Friday, September 23, 2005

Malaysian Idol 02-31, Airdate: 23/09/2005 – Grand Finale : And Then There Were 2

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I tuned into the 8TV telecast of the Malaysian Idol finale to catch a bit of the “Red Carpet Show” before they started the show proper. Somehow it felt more draggy than it was last year. I guess that people were more jaded about the second finale compared to the first one last year. I wished that they could have coordinated with the people organizing the celebrity arrivals better so that the could have interviewed more interesting people that the ones Adam & Marion did. They both did a better red carpet show last year.

I missed most of Daniel’s backstage interview since I joined the show in progress 5 minutes after it started. I did however managed to catch Nita’s interview and it was mostly about how nervous she was and really exited to be there. Jee, who had her hair in cornrows giving a flashback of Faizull in the same hairdo some weeks ago, had high hopes for the night and hoped that both contestants make it a night to remember. In his backstage interview, Paul pointed out that in order for Nita to win the title she really need to sing extremely well to overcome Daniel’s crowd support. As to the importance of the order of the contestant, Paul firmly believes that being the second person to sing would have the upper hand in this competition as that person would be the one who would have the opportunity to leave the night on a memorable note performing the last song if they played their cards right.

The show started with all the contestants on this year’s show coming on stage to sing “Pop Yeh Yeh” by VE. I notice that the stage looked bigger tonight than it was last year but somehow also looked a lot more emptier as well. I guess that the contestant really need to work their stage presence to fill up all that empty space. It was nice to hear the group back coming back to performed as a group as they have always sounded well as a group. A few notable mentions here – it was nice to hear Trish and Atilia again when the girls launched into “Shut Up” by Simple Plan. I kind of missed them in this competition. Xerra ditched the bubblegum pink hair and went for a smurf blue one instead (I think. It could be Kermit green. I couldn’t tell with the dark stage). She looked better with the old hair color. Last but not least, Ash had his shades on indoors like the tool that he continues to be.

When we came back after the commercial break, the judges were asked about their thoughts on the season. Roslan, who didn’t get a backstage interview before the show like the other judges did, felt that the season was more interesting as they had contestants of the same level of caliber performance wise and that those who went on in the show this year was more mentally prepared for it. Jee agreed and said that it was a really unpredictable season this year. Paul went further to say that some of the better contestants were cut out earlier than expected in the show and now it was wide open as to who might win it this season.

Daniel – “Mimpi”

For the moment that I heard the opening strains of the winner’s single, I knew that Daniel would be in trouble. The song was not in the style that would work best for his limited vocal range and it was painfully clear that this was the case. He stuck with the narrow band that his voice was capable of and never moved from that point. There was virtually no projection in his voice and at times he sounded overwhelmed by the loud live band. Good thing was that he wasn’t mumbling his words too much tonight but I was wondering how much longer I would have to endure his butchering of this song. It was not only a pitchy and boring delivery of the song but it was not a something that the fans would want to see at this stage of the game. Utterly terrible performance that might be the one to haunt him tomorrow.

Nick’s verdict : 5/10

Nita – “Berhenti Mengharap” by Sheila on 7 (Judges’ choice)

I initially thought in my pre finale analysis that she would be doing “Hati Ini Telah Dilukai” by Kris Dayanti for her Malay song tonight. After reviewing her performances in the Malaysian Idol Diary show last Thursday, I came to conclusion that this song would be a better one for her to do instead. And what a performance it was. She was belting out the chorus as good or better than the time she first performed it and her emotions just showed up in her delivery. It was a wonderful performance on a song that was perfect for her. Truth be said that I nearly had a tear in my eye when she sang this song especially considering how much the lyrics could be true to how she felt being on the weeks that she was in the bottom 3. I wasn’t expecting that the judges would pick this instead of “Big Spender” as I predicted but this was still a good choice on their part. It was an opening performance that she needed to build up her confidence for the next 2 performances.

Nick’s verdict : 8/10

Daniel – “Heaven Knows” by Rick Price (Contestant’s choice)

I was right on the button on my prediction of this song for his choice. It was a simple song that had a simple melody for Daniel to deliver confidently. It fitted well with his style of intimate venues and/or lounge singing that he does well. It was miles better than his first performance and he really needed this performance to make people forget his disasterous mangling of the winner’s single. It was a polished delivery and his voice had better projection for this song. It was clear that this was the one song that he was really comfortable with as he has performed it on the show several times.

Nick’s verdict : 7/10

Nita – “Big Spender” by Shirley Bessey (Contestant’s choice)

This has to be the song that everyone was expecting Nita to do again after the reception that she got when she performed it the first time. I predicted it to be the judges choice but it seemed that I got my song predictions for Nita in reverse. Still it was wonderful to see the sass and attitude that she brings in this song. She made use of the full stage like a seasoned pro with her larger than life stage presence. If there was a time that Nita really broke out all the stops, this performance would surely be it. It was a clear fan favorite that was presented wonderfully.

Nick’s verdict : 8/10

Daniel – “Angin Malam” by Broery Marantika (Judges’ choice)

Daniel closed his performance tonight with the song that I predicted would be the judge’s choice for him. Out of all the songs that he has performed thorough out the show this was the one that was even remotely appealing to me to listen to. It had a simple melody and flow that fitted well with his style of singing which made it a serviceable delivery for tonight. It was also the only song in the competition this year that the contestant adapted the original to suit their personal style. Since it worked so well for him the first time around, Daniel decided to play it safe and performed it as he did the last time instead of putting more embellishments to the arrangement.

Nick’s verdict : 8/10

Nita – “Mimpi”

Nita’s vocal range and projection gave her a big upper hand over Daniel in her version of the winner’s single. This was how the song should be performed. The were some pitch problems and she sounded like she was fast running out of steam after the previous two performance but she hit her stride somewhere around the middle of the song and it really took off. Her energy and raw emotions were apparently clear to all watching her perform this song. She give it her all and for once didn’t hold anything behind. This performance was the cherry to top all the other perfectly delivered and wonderful performances she did tonight. I predicted that in order for Nita to snatch a win from Daniel tonight, she needed to have all three of her song close to perfect in it’s delivery and I have to say that she managed to do just that. The only thing that I had a problem with this last song of the night was how unremarkable this last performance relative to Jac’s bring the house down performance of the winner’s single last year.

Nick’s verdict : 7/10

On the subject of the winner’s single, I have to truthfully say that I was a bit disappointed with it. While it was a serviceable Indonesian Pop style song that should be well received by the CD buying public, it was pale in comparison to the soaring beauty that was “Gemilang” from last year’s show. “Mimpi” didn’t really have the same intensity and wow factor that “Gemilang” had and personally I missed that in the winner’s single. I guess that they had to be fair and not written a song that favors one contestant more than the other but it was just another of the things that highlightened how different this year’s season was compared to last season.

After the commercial break, the Top 2 closed the show tonight with their rendition of “Kau Di Hati Ku” by Zainal Abidin which was the local version of “You’ll Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins that they also sang. Truth be said that I didn’t really like this song. It was messy and sounded uneven after the wonderful performances we’ve heard tonight. It was a good thing that this song was not part of the competition.

After tonight’s show and performances, it was clear that the winner of Malaysian Idol Season 2 should be Nita. She came into the finale as the underdog as she does not have the hordes of fans that Daniel had to vote for him. She needed to give 3 perfect performance to really show that she was better vocally than Daniel and at the end of the show, it can’t be denied that she did just that. Hopefully it was enough to convince those who are not keen to vote for Daniel to vote for her instead.

Tonight’s show will also be the last one on Malaysian Idol that I would be recapping until the next season. I have to attend a old boy’s reunion dinner on Saturday night so unless someone could burn the show into a CD or DVD, I would have to miss the result shows tomorrow to see who would win the title for this season. It has been fun to be recapping this show these past months because partly it was something that I’ve never did before. I would like to thank those who have been following my Malaysian Idol entries and special mention to Sultanmuzaffar for linking my blog to his and sending his readers to my blog.

Till the next season of Malaysian Idol, I’m signing off the weekly recaps of MI. It’s been fun.

Nick’s prediction :

Malaysian Idol Season 2 Winner : Nita

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