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From:My Paperposted on 16 May at 3:59 PM
16 May at 3:59 PM

The Final 1: From singing contest to Facebook contest

BY KAREN LIM

MEDIA WATCH

THE FINAL 1 

Wednesdays, 8pm

Channel 5 (StarHub Ch 102)

Rating: 2/5

A TALENT show that supposedly selects a singer based on the contestant’s style and voice is fast becoming a popularity show that demonstrates how successfully singers publicise themselves on social media. 

The Final 1, now into its fourth episode, has delivered shocking results in the past two episodes, where a number of contestants were booted out for not having enough votes.

The latest reality singing contest, which debuted on April 24, is seeking the next big star here, who will be awarded with a cash prize and a recording contract worth $100,000.

Fans aren’t too pleased with the show’s voting format and have taken to social media to air their displeasure. 

Twitter user Twelve April (@speakARTPOP) tweeted: “Not sure if Singaporeans are voting for looks or vocal talent. Damn the results.”

Another Twitter user, Farhan (@callmehappykid), wrote: “Boycotting #final1sg (The Final 1) just because it’s not a (talent) singing competition, instead it’s (a popularity) singing competition.”

Whether a contestant makes it through to the next round depends on public voting via SMS, phone and Facebook – not what judges think of the singer.

The Top 5 contestants with the most votes will make it to the next round, while the remaining five will end up in the Bottom 5 list.

But it does not mean they are eliminated. They still stand a chance to be among the Top 20 if contestants in the Top 5 win fewer votes online.

After watching their performances and then the competition results that were broadcast live, I must say I agree with the fans – not only did I feel let down, I felt it was unjust, too.

Contestants from Week Three, such as Hydir Idris, 21, and Kamsani Jumahat, 23, were obviously strong contenders.

In fact, the two were singled out by one of the three judges, singer Kit Chan, for delivering “a steady, but nuanced performance”. 

Hydir, who sang Eric Benet’s The Last Time, delivered a balanced and steady performance, while Kamsani, who gave an upbeat rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition, captivated the audience with his stage presence. 

Unfortunately, both ended up in the Bottom 5 last week. 

Looks of astonishment were visible on the faces of the audience at the results show.

In contrast, those who made it to the Top 5 last week received mostly criticism from the judges.

Among them were Jean Kyaw, 19, whom music-label producer and judge Ken Lim criticised for having “outdated erotic moves”, and Raina Sum, 18, who was denounced for “over singing” by Chan. 

Yet, they made it to the next round.

The same occurred during the second episode on May 1. 

Two of the Bottom 5 contestants, Khim Ng, 20, and Marc Than, 28, were praised by Chan and Singapore Idol winner Taufik Batisah.

Likewise, the Top 5 from Week Two included weaker performers such as Mohammad Sufie, 22, and Viveck Raam, 20.

All in all, I felt that the contestants performed better during the auditions. 

I had high hopes for the show, but with a voting mechanism that is based purely on social-media activism and not on choices made by judges, one can only wonder what will happen in the following episodes.

klim@sph.com.sg

This article was first published in My Paper on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.

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