(Image courtesy of malaysianidol.bluehyppo.com)I’ve never once had the chance to watch the contestants on Malaysian Idol performing live even after almost 2 seasons of the show. I’ve never been to the live tapings, result shows or any of the public appearances until today when they came to Sunway Pyramid. Since it was just a stone’s throw away from where I lived, I decided to just go to see just how different they are outside of the competition. As far as people from the show go, I’ve only met personally with Jien once when he was doing the 8TV Quickie at Starbucks Sunway way back when and walked up to say hello to Paul Moss once when he was having coffee at Coffee Bean also at Sunway. I’ve never met any of the contestants from the 2 seasons of the show so the prospect to be able to meet the Top 3 for this year was something I was looking forward to.
I reached Sunway Pyramid at about 15 minutes before the Idols were suppose to make their appearance. They had set up a small stage at the entrance to the mall and people were already milling around waiting for 3pm. It was a mixed crowd of fans, shoppers and curious onlookers. From where I was standing, I would say that there were about 300 people there. Some brought signs with pictures of their favorite Idols and some were even familiar as I’ve seen them before in the live audience on the show every week. In particular I recognized a fairly frequent poster from the official Malaysian Idol forums who was canvassing the crowd by passing mini flyers to gather support to vote for Farah for the finale. Regardless of what people thought of him, this was one dedicated fan.
Before the Idols came on stage, the organizers warmed up the crowd by giving away free passes to the finale to people who they pulled on stage to answer questions about the show. I was tempted to try out and the questions were fairly simple but since I already made other plans for that weekend, those passes would just go to waste if I got them so I decide against it. Good thing as well as the next group of people they pulled on stage had to sing and be judged by the crowd to win the free passes. I definitely would be too embarrassed to do that since my vocal stylings has always been confined in my bathroom when I take my shower and to the occasional karaoke session where I torture my friends with my singing.
After a few minutes of the warm-up show, they finally call up the Idols to stage. At that point I wasn’t really sure what to expect since I’ve never been to one of these public appearances before. It turned out that for today’s appearance the Idols would come out on stage, sing the songs that they did on the show yesterday and stay to sign autographs for the fans. They were also following the order that they appeared on the show yesterday so I got a chance to compare their live performances with the ones that I saw on TV last night.
First up was Daniel singing “Oh! La! La!” who managed to make his performance even worse than it was last night. The good thing was that he used the corrected lyrics this time so it wasn’t as hilarious as it was last night. The bad thing was there were really some jarring bum notes when he tried to punch up the song more than what he did yesterday. It sounded as if it was just an afterthought that was put in at the last minute without proper preparation. It was also scary to see his horde of fans who were there fawning over this guy.
Nita came up next and from the first moment it seemed that she was totally in her element. She was interacting with the crowd like an old pro at the game and got the crowd going as she launched into her performance of “Love Is A Crime”. The performance itself as good as it was yesterday and it was clear that the crowd was loving it. I could hardly stop myself from tapping my feet to the tune as her performance was so enjoyable to listen and watch. She had her own group of fans on the right side of the stage who were busy taking her pictures as she performed. This was the performance of the night on the last Spectacular show and to be able to experience it first hand was worth the effort to come to the appearance.
“Wajah Rahsia Hati” was Farah’s first offering. She seemed more confident with the song compared to how she was on last night’s show. She was all types of saucy and teasing the crowd who really responded well to her performance. She was also good with the crowd although it was not on the same level as Nita. It was good to see that she did fall into her habit of prancing around the stage and it made the performance much better than the one she did yesterday.
Daniel came back on stage next with “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and again it was worse that it was last night. There was a point in his performance when his voice croaked at a high note and that left me physically cringing when I heard it. He was pushing it after seeing how much better the two performances preceding him and overextended his ability. Fortunate for him, he recovered from it but I will forever be reminded to that awful note whenever I see him on TV from this day on. His fans still loved it and from all appearances they seemed to ignore that failing and focused instead on how cute he looked on stage.
For “Asmaradana”, Nita called one of her fans up to dance with her as she sang after the judges comments that she wasn’t really making full use of the song to showcase her showmanship. While any occasion involving a random person picked from the crowd to dance on stage was always been a cringe-worthy idea for me, they were picking up cues from each other as to how to synchronize their movements to the song. The unrehearsed choreography aside, it was a solid performance on par with yesterday’s showing. One thing that really set Nita apart from the other two contestants was how she interacted with the live audience which must have come from her experience as a pub singer.
Last up was the wonderful rendition of “All By Myself” by Farah. This was an opportunity for me to determine if her wonderful performance of this song yesterday was not a fluke. True to form, she knocked this song out of the ball park and even duplicated the focus to sustain the high note that anchored her performance. It was clear that the performance came from inside her and not something that came out of sheer luck. It was as memorable as it was yesterday and the second reason why waiting for them to show up for the public appearance in Sunway Pyramid was time well spent.
They had a meet and greet session after the performances and the fans were queuing up for at least about 5 meters from the stage where they were. They were giving out posters of the show for the Idols to sign and the fans in line got one as they went up to meet the Idols. The first few people in line got to take a picture with their Idols as well as their autographs but the organizers quickly put a stop to that since it was taking too much time. I was standing there debating if I wanted to get in line because of the long line and that I wasn’t sure that I was that keen to get their autograph but considering that this was the closest that I would get to be able to meet with them I finally walked to the end of the queue. Just a few minutes after I decided to join the queue, the organizers decided to cut the line off just a scant six people ahead of me. Good thing that I was not in line longer or else I would really get upset.
So instead of meeting the Idols and getting their autograph, I asked one of the crew on stage to pass one of my business cards to Nita who was really the Idol that I wanted to meet this afternoon. I think she got it as she stood up shortly after looking for me in the crowd to acknowledge it and I managed to give her a thumbs up for the good work she’s done to date. I didn’t give her my card to ask her to call me as I’m well aware that it would never happen in a million years but I just wanted her to have a name to put on the face of a person who have been a fan of hers in this competition. Having said that, I am not above turning into a giggly school girl if she does actually contact me.
Hey ... a boy can dream, can’t he?