Tuesday, November 16, 2010

OMG Grand Finalist : Jill-Marie Thomas

That's what the Luminiq Crew boys call her - it means 'big sister' in Malay. And that pretty much sums up the way the rest of the Contenders see Jill, especially the original Top 8. Always ready with a big smile and boundless energy, Jill-Marie has survived the ups and downs of the competition, plus a mini-scandal thrown in, and has come out on top - she's at the Grand Finals baby, and has a 20% chance of winning that prize money that she's gonna share with her Mum. 

Jill's OMG journey
Jillian-Marie Thomas joined the show on Episode 3. That's 10 weeks/episodes of competition and 1 competition-free Charity episode. On Ep 3, she was one of four Challengers, and was last to go on. With limited choices, she decided to challenge a fellow Challenger who had just made it through earlier in the show - Dan Thompson. Judges favoured Jill over the Aussie crooner for her passion and sincere delivery of an accoustic version of the Wondergirls hit "Nobody". After that, week after week, Jill's been rearranging songs her own way and putting the JMT stamp on it, whether its on the OMG! stage in studio, at a roadshow or during a radio interview. 

I caught up with her amidst the crazy rehearsals this week...
We're at the Grand Finals now, competition's really heating up. Everyone's gonna ask you who you think your biggest competition is, I'll ask you the reverse, who do you think you're least in competition with?
Well, for me, I would say, without the voting element, maybe IFLY. They came in at a later stage, so there's an advantage there cos they're a big group, 11 people isn't easy to coordinate. Had they come in at the earlier stages of the competition, it would think it would be really tough to keep coming up with something fresh every week for 8 to 10 weeks straight. 
But that said, there is the voting element. And they're at an advantage, there are 11 of them, that's a numerical advantage. Plus, they're also young, they're all at that stage in life when you've got the most friends - when you're in uni or just out of  the army. 

What's been the best part of your OMG! journey?
I guess the best part for me would have to be going out there and performing in front of a big live audience, and on national tv. Also, its the recognition and the appreciation I've gotten for my music and my singing, not just from family, cos my family is super supportive, but also from friends, people in the industry and just total strangers. It's amazing to know that your music is appreciated. I mean, how many people can say they get critique and appreciation from FD and ohmygawd, Debbie Gibson right?
When you go for gigs, its a smaller target audience. Whereas being on a show like this, its a much larger scale, so the 'love' you get is on a larger scale too. I get total strangers posting messages on my facebook or sending me emails to show their support. They come for shows and make posters and banners and scream and shout for me. All that love and support, its a really special feeling that I think not many people get to experience.

So I guess the best part of the show is getting to go out there, on the live show, doing the charity episode, out to the roadshows, getting out there and giving my all, and getting all that support in return.

What was the lowest point in the whole journey? Was it when Danny left, you guys were pretty close?
Actually no. I was really really sad when Danny left you know, it was a low point, but there was a lower point. When Danny left it was a little earlier in the competition and there was still some way to go. 
The lowest point came when the Baos! were eliminated. We really bonded and had gotten so close over the last few months. Ruby and I would go everywhere together - toilet, get lunch, whatever. And Jason would always help me out with my guitar and my music. We always hung out together. I had really hoped we would be going to the Finals together you know?
That night, when they were about to announce the results, it was down to me, them and CJ Crew. I remember looking down at the floor and the lights were flashing back and forth and then I saw "green light". I thought, "Ok, phew!" and then I looked over and I saw "red" and my heart just sank. I mean, I like the CJ Crew girls and all, but I had hoped it would be me and the Baos! going through. I couldn't stop crying, even FD had to like come and tell me to calm down and breathe. I was just really really sad. 
But I'm so glad now that even though the Baos! are out, they're still gonna be on the show this week, so we still get to hang. It was just the initial shock that night and the enormity of the fact that they were eliminated.

What will you take away from the OMG! experience, what have you learned about yourself?
My mom always says, "I've never seen you so tired or fall sick so often." Every week, its exhausting, preparing for the show, juggling work etc. But why focus on the negative? That 90 seconds that we get to perform makes it all worth it. For me at least, that adrenaline rush is all it takes to make the whole week of hard work worth it. I've learned not to focus on the bad and not let it affect me. 
The whole thing with the newspaper hit me hard, I still get flak for it now sometimes. But it was really heartwarming to see the OMG family come together to support me. Before the article came out, I actually went to the contestants I was closer with to prep them that these things were gonna be said about me, and I just wanted them to hear it from me first. I wanted to assure them that I worked as hard as everyone else and I didn't cheat. And when I told them, they were like 100% supportive and totally did not buy into all the things that was being said. Luminiq were like, "Of course kakak we know you would never cheat and we know you work hard" and Danny believed in me too. And David sent that message (to see David's message, click here), that was so sweet. 

I've come out a stronger person. There's so much emotions tied to the show, especially when you're on it. And actually, I'm a very emotional person. And I'm quite insecure. I just want to be liked. But I realise now that you can't please everybody and that there will always be haters. So you just have to be happy with who you are and not let what people say bring you down. 
I'm more confident and secure with myself and I believe in myself more now. I thought, why let that scandal bring me down? I should use it to prove that I do have what it takes to be on the show.
Smaller things that I've learned ...
Prior to this, I could never remember lyrics. I am so proud of myself for this, I can now perform without my music stand and lyric sheet, sometimes more than one song! (summerr says : I also point out that she not only can remember lyrics, but she can remember simple choreography and blocking while singing...that's an achievement!)
I've also learned to how to put on makeup. I've now gotten a little vain - I actually bother to put on foundation and powder and blusher, do my eyes, add some lip gloss ;) 
You take so many little things from an experience like this. I've also learned what goes on behind-the-scenes of a tv production. I mean, how many people get a chance to experience all  this? Its great!

Here's a vid of Jill performing with Sean and the Baos! on the only pressure-free night of the season, Episode 13 OMG Cares. 

Quick stats for Jill on OMG!
1. Jill joined OMG! on Episode 3 as a Challenger. It was the first time a Challenger had chosen to challenge another Challenger (who had just gotten through on the same night). Jill challenged Dan Thompson and impressed the judges enough to oust him. 

2. Jill has been on the show for 12 weeks (that's roughly 3 months!) and she has performed :
Episode 3 : "Nobody" by the Wondergirls

Episode 5 : "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga

Episode 7 : Performed Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" in collaboration with Sylvester Sim

Episode 8 : Performed Kings of Leon's "Your Sex Is On Fire" for the theme "Come On Baby Light My Fire"

Episode 9 : Performed "We Are Singapore/Home/Stand Up For Singapore" for the theme "My Singapore Dream"

Episode 10 : Performed "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga for the theme "Lights, Camera, Action!"

Episode 11 : Performed "Kung Fu Fighting/Dynamite" for the theme "School's Out!"

Episode 12 : Performed accoustic version of "Thriller" for the theme "Fright Night!"

3. Jill's Rankings 
Episode 7 : Judges ranking - 1 ; Not in bottom 3
Episiode 8 : Judges ranking - 7 ; Not in bottom 3
Episode 9 : Judges ranking - 1 ; Not in bottom 3
Episode 10 : Judges ranking - 3 ; Not in bottom 3
Episode 11 : Judges ranking - 3 ; Public vote - Bottom 3
Episode 12 : Judges ranking - 1 ; Public vote - Bottom 3 

Looks like Jill was running mid-pack when there were a lot more contestants, but as the numbers got smaller, she ended up in the bottom. Will Jill get enough votes to win OMG!?

Catch Jill-Marie Thomas this 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 Jill-Marie Thomas :
Call 1900 112 1202 or sms '2' to 71199.

Good luck Jill, all the best for tomorrow!

xoxo, s.

1 comment: