upload your 'video' at xinmsn.com/omg.