Hady steals the show

THE Jakarta Kemayaron Convention was packed with thousands of fans waiting for the results of the first Asian Idol on Sunday night.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a music fan himself, sat amongst the screaming crowd rooting for their own Indonesian Idol, Mike Mohede, to be crowned the first Asian Idol.

As the tension grew, Asian Idol judge Anu Malik from India cautioned the crowd that “upsets always happen” and there was always an unexpected person lurking behind the shadows to walk away with the crown.

So when host Daniel announced “And the winner is... Hady Mirza”, there was a moment of stunned silence before the crowds broke into loud cheers and applause.
Hady, the handsome, charming 27-year-old singer from Singapore, dropped to the floor and covered his face in disbelief. He had been the dark horse in a race featuring singers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and India.

Indonesia’s Mike, Malaysia’s Jaclyn Victor, and the Philippines’ Mau Marcello, three powerful singers, had been tipped as the favourites.

Even Singapore Idol judge, Ken Lim, who was on the Asian Idol panel, had not expected Hady to win. “I am very surprised but I guess it (the winning) was something which worked out very well.”

Hady’s balance in voice and looks stuck out differently from the rest, Lim added.

It was almost midnight by the time a beaming Hady strode into the press conference with a winning smile radiant enough to melt an iceberg.

He started off by thanking “God Almighty” for his win and all his fans who supported him. “I didn’t expect to be the winner. My aim was to be with the other contestants to show the outside world that Asia has talent,” he said. “I am glad to have met five beautiful people and so many others who worked very hard to put up this beautiful show.”

RCTI, the local TV station, produced a first-rate show with classy back-up singers who complemented each singer well, together with an experienced orchestra whose notes flowed seamlessly. The lighting and stage sets were trendy and funky.

The young Indonesian hosts, Daniel and Ata, were a delightful pair, full of fun and confidence. Malaysia’s Soo Kui Jien seemed nervous at the opening but recovered his composure to display his wit when he commented on Jac and Hady’s duet: “Malaysia and Singapore in perfect harmony, something you don’t get to see very often.” The crowd roared appreciatively.

Although Jac’s powerful rendition of Gemilang and the jazzy show-tune For Once In My Life did not win her the title, the competition was a good platform to showcase her amazing voice.

She clearly won the hearts of the judges. Anu Malik told her: “Let me tell you, and I say this as someone who knows his music, who knows the music industry, you are going to be one of the most famous singers the world has ever known to come out of Asia.”

Jac sang with so much passion, she completely forgot herself on stage. Her voice dipped and soared like waves on a sea, hitting the high notes effortlessly and beautifully. It was truly thrilling to hear her, moving even Mike’s supporters to leap to their feet in thunderous applause, reflecting Indonesian’s love and appreciation for music and talent.

Mike did Indonesia proud with his rendition of I Believe I Can Fly. He was all soul with his version of the song and brought a unique sound even though the song has been featured in every Idol performance throughout the world.

Mau Marcello of the Philippines used her big voice to good effect in her rendition of Gloria Estefan’s Reach, but lacked emotion.

Vietnam’s Idol, Phuong Vy, squandered her wonderful, powerful voice on a boring, mid tempo Vietnamese song Luc Moi Yeu that failed to display the full range of her vocal chord. But aged only 20, she has many years ahead to polish her skills. With a beautiful face and gorgeous figure, Phuong is the contestant with the most “commercial value”, said Lim.

Indian Idol Abhijeet Sawant is a combination of talent and good looks. He has a smooth, pleasant voice with good control. His uptempo hit song Junoon delighted the crowd.

Malaysian Idol judge Paul Moss believes the Asian Idol quest can make Asian talents known outside the region.

“If it builds on this and gets bigger and bigger, then we can see it as being a serious platform for breaking Asian artist outside of the region,” said Moss.

source: http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Friday/Features/20071220134635/Article/indexF_html


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