Friday, September 16, 2005

Malaysian Idol 02-30, Airdate: 16/09/2005 – Spectaculars #8 : And Then There Were 3

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With 3 remaining contestants on the show, the show opened with a mix of the theme from James Bond in line with tonight’s theme of “Songs From The Movies”. From what I saw from the opening number, it seemed to me that the producers decided to avoid the weekly dose of ugly dancing and go straight to the stupid pointy poses. All three contestants looked more like they were working the runway on a bad episode of “America’s Next Top Model” minus the sassy Ms. Jay than working the stage on “Malaysian Idol”. What’s worse was that with just the pointy poses, the 3 contestants looked like they were pulling “Charlie’s Angel” poses rather than James Bond’s and the Bondbettes despite the soundtrack that was playing in the background. The whole opening affair in itself was unimaginative and pathetic.

After the disastrous opening number, I was distracted by Jien’s impression of Mr. Crotchety McCrotch with his tight jeans and Cheryl’s extra long necklace. Dude ... it was tight enough to show the world your religion and honey ... the chain on your neck wasn’t meant to be worn that long. I wonder is the wardrobe people thought that if Jien didn’t poke someone’s eyes out then Cheryl could easily strangle someone with her killer necklace. Regardless of my comments, I wasn’t really complaining about how the hosts looked tonight (especially Jien) but I missed when they really dressed up to their nines last season when they had this theme in the competition.

The filler segment for tonight’s show was their flying lessons with a local aviation club. Obviously they had to open the segment with the theme from “Top Gun” because it was the most obvious choice that people would be able to immediately recognize. Other than a few shots of them going through the training and in the air, there wasn’t all that much to the segment. I guess I should be thankful that they we not doing some commercial for the club instead like their do for Ford on AI year after year.

The guest judge for tonight was Fauziah Ahmad Daud (Ogy) who was a popular actress/singer back in the day. She is still fondly remembered for her frank comments when she was the host of a local entertainment show on TV a few years back so her comments tonight were interesting to hear.

Daniel – “Ooh! La! La!” by KRU from Cinta Metropolitan

For the life of me, I have no idea what possessed Daniel to choose this song out of the hundreds of Malay songs from movies for tonight’s performance. It was a boring song from a third rate movie and it doesn’t do anything to endear him to anyone other than his diehard voters. He sounded more nasal than usual and apparently singing out of his nose the whole time. It was a wheezy performance complete with his trademark orgasmic chipmunk faces that should go well with his clueless fans but would alienate everyone else. He continued mumbling his words and messing the words to the song. It was hilarious to hear him sing “Ku wanita” (I’m a woman) when it was suppose to be “Kau wanita” (You’re a woman) because it brought back flashbacks of “Britney Boy” from the audition show.

Nick’s verdict : 5/10

Nita – “Love Is A Crime” by Anastascia from Chicago

She opened her performance tonight with a fairly good number that allowed her to somewhat showcase her vocal talent. She came in with the right attitude and sufficient sass in her voice to carry the performance. She looked quite focused in her first performance tonight and it showed through her confident delivery of the song. The energy level and intensity was consistent and she looked like she was having fun with the song. There were some weak spots here and there but she managed to cover it well and the genre really seemed to suit her vocals well. This was a confidence building performance that she really needed going into the second round.

Nick’s verdict : 8/10

Farah – “Wajah Rahsia Hati” by Ogy from Ali Setan

Farah was all cheeky and teasing in her performance tonight. Singing a song originally done by the guest judge was always a ballsy thing to do on this show and she really came out to gamble tonight. Vocally it was a centered and solid performance but it was diluted by her prancing around excessively on stage. From past shows, we knew that she tends to lose focus and start roaming the stage when she got nervous and it seemed that was what exactly happened in her first performance tonight. Much like a tease, she built the song up to climax but lacked the punch at the last minute to finish it off strongly. This was not the first time she has done this and I had hoped that she learnt her lesson from the last time and stayed more committed to her performance.

Nick’s verdict : 7/10

At the end of round one, I felt that Nita had the best performance and was followed closely quality-wise by Farah’s performance. Daniel’s was obvious to everyone other than the people who still insist to vote for him to be a distant third place.

Daniel – “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” by Elton John from Lion King

Holy flashback, Batman! Another song from the “Lion King” on songs from movies night done by the last remaining male contestants in the exact same stage of the competition. Did someone on MI sign a contract with Disney to make sure someone sang a song from this movie every year? At this rate I guess that we can hope for a good performance of “Circle of Life” next year.

Daniel sounded better this time around compared to his first performance but it was still a really boring performance. His vocal range was limited to the narrow band between low and mid registers that made the performance sound lethargic and plain. In both performances, it seemed that Daniel was playing it safe and performed mainly to cater to his fanatic fans who would continue to vote for him no matter what. The lack of commitment on his part to deliver well in both performances tonight really irritated me considering that he was picked over much more talented contestants to advance to this stage. On the show a week before the finale, showing such blatant disregard to the expectation of a worthy Top 3 performance would only be taken as an overconfident contestant screaming to be taken down a notch ft not totally taken out of the running.

Nick’s verdict : 5/10

Nita – “Asmaradana” by Tiara Jacquelina from Puteri Gunung Ledang

The audio at the start of the performance drifted in and out on my TV but I think that it was fine in the auditorium for the live audience. Nita delivered the song fairly competently but she missed the opportunity to really made the sing her own. Instead of finding a way to really push the song more towards her style, she chose the easy and safe way by performing it straight from the original playbook. She looked stunning in her dress but she didn’t make full use of it to catch the audience’s attention. She was vocally strong in the song but it didn’t really challenged her in that aspect. She would have been better off doing something that would allowed her to stretch her vocal cords more than this safe song. It was clear that her first song was much better than this one and she really needed to have two outstanding performances on the show tonight to really cement her hold on the finale. By playing it safe with this song, she lost 50% of that certainty and that was 50% too much to lose at this stage.

Nick’s verdict : 7/10

Farah – “All By Myself” by Celine Dion from Bridget Jones’s Diary

One of my favorite morning after breakup songs so I’m reverted to my top down approach to my ranking for the last performance tonight. Farah took a really big risk by doing this Celine Dion cover of such a familiar tune. Doing a Celine Dion on a show such as this really required focus and commitment and Farah has shown before that she could waver and fall apart at the most inopportune moments in her previous performances. Fortunately for her, this was not one of those occasions. She remained solid and committed to her performance and really belted out the song even during the chorus with the long sustained note that should could easily have messed up horrible had she not stay on course with her delivery. It wasn’t the best performance of the song but I really felt that it was sufficient to really show that she would be worthy for a place in the finale. In this instance I felt that her gamble paid off handsomely in this memorable performance.

Nick’s verdict : 8/10

With the last performance, it was clear to me that Farah took this round away from Nita who was still very much ahead quality-wise tonight from Daniel. Overall, I felt that Nita and Farah clearly performed much better than Daniel tonight and both ladies would be more deserving to be in the finale instead of Daniel. However, that would only be a reality if the votes that would be coming in over the weekend managed to shatter Daniel’s horde of tone-deaf supporters determined to worship on the altar that is Daniel. This madness must stop and it would only be stop when people finally realize what a talentless hack he has been and stop sending votes his way. It was painfully apparent in both of his performances tonight that he was not giving the show a finale worthy performance and it was time for him to leave the competition.

Nick’s prediction :

Out this week : Daniel

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