It was a Saturday evening, and I have nothing planned. My beloved would be joining her family in the PJ Catholic High School School Band Concert, and that left me being alone for the night, until I got a call from my niece.
“We’ve got tickets for the Astro Star Quest Finals at Bukil Jalil Putra Stadium tonight, do you wanna come?”
“Yes! Where? When? Who? What? How?” I immediately jumped at the offer.
“But you won’t be sitting with us girls, we belong to the fan group of one of the contestant, you have to sit with our tuition teacher,”
“Er…not again, going to a concert with a g-u-y…” (the last time I went to Jacky Cheung’s 2007 World Tour in Bukit Jalil Stadium, it was with a GUY friend).
“So you wan or not?” young girls are getting less and less patient nowadays.
“Okay, count me in.”
And here I am. In the free seating section almost at the top of the stadium, this is the view I get, which is not too bad actually.
Since this is a live broadcast on Astro Channel 311, the show started promptly. With a set of fast songs followed by a set of slow songs performed by the final five. To be honest, I have not followed any of this year’s ASQ, therefore I have no idea who are the five finalists. My judgement is based on their performance on the Finals night and not the whole series.
Having to endure a very poor sound system with echoes and deafening loudness, I can barely differentiate who is actually singing and who is mumbling there. I cannot even hear a single word the judges have said about the performance. By the way, there were no FEMALE judges on the panel.
After the first round of songs, I have eliminated two of them in no particular order:
Reasons for Kah Fai to enter my elimination list:
#1 He was the first to start singing, and he failed to lift the roof, in short, he failed to “come in with a bang”. I know that is pretty bias but being the first contestant to go out, he has to be THAT good.
#2 His voice is a bit better than average but does not have the range to go high pitch without struggling.
Reasons for Ryan to enter my elimination list:
#1 He does not know how to sing (as compared to the other finalists).
#2 He seems to capitalize only on his good looks and the fan base attracted to (perhaps) his looks.
#3 He has shown nothing to convince me that he deserved to be in the last five.
#4 And he ended up No.4 …
Since I have never followed the Astro Star Quest Finals before, I have no idea what was going on when the first elimination was made, until a long long time after that. I was a bit disappointed to see Alvin eliminated in the first round as I tipped him to be in the last TWO. He has that cute babyface (no I am not GAY) and his voice is sweet and soulful, his performance for the night was good, bar his microphone problem in the first song (which was not really his fault, was it?).
The performance of the last four has picked up a notch and they are singing songs that I know very well. Therefore I can compare them to the original singers. The song that touched me most was Heartbeat (Xin Dong) orginally by Shino Lin Xiao Pei performed by the eventual winner Min. The other female finalist Jie Yu, which I tipped earlier to be in the FINAL TWO, chose to go with Ambiguous (Ai Mei) originally by Rainie Yang Cheng Lin, and in my opinion was the reason she lost. Later I found out that Jie Yu was a ASQ2007 Top 20, which explains why she could only get third place even when she was much better than the rest.
The next round, the final THREE, was messed up by a messed up appearance from Janice ??, who should be responsible for the eventual downfall of Kah Fai. The clueless kid had no idea what was going on when he was backing-up for Janice. Neither did the audience there. After the short appearance, Janice left during the commercial break, looking wobbly and under the influence of drugs. I was wondering if that was Janice or Jill. Later it was reported that Janice has sufferred from a sore throat but insisted on appearing so not to let down her fans, and the smoke from the earlier stage fireworks have made things worse. She was hospitalized immediately after she left the stage.
During the PK round, Kah Fai, probably hit with a huge confidence loss from the previous round, underperformed when it mattered the most. He was out of key in large parts of the song and that no doubt handed the crown to Min with no questions asked.
Even though Astro Star Quest has produced a few notable stars over the years, namely Nicholas Teo, the standards should be raised so that the Finals will be an entertaining event instead of a dull and a clueless one. I began to check my watch after an hour or so of the show, hoping that it would finish as soon as possbile. Instead, I was forced to sit there and endure almost 3 full hours of a not so entertaining show.
At least it was better than sitting at home, alone, doing nothing.