Friday, July 15, 2005

Malaysian Idol 02-10, Airdate: 15/07/2005 – Workshop #3

(Image courtesy of

The first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the opening shot of the show tonight was how much bigger the crowd was for tonight’s show compared to the previous two shows. Was this finally the sign that the show was picking up in momentum that I have been patiently waiting for this past 10 episodes of Malaysian Idol? Or was I about to be disappointed by the show yet again? In hindsight, I really had great trepidation about the quality of the performers tonight based on how the rest performed in the preceding weeks but I have to say that I have finally been proven wrong.

Before I start the recap proper, I have to point out that Jien looked extra tanned for tonight’s show. Either he has been outside without sunscreen too long or someone has been overdoing it with the tanning bed since last week. He also has a different hair style tonight that just doesn’t do it for me. I think the thing that I have the most problems with is his unruly sideburns that are this close to becoming Elvis like mutton chops. It doesn’t look too bad from the side but when you look at it straight on, it looks like something died on top of his head and left its arms dangling on both sides of it. Somebody needs to get to a hair stylist stat.

One last thing that I just have to snark on. Jien + tight jeans = the crotch that ate KL!

After the standard filler segments that are still as informative as a instructions on a toilet paper roll, the judges were asked about their expectations for the last workshop show of the season. After the last 2 shows, Roslan only hopes that he would not be disappointed by the contestants tonight. Jee thought that this group was a challenging group to be in and Paul was in agreement that he expects a lot for this group.

The usual disclaimer about song titles goes here. I promise that I will skip this paragraph in future Malaysian Idols recaps once it has been established that I suck at guessing the sing titles that the contestants will be singing. One thing I notice that the host are more liberal with the song titles tonight which will be helpful to viewers and not to mention poor recapper like me. I don’t think that they are reading my recaps but I’ll take my shout outs where I can.

Intan – “Mencintai Mu” by Kris Dayanti

Her clear tone and beautiful clear voice started the show out with one of my favorite ballads. She showed a good connection to both the camera and viewing audience during her performance that I have not seen in many of the contestants to date. There was a very nicely done transition into the glory notes of this power ballad that was done smoothly without hitches. Though it was a technically sound performance, the judges was worried that she was not physically appealing enough to capture the votes compared to her more visible peers. I hope that this is not the case as she had a flawless performance that would be sad to see punished just because she was not popular enough.

Nick’s verdict: 8/10

Yasir – “Coretan Cinta” by Dayang Nurfaizah

A returnee from last year’s show caused quite the stir during his auditions for his appearance. It was reported that judges had to ask him to drop the feminine dress and become more butch before he was seriously considered for the Top 24 and to his credit that was exactly what he attempted tonight. His smooth husky voice was butch enough and his performance was not as overly dramatic compared to Adam to last week’s show. The problem that I have with his performance is that he doesn’t really open up and let his voice build up to sustain the song. For obvious reasons, I felt that he wasn’t all that comfortable on stage and as a result wasn’t able to showcase his potential fully.

Another item that would probably go against him was his audition clip that was shown before his performance tonight. I seriously think that if the producers edited that segment better to avoid showing how he looked like in the audition, he would have a better chance of getting votes for his performance tonight. I don’t think that the Malaysian public is ready yet for a Malaysian Idol who looks better in drag. I wished that things were different because I really liked his voice and there is definite potential to progress further in this contestant

Nick’ verdict : 7/10

Kash – “Belaian Jiwa” by Innuendo

He chose this song to specifically show that he can sing in Malay since he has been singing English songs all this while. While I commend his intentions I felt that he made a serious mistake by doing this during the workshop rounds because if nothing at all this is the time when he has to be at the top of his game to be noticed to get him through to the next round. Even Jac didn’t do this until the Spectaculars after people had a good chance to hear how she sounds like.

His gamble really didn’t pay off. Although he had a very good and clear tone, the song was uneven, lethargic and all over the place pitch-wise. There were too many unnecessary vocal flourishes that didn’t help his cause as all they did is further highlight how wrong this song was for him. The song was oversang terribly and he would have been better off staying with something that he was more familiar with at this point of the competition. I would think that he might have a chance if he was in the pervious group but as luck has it, I don’t think that he measures up with this particular group.

Nick’s verdict: 6/10

Trish – “Shackles (Praise You)” by Mary Mary

She started off the song in a different key that she switched quite smoothly mid verse in the beginning. I don’t know enough about the song to be sure if this was intentional or that she started at the wrong key but she did it very well. The is definitely power behind the notes for this soulful voice that would probably be heard more in future shows since it was just hinted in tonight’s performance. She was pitchy in some places especially in the higher registers and she tends to clip her notes at points but I have to credit her for covering it well. There was also good sustained energy throughout the performance that really picked up the tempo of the show after the 3 ballads from the contestant that came before her. A definitely memorable and enjoyable performance.

Nick’s verdict: 8/10

Aeser – “Layu Sebelum Berkembang” by Broery Marantika

There were a lot of problems with his performance tonight. He was really struggling with his lower registers and really bad diction that made the words of this power ballad sound like it was sung by a non-native speaker. He oversang the song by adding more vocal flourish and stylings that the melody of the song became a mish mash of jumbled up song styles that normally would not work together. He also did not have the stamina and the ability to sustain the intensity required for this power ballad which caused him to over commit himself to the song. He should have picked a different song that would have better suited his voice and style.

Nick’s verdict: 6/10

At this point, Jien came out to remind people to vote and specifically highlighted the fact that Aeser was from Sarawak. This move was too AF style for me to get people from the contestant’s state to vote en mass. We already see this happening in AF and even on the Bluehyppo boards we see people campaigning for votes for contestants from their home state. This is a too blatant attempt to pad up the votes which defeats the purpose of finding someone who represents us because we are here to select the Malaysian Idol and not the Sarawak, Sabah, Selangor or any other state Idol. Leave that tactic to the people at AF who are gullible enough and perfectly willing to vote through a talentless hack just because he/she is from their home state.

Farah – “I Surrender” by Celine Dion

I thought that this was a really brave choice of song as not everyone can successfully sing a Celine Dion song. Furthermore the judges have often been overly critical to contestants singing songs from the power divas like Dion in the past because more often than not the contestants would simply mangle the song trying to imitate the original artist. Thankfully Farah avoided that pitfall by picking a good song that suits her voice which is mainly concentrated in the middle registers. Her clear tone helped lift the song but it also showed how clearly she needed to power her notes more to get a better intensity performance. The performance was a bit too low key for the song but I think that she did enough to be a serious contender to move to the next round.

Nick’s verdict: 7/10

Farish – “Aku Cinta Kau dan Dia” by Dewa

My notes had him down as another looker with little substance. To his credit, he had an original voice and style that I have not heard before in the show this year. It should have been enough to be memorable had it not been coupled with this truly heinous performance. This performance sounded like a bad imitation of the original artist that was not only uneven in presentation but also disconnected from the audience at home and at the studio. Based on his previous performance, I have to say that he gambled on the wrong song to help him get through to the next round.

Nick’s verdict: 6/10

Daniel – “Special Kind of Something” by Kavana

The main problem I have with this contestant is that he mumbles 90% of the words to the songs he sings almost 100% of the time. He sings like he has gold nuggets in his mouth that he is trying to keep from falling out. Since I can hardly tell what he is singing most of the time, I am too distracted by it to tell if he has a voice worth of notice at all. People at the boards are calling him the next Vick or Victor but I have to say that the two contestants from last year are light years better than Daniel and at least they are easier to understand than this hack. Unfortunately based of the past voting trends, the hype on the boards and early exposure that this contestant got early in the show, there is a high probability that he will be voted through by the hormonally distracted voters despite his lack of redeeming talent.

Nick’s verdict: 5/10

Overall I think that the show at this point has finally come to a head with a surprisingly good group in the workshops. Other than overly exposed Daniel, the other contestants have had little exposure in the show and it was really refreshing to see how good they were compared to the contestants from the previous 2 workshops. Coming from a group of so called underdogs, I give high praise for them to overcome their disadvantages and raise to the challenge to present their best performance. I have to say that the people they pick from the third workshop group, other than Daniel, will bear watching in the weeks ahead.

Nick’s Picks (I’m ignoring the obvious that Daniel will still get picked): Trish, Intan & Farah

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