So where's the support?

THE inaugural reality singing competition Asian Idol is more than a week away.

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But where is the local support for Singapore representative Hady Mirza?

To be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, Asian Idol pits previous winners of Idol competitions from around the region against each other.

Forums are abuzz with discussions of the other Idols, with little mention of Hady.

And when his name does crop up, it's not always flattering.

One netizen posted: 'He'll face tough competition (from Malaysia and the Philippines) who are quite established and well-known for their musical talents.

'I'm not trying to put his morale down... but it's obvious he's gonna lose. Must give him the xin li zhun bei (Mandarin for 'mentally prepared').'

Meanwhile, it seems like our Asean neighbours are more fired up about their hugely popular Idols.

The hot topic has been how, even though Indonesia's rotund Mike Mohede has an 'angelic' and 'powerful' voice, he could lose out because of his 'small fan base' and 'boring' personality.

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Other netizens are excited to watch 'the battle of the divas' - Malaysia's Jaclyn Victor, Vietnam's Phuong Vy and Philippines' Mau Marcelo, with several Malaysian supporters predicting that Jaclyn is 'in her own league' and will 'win by a landslide'.

But do Singaporeans care enough to vote for Hady during Asian Idol?

Because no matter how well he does, his final standing lies in viewers' hands as the winner is determined by public voting.

Ken Lim, director of Hype Records and Hady's boss, admitted he has his 'doubts' about the R&B crooner's chances - especially since Idol fever has cooled off since Singapore Idol 2 ended last September.

He lamented to The New Paper: 'It's a very big thing in Indonesia and India.

'I just came back from Malaysia and they were showing trailer ads on TV, to get viewers to vote for the idols.

'Until now, I see nothing here.'

Ken, who said he's 'not disappointed' but isn't 'expecting' anything, blamed it on the differences in 'culture' and 'priorities'.

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He said: 'Other countries tend to think about how they're going to be able to promote their culture, help their idol.

'Over here, we are always very thoughtful about what the purpose and benefits are.

'We are basically more conscious about how and why we support rather than supporting it just for the very reasons beyond our own.

'I don't think that's the right mentality but that's our culture. There should be nationalistic pride, but whether or not it's happening is a different story.'

He said he hopes people will see Asian Idol as 'a national event, and not just a television show'.

An optimistic Hady, 27, added: 'I will give my 100 per cent so I hope Singaporeans will give me their 100 per cent also.

'I'm sure they'll support me when the times comes.'


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For his English number, Hady - who leaves for Jakarta on 8 Dec - will be singing Irish rock band U2's Beautiful Day.

Incidentally, Norwegian Idol Kurt Nilsen won 2003's World Idol with the same song.

For his mother-tongue song, Hady will perform the original Malay ballad Berserah (Surrender), a track written by Season One's Singapore Idol winner Taufik Batisah for his latest album.

When asked, Singaporean account executive Amy Lim, 30, said she feels indifferent towards Asian Idol. 'The fever has died down for me during this one-year break. And there's no build-up to Asian Idol.'

Mr Anthony Ong, president of Hady's official fan club, plans to support his idol by going to Jakarta with five other members.

The 26-year-old multimedia producer said: 'I believe there's quite a number of silent supporters out there who don't talk but vote, but it'll be excellent if all Singaporeans can participate and support local talent.'


  • WHAT: Asian Idol
  • WHEN:

    Road To Asian Idol (8.30pm, 14 Dec)

    Performance Show (10pm, 15 Dec)

    Live Results Show (10pm, 16Dec)

  • WHERE: Channel 5

    Here's the competition


    The 27-year-old, dubbed 'Soul Idol' and the 'black belter' for her powerful R&B-style vocals, won first season of Philippines Idol last year.

    Debut album released in May under record label Sony BMG.


    The 20-year-old Ho Chi Minh City native (below) is youngest Asian Idol contender and newest kid on the block, having won first season of Vietnam Idol only two months ago.

    She was never voted into bottom three.

    Signed recording contract with the Music Faces Company.


    The 29-year-old chanteuse from Kuala Lumpur (below, right) was winner of first season of Malaysian Idol in 2004.

    She has four albums and won several regional music awards, including Anugerah Planet Muzik (Singapore) and Anugerah Industri Muzik (Malaysia) .


    The 24-year-old was winner of Indonesian Idol's second season in 2005.

    Released two albums.


    The 26-year-old from Mumbai was winner of Indian Idol's first season in 2005.

    Abhijeet has been promoting many other shows, albums and products related to Sony.

  • source:,4136,149721,00.html


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