Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chijazz 2010 Concert @ Chijmes

This event took me ages to settle because most of my friends were not interested in jazz music and were not free to accompany me to the concert. So for two weeks, I was searching high and low for the suitable companions to go to the concert with. Eventually, I managed to get hold of one of my best friends and made it just in time.

The concert was set in the beautiful and cozy lawn of Chijmes, right in the heart of the City Hall area and yet away from the hustle and bustle of the city life because of the high courtyard walls of Chijmes.

My friend and I arrived right at 7pm to hear the opening jazz act from a band from Raffles Junior College. The cello player was great but the lead singer was a tad under-dressed for the event and many of the audience could not properly hear what he was singing. Speaking of the dress code, there was quite a variety - from FBT shorts to T-shirts to little black dresses to full flowing gowns. The lead singer was in jeans and a drab-looking collarless shirt though and needed much more stage presence to command the attention of the listeners.

The crowd was beautiful and mostly very attentive under the lights though some more breezes would have helped in the ventilation since there were as many as three hundred packing the tent in which the concert was held under.

The next act was the BDS Jazz Orchestra led by Boni de Souza and it was actually they who started the jazz numbers and kick-started the concert. They were competent musicians though none of them seemed to be versed in singing anything. No worries though - for they had help from Tay Kewei and Angelita Li who were both veterans in jazz and live concerts.

(Source: Kewei's Facebook Fanpage For Illustration purposes only.)

Tay Kewei went onstage after a few jazz pieces from the BDS Jazz Orchestra but it was such a pity that she only sang two songs before she exited the concert. The microphone that was working against the RJC lead singer was once again drowning Kewei's voice because most of her singing was nearly inaudible, which was disappointing of course. Kewei seemed to have noticed the reaction from the audience and tried to project her voice but even her powerful vocals were insufficient when the microphone was not cooperating. Her latest album song 可不可以 was also transfused into a jazz number but I thought it was a little too draggy and took off the original song's momentum. Nevertheless, I still think she is a competent singer. It's just that the evening did not went as well for her.

(Source: Kewei's Facebook Fanpage For Illustration purposes only.)

Angelita Li went onstage after Kewei and put in a couple of songs before the BDS Orchestra ended with even more numbers on their own. Somehow, Angelita managed to coax more volume from the faulty microphone and her ability to warm up the crowd helped a lot too.

(Source: For Illustration purposes only.)

The third group was Angelita Li and her salsa band. According to the emcee, she was a veteran in salsa and Brazilian jazz so I was looking forward to hear what she had to offer. Within the first two songs, it was easily discernible that she knew how to work the audience to a high with her familiar salsa numbers but it sort of went a little downhill onwards because her Brazilian jazz style did not seem to sit that well with the night's audience, who probably expected more classic jazz numbers. The audience was a little fidgety as her segment's songs started to sound a little more repetitive than they could bear. Perhaps she could have chosen more classic jazz numbers to accommodate the needs of the audience.

Olivia Ong before she went onstage for her segment. Also, the sheer variety of musical instruments playing to coordinate jazz music itself from all the performing groups was already stunning on their own. (Source: Olivia's Facebook Page For Illustration purposes only.)

The final group was Olivia and her own jazz band and the crowd seemed a lot less lethargic from the sitting down on the lawn as they expected Olivia to deliver her quality singing. She did not disappoint - clear singing and a solid command of the notes finally set the finale tone of the concert. The microphone still hampered a small portion of Olivia's singing and I felt that must have been the most irritating glitch of the entire concert. Olivia ended her segment of the concert with her rendition of her latest album song "You and Me" before giving the stage back to BDS Jazz Orchestra who was to lead the crowd into a final jamming session.

Olivia was handed a small bouquet of roses from one of the young children attending the concert. Obviously, she looked elated to receive so much support from the crowd. (Source: Olivia's Facebook Page For Illustration purposes only.)

I left before the jamming session started because both my friend and I needed some supper and stretching from the sitting down. All in all, it was still a beautiful crowd listening to a beautiful concert. I loved the audience responsiveness, the efforts by the various performers and the perfect atmosphere at Chijmes for a jazz concert. I believe I will be there again next year. ^__^

Friday, November 19, 2010

Movie Review: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)

Movie Review: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Pt 1 (2010)

Well, it was a tough choice between Red and Harry Potter since I am limiting myself to watch only one movie per week and the latter finally got my vote because I thought the movie preview was a little reminiscent of Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring where Harry, Hermione and Ron had to travel through so many scenic places to reach somewhere. I am not a fan of Harry Potter but I just like to visit those magical fantasy movies once in a while to dazzle my imagination with spells, fireballs, dragons, etc.

The movie starts off with Harry, Hermione and Ron leaving their homes because Voldemort has successfully infiltrated and eventually took over The Ministry of Magic. The trio of close friends barely escaped with their lives under the cover of their friends and family and they realized they must venture to find Voldemort's Horcruxes since Voldemort had imbued seven items his soul and hence can always resurrect himself whenever he dies. They must find these seven items and destroy them to defeat Voldemort.

Of the seven Horcruxes, an Elder wand, a Resurrection stone and a cloak of invisibility are the most powerful items because when these three Horcruxes, when brought together, will give the wielder the power of Death itself. Henceforth begins a long quest spanning unfamiliar landscapes to find clues to find these magical items without the help of their friends, protection from their Hogswart professors and perpetually under deadly pursuit by the Death Eaters.

Patience, tolerance and friendship between Harry, Hermione and Ron were tested amidst bitter words, jealousy, nervous intimacy and frustration when their inner nature were periodically corrupted by one of the Horcruxes in the form of a locket which they could neither destroy nor discard until they finally discovered the use of the Sword of Gryffindor.

I shall not provide too many spoilers there but expect the touching scene of a burial of a memorable and likeable character when this character narrowly saved Harry and his companions but sacrificed his life to do so.

I was hoping for some good magical action scenes but other than the forest chase scene, most of the others were too fast to be truly enjoyable for a non-fan viewer like me but the acting was subtle and good and at least the graphical effects were good enough and the treachery ran deep enough on the side of Voldemort who managed to find one of the most powerful Horcruxes to use against Harry Potter and his friends in Part II.

Blog Modifications and Changes:

I realized that some of my links on my blog are no longer working and it's high time that I updated them and change some of them completely. So here are the most recent blog modifications and changes made:

Blog Roll:

Olivia Ong's Facebook Group is included at

-> Started off in Japan as a singer specializing in bossanova, Olivia Ong came back to Singapore with a big bang and received more accolades for her comfortable singing style and her squeaky clean image in her latest album "

Tay Kewei's blog url is updated to become

-> The Singaporean singer-songwriter-vocalist is moving on to bigger events and gigs with her latest album "Come Closer...with Kewei" and now has her own website. A true inspiration to all that such dreams can be realized in Singapore.

Serene Koong's blog url is included at

-> The Singaporean singer-songwriter from Funkie Monkies Productions has came quite some ways to reach where she is. Her hard work paid off when her most recent album "55:38:7" was well-received in the region.

KTVClub SG's blog url is included at

-> This is an interest group for singing enthusiasts to gather for karaoke outings and regular singing competitions. The leader of the group, Nigel Tan, has been making admirable efforts to organize such activities to bring together more people.

William's blog url is included at

-> The artiste manager of Royal International Group has a blog updating his artistes' events as well as his own feelings about the highs and lows of artiste management.

Serena's blog url is included at

-> Another artiste manager of Royal International Group maintains a blog about her artistes' events as well as her own thoughts about grooming young artistes in Singapore.

Elson's blog url included at

-> A Singaporean artiste under Royal International Group who has been working hard for the past few years to get his fledgling
career up into the air. He is earmarked to release his album in November 2010 with a newly-released track, Saranghamnida, on the radio station FM93.3.

Shanice's blog url included at

-> An even younger Singaporean artiste who is also trying to get her dream as a singer realized. Her stellar appearance has already drawn invitations from modeling and acting agencies even before she has found her path in singing.

Joseph's blog url included at

-> A boyish looking Singaporean artiste recently recruited into Royal International Group. Being already a founder of the local artiste group Youthbox, Joseph is actually more experienced on the stage than he looks in his profile pictures.

Alright. Signing off with a quote from Flora Whittemore:

"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live."

That's all for now. Have a wonderful weekend ahead, my faithful blog readers! ^__^

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blog Post on 30 October 2010

28 October 2010 (Thursday):

Attended the publicity concert for the Singapore FM93.3 Hit Awards at IMM Jurong East Garden Plaza to watch three of Singapore's best - Olivia, Kewei and Serene to perform. I did not regret the long trip down (especially since IMM is not exactly accessible and the parking there is hard to get). I reached the venue around 6pm to have my dinner before venturing to the Garden Plaza at 6.30pm, only to find only a handful of photographers standing in front of the stage. There were a few supporters seated early at the nearby benches but I was most impressed by Serene, who was already at backstage practicing her songs and testing the sound system.

Serene interacting very well with the emcees onstage at the mini-concert. (For illustration purposes only. Photo credit goes to this site)

I waited patiently and finally, the mini concert began at 7.10pm where Serene kicked off with very entertaining performances, followed by Kewei and wrapped up by Olivia. Most unfortunately, the turnout was a mere fifty odd, probably due to the fact that it was a weekday and there wasn't that much publicity about these ladies appearing at IMM.

Here's Kewei singing So In Love and I loved her powerful voice, which was ideal in delivering the song to perfection.

29 October 2010 (Friday):

I tuned in to FM93.3 for the awards ceremony which was aired live for viewers like me who did not want to turn up because personally, I disliked sitting there for nearly five hours so I'd rather hear it from my own speakers instead. The best moments were the following:

1) Hebe Tian of S.H.E commenting about Selina's recovery and urged the entire audience there to pray for Selina to come out from the crisis. As far as I know, Selina still has a long way to recover because her third-degree burns from an explosion during the filming of a TV series in China covered more than 40 percent of her body. I am not exactly a fan of S.H.E but they sure worked hard to become what they are today and I did not wish such an artiste to disappear forever.

(For illustration purposes only. Photo credit goes to xinmsn)

2) 黄小琥, a very experienced Taiwanese singer, received the best performing female artiste award and she was completely taken aback by her win. I thought amongst all those who were shortlisted, she definitely could lay claim to this award. Don't believe me? Hear for yourself to determine why she rules in performance capabilities with her voice.

This is Olivia Ong singing a duet with Jeff Chang. I thought these are two of the most beautiful and soulful voices to have performed on the same stage.
(For illustrative purposes only. Photo credit goes to xinmsn)

30 October 2010 (Saturday):

I started today by climbing the staircase for 24 floors because I am supposed to train for a charity camp which I had promised to attend so I must keep myself fit if I am to be useful in the camp. After breakfast, I actually wanted to go for the Club KTV Idol Grand Finals at Swee Lee Cafe but considering that it was a sold-out event so I did not want to bother the organizers to try and squeeze in a seat for me if I suddenly gate-crashed the event.

I hope it's a successful event (it's still ongoing as I typed) because I attended their auditions and the contestants were very good indeed. It's really a good platform to singing enthusiasts and the club is really friendly and warm to be in.

Thus I spent my lunchtime eating a deliberate and delicious meal of salmon and mushroom spaghetti and a serving of sticky chewy chocolate before getting myself a nice book to read from a library. I tried to find a new game Fallout New Vegas but it was out of stock so no luck there. I also skipped into a shop selling camping equipment to determine what to replenish before my trip begins.

On reaching home, I decided it would be a good time to blog since I have been neglecting my blog for more than a month and here it is.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Movie Review: The Devil (2010) NC16

(Image credit goes to this url website)

Initially, I was daunted by the length of the movie, which is but a mere 81 minutes, but I was really intrigued by the storyline of how everything can be compacted so tightly within an elevator so I went ahead and watched the movie anyway.

I did not regret my decision - it was worth a full five popcorns rating. If Avatar is widely recognized as one of the best action movies of the year, I think this movie will go well as one of the best suspense/morality thriller of the year. The story revolves around how five strangers in a office building's elevator were trapped and suffered a series of horrifying experiences which led them to believe that one of them was the culprit. The story is then narrated by a South American security guard who goes on to reveal that according to a folktale by his grandmother - the Devil sometimes transforms itself into human form and punishes a group of sinners in the most bizarre ways unimaginable.

Expect a lot of deaths and blood in the movie, which explain its NC16 rating but for those readers who are able to watch this movie, please don't miss it. A strange suicide off the 35th floor of a building with the victim holding onto a string of rosemary, a brilliant and hardworking detective who recently lost his family, a temp security officer, a senior-looking office lady, a rough man with a missing red sack, an arrogant and talkative mattress salesman and an attractive girl looking for a lawyer. The story brings all of these people together a way to explain how the Devil manipulates the fears, doubts and suspicions of people in the modern world who have so many secrets hidden in their lives.

The detective works as hard as he can, summoning policemen, mechanics, firefighters to the scene as well, but as he begins to realize that none of his excellent detective skills and logical reasoning is able to make sense of the scene, he begins to believe the South American security guard that something supernatural is involved in the whole scheme of things and that he is actually the intended audience for all that is about to happen in that fateful elevator.

Why is the detective chosen? Will any human being actually make it out of that elevator alive with the Devil lurking as one of the passengers? I won't spoil the surprise. Please do not go to Youtube to read the comments because some of them have actually posted full spoilers ahead. Go with an inquisitive mind and an open heart about The God, The Devil, The Man and how all these three beings can possibly interact and have a great 81 minutes in the movie theater!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Movie Review: Resident Evil: Afterlife (NC16)

I ain't a fan of Resident Evil but I thought the movie plot's backdrop was really interesting. A virus known as T-virus was accidentally released into the human population and it turned them into killer zombies. The very few human survivors struggled against the endless and tireless zombie hordes as they barricaded themselves against the flesh-eating zombies.

The female protagonist, Alice, is one formidable survivor because not only she is the only human with genes capable of merging with the T-virus and survived without the zombie transformation, she is also experimented upon by the mysterious Umbrella Corporation (which is the culprit behind the T-virus) and is implanted with powers beyond the ordinary human.

Alice, in this installment of the movie, tries to find the location of Arcadia, which has been broadcasting over the radio waves that it is a sanctuary against the T-virus, providing shelter, protection and food for all the remaining survivors who have managed to elude and evade the zombies across the world. Alice arrives at Arcadia, only to find an empty island full of aircraft supposedly left behind by survivors who were lured by the radio broadcast. Alice then goes to Los Angeles with her two-seater propeller plane and discovers a small group of survivors besieged within a city prison. Will Alice manage to rally and rescue this band of unusual survivors with conflicting interests and find the true Arcadia and the rest of the survivors who abandoned their aircraft? I won't spoil the movie here.

Personally, I think the movie is only passable because beyond the movie's exciting and fiery firefights and zombie slaughtering, which usually end with blood-splattering to the head by the twin powerful shotguns or the samurai swords carried by Alice, the movie lacks depth and explanation on why some scenes are not continued through properly and just fizzled, expecting the audience to figure out the ill logic behind them.

For example, for all her skills and agility, Alice was actually overpowered by the leader of the Umbrella Corporation so easily and assuming all her superhuman powers were removed by the latter in that blow, how could Alice have survived the catastrophic plane crash without breaking a limb or two? There were also some cheap scares without truly showing the tenacity of the zombies, so despite their numbers, the zombies seem to be more functional as mere cannon or explosive fodder than to actually push the intensity of the movie. In short, the movie becomes Alice vs Umbrella Corporation with the zombies and other survivors as mere forgettable expendables.

I would only give the movie a 2.5 popcorn out of a possible 5.0 because it has so much room for improvement especially in terms of character development and zombie action. Most of the blood shed could have had more meaning than a simple scream and struggling limbs.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Royal International Group's Challenge the Celebrities 2010 @ Bukit Timah Plaza

(For illustration purposes on this blog only. Photo credits goes solely to Royal Singapore on Facebook).

Here I am again to review on the latest event which I attended, which is a PK competition organized by Royal International Group, a local artiste management group which I am currently paying attention to. The event was held on 8 August 2010 Saturday at Bukit Timah Plaza, seemingly a home-ground of sorts for its artistes, and it was from 4pm to nearly 7pm.

I could not catch most of the contestants' names because I was busy trying to record my findings and reviews of their performances so I'll just use their order of appearance as a gauge. For a change, I shall use Chinese language instead for the following critiques of their performances during that event.

Round 1: In this round, there are a total of 3 groups. 2 PK Challengers in each group will face off their scores against 1 RIG Defender in that group. If the best scorer in each of the three groups will advance into the 2nd round, regardless if they are challengers or defenders.

PK Challenger 1 (Edwyen Ng): 虽然平稳,却少了独特的风格。挑战者算是中规中矩。

PK Challenger 2 (Yuhong Lin?): 挑战者唱得太大声了,虽肺活量过于常人,却没有层次感地飚声量。

RIG Defender 3 (Juyoi Chang): 选错歌应战,舒情歌曲没有办法发挥。虽然镇定,已失策了。

PK Challenger 4 (?): 虽然平稳,却少了独特的风格。挑战者算是中规中矩。

PK Challenger 5 (?): 高音清亮,可是选了比较冷门的歌曲,减少了共鸣。

RIG Defender 6 (Koh Yi Ting): 过度紧张,猛抢拍子,僵硬地在背歌,可是听得出音色的可塑性。

PK Challenger 7 (Joseph Hui): 咬字有些不清,不过掌握到了R&B曲风,很有娱乐性。

PK Challenger 8 (?): 音质好,雄厚的嗓音,控制歌曲得法,是场中最稳扎的表演。

RIG Defender 9 (Dayan Ying Peng): 主歌有点虚,但情感驾驭得好,很亮眼的努力。

Round 2:After the first round, it got confusing because the emcee suddenly announced a change of PK rules and instead of the best of 3 of each of the earlier three groups, a total of 6, including one of the RIG Defender, Dayan, made it through to the 2nd Round. The reason given was that all these six round 1 competitors scored very closely. Personally, with no announcements made about how much they scored, nobody really knew if there were really so many ties in the first place. These 6 challengers would then pit their 2nd round scores against the average score of Elson Soh and Faith who seemed to be the final two defenders of the competition.

PK Challenger 1: 过度依赖肺活量来镇歌,轻重音不分明。

PK Challenger 2: 复歌歌词太草草带过,主歌还唱得不错。

PK Challenger 3: 主歌收得太快,有催歌的迹象,复歌入错位,有点儿走音。

PK Challenger 4:“让我”常得太虚,有点鼻音,复歌被背景音乐给覆盖了。

PK Challenger 5 (Bryan): 主歌好像唱慢了半拍,犯了在重点句上断词来换气,破坏了歌曲的神髓。

PK Challenger 6 (Dayan): 复歌第一个字吃字,层次感用得好,高音也掌控得好。

RIG Defender 1 (Faith): 复歌唱得美,清亮,只不过收得不齐全,不须加入太多个人技巧。

RIG Defender 2 (Elson): 麦克风被手指挡住了发音,复歌不能强行都音乐,导致几乎破音。

Eventual Winners: Elson and Faith

Highest Personal Scorer: Bryan

My personal thoughts and awards:

Most Memorable Performer : Dayan, because he is the only participant who managed to deliver two consecutive and consistent performances and he managed to overcome the major difficulties of each of his two songs adequately without compromising the songs.

Most Entertaining Performer: Joseph, because although his second performance was lackluster, his first performance definitely perked up the entire event as he seems to be the only participant that day who truly knew how to capture audience's attention with good stage-work.

That's all for my event and performance review! All the best to my faithful blog readers and have a wonderful week ahead! ^__^

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Performance Commentaries For Royal International Group (R.I.G) Artistes' Showcase 10 Jul 2010 @ Bukit Timah Plaza

It's been a while since I went for such artistes' showcases - there aren't many new artistes around in Singapore since most of the attention is shifted to Korean popstars. The last ones were an album release by Tay Kewei and a media press conference by Serene Koong. This one is different because it features a group of newcomers who have just started their lives as artistes under Royal International Group.

As usual, I arrived early to recce the place and explore Bukit Timah Plaza. It's been many years since I last stepped inside the place and it was renovated and many new shops replaced the old ones which I remembered. There was some live beauty pageant competition about usual beauty which featured people with non-hourglass figures and I thought it was a refreshing take on beauty but I did not stay to watch because my feet were eager to explore the place more.

The stage was quite well done - a cross-stage with plenty of illumination at each corner and flanked by two small floral stands. There seemed to be something missing though - feedback speakers, which meant the performers would not hear how they sound onstage at all.
R.I.G artistes were already at the venue before the event began and they were seated and waiting patiently at their seats. This was a major plus to the artiste management of R.I.G because punctuality is such an under-rated virtue and this first impression of punctuality will add a lot of brownie points in the minds of future sponsors and event organizers who usually have a lot at stake whenever artistes arrive late or behave irresponsibly.
The emcee,Wei Lun, kicked off the event at 3.30pm sharp and started warming up the audience for the upcoming series of performances and games. Late digging revealed that he was no ordinary emcee but actually an important figure of RIG - no wonder he has above average observation skills.
I believe this artiste is called Angie and she was the first performer for the event. It must have been nerve-wrecking for her because although her conversations with the emcee were friendly, her body language was pretty stiff as seen above.
Overall, she made a tremendous effort to warm up the stage for the rest of her colleagues at R.I.G. Thumbs up for her consideration.
I could not catch the name of this artiste but she seemed to know about stage movement and made some use of the beautifully-carpeted stage but she was still very nervous and kept missing the beats of her songs. At a certain point, she forgot her lyrics for a Liang Yongqi's song and got even more nervous, taking quite long before she could recover her composure. She has my compliments because it was not easy to recover after one has forgotten the song lyrics and broke momentum for so long. I know because I forgot my lyrics once too. Hahaha.
I thought she tried her best to regain her composure onstage but he was obviously disturbed after she left the stage. All I could say is that at least she finished her song instead of just waiting for the music to end. That reminded me of a contestant of some previous competition who ended up sobbing onstage because she forgot her lyrics. This artiste did not break down - she has more courage indeed.
The emcee then introduced the 3rd R.I.G artiste, known as Max.
I liked the quality of Max's singing voice because he was able to find some of the older Mandarin pop songs with decency - choosing Jackie Cheung and Daniel Chen's classic songs. I especially liked the second song because he delivered a kind of feel which most younger singers lacked whenever they sang such songs. However, Max seemed easily distracted by almost everything downstage and could not concentrate on his songs as well - rushing beats at certain points and he made such deliberate attempts to end some of the chorus lines that it seemed too forced and unnatural. I suppose Max must learn to find his own way to handle the song instead of rigidly trying to copy the original singers' ways of handling the same songs.
Overall, I thought Max would be able to fulfill more potential once he has learned more about singing and game participation skills (see below) and with age on his side, it would be plausible to contemplate a bright future in this line.
Max did below-par in this round of games where each of the three artistes who had performed had to find a partner from the audience and read out some tongue twisters aloud. Although he tried to circumvent the game by splitting the tongue-twister with his audience partner, he was not attentive enough to give a hand to his audience partner and merely stood beside the audience partner after the games had ended. In fact, I did not recall any of the artistes personally thanking their audience partners onstage or interacting more with them. I believe some brownie points were lost for lack of public relations skills onstage.
An important lesson for artistes is to showcase the human side of their stage personalities - to be able to interact freely with their audience onstage and be attentive enough to their needs and not neglect them just because the games were interesting to watch.
The fourth artiste from R.I.G is called Yi Ting and the poor new artiste was being bombarded till dumbfounded by the emcee with difficult questions. It must have been incredibly difficult to construct answers to questions about how her role in the artiste group was but she seemed composed enough and I wanted to compliment on her superior dress sense, which amplified her presence onstage even before she performed.
Yi Ting picked the classic English song "Sometimes When We Touch" but failed to deliver a good rendition of it because her lack of experience in singing was obvious from her lack of breath and weak vocal projection. She did not manage to buildup properly to the chorus and the song went pretty flat from there onwards.
Yi Ting then picked a fast number from Mandarin pop and yet she seemed to be able to enunciate Mandarin better than what the emcee had given credit for. Although she maintained very friendly facial expression to suit the song's theme, her body language and gesticulation needed more work. She seemed to enjoy the song though but could not relay that enjoyment to the audience.
The emcee stepped onstage again after she finished her two songs and emcee interaction improved tremendously compared to the earlier one. At least she wrapped up her performance on a lighter-hearted note. This artiste definitely had the presence onstage but would need quite some help to develop her stage skills if she is to shine further onstage.
Joseph, the young founder of Youthbox Singapore, went onstage to show his singing chops. Although he is renowned for his emo-ness on Facebook, Joseph displayed his brand of professionalism by delivering stable performances and much better presentation of body language onstage. His stage experience showed the relativity between what experienced performers could not compared to the inexperienced ones seen earlier on.
This elegantly-dressed lady is the artiste manager for this group of R.I.G artistes - Serena is her name. She was busy moving from group to group, not forgetting to interact with the various managers of the venue and other VIPs at the audience area. (Pardon the poor lighting because there was a spotlight right behind the audience standing area in the way)
Joseph at his work again. Nothing much to say about his singing but he could surely do with another outfit because I keep seeing him in the same stage outfit with that tie. Haha.
The emcee then surprised Joseph by arranging Elson, Joseph's idol, to sing an impromptu duet together. Joseph was, of course, elated and both of them took up the performance together with gusto.
I am not familiar with Elson's songs and since this one is an impromptu performance and a surprise present for Joseph, no performance commentary was made since both of them were having so much fun singing.
Well, both of them simply enjoyed the duet. Enough said.
The emcee then invited another new R.I.G artiste onstage, Joy, who was supposed to sing another duet with Joseph. Joy had some trouble interacting onstage because she kept forgetting to speak into the microphone but fortunately, she corrected her error later on during her performances.
I think it was a fast track from a Mandarin pop group called 大嘴巴 and both of them danced and teased each other onstage within the dynamic song. I thought it was one of the best performance for the day because it had so much entertainment value as Joseph and Joy had quite some synergy between them.
Joy was next to deliver a solo performance and I must say she was very energetic throughout, and being able to dance freely and stay cheery onstage are major pluses for new artistes. One must be comfortable in one's skin onstage and remember to deliver entertainment to the audience. She managed to do all these, which was pretty impressive for a newcomer.
She managed her songs with a fluidity that is rare for usually nervous newcomers but her control of her ending notes on some lines needed some work before her singing skills could truly mature well.
Another round of games where the artistes themselves were supposed to play some charade of sorts but I thought it was not exactly a good game to play because there was barely any audience interaction. These four artistes lost a valuable opportunity to do so just because the game was only between the artistes themselves. The prizes were some donuts, which was alright for a weekend snack I suppose.
The next R.I.G artiste to be invited onstage was known as YP. A tall, suave-looking young man who seemed rather confident onstage and I heard that he is due to release his very own EP next month.
YP's singing was rather coarse at the start with slurred lyrics at the verses but he managed to buildup properly towards the chorus portions. Other than Yi Ting, this YP is another young artiste who exudes calm confidence and a stage presence through his words and actions. No wonder he is picked to release an EP.

Another new R.I.G artiste called Clara was invited onstage to sing a duet with YP and this was the second of the very good performances for the afternoon because their coordination was very good and the harmonizing was seamless because both voices blended excellently into each other's. The only thing lacking was the lack of interaction between the two duet singers. See how far apart they are standing from each other.
Even when they are singing together and facing each other, neither of them budged an inch. Maybe they were too shy. Haha.
The social distance remained alienable even when they moved to the lower part of the stage and swapped positions. It was only till the end that they managed to interact directly by holding hands. I thought it was a awkward duet to watch (due to the shyness of the performers) but a pleasurable one to listen to.
Clara is also one of the most stable performers I have witnessed in the entire afternoon. She seemed experienced onstage - not a shred of fear nor hesitation and was fully concentrating on delivering her songs. She also had one of the best buildup for her songs though she sang off-key for one of the later choruses.
She is definitely another young artiste who has strong potential to grow in this area, given the opportunities and development space. I was actually looking forward to her second song but she picked a fairly weak song that failed to showcase her strengths to further impress the audience. A pity there.
Elson Soh, the final of the artistes to come onstage, was probably most suitable for the finale performances because his singing is stable and his presence is comfortable onstage. It seems he is very popular within Bukit Timah Plaza - late investigations reveal he was a favorite poster boy for sponsorships within the mall.
His choice of the first two songs were a little bit less lack-luster though because neither of the songs manage to reach any form of climax to draw enough attention to the audience (the punchlines within the songs were not obvious enough). The last two songs were much better, probably because they were his own songs and thus he was much more familiar with them. Word has reached me that he had just recovered from a surgical procedure and I could tell that he was not really pushing his vocals, as there was that tiny edge of caution whenever he hit the falsetto portions.
Lastly, all the RIG artistes were invited onstage for everyone to have a second good look at them. I thought they have potential to shine but they will need at least another half-dozen stage exposures to allow them to grow to be comfortable onstage and hone their performance skills.
Overall, I thought the showcase was a respectable one since most of them are very new to the stage but has shown some promise in entertaining the people. The venue, Bukit Timah Plaza, though homeground to Elson Soh, was however not an ideal location if all these young RIG artistes hope to gain more publicity because the number of people going through the mall is not still optimal, considering it was a weekend. Perhaps the management can consider, if they are ever reading this, to try rotating them through some of the other major neighborhood malls before eventually putting them onstage at the city center malls.

The emcee then announced again that there would be a PK challenge on the 8 August 2010 against three defending artistes from RIG. The winner of the competition gets to win a one-year contract from RIG. I have invited some of the competent singing enthusiasts that I know to try out at the competition. I hope it will be another enriching exchange of songs and talent then!

All the best to these young aspiring stars! ^__^