Astro Talent Quest 2005 – Kuching Stage Challenge

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.
Wisma Saberkas
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 security guard who doesn’t wanna do his job.

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.
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.
Contestant 4

Eh brother. Why wear so thick? Kuching having winter ha?

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.
Contestant 5

Hey dude. Nice pants. Where did you get them from? MC HAMMER’S GARBAGE CAN!?!

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.
Contestant 10
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.
Wrong name
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.
Wrong name

I lost but I still got a prize. A pretty one too! An Astro notebook, Sammi Cheng’s Live VCD and her very old CD that nobody wants

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.

Nicholas Teo
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 is not responsible for any anti-Nicholas Teo comments below.
So feel free to blast away. 😀

78 Replies to “Astro Talent Quest 2005 – Kuching Stage Challenge”

  1. i used to cover saberkas events every saturday (coz something was always happening there), though i don’t post most of them (some were really boring ;)). i stopped when i started to work full day saturdays though.
    else i would have got pics of you on stage.
    you going to the malaysian idol auditions? would be great to hook up with another blogger in real life.

  2. HB, the Malaysian Idol auditions were over already lah. I was thinking of going initially but I doubt they’ll let me into the judge’s room where the actual auditions took place.
    Yea sounds great to meet up. I was thinking more of a Bloggers’ Meet cum Meet the Bloggers ‘cos it seems as if the KL and Penang ppl are getting all the fun. But if it were to be done I think it can be organised quite swiftly with a few e-mails. Let me know!

  3. wahlauweiiii u serious ar…zhang dong liang is ur classmate o.0 lol u shouldn’t draw him like dat la…where is the pirate eye bandage lol….i think he is in china promoting his album or something, his singing really not bad but his hosting skill sucks like hell man. such a relief that he left 8TV

  4. May 1st, eh? You got it 🙂 You mean there are bloggers’ meet in Penang? Penang/Ipoh is too freaking small for me to reveal who I am 🙂

  5. Serbekas is called ‘Green’ cos it’s located near Green Road lah, what lah u kenny?? Oh yeah, I couldn’t figure out what that nicolas teo had…mayb he just looks gay and chicks dig gays.

  6. wah seh u secretly wanted to join the comp and dont wan us to make fun of u tats y u went up on stage leh as the volunteer =p
    dont worry we wont make fun of u =)

  7. seriouse?u were my senior 2 kenny?!how come i nvr know?every in skool say his gay after he won,dont know why…blogger met whr?kch got ker?wait kimmie thm com bck la..

  8. I have more muscle then Teo!!! Why asian younger males all looks like girls? and those female fans really like skinny, girlie looking males??? I don’t get it.

  9. I have more muscle than Teo!!! Why asian younger males all looks like girls? and those female fans really like skinny, girlie looking males??? I don’t get it.

  10. Hey… I was at Saberkas that day… Haha… And I agree…. The judges are American Idol rip offs…

  11. I think Zhang Dong Liang can really sing. We’re all crazy about his songs, not him! It’s like the theme song for our whole Melbourne household already. We play his song inside the car and sing along to it everytime we have a household outing together. Haha! WE LOVE HIS SONGS!

  12. Yes, every dog has it’s day, he was so lucky that he became the champ, Vince is much more better than him.

  13. Yes, every dog has it’s day, he was so lucky that he became the champ, Vince is much more better than him.

  14. yo! vandalised pic of nic huh? maybe some of his enemies during his school days?
    He’s definitely a rich boy now….with all those product endorsements…..however, i truly feel it’s becoz of his hard work….he’d been working pretty hard…his busy schedule for this 2-3 years was really pretty scary….more to come…he deserve what he has today!
    Malaysian idol 6-8 May at Times Square! see u there!

  15. hey u all there…stop saying dong liang bad words…he is a nice guy and sing really well la..although initially i thought vince will win too but dong liang wont be succesfull today if he isnt got any talent right?the way he sings the sad songs really made ppl very touched..i also like vince but still cannot find reasons to blame on others………..

  16. Hai yo yo !!! don’t say Nicholas like that lah u all ! he really a best singer that i ever heard b4 !Nicholas hosting really good n interesting!
    however i will always u , NICHOLAS TEO, CHANG DONG LIANG!!!!!!

  17. Hmm… I dunno Nic at all but I ‘heard’ (might not be true) that he’s a rich snob in school who loves singing… and worse, I got that news from a rich snob which implied to me that if a snob says he’s a snob, he must be some kind of Snob King then. ;p I know which school u were in now Kenny. “One Middle Chung Hua”

  18. actualy i kinda think nicholas is a good guy(singer i mean)at least he’s friendly unlike some guys…like tortoise,hide when they r scared…his can sing very well…,not like JAY CHOU


  20. Oh My God !!! Pls !! Stop saying Nic’s bad words !! well,I know I can’t stop you coz that’s ur own opinion.But,for Nic’s fans..I being hurt deeply.Haiz..You all might don’t know much about him so saying his bad words.I know some of u might don’t like listen to sad type love song..But he’s really talent in this.If he dont have the talent,he can’t released EP,albums and have a very good response by those fans.For me,Nic is better than Vince much much more..But Vince is nice too.Compare among they 2,ppl will more accept Nic’s voice.If not Nic won’t get the champion of 2002 ATQ….and..the display pic !! Oh my god..when I saw it,I’m so damn angry(really..)How come draw his face become like that !! I hate the ppl who draw it..I hate !!!

  21. PLease lah …. u all …. me tai tak only say nic bad word …. dunno got brain 4 wat ….dong liang is the best singer …… Nic has his own talent only can win the astro talent quest …. I will support NIC 4ever…… NIC IS THE BEST ……………………..

  22. hahaha, i knew dong liang long long time ago at singing competitions…i tot he’s reli cute that time…..but now honestly he looks kinda gay, no offense, but he sings great and his songs are nice…so all the best to him la

  23. Sad to say that the vandalised poster sucks like hell. That idoit vandal should be responsible for his/her silly acts. That really angered me! Really wanna chop that vandal up…

  24. sorry for double post , truly …dong liang doesn’t sing well ..just can’t u guys see that ? he’s just a fucking luckyshit that he get well-known …i wonder why ppl these days so hook on him …i rather prefer cao ge!!!!

  25. I hate the person who drew the poster. I feel like chooping his/her hand off.
    You guys don’t know Doong Liang at all. He is such a great guy. When i first saw the picture I was SUPER…………… ANGRY………….
    You guys should get to know him more in his sites. He treats his fans goodly. You guys are truly bad.
    I can’t stop you guys from saying whatever because that’s sort of yr opinion. But as Nic’s Fan, I say you should get to know him better first. WILL SUPOPORT NICK FOREVER!!!!

  26. the winter guy looked like the guy who actually won Superstar. but he wasn’t that great and neither was the whole competition anyway.
    dong liang only carries the tune and tat’s it. no great voice anywhere in that throat of his.

  27. Wah soo bad who did dat.
    i can’t forgive who did dat to the poster!i!i!i
    Dong Liang dont worry i’ll revenge 4 you!!!!!!

  28. its kinda immature acts of saying ppl bad thing..jus bcos of his personality b4..dis is wat we cal interferin ppl affairs! Make sure b4 u say ppl bad things..let dat thought pass ur mind 1st! make sure u hav proves to say nic is gay! ALL THE BEST TO NIC!

  29. stop talking nonsense n bad words of nic….
    he’s the best guy i ever met b4….
    dont u guys feel guilty..?
    i”m his big fans….although i knew he wont get to knw who am i/…bt i Love him sooo much….
    so, u guys b careful r…

  30. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Don’t fret over tiny little things. it’s not worth it.
    However, i feel that the vandalism of the poster went over-board. Every human being deserves respect no matter how much you dislike him. And even if you don’t mind ppl vandalising yr picture, it doesnt mean that other ppl don’t mind too.

  31. he’s da best singer ibn malaysia n do u no dat malaysian idol sucks…they don’t even represent malaysia…n do any1 of u no vic teo ?he’s singing totally out man…he dun even no how 2 sing but he won..n malaysian idol never make malaysia proud lo..onli astro talent quest makes malaysia feeled proud..if u ask 4 my opinion i rather choose akademi fantasia than malaysian idol..n 4 those of u hu say nic’s bad words u better watch out coz u wil be sued n do u ol no that fuck is sumting about sex !!!the meaning is”wanna hav sex with u”nic has made malayia proud….


  33. stop saying nicholas teo lidat lah!! u thk urself better thn him?? b4 u complain any1 plz complain urself 1st lah!! ppl done so hard 4 us wht muz do until lidat??
    i thk tht ppl draw d pic is stupid n idiot ppl!! silly action!!

  34. pls use your brains before flaming ( or look at the mirror ) you know brains ? B-R-A-I-N-S ? my apologize if you dont even have it…. 🙁

  35. i came across this blog becuz i wanted to noe more abt nic…and i reallie had a great laugh over these comments! this is so fun…so childish…so honest…keep it up! haha..btw, nic rox!

  36. Honestly you people are so pathetic…saying bad stuff about Nic like that…he’s one of the best singers i’ve ever known…he has done so much for his fans. Look, you all have your own opinions but if you don’t like him then just don’t listen to his music…there’s no need to call him names or act so mean towards him since i know most of you don’t even know him personally are just being so ignorant…he’s just doing what he loves and that is to entertain…look how well he’s doing right now, he’s even going into acting. Does anyone know how sick he got making that drama Smiling Pasta. He lost over 20 lbs but he kept at it…that’s how much loves his fans…And as for the vandalized pic…that was so cruel…what if someone did that to your pics?

  37. you guys are funny! what a great debate this is. I live in canada yo and i’m like his fan right now! and just ya wanting to know more about him and came across this heated argument blog. Whatever to his past.. have evidence before words! I would like to know more about his past.. but wish its actual stuff. These are just rumours don’t take to heart as a serious offensive.
    I love his songs. He’s sings good and i’m very simple with stuff as long as music sounds good singing good i like it but i really like his songs for some reason so there must be some spark to his singing.

  38. Lin Yu Zhong i will always support you!!!!!!!
    Are you have email address, if u have can you give me???
    My email address is must add me lo!!!

  39. Hi Kenny,
    I’m JennyGoh from “Malaysia” would like to enquiry can i get the vcd for “Astro Talent Quest 1997-2003” at genting cause i everyday working so hope i can get it and see the contest at my free time..
    This is my phone number : 013-3393763, thanks a lot !

  40. dong liang kampatei..i will always support u..when his new album comin out?heard that comin out Mac..Now Mac ady..not yet out..i wan buy

  41. finally nicholas album is out..hehe..however some song is nice while some ok..but no matter wat..i will always support Nicholas…kampatei oh

  42. i juz view dis web 2day….n it’s reli make me angry….wtf…vandals here…how can sum of de ppl which hav no manners or wat fuckin say al de bad words of nic…..he was a reli gud singer u noe….ppl who says bad comments of him….do u al noe how to sing….if not pls close ur mouth n stop sayin nic’s bad words…..remember g n wash ur mouth properly b4 u speak of sumtin….no brains la…alright…ppl sayin dat he’s eaatin ecstasy….but dat’s de past of him….k…n de persaon who edited de photo of him….u have no manners at al….can u tink dat if ur photo had also been edited lik dis….another no brain fellow….omg…n he hav a bravo voice u noe….at least he can reach the high pitch…can u al?i tink no…coz al of de vandelisme sounds stupid…..DONG LIANG I WIL SUPPORT U 4EVER……N I HATE VINCE 4EVER….

  43. i am damn pissed wei! ur post saying dat u tried to talk to nicholas in the mtv asia awards and bla bla really freaks me out! wat a back stabber! i am glad dat nicholas is no more ur friend! wth! n to those monkeys out there, shut ur bloody mouth la! no matter how much u guys dislike nicholas, pls dont criticise him. learn to respect others! i dun blame u guys 4 acting in such a way. perhaps its ur parents who did not bring u ppl up properly. kenny sia the famous blogger kononnya. bullshit!!!

  44. regarding the post saying u tried 2 approach nicholas but he did not bother bout u…
    perhaps nicholas really couldn’t recognise u…
    how do u expect him 2 remember u?
    u don’t have a face like an angel which will enable nicholas 2 recognise u…
    furthermore, he is still keeping in touch with his ex- classmates…
    this shows u were not even close with him in ur secondary school life…

    As overreacting again…
    The pic of the vandalized poster…plzzz la…I’ve seen vandalized pics which are worse….can’t understand why everybody is getting so worked up over this….(doh)
    “no matter how much u guys dislike nicholas, pls dont criticise him. learn to respect others! i dun blame u guys 4 acting in such a way. perhaps its ur parents who did not bring u ppl up properly. kenny sia the famous blogger kononnya. bullshit!!!”
    to myob: HELLO ! Wake up ! Everybody has a right to express their opinion here. WHO are you to tell us what to do and what NOT to do/say ? YOU should be the one learning to respect other ppl’s freedom to comment here. If you don’t like it, don’t waste your time reading this blog, then. BUZZ OFF
    btw…I may not be Nicholas’ fan, but I like listening to his songs once in awhile….

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