Singapore's Hady Mirza wins first Asian Idol contest

JAKARTA, Indonesia : Singapore's Hady Mirza has been crowned the region's first singing champion at the inaugural Asian Idol competition in Jakarta on Sunday.

Hady defeated five other Idol winners from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The show was hosted by RCTI - Indonesia's largest TV network.

Voting via text messaging began when it was televised simultaneously to all six participating countries, with an unprecedented millions of viewers.

Hady Mirza, Singapore Idol Season 2 winner, earlier said: "The pressure I think is that it's going to be shown across six countries. I started off being quite nervous. But then, as we went along, it was fine and I did pretty well. I think I did pretty well and I'm happy with my performance."

To ensure fairness, judges from all the six countries also took part.

Even a voting system to neutralise the numerical supremacy of big countries such as Indonesia and India was instituted.

Votes were not considered valid unless the sender picks two singers.

But above all, organisers said Asian Idol was more than just a competition.

Indriena Basarah, General Manager of Fremantle Asia, said: "What we would like to do is actually to showcase that Asia has incredible talent."

For the contestants, the Asian Idol competition gave them the exposure beyond their own national boundaries.

This may lead to better prospects to develop and promote their musical talents across the region.



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