Tuesday, November 16, 2010

OMG Grand Finalist : IFLY prodigy

Bring It On!
IFLY prodigy jumped, flipped, somersaulted and cartwheeled onto the OMG! stage just 3 weeks ago and they immediately made an impression. A good one judging by the fact that they're now vying for a 1/5 chance to take home the $50,000 tomorrow night at the Grand Finals. 

IFLY prodigy's OMG Journey
From early on, it was one of my big hopes that a cheer squad would join the show. Perky cheerleaders with high pony tails, great legs and flippy skirts flying in the air with big grins on their faces, beneath them really hot guys in cheesy uniforms. Okay, so that's the Hollywood stereotype. What we have here is not cheesy at all. 

My prayers were answered when we got to Episode 12. In came new Challenger - IFLY prodigy. Initially labelled as 'cheerleaders', IFLY has since clarified that they're acrobatic entertainers, combining skills from cheer, dance and gymnastics for their routines, their first being a Twilight-themed one pitting werewolves against vampires. There was a lot going on on stage that night, but what they put out impressed the judges and viewers enough to put them get them to the finals.

I caught up with the IFLY boys during their imaging session last Sunday ...
What's been the best moment you've had on OMG!
I guess the best thing is just being able to put everything out there. We're used to performing to a big audience that we can see and who can cheer for us while we're doing our thing. On the show, while on stage, all you see when you look out is pitch black, you can't even see the judges! Its a big difference to us! We're like in our own world, doing our own thing, with no restrictions or inhibitions, its very cool!

Whats the worst moment ever so far?
Alan : For me, it was coordinating everyone. Its a nightmare to handle 11 different schedules. Especially when in situations where there are a lot of last minute changes. I've gotten a lot flak from the guys for all the last minute schedule changes, but I understand that that's the nature of the show and how things work behind a tv show, I'm learning that now. For the team, I asked for their full commitment and because they gave it to me, they always make their best effort to come whenever producers schedules anything for us. Its a lot of commitment. (Truth be told, I've noticed that the only time IFLY has ever been less than 11 members is only at the Saturday roadshows, for every rehearsal, its always full force).
Everyone's made a lot of sacrifices, especially study time. A number of them are in their final year at school and in the month that they've been committed to OMG have had to sacrifice sleep, study time and sometimes even lectures. Hann Bin relates that its really hard especially when you have projects with other students and they don't understand why you can't go for meetings etc. Nobody knows the kind of schedule we have unless you're on the show itself.

As a group, what do you think you'll take away from the OMG! experience?
I think we'll all take away the 'experience' itself. We watch shows on tv all the time, but you don't really get to know how it all works. And now, being in this, working with the producers, we get to see what goes on behind-the-scenes of a tv show like this. People don't realise that behind the show, there's just so many things going on. When a commercial break comes on, you think everyone just sit around and waits, but noooo, backstage there are so many things happening within that 2-3 minutes!

Everyone's gonna ask you who you all think is your toughest competitor, I'll ask you the reverse, who do you think you're not in competition with at all?
To be honest, I don't really think the structure of the competition is very fair, especially in terms of the voting part. Its definitely an advantage for us because we have a team of 11 people. So I guess I would have to say the solo performers may be at a disadvantage when it comes to this. If you ask me who I think deserves to win, I'd say Luminiq Crew cos they've been here throughout and they've worked very very hard for it. Its not easy coming up with new stuff week on week. So yea, I think they would deserve the win.

Who's who on IFLY prodigy
With an 11-member team, its hard to keep track of who's whom, plus these guys just joined the show, so you haven't really gotten a chance to get to know them yet, so I'm gonna introduce you to them one by one.

Alan Zhang
17 July 1986
A former national gymnast, Alan now channels his energy into helping new talents achieve their dreams. He's a gymnastics coach by day and formed IFLY by handpicking some of his students to form the team. Arguably the littlest guy on IFLY, Alan's the one to watch for incredible flips and floor work. Don't know if you saw him being flung half way across stage during the Charity show, but man, he and his team are living up the IFLY name.

Random info : He's dating fellow IFLYer Jessie.

Vincent Fok
17 November 1984
This cutiepie is a full-time cheer coach and some of the guys/girls he coaches are on IFLY. Running as second-in-command on IFLY, Vincent's in charge of choreography and music. Basically, he works with Alan to piece together the week's routines. I've seen him in action at rehearsals, he's the one that pulls the group together and gets them to 'work'. Along with Alan, he's usually the one that speaks for the group at interviews too.

Cheng Zhi Liang
19 September 1988
When I asked the guys to describe Zhi Liang, the first two words that came out were 'irrational' and 'illogical'. But that was quickly followed by "It comes from having girls sit on your head too many time". Vince Fok describes him as one of the quieter guys but is always there when you need him. "He's busy emotionally at the moment, but he's always there for us." Poor Zhi Liang's been recently singled due to the hectic combined schedules of OMG! (sorry!) and the army, so show the guy some lurve peeps k! By the way, these guy's no slacker k, he's also a qualified cheer coach.

Gary Chan
27 July 1988
This big guy with the splash of red hair's gotta be the Joker of the group. Loud and chatty, Gary's real easy to talk to. He's one of the strong guys on the team, as is a "Tosser" (no sniggering, this is a real cheer term), the guy who sends a girl up in the air from behind (again, no sniggering!) No laughing at the big guy, he's strong and he's got the titles to prove it peeps. Gary was part of the Singapore Dragon Boat team n 2005 and won the Singapore Strong Man title in 2008. You don't want to mess with this guy man.
Nellie Lim
1 November 1989
An SMU student by day, the guys describe Nellie as the most efficient person on the team. She helps Alan sort out all the administrative stuff because she's really organised. So she sends out the music and schedules to everyone and helps to coordinate the team's requirements. "She's like our manager!" On stage, Nellie is one of the flyers. She flies, does mid-air somersaults etc. She really is quite organised, at Imaging the other day, it was Nellie (and Jessie too) who organised everyone's outfits into neat piles and made sure they were all labeled correctly.  
Random : She looks to me like like the tallest girl in the team and whenever she flies, I tend to worry if she'll hit the lighting rig in the studio!

Lim Hann Bin
19 April 1990
First, to Hann Bin, sorry dude, I have no idea how that extra 'n' appeared in your pic and I can't get rid of it :P So peeps, please note its Hann Bin (not Binn).
A student by day, Hann Bin is described by his teammates as carefree and easygoing. Gary says he's a great guy to hang out with and judging from his laidback and smiley attitude every time I see him, sounds like he's just having fun all the time. After describing Alan and Vince Fok as the guys who do all the work, he told me, "the rest of us are just dogs, we just do what we're told", followed by a big guffaw of laughter. I like a sense of humour.

Random fact : Hann Binn is dating fellow IFLYer Yvonne

Yvonne Tan
13 September 1991
Also a student, Yvonne is one of the top flyers in IFLY, which means, she's always at the top of whatever pyramid they've got going. Petite and willowy, Yvonne's been described as The Sleepyhead. Apparently this girl can sleep just about anywhere. Give her less than five minutes of down time and she'll be snoozing. (Hey girl, I can identify, I used to do that too! I could sleep anywhere!)
Just earlier in the day, whilst the rest of the team were discussing their routine with Zaki's assistant Pam, Yvonne apparently fell asleep. LOL!
Often heard around IFLYers : "Where's Yvonne?" "Oh, asleep somewhere..."
But the guys back her sleepiness with the fact that her role is very physically demanding, so she needs the rest.

Random fact : Yvonne is dating fellow IFLYer Hann Bin

Gerard Christian Ng
11 March 1985
Student by day, Vince Fok describes Gerard as "our gentle giant". From what I've seen, he may be quieter, but no less funny than Gary. The two, along with the others guy are always mucking about and having a laugh. But of course, when it comes to work, they're 100% there, cos if not, you risk the lives of the girls you're tossing. 

Random : Gerard is easily the tallest person I've ever met, he just towers over everyone, but the guy surprisingly has moves and can dance! 

Jessie Low
30 June 1987
Jessie is the only one who's not a coach or a student. She's a finance assistant by day. At IFLY, she's the most petite girl on the team and is a top flyer like Yvonne. Described as "damn fierce" (all petite girls are like chilli padis!) and "very good at kicking", (one of the boys said her 'air kick is exceptional!) the guys say she's really cool and is just like "one of the guys".

Random fact : Jessie is dating IFLY leader Alan Zhang.

Vincent Yeo
2 July 1991
The other Vincent :). A student by day, the rest of the guys describe Vincent Yeo as one of the quieter guys. But then again, from my observations, the IFLY boys are anything but quiet. According to Vince Fok, Vincent Yeo is the guy who everyone relies on to keep things light when things go aren't going too well. 

Random fact : Vincent is dating fellow IFLYer Yvonne.

Ang Hui Shan
16 May 1988
Last but not least, we have flyer Hui Shan. When asked to describer her, her teammates went silent for a while. Then they all came up with one word - "Blur". After that they mumbled something about elephants and I didn't quite catch it. 
Finally Vince Fok steps in to give me the 411 on her. "She's kinda naive. But she's always positive, the type that bounces off the walls. Its great because she helps keep the positive vibe going within the group. Whenever there's tension, she'll be the mediator, the one who quietly goes around soothing ruffled feathers by being a good listener."
I later made to ask her about elephants and when I do, her face lights up and she says, "I want to be an elephant!"
The boys then say to me, "You see what we mean?"
Um, ok, I get the 'blur/naive/innocent' part now. So sweet, perfect by the way, cos this girl is studying to be a preschool teacher :)

Cheer could be hazardous to your health, sorta...
Cheer isn't as glam as the movies make it out to be. Sure they show you that it's hard work and people fall and break their bones etc. But it still looks damn glam right? Well, these guys definitely train very hard and have had their share of accidents too.

  • Gary's eaten bits of people's shoes. Seriously, while he was carrying someone, bits of their shoe actually broke off and fell straight into his mouth, apparently he had no choice but to swallow it as they were mid routine!
  • Zhi Liang has been bitten on the face. Seriously? Yep. Apparently some guy flew right at him with his mouth open, it was an accident, and ended up biting a chunk of skin off Zhi Liang's face. That is SUCH a freak accident but he has the scar to prove it - he needed stitches. The dude who did the biting actually had the cheek to say (no pun intended), "Hey Zhi Liang, I got your face in my teeth man!". Gah!
  • Every single one of the guys who play base have been kicked by flying feet when the girls are being thrown up or are coming down. 

I wonder if any of the flyers have hit the ceiling before? Or God forbid, hit a fan - yikes! They came really close to hitting the fans at the roadshows though! Check out this vid recorded at the last OMG! roadshow. Click here for the full post on that day.

Some quick stats on IFLY :
1. They were the last Challenger to join the show. Entering at Episode 12 - Fright Night!

2. They were ranked 4th (out of 6 performances) by the Judges for their Fright Night! performance. After the public vote, they were not in the Bottom 3.

Looks like they do have viewers votes to support them despite the low ranking by the judges. Will those same voters hand them the $50,000?

Catch IFLY prodigy TOMORROW on the One Moment of Glory Grand Finals where they will battle it out against the other four to win the $50,000 grand prize. 

Voting lines will open at the start of the show at 8pm. The Results will come to you LIVE the same night at 10pm. 

To vote for IFLY prodigy :
Call 1900 112 1201 or sms '1' to 71199.

Good luck boys and girls, and all the best for tomorrow!

xoxo, s.


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