The Astro Talent Quest is regarded by many as the Chinese equivalent of the Idols franchise in Malaysia. The format is slightly different from American Idol or Malaysian Idol but the purpose is the same: ie, its a singing competition, home viewers watch the show, they SMS-vote for their favourite contestant, the winner gets a recording contract and the home viewers end up with a massive phone bill.
The Astro team was in town last Friday for the Kuching-leg of the tapings so I decided to pop by to have a look at what the fuss is all about.
The competition was held in Wisma Saberkas, which looks like a bucket if viewed from the skies. The ironic thing is that the Chinese name for this building is "Chïng Tong Dà Shà", which literally sounds like "Green Bucket Building". I don't know why the building is not green. We Kuching people are very confusing.
The show started at 5pm, but I couldn't leave work until 5:30pm. By the time I arrived a small crowd has formed across all five stories of the shopping center. I missed half the show. Apparently there were ten contestants in this round, only two of which will advance to the next.
Meet the judges of the show, which is a complete rip-off from the three American Idol judges right down to their seating arragements. Let's see: fat guy for Randy, female judge for Paula, slim-built wearing a dark-coloured sweater with rolled-up sleeves for Simon Cowell.... check, check and check! I'm surprised they didn't bring in a black Indian dude for Randy. Then again, this is a Chinese singing competition, aight dawg?
Luckily the hosts aren't rip-offs of Ryan Seacrest. They were Astro presenter Royce Tan and MyFM Radio DJ Gan MeiYan.
You know, I used to think that all radio DJs are fat and ugly.
But after meeting Gan MeiYan, I realised some radio DJs can be skinny and ugly too.
Just kidding :). She's skinny, but still quite chio lah. Gotta love the top.
I don't remember much about the singing itself, but it was nothing to shout about. I mean they are good, but I won't be rushing out to
download pirated MP3s... buy their CDs if they ever release one.
There were some fashion faux pas at the scene though.
This guy had it all. Outrageous dance moves, fugly clothing, bad interviews and make up on his face. Yes, MAKE UP ON HIS FACE! What the feet was he thinking putting blusher and lipstick on his face?! I'm sorry but they're not accepting any more members for the Si Qian Jin coconut tree singing troupe.
There were some good ones though. I say watch out for Contestant 10, he's got the total package and he sang really well. I hope he got through.
Halfway through the show, there was a mini game requiring two volunteers from the crowd. I raised my hand and hopped onto stage. I doubt they are going to show this on TV, but I was crap at the game and lost terribly. I did crack a few jokes whilst I was on stage and had the whole crowd laughing with me so I guess all's good.
Oh, if anyone had photos of me that day please let me know. I don't have Astro installed at home, but being a publicity-whore I'm keen to find out if I appear on TV. So please check out Wah-Loh-Tai on 1st May ok?
Well I had fun that day. I'm not keeping my hopes up but I hope someone from Kuching wins the competition.
Three years ago an ex-schoolmate of mine went from being a virtual unknown to Malaysia's big Chinese singing sensation thanks to this competition. I've always known him as prankster from school who never really excelled in his studies, and now he's earning thousands from his recording contact and various endorsement deals. His name is Nicholas Teo aka Zhang Dong Liang.
I hope they become like him some day.
P/S. Eh I didn't photoshop the above picture of Nicholas Teo ha! It was a promotional poster that was already vandalised when I took a photo of it! Heh, I got nothing against him because I used to know him personally. But kennysia.com is not responsible for any anti-Nicholas Teo comments below.
So feel free to blast away. :D