Friday, September 09, 2005

Malaysian Idol 02-28, Airdate: 09/09/2005 – Spectaculars #7 : And Then There Were 4

(Image courtesy of

In line with the “Unplugged” theme on the show tonight, the band was brought out to the centerstage instead of the usual spot in the dark and rightly so because they had really deserve the spotlight after they hard work. One other advantage of having the band on stage was that there would not be any ugly dance number to start off the show tonight but instead the audience would get a nice little group sing off. True enough that the contestants came out singing “Ikhlas Tapi Jauh” on of the better songs that I remembered from Roslan’s RAP production company. I noticed that the ladies were really outshining the men in terms of intensity with the song and this practically was true for the rest of the night.

Jien had his hair down again tonight and even worse had on a really ugly brown jacket that I think he wore before this season. Fortunate for us, Cheryl looked much better tonight so at least we have one half of the hosting team looking fairly decent. They introduced the judges who were joined tonight by a local rock group frontman, Awie from Wings. As in the last Spectaculars, the 4 remaining contestants would have to perform 1 song each in Bahasa Malaysia and English. They would have 2 chances to really give a memorable performance to get their quota of votes this week.

Before the contestants sang their song, the audience were shown clips of their homecoming and their childhood memories. It was kind of cute to see them in their home environments and some of the pictures that got shown were so gush darn cute to see. As filler segments went, I think that this was the really honest one of the group produced in this season.

Daniel – “Heaven Knows” by Rick Price

Singing a song that would easily go well with the legion of fanatics who keep voting for him week after week, I noticed that his diction was better in an English song for once. The song didn’t really challenged his limited vocal range and it hid his weakness well. His problems of swallowing his words as he sang and the mouth breathing came back full force on the stage tonight after being absent in the past few performance. To me it felt like it was a step back for Daniel. He was confident in his performance but it came out as just a boring presentation.

Nick’s verdict : 7/10

Farah – “Dengan Mu” by Neri Per Caso

I have to say that I have never heard of this song before but she started it with real promise by letting loose her brassy voice that have been missed in the competition. Unfortunately as the song progressed, it was apparent that she made a terrible choice choosing this song as it did not allowed her to really exercise her vocals to the fullest potential. There were still some pitching problems here and there but she looked like she was having fun performing the song. She had a good voice but was really let down by a bad song choice.

Nick’s verdict : 6/10

Faizull – “Dalam Kehadiran Sophiah” by Awie

With the off-putting shrieking coming right out of the gate, the old Faizull was back on stage after weeks of trying on different genres. I was looking forward to hearing which English song that he would try this week and was a bit surprised that he chose a Malay song. I had expected that he would sing an English song since Daniel started off the first round with an English song and Farah started the girls off with a Malay song. It was definitely clear that he was back to his comfort zone singing old-school local rock songs but it sounded boring to me. Performance wise he was good but he was fast becoming too much of a novelty act that has run it’s course and now was fast becoming a joke.

Nick’s verdict : 6/10

Nita – “Berhenti Mengharap” by Sheila on 7

After last week’s wonderful performance of “Big Spender”, I was really looking forward to see if she can top her own performance this week. She definitely listened to the judges comments last week and let her vocals soar much more than she has done in a fairly long time on the show. There were still some pitching problems but she could be forgiven for it after a really good performance. The only one problem that I had was that she tended to scrunch up her face like she was doing an impression of Popeye when she tried to hit the hard notes. While it may not be much of a factor when singing in a dark pub, the facial contortions do not favor her on TV. She really does need to be mindful of that particular habit of hers. Other than the funny faces, it was a great song for her and she performed it well.

Nick’s verdict : 8/10

After the first round, I felt that only Nita really delivered a good performance relative to the other 3. There was some promise in Daniel’s performance but his word swallowing tendencies killed his delivery of it. Farah chose the wrong song to start off while Faizull chose the right one for him but it was something that we have seen the derivative of time and time again from him.

Daniel – “Mungkin Nanti” by Peter Pan

Another song definitely targeted squarely to his voting demographics, this song will after tonight’s show be singled out as his worse Malay song performance. After weeks of very commendable performances in Malay, Daniel really dropped the ball with this performance. It was pitchy, mumbly and messy. It did sounded like he tried to change the style of the song to suit his style towards the end but it played more like a bad half-hearted attempt. He was playing it too safe with this song and it came through as a slipshod performance.

Nick’s verdict : 6/10

Farah – “I’ll Be There” by Mariah Carey

It has always been a big gamble to take on a Mariah Carey song on this show and I wished that Farah had kept that lesson in mind when she was choosing which songs to sing. It started well with fairly serviceable mid and lower registers but somewhere about in the middle of the song she lost her focus and the song just fell apart from that point on. She over extended herself at the portion where Mariah would start shrieking up to the rafters in the original version. There was a point in the song that she built up the momentum to hit a really wonderful note but suddenly swerved 180° and gave us another much inferior note instead. In an instant, what could have been a saving performance for her folded like a bad hand of poker.

Nick’s verdict : 6/10

Faizull – “Srikandi Cinta Ku” by Bloodshed

Instead of doing an English song after his Malay performance like the rest of the contestants, Faizull inexplicably chose to do another Malay song. To me this signaled that he was done with even trying to fit into the format of the show. The performance itself might go well for his current fan but I think will leave a bitter taste in others who were voting for his talent. At this point it was clear that he had totally given up on singing in English on the show. The failure on his part to even try to sing an English song tonight would not bode well for him continuing on the show. Faizull has adapted poorly on the show and it was further highlighted in his performances tonight.

Nick’s verdict : 6/10

Nita – “Hand In My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette

As a rule of thumb, if any of the contestants came on stage and sang any of my favorite songs then I would start their rating from top down instead of the usual bottom up scheme that I use with other songs. This song was one of the latter in this case. Alanis Morissette’s album “Jagged Little Pill” was practically the soundtrack to my college years and I have to say that Nita’s performance of this song was passable. She lacked the edge and subtle awareness for the song but she was having fun with the performance and the joy she had while performing it was infectious enough to make watching it enjoyable. I wished that she had chosen a song that would have let her voice soar again to close out the show with a memorable performance but I guess this was all we got instead for this week.

Nick’s verdict : 7/10

Nita still held the clear advantage in the competition to secure a spot in the Top 3 after the second round while the other contestants didn’t really do that well to distinguish themselves in this round.

Looking at the performances tonight, I have to say that my bottom 3 picks would have to be Farah, Daniel & Faizull. The “Unplugged” night was a mixed bag for both Farah & Daniel but really laid bare all of Faizull’s weaknesses on the show. I have to admit that it was getting more painful to see him struggle and fail week after week despite the votes that still kept him in the competition. He was no where near like Bo Bice who despite his musical roots still manage to figure out which songs from each week’s theme that he could take and modify to suit his own unique style. Faizull have never shown the awareness that he understood that this was something that he might have to do on the show.

While the voters this year are not choosing an Idol to compete at the World Idols level, we need to pick one from the remaining contestants who would not let us down if and when they decide to hold the Asian Idol. Although I salute Faizull for being brave to go for his dream, I don’t think that he would be the best person left to be the next Malaysian Idol.

Nick’s prediction :

Bottom three: Farah, Faizull & Daniel
Out this week : Faizull


Anonymous said...

I like MI in a certain way especially Nita ..tall..cute ..geram aku..tapi pertandingan MI .. ini tak dapat challenge singer la..because ...lagu dia sekerat sini ..sekerat sana...lagu berhenti mengharap ....cuma 40% of the ori song. ....frust betui dengar ..nasib baik NITA best !!!

Nickxandar said...

Memang format MI setiap lagu yang dinyanyikan akan diolah arrangementnya untuk cukup slot masa yang diberikan kepada setiap contestants.

For some of the contestants memang tak puas dengar diaorang nyanyi sekerat-sekerat. For the others, format yang ada sekarang pun seksa nak mendengar mereka habiskan.

Anonymous said...

For some of the contestants memang tak puas dengar diaorang nyanyi sekerat-sekerat. For the others, format yang ada sekarang pun seksa nak mendengar mereka habiskan.

- Haha. Funny :)
I heard that the idol format of 2.5 minutes is to separate the good artists form the bad as they would force the contestants to be creative.


Nickxandar said...

J - you're right. A fairly good contestant should be able to hook in the viewers within the time slot alloted.

Bad ones would not even if you give them a whole song to sing or, in the case of one of this year's Top 3, wheeze through like an asthmatic chipmunk on Viagra.