Dec 29 2009
Your Showbiz Sista and Abang bring you the low down of the run down that was the Singapore Idol grand finale.
7.50pm. We arrive at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and we’re greeted by two people carrying boxes of light sticks. “Are you a Sylvia or Sezairi fan?” asks the lady, who tells me that if I’m a Sylvia supporter, I get a pink light stick, if I’m a Sezairi fan I get a cyan one. I haven’t decided, I tell her, can I get both? She looks at me, then says, “If you support Sylvia…” Score one for intransigence then.
Meanwhile, on stage, The Muttons from 987FM – Vernon and Justin – and some dude named Matt fluffing up the crowd, telling them to things like “when the Idols come out don’t forget to SCREAM!” or “make some NOISE!” or words to that effect. Apparently, screaming, making some noise is a must for the night. Interestingly, all three of them seem to be screaming too. Did somebody tell them they already have mics?
8.00pm. Cue opening credits. And on cue, the crowd screams.
8.03pm. This year’s Idol contestants appear. And on cue, the crowd screams. They sing songs by The Black Eyed Peas. The crowd screams. They stop singing and point their fingers into the air. The crowd screams.
8.08pm. Idol host Gurmit Singh appears. The crowd screams. “Somebody SCREAM!” he says. They oblige.
He then goes into his opening banter, and asks Idol judge Ken Lim what he thinks of the two finalists. “I won’t deny that I prefer Tabitha (Nauser) for commercial reason,” replies the deadpan judge. Good one, Ken, way to give their confidence. Somebody shouts, “That’s bullshit!”
Unperturbed, Ken carries on: “Sylvia is our very first female finalist. Many say females cannot beat the males. To get here, she had to beat thousands of males.” That same person shouts, “I love you Ken!”. Ah…
8.16pm. The fluffer aka the guy called Matt appears and gets the crowd to scream. Oh look! Someone is jumping when Malaque’s name is mentioned. There’s one Malaque fan!
8.22pm. Sylvia comes on to perform Mercy, backed by some dancers looking like they stepped straight out of Thank Your Lucky Stars.
The judges comment. “That’s a song that identifies you,” says Dick. Funny, I thought it identified Duffy. “You did it a million million times better, continues Dick. “You made my dream come true.” Ken says: “You will have to motivate your supporters to vote for you”. Uh-oh! Warning! Warning! Read: Sezairi will win.
Then we go to another commercial break and the Muttons come back on. They exhort the audience in very loud voices to make more noise. Really, someone should tell Vernon and Justin they don’t need to scream because they have mics.
Then Sezairi’s mum is given the chance to speak. In a quiet voice (note), she thanks her son’s fans for wearing green (although many wear what’s actually cyan, but hey, it’s the thought that counts).
8.32pm. It’s Sezairi’s turn. In the video prior to his set, his band gives him props. One of them says he’d predicted Sezairi would be in the finals. I must ask them to predict my 4-D numbers next week.
Looking dapper, he sings Virtual Insanity. Some guy, obviously a Sylvia fan, looks dumbstruck. Either he’s very into it or he’s very bored. Ken says, “You were not a copycat.” (Wait, is he implying what I think he’s implying?)
Then Sezairi’s dad is given a chance to speak. He too, thanks his son’s supporters and gives props. Doesn’t Sezairi look like him? “I’ve never heard him say so much!” jokes Gurmit, who then proceeds to forget to give the call-in numbers for Sezairi.
Then it’s commercial break again. Matt comes on to tell people to – wait for it – scream as loud as they can. They should, because the way Matt and the Muttons are screaming (and they have mics), nobody else can be heard.
8.43pm. Back from break, and Sylvia is up again, singing Yellow by Coldplay. In case you didn’t get it, she’s dressed in yellow, the lights are yellow. After her performance, her brother Timothy is asked to say something. We can’t hear what he says, but Sylvia looks choked up. Awww…..
8.53pm. Sezairi is back on, singing Aerosmith’s Crazy, and playing his Gibson ES 335 semi-hollow electric guitar in cherry red. It’s a nice guitar. It’s the kind of guitar that I would like to have. Note to self: Ask Sezairi if he will lend the guitar to me. When he stops singing, the crowd … screams!
We go to commercial break. The Muttons come back on. And yes, they get people to scream.
9pm. Sylvia is singing Touched By An Angel, a song written especially for the finals by none other than Ken Lim. It’s a touching, emotional number. Who knew Ken the Gruffmeister had it in him? Sylvia pulls out all the stops and really blasts the song into the stratosphere. Dick says she’s a real diva (in a good way). Florence asks her why she should win. I can’t really hear her response because the guy behind me picks that time to use his clappers. The crowd screams!
Then Sezairi comes on and does his version which doesn’t impress. Until he his that one note that seems to have come from the stratosphere. The crowd screams! The judges give their comments. “Musically, both of you are very different.” Really? Wow. “Singapore should be happy with your or Sylvia.” Right. Florence asks him why he should win. Because I didn’t hear Sylvia’s reply, I elect not to listen to Sezairi’s reply too. Hey, fair’s fair.
9.30pm. Cut to news break. Tabitha comes on to sing Ain’t Nobody. Faizal comes on to sing I’m Yours. Somebody else does something else but by that time we’ve already gone off to the function room for drinks (Coca-Cola, Sprite, Ice Lemon Tea, Green Tea, Coke Light) and food (chocolate eclairs, mee siam, etc, etc, etc). Hey, reporters get hungry too okay?
There are some people but they all refuse to say who they want to win. Instead we get answers like “it’s a close fight” or “both are really good” or “Here’s your drink, sir”.
10pm. We’re back. Gurmit is telling the audience that it’s results show time, but first more performances. Like Duane, in a yellow cheerleading outfit, singing Mickey by Toni Basil. After seeing that, I can’t remember what the rest did. That’s an image that stays with you for quite a while.
Then, because there are apparently so many contestants who are musically gifted, they have formed an “Idol band”. With Sezairi and Charles Wong on guitar, they back Hady Mirza, erstwhile Idol winner, on his song I’ll Never Leave, taken from his new album. Then they’re joined by MJ Kuok and Duane on keyboards. I’m so surprised to see MJ that I don’t even know what song they’re singing. I’m even more surprised I remember him. No, seriously, what’s he doing here?
Then they get previous Idol contestants Paul Towhill and Joakim Gomez to join Faizal and Farhan as they sing Back For Good. This is turning into retro night, as the girls come on to sing Free Your Mind.
10.33pm. As we go to break, they get this girl called Charice to come on. We know a couple of things about her: She’s from the Philippines, she’s smaller than any of the other people on stage, but she’s got a bigger voice and she’s appeared on Oprah and Ellen. The Muttons interview her, but before she can say two sentences, she gets cut off because we’re coming back from break in 5-4-3-2-. “Well that was quite short,” she says.
Gurmit introduces Charice and she proceeds to blow everyone else away with her powerhouse vocals, singing two Whitney Houston numbers. I’d vote for her.
The crowd screams. Gurmit is screaming at the end of the performance too (someone forgot to tell him that he had a mic). She looks at him like, “dude, what are you on?” but still agrees to sing one more song, something about a note to God. I don’t know. I’m still too stunned.
10.42pm. Taufik Batisah comes on singing his own tune, Addicted. Someone behind me goes, “Wah, lucky Taufik has got some dance moves, otherwise sure cannot beat that small girl.” I didn’t even know he was competing.
10.50pm. It’s time folks to announce the winner. But before that, a warning goes out to the audience to not stand so close to the confetti machines, otherwise you could get seriously hurt. By confetti. We’re not joking.
10.53pm. Gurmit is looking very serious. Or tired. We can’t tell. He says he will announce the winner, then looks off into space. Like dude, what are you on? Everybody goes into a hush. For once.
10.55pm. After what seems like an eternity, Gurmit finally announces the winner: It’s SEZAAIIIIRIII!!!!! SOMEBODY SCREEEEEAM!!!!! They oblige. I have tissue in my ears.
Sezairi looks flabbergasted. Sylvia looks like she’s about to cry. Awww….
Sezairi sings Touched By An Angel and is joined by the other contestants. There is much hugging and swaying. Sylvia’s dad and mum bring a bouquet for their daughter. Her dad is magnanimous in defeat. “It’s all right,” he says.
Sezairi’s dad is vocal in victory. “I believe they are both equal,” he says, and proceeds to thank the fans for their support, before saying that he’s very happy. “I’m proud of you, Sezairi!” he shouts.
And then it’s over. The show is over. We rush off to the function to prepare for the interviews – and sip some wine and masticate. Hey, don’t waste food, right?
11.40pm. Sezairi and Sylvia finally appear. What took them so long? They’re still wearing the same outfits, what! Incidentally, it makes them look like a wedding couple. Ooh, some vicious rumours could start from there… I make a note of it.
The Muttons go onstage. I put tissue in my ears. They talk a bit. They toast the winner. And then it’s time for press interviews… All that, and more in our next post!