Friday, July 08, 2005

Malaysian Idol 02-08, Airdate: 08/07/2005 – Workshop #2

(Image courtesy of

Going into the show this week, I was really looking forward to see some spark to get the show really going. Last week’s show didn’t really started the competition with a bang after all the hype about this year’s contestants being better than last year’s selection. While I do admit that there is some potential with the 3 chosen from last week’s workshop round, it seems very rough at this point. Coming into the second workshop show, I had high hopes that things would be different tonight.

After the customary useless and uninformative filler segment showing this week’s contestants goofing off, the judges were given a chance to say a few words before the contestants come on stage. Roslan was hoping for a better showing tonight than last week’s workshop and he predicted that there would be a more competitive contest this year. Jee pointed out that tonight’s contestants would have the advantage of learning from the comments given to the contestants last week and should have made full advantage of it. Paul pointedly mentioned that a few of the contestants tonight were those the judges took a chance on to allow them to reach this point and that he was looking forward to see if their trust in these contestants will pay off tonight.

As usual, I may get the song titles wrong so listed are the tentative info about the songs sung tonight until I can get them verified. I wonder if there is come I could contact from the show to get a song list so I can get the correct by the time I start to blog the show?

(Update: Got the correct song listing from the official Malaysian Idol website on Sunday)

Ash – “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal

During the auditions and the theater elimination rounds, he was touted as another rocker alternative to last week’s Faizull. For obvious reasons, he must have felt that he had to uphold that hype because I can’t think of a reason why he would have chosen this particular song to sing tonight. Not only was it technically outside of his abilities, there was a clear lack of focus in the performance. While it did start with great promise, the judges correctly pointed out that it went nowhere fast after the buildup. I definitely agree with the judges on their assessment for this performance. It was uneven and unmemorable.

Nick’s verdict: 5/10

Suria – “Tiada lagi” by Mayang Sari

Suria started out with a clear sounding husky voice that managed to show some power potential behind it but I didn’t feel that she was giving it her all. Her performance felt like there was more that she was holding back for whatever reason. I guess it might be the nerves getting to her but I kept hoping that there was something more that she can show us in her performance. There were some problems with her lower registers that I would have easily forgiven had she put more energy into her performance. In the end it was an average performance that it not at all that memorable.

Nick’s verdict: 6/10

Dianne – “Imagine” by John Lennon

I thought that her interpretation of this classic song was an interesting and ambitious choice. The arrangement of the song definitely had a more pop vibe to it which is a very risky choice to make considering the roots of the song as a protest song. She does have a good and clear singing voice but I was really disappointed by the lack or energy/enthusiasm in the performance. The pitch problems that cropped up during the performance also did not help her cause. In the end, this performance came through as a lethargic and uninspiring which is sad considering the potential that was there for this bold and interesting take on a John Lennon classic.

Nick’s verdict : 6/10

Jerome – “This Love” by Maroon 5

I have to say that I automatically cringe every time I hear this song on the radio and tonight it was no different. I just hope that someone would just ban this song from Malaysian Idol as we have heard so many bad attempts with it. I have to say that Jerome has a unique sounding voice that would have single him out from the other contestants thus far but he failed to execute the delivery of the song convincingly. I have to say that I have never heard a workshop performance that gets progressively worse as the song went on before but that was what I thought of his performance.

Nick’s verdict: 5/10

Adam - "Setulus Cintamu" by Hazami

The first thing that I wrote down when I say his performance is “DOWN, GIRL!”. His execution of the performance was overly dramatic and not in a good way. There is a fine line between tasteful dramatization and overwrought posing that he would have to learn. The judges seem to like him but I didn’t really feel that he was all that good. He does have a good soulful voice for ballads that bears watching if he could make it work for other genres. Jee did mentioned that he had to be more “manly” in his appearance so it will interesting to see if he will make the transformation if he gets through. I’m wondering now if he was the contestant who had his eyebrows done in the filler segment?

Nick’s verdict: 7/10

Ejay – “The Trouble With Love” by Kelly Clarkson

Ejay has a beautiful husky voice but has to really work on her pitch problems especially when she goes into her higher registers. She also tends to oversing the song which is a distraction as she doesn’t let her voice to work it’s magic. While there is some raw potential here, there is a lot of work that need to be put into her to polish her vocal techniques and correct her bad diction. All in all, she gave a promising performance that would need a lot of work if she gets to go through.

Nick’s verdict: 7/10

Azam - "Kenangan Lalu" by Flybits

He had a nice clear voice that sadly went all over the place in an uneven performance. I was also concerned about how blank and emotionless his expression was through out the performance. It was like watching someone’s face after they get botox injections and that is really a scary sight to see. Other than how his face looked like, it was a rather forgettable and boring performance. In my notes, I put jotted down “just a face, not much substance”.

Nick’s verdict: 6/10

Nita – “Get Here” by Oleta Adams

First of all, she looks really stunning in the dress she wore. Even I have to acknowledge that. After pushing that fact aside, she made a really bold choice to pick a song that might not be so obvious to the majority of the demographics of the people watching the show. She performed the song with a clear and beautiful sounding voice that was refreshing to hear after the previous performance. She did messed up the song lyrics and pitch on several occasion but she recovers nicely. These problems tells me that she needs to really concentrate on the songs that she would be singing a little bit more. Her performance was more polished than the others which I’m sure comes from her experience from all those years of her singing in the pub circuit.

Nick’s verdict: 8/10

Overall I thought that this is a weaker group than the one that we had last week. A lot of the people I gave higher marks in my verdicts would definitely not get the marks they have now if they were singing in last week’s group. There is a clear lack of energy or enthusiasm on the part of the contestants this week and I hope that next week’s contestants would be able to reverse this slide. We need someone to really wow us with their potential and to date we have not seen anything remotely close.

I have to point out that the show is really selling Xerra and Nita to be the next Malaysia Idol. I believe that they do profit from the exposure thus far and I really hope that they do more in the future rounds to merit that exposure. While I don’t mind the extra attention given to them, I do expect that the judges and the hosts be more impartial about their favorite contestants on the show. The race is too early to call and your exuberance for some contestants over the other might not help some of them to get the votes they need to progress in the show. It would be a pity if people start voting the opposite of what you expect just to piss off the judges like what happened in AI with the “VoteTheWorse” website.

As I have mentioned before that this was a relatively weak group and I’m sure that Nita will be able to move into the next round as hers was the only outright good performance that you can pick out. Both Ejay and Adam did just enough to raise themselves above the other unmemorable performance to get the voting people’s attentions. I think that they could have an better chance at moving on to the next round than the other remaining contestants from this week.

Nick’s Picks: Nita, Ejay & Adam

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