Sunday, June 28, 2009

One Million Star 5 Singapore PK Challenge Top 20 Grand Finals Part 3 of 3

超级星光5懈可击 新加坡PK赛 Choosing top 3 out of the top 7 (Updated on 30 Jun 2009):

A grueling wait for everyone whilst the seven judges retired to convene for the top 5 contestants for round 2 of the Grand Finals. The top 20 were separated into two groups to give two group song items to entertain the waiting crowd during the interval.
And the emcees went to work and asked some of the contestants questions and let the audience know more about these contestants as well.
The top 7 out of the top 20 contestants chosen after the long break where the judges reportedly had a hard time choosing the 5 contestants so much so that they decided to give 7 instead of 5 contestants another chance to prove themselves onstage. Out of these 7, only 3 will be given air tickets on the spot to fly to Taiwan to PK in the One Million Star Season 5 competition.
Teo Zuo En 张祚恩 picked another groovy song for her second round and put in extra effort to show her near-perfect Broadway style of singing. I really enjoyed the performance and I began to see how the seven contestants start to loosen up to truly strut their talents.
Teo Zuo En 张祚恩 was impressive all the way to the end. Although her projection of voice was not up to ideal standards, she was definitely one of the more memorable ones who really immersed herself into the song and enjoyed herself onstage.
Yutaki Ong Soon Tat 王顺达 picked another dance number and added a rap portion as well to showcase what he was made of. Some of his dance moves actually reminded me of those I had done during my schooling days for those orientation camp dances.
Yutaki Ong Soon Tat 王顺达 eventually ended with a dramatic drop onto the floor of the stage but the longer I saw his performances, the more I felt that his dance repetoire seemed limited and he did not use the opportunity to improve his singing techniques and show any other new singing feel to his earlier song. I started to doubt his chances at this point.
Tan Diya 陈迪雅 picked another song which I could not care to remember because I was thoroughly enjoying round 2 where the contestants seemed stronger than before in some ways or at least much more relaxed enough to truly entertain on a live stage. Diya still retained her kiddy leg moves but turned a little more serious in emoting her song this time and delivered more techniques to impress the judges.
Tan Diya 陈迪雅 in her signature kiddy leg moves again. I thought the Taiwanese would surely comment on this as uniquely hers but I do worry some of the Taiwanese judges may start to wonder how come her facial expression was so serious but her body language was so happy-go-lucky...
Sylvester Sim Siang Long 沈祥龙's performance was a little disappointing for me because he did not use the second round's opportunity to show another side of him but instead got stuck with the same kind of body language - stiff and unmoving. Although his vocals were very impressive and remained impressive, I thought it was a regression since he made less effort to stand out more than the remaining six contestants.
Sylvester Sim Siang Long 沈祥龙. I held my breath hoping he could at least do something more but his body language was still unresponsively rooted to more or less the original position and I thought that would have more or less ruined his ticket to Taiwan.
Yeo Chia Ying 杨佳盈 started out very well and began to put another more emotive side to her performance and pushed herself even more to show her strengths and vocals.
Yeo Chia Ying 杨佳盈's troubles began when the ending part of the song required extensive free range expression and although she tried really hard, the increased background music volume started to take over her voice projection and she nearly broke one of the endnotes as her throat sounded as if it was drying up fairly quickly. The first thought that crossed my mind was that she did not prepare adequately for the ending free range portions.
Ng Chee Yang 黄智阳, after listening to the judges' comments that his first performance was mechanically too perfectionist to the point of losing its live soul, improved the greatest by dropping his cares and singing his heart out.
Ng Chee Yang 黄智阳. I saw the Zhiyang again during the Campus Superstars Season 1 competition, singing without worrying too much about what happens next and delivering what a live performance should have - sincerity and soul to the live audience, not just to oneself. Zhiyang's chances in my mind just went up two notches.
Chua Ai Jia Rachel 蔡艾珈 was the final seventh contestant to perform and just like the earlier first of the twenty performances, everyone held their breath to see what the little powerhouse could do since the other six was nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Chua Ai Jia Rachel 蔡艾珈 sang a very powerful number, which I believed utilized the most number of singing techniques that I have ever seen in the entire competition and Rachel's experience and familiarity with those techniques shone out just right. She seemed to cut down a lot of stage movement to accommodate the delivery of those note-changing techniques and I thought that must have cost her every ounce of power to push that performance worthy as a finale piece for the entire competition.
By the time all the seven contestants finished, even the resident judge of One Million Star competition, Xiaoling Laoshi had to resignedly put her head onto the judges' tables - because she found it so difficult to choose three out of the seven onstage “我的天呀!这么难选!可不可以全部七个都带去呢?”
Tan Diya 陈迪雅 (Top 3) was chosen as the first of the three after 20 minutes when the judges finally came out of their second meeting. Diya was so moved that she started tearing and Carrie had to calm her down with tissue paper.
Chua Ai Jia Rachel 蔡艾珈 (Top 3) was chosen as the second of the three to go to Taiwan. What she was holding in both her hands was the air ticket and qualifying papers as a PK Challenger.
Ng Chee Yang 黄智阳 (Top 3) was the last of the three and the competition finally ended with much cheering and applause although some of the supporters' groups seemed disappointed with the results and left Kallang Leisure Park dejectedly, squatting by the kerbs looking into space.
I stayed back for another few more group shots of the winners. Diya still looked as if she could not believe she was going to Taiwan.
The three PK challengers alongside with the seven judges who had to crack their heads to decide the eventual three.
A final group photo of the top 7 along with the judges before I headed home. My legs were aching like crazy from standing for nearly 6 hours and I knew I had plenty of uploading to do back home.

A few pointers for singing enthusiasts who want to improve themselves. These are summed up from the judges' comments on the various performances and I thought they would be useful to some of my readers who are so passionate about singing and learning more:

“唱歌就像在讲个故事, 你要想要如何把这故事表达出来”




That's all. End of blog series for One Million Star Season 5 Singapore PK Challenge Finals Competition. Hope my readers enjoyed the three posts! ^__^

One Million Star 5 Singapore PK Challenge Top 20 Grand Finals Part 2 of 3

超级星光5懈可击 新加坡PK赛 Contestants 11 to 20:

Liang Shang Tong Elyse 梁善彤 was one of the very well-dressed contestants. Looks like a prom queen hor but she did not seem to immerse herself fully in the song that she sang.
Liang Shang Tong Elyse 梁善彤 still looked pretty rigid even at the end of the second chorus and even though her appearance scored considerable points, she did not seem to win my favour for the ability to commandeer the song and the audience, making some obvious mistakes here and there in the performance.
Liang Shang Tong Elyse 梁善彤. Judges were ready to praise her for certain portions of the song but overall, I did not seem to think the judges were that impressed enough to readily grant her the ticket to Taiwan yet.
Sylvester Sim Siang Long 沈祥龙 went onstage with quite a lot of cheers from his supporters. He looked much more refined and I no longer see his beng image this time round, which is a good thing in some ways. He went on and delivered his song very confidently and I could tell that he put in plenty of practice and improved quite a lot since I last saw him onstage.
Sylvester Sim Siang Long 沈祥龙 seemed to be singing in some pubs and thus gathering quite some stage experience but I thought he was really too restrained by setting up his mic stand and not moving beyond it. Like Zhiyang, there was nothing wrong with his singing skills but the overall feel of enthusiasm and entertainment value onstage seemed lacking somewhat.
Sylvester Sim Siang Long 沈祥龙. Some of the judges recognized him and gave due praise to his singing abilities and I thought he could possibly proceed to the second round because of his immense experience after the judges' comments and giving him the benefit of the doubt that he could loosen up in the second round to do better.
Chen Simin Charlene 陈思敏 sang a rather quick number with some areas for showing a wilder side of her range of expressions and I thought she was one of those contestants who were trying to get into the feel of the song.
Chen Simin Charlene 陈思敏. However, by the end of the first chorus, I realized that Charlene seemed to over-focused on the free-styling portions of the song but gave much lesser emphasis on the verses of the song, and such an unbalanced allocation of feel was noted.
Chen Simin Charlene 陈思敏. Judges commented about her balancing of the song's emotions as well and though they praised on her good figure, they said her clothes were not really suited for the song.
Tan Diya 陈迪雅 was still the same - very casually dressed even for such a competition. Even though I knew it was what she called as a "beggar" styled of image but I really hoped she could upgrade her clothing a little when she goes to Taiwan. It's still a big competition there after all.
Tan Diya 陈迪雅 sang 《找自己》by David Tao and gave a very relaxing rendition onstage, with her signature kiddy-legs moves and I thought it was quite a relief from all the broody and heavy sentimental song renditions by the earlier contestants. I admired her courage to throw every care in the wind and just go for the song, which gave quite a lot of bonus marks.
Tan Diya 陈迪雅 interacted with the emcee. Like Carrie, she was one of the rare few contestants who dared to banter with the emcees onstage and that was a plus point in its own right because Taiwan did not really appreciate singers who could not say much behind the microphone. Judges were quick to point out her joyful rendition and her relaxed composure onstage as well.
Joyce Liew Zhen Ling 刘真伶 is actually a very experienced singer because she was the original singer for the myojo instant noodles gingle - 快来尝尝明星面. And her experience showed when she opened her mouth to sing - very steady skills and ultra clear enunciation - amongst the best in fact.
Joyce Liew Zhen Ling 刘真伶. However, the way she dragged out her notes were very traditional and it did not seem to sit well with the modern contemporary setting of the One Million Star competition. She did not seem to really update her wardrobe to fit her song either.
Joyce Liew Zhen Ling 刘真伶. Judges were all praises for her crystal-clear singing but stopped short of guaranteeing anything because they also commented that Joyce did not really update on the newer ways to sing the contemporary Mandarin pop songs and thus hinting that her overall feel would be harder to impress the judges and audience in Taiwan.
Alfred Sim Chee Hao 沈志豪 came from another experienced singing background as a wedding singer. A friend of Kewei who even advertised for him on Facebook using a short performance clip - Alfred did an excellent rendition of 曹格's 1234567 in the vocal aspect - a very manly voice with a well-controlled and huge range of falsetto techniques.
Alfred Sim Chee Hao 沈志豪. Unfortunately, whilst his vocal skills were very very impressive, his facial expression and body language were lacklustre. Immersed in his own song, he did not really have much genuine contact with the audience there and that took a lot of marks off his live performance's feel and sincerity.
Alfred Sim Chee Hao 沈志豪. One of the judges said that although Alfred's passion of the song could be felt in his singing, his exterior was passionless and that incongruity was pretty obvious and detrimental. I thought it was quite a waste because perhaps he was so used to singing at weddings that Alfred forgot he was supposed to be a superstar competition PK challenger who shoud commandeer both the song and have the stage charisma to commandeer the stage as well.
Yutaki Ong Soon Tat 王顺达 was the only contestant who fielded a full dance track 《精武门》by Show Lo and he really took the opportunity to strut his dance moves, which were very eye-catching and yet another breath of fresh air from the otherwise very tensed-up competition.
Yutaki Ong Soon Tat 王顺达. Yet, I could see that there was a little bit of gap in his performance because whenever he sang, he would freeze all dancing so there was still room for improvement in getting his stamina up completely to truly deliver a dance-track with singing. Think, Aaron Kwok, who could dance and sing at the same time.
Yutaki Ong Soon Tat 王顺达. Judges loved his dedication to dancing and singing and praised his valiant efforts in putting a dance number, which could be potentially dangerous if one's dancing was not up to par. Although he incorporated softer dance moves coupled with a little bit of break-dancing, I thought his rendition was uniquely his in some ways and that put Yutaki in my favourites at this point of time.
Keely Wee Shi Kai 阮诗凯 put in a reasonable performance with her song but she seemed really reserved and when performed immediately after Yutaki, she was unable to hold the attention of the audience who could not yet recover from all the showmanship to settle down to listen to a ballad.
Keely Wee Shi Kai 阮诗凯's voice trailed off less than desirably when the music was louder towards the end of the song and I had trouble listening to what she was singing. Sadly, there was no deliberate highs and lows of the song and Keely played too safe in delivering the song but not projecting her strengths.
Keely Wee Shi Kai 阮诗凯. When I spoke to pew on Facebook, I thought Keely would have been better off if she had chosen Boom! (an opening song for her during the Campus Reunion Concert) because that song would have made a more powerful impact on the judges and displayed her courage to attempt other genres to differentiate herself from other more powerful ballad singers. However, Keely picked the wrong song - too mediocre song to really impress.
Lovynn Kan Jing Wen 简静纹 put in a Stehanie Sun's song if I remembered correctly and that song was supposed to be sung with a bad-girl attitude and that was what Lovynn was trying to challenge and prove to the judges onstage.
Lovynn Kan Jing Wen 简静纹 seemed to really try very hard, making use of the stage to deliver some attitude and fire in her performance - there was only one problem - she did not look enough of the part in both her vocals and her body language to convince me that she truly understood what the song needed.
Lovynn Kan Jing Wen 简静纹. Judges said more or less the same thing because Lovynn's song choice actually locked herself in instead of unleashing her greater vocal powers and stage charisma. In my opinion, she could have let herself truly go onstage to experience the wildness of the song and immerse herself to give that true rock feel - alas, she did not.
Teo Zuo En 张祚恩's pink stockings really gave me the creeps because I thought those colors were really too glaring to complement anything in her outfit. However, she was a teacher in one of my friend's vocal school and underestimate her not - she knew more about groove and attitude than most of the top 20 contestants and could confidently pull those off without a sweat.
Teo Zuo En 张祚恩. The way she commandeered the song was very impressive because she knew exactly where all the emotions were but I thought her starting verses were a little weak and unimpressive and she only started to warm up after the choruses to hit it right. Both the judges and my opinions coincided - she could have done better if given another chance.