(Image courtesy of malaysianidol.bluehyppo.com)
First off to get it out of the way is my weekly Jien’s hair watch report. It looks like the stylists manage to wrestle the beast that will not die this week and park it to the side of his forehead. It’s out of the way and doesn’t look to be like it might jump out and strangle everyone in the auditorium which is a good thing. I guess I can live with that this week. Wonder how long I can keep this thread about Jien’s hair going before it stop being funny if it is not already not funny. It’s not that I’m trying to be mean to him, I only mentioned it out of love for the guy. It also because of my concern for him that I’m pleading him to burn the T-shirt that he had on tonight. Definitely not your color, dude.
I found out tonight that the 6 wildcards performers tonight were selected from the contestants who got the 4th and 5th most votes in their respective workshop show weeks. That’s another question that can finally tick off from things that I wonder about today. From these 6 contestants, 1 will be picked to go through to the Spectacular rounds based on the voter’s choice and the other will be selected as the judges choice. They will join the 9 who have already made it through from the workshop shows which makes a total of 11 contestants for the Spectaculars.
Before the show properly started tonight, they show a clip of Paul explaining what the judges were looking for in the Wildcard round. He felt that all the 6 deserve another shot at it and that they were let down mostly by bad song choice their first time out. The judges will be looking if they have learned their lesson and found out the correct song for them to perform. For some, according to Paul, the wildcard round will be their final chance to go for a different direction and possibly fix all the mistakes that they made before.
One thing that was different in tonight show was that they introduced each contestants coming on stage with a clip of their last performance so the audience were reminded of how bad they did in the last outing. They also put in clips of comments from the people behind the scenes who helped these contestants prepare for the show every week. Most of them were the normal soundbites you already heard about this groups of contestants but some were a bit enlightening in that they show that some of the contestants were better in rehearsal and just fell apart during the taping. Also, we’re missing a judge tonight as Jee was absent from the judging table. I hope that she’s OK and not involved in any unhygienic manicure accidents or past contestants accusation of improper conduct.
Fauzi – “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban
Jien introduced him as “Teddy Bear” so I know someone on the show has already plan to market him as a Ruben Studdard for this season of Malaysian Idol. He may looked the part but he definitely lacked the vocals for the role. I had hoped that he would choose a fast R&B number but it seems that the draw of the ballad was to strong for him to resist. I always worry whenever anyone tries to sing a Josh Groban song as they are actually very technical to pull off successfully if you’re an amateur.
I think that he started the song in a lower register than the original which made the song almost unrecognizable in the beginning until the chorus kicked in. The voice was there but the pitch was all over the place. It didn’t help that he looked like a deer caught in the headlights all through the performance. He told us that nerves got to him in his previous performance and it seems that it didn’t do away since then. It is a pity be cause he has one of the more soulful voices in this year’s group and based on this performance, I don’t think that he will make it through.
Nick’s verdict : 6/10
Azam – “Kaulah Segalanya” by Hazrul Nizam
At first I was excited at the thought that he will be singing the song by Ruth Sahanaya because I thought that we will finally see some intensity from him but it seems that there is another song with the same title out there which was his choice tonight. I don’t know this song so I can tell whether the original was as boring as his performance tonight. I didn’t think that he committed himself fully into the song and he also didn’t connect very well the audience other than being just a pretty face on stage.
I can’t say if he choose a more recognizable song this time around but it is definitely a better choice than the one he did before in the workshops. My problems with his performance tonight were the same as what I identified in the workshops. His performance was lethargic with too little intensity to make him more memorable other than just a pretty face. If he does get through he might just end up being the same bland singing lamp post that we got in last year’s Spectaculars. To me, from his past 2 performance, he was the human equivalent of cold oatmeal.
Nick’s verdict: 6/10
Aesar – “Cinta Di Akhir Garisan” by Ning, Ziana, Dessy & Nora.
The good thing was that he choose a song with a simple melody that he could perform easily without having to dip into the vocal acrobatics that he tended to do. By simplifying the song, we finally get to really hear the clear tone in his voice which wasn’t half bad in my opinion. The bad thing was the song laid bare all the pitching problems that he had in his performance. I also felt like he was rushing through the song and not really connecting to it.
The overbaked facial expressions and gestures were still in evident in tonight’s performance. While I can accept if some of them were unconscious facial ticks, I don’t think that this was the case. It felt too calculated and too rehearsed to feel entirely natural. He was definitely the showman in the show tonight but I have to agree with Paul if he would do better in a stage musical than on Malaysian Idol. I still like his voice though so if he does go through, he needs to work out his stage presence and dial down the dramatics a bit more.
Nick’s verdict: 7/10
Kash – “Walking Away” by Craig David
Taking the judges comment to heart, Kash decided to go back to what he was most comfortable with and selected a song by Craig David. I had hoped that I would finally see the real performer in him but I was truly disappointed by his rendition of the song. To me he sounded very flat through out the performance and never really recovered from the pitch problems that he had in his last performance. I don’t know if it was his accent or it’s just the way that he sings but he sounded very nasal with this song that I am surprised that he didn’t get a nose bleed singing it like that.
For someone who was hyped to do a good Craig David song, his performance tonight was nothing short of a disappointment. I don’t think that nerves were the reason here as he was suppose to be more comfortable with this genre so I guess it has to be the lack of training that failed him tonight.
Nick’s verdict: 6/10
Lisa – “How Could An Angel Break My Heart” by Toni Braxton
I have to say that I wasn’t expecting Lisa to go out on a limb and pick to perform something like this. For what I’ve seen to date, I wasn’t expecting her to attempt an English song this early in the competition. She does have the vocals to pull off something like this successfully and while she did just that in tonight’s performance, I have to dock points off for her diction. The only line that she sang tonight that was any where near intelligible was the last one and that’s because it was the title of the song. The rest was a word jumble that could possibly take days to unravel.
The judges obviously love her as all the comments said for her performance, except for the diction, was positive. Personally I’m would be a bit mixed if I was basing my decision on this performance alone as the bad diction bugged me a lot during her performance. Good thing that I also have her last performance to compare with and there is definite signs that by selecting a simpler delivery in her selected song, she was more consistent throughout the song than she was during the workshop show song. The other thing to note was that her performance in the rehearsal clip that they use to remind the viewers of her voting numbers was much better than her actual performance. I’m sure this will help people to forget her bad diction tonight.
Nick’s verdict: 7/10
Adam – “Januari” by Glen
When I saw that he was starting his performance tonight on his knees at the edge of the stage, I was thinking that this will be a disaster with the judges. We already know how much they like overwrought and overdramatic performance from contestants and for those who don’t know, the judges don’t like it very much at all. It was only after he started singing that I felt relieved as he gave what must be the best performance of the bland show tonight. He was singing in tune for most part and we get to see the intensity behind the vocals as well as the overdramatic body movements.
Paul mentioned that his and Aesar’s problem in the competition was that they were too “cabaret” in their performance. I wonder if this was another one of Paul’s euphemisms to mean being too gay. We all know that Simon Cowell uses “too Broadway” to say the same thing in code on AI. Regardless, I have to agree with Paul that the vocals were good but the performance seemed too staged and faked but it was still the highlight of tonight’s show.
Nick’s verdict: 8/10
Based on what I’ve seen tonight and their past performances, I have to say that Lisa and Adam will be going through to the next round. Both contestants delivered a good enough performance to advance compared to the rest. Since one of them would be picked by the judges themselves, some people may think that they don’t need to cast votes for these favorites. I think that this is going to be a dangerous thing to do as if people don’t cast their votes in thinking that the particular contestant would be selected by the judges then they risk that the other favorite having too little votes to let them get through. Like the hosts of the show always says, people need to vote for their favorites for the to get through to the next round.
Nick’s picks: Adam (voter’s choice) & Lisa (Judges choice)