You Rock, Baby!

I don’t remember the last time (if there was such a time) when I agreed with Roslan Aziz’s comments on Malaysian Idol. I did, however, agree with one sentence last night, after Jaclyn Victor’s rocking performance of GnR‘s classic Sweet Child Of Mine: “Thank you for saving the night tonight.”

Yes, it was a really bad night for Malaysian Idol fans. Almost every contestant on the show ended up mangling their choice of song for the night. With the theme of the night being Rock music, many contestants found themselves in uncharted territory.

Part of the blame has to go to the producers. These contestants aren’t rock singers. Paul Moss made an interesting comment when he was talking about Vick’s rendition of Linkin Park‘s Numb that those who had performed rock songs during the auditions did not get selected. While the context of his comments was a straightforward critique of Vick’s performance, it also shows that the judges didn’t really want rockers on the show. Quite rightly too, perhaps, since Malaysian Idol – being an offshoot of American Idol, which is itself a spin-off of UK’s Pop Idol – is primarily a talent show aimed at uncovering future pop stars.

So how badly were the MI hopefuls last night?

Andrew started the ball rolling with his version of Creed‘s Higher. It was terrible – easily one of the worst performances on the show I’ve ever seen. I feel really bad for the guy, though. He just can’t rock. There was a brief moment when, as Roslan was criticizing his rendition, Andrew kind of bleated: “But it’s rock week…” as if he had to defend himself.

Dina was next. If there was one contestant whom you’d have thought could be a natural at this, it would be this rock chick. She chose Evanescence‘s Bring Me To Life. Although her powerful voice seemed right for the song, her delivery though, seemed a little below-par. However, I did feel the judges were probably a little overzealous when criticizing her performance, it wasn’t that bad lah….

Third on the list: Zamil. His choice? Hoobastank‘s The Reason. Good song, not a good performance. Which is a good thing, I believe, ‘cos, again, Zamil isn’t a rocker. And in any case, he’ll still get lotes of votes for being the really nice, genuine guy that he is.

Nikki, the contestant many feel could be a contender (but not in my opinion though), was next. She decided to put her spin on Avril Lavigne‘s I’m with You. And boy, was I surprised. It was a pretty decent rendition, actually. Although Paul Moss commented that she had some pitching problems in the low ranges, she certainly sounded alright with the high stuff. While Jac should not necessarily be worried about Nikki at the moment, Dina (who is generally regarded as a second favourite) might just be looking over her shoulder….

The next to arrive on stage was Saiful. The pretty boy performed the only Malay rock number of the night, Lompat Lebih Tinggi (by Sheila On 7, I think). Since I haven’t been following the local (or regional, as the case may be) rock scene since the days of Search and Isabella, I cannot say how Saiful’s rendition was in relation to the original. But on his performance alone, it was quite boring. Sorry, but there it is.

The penultimate contestant was Vick. How he remained on the show after last week’s abysmal “murdering” of Michael Jackson‘s Billie Jean, is beyond me. This time, his target, as I stated earlier, was Linkin Park‘s Numb. Not a good choice. Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington has a very unique and quite-impossible-to-copy voice and style. Anyone else trying to sing this song will find themselves in trouble. Vick tried gamely, but it just didn’t sound great. Here’s a lesson for all ye aspiring Malaysian Idol contestants in the future: Don’t pick hugely popular songs, cos when the original is still fresh in many people’s memories, your rendition will always sound second best.

Thankfully, the producers (who probably saw this disaster of a show coming a million miles away) saved the best for last. Singing the bandanas off Guns n’ RosesSweet Child of Mine (which is one of my all-time favourite rock numbers ever), Jac had the crowd rocking along as well. While Roslan and Paul had some slight reservations (mainly along the lines of “You’re too good, so I was expecting more”), I preferred Fauziah Latiff’s “Jac, you put everything together – you rock, baby!”

A bit on the judges now. MI had it’s first guest judge on tonight, an Indonesian singer (unfortunately I did not catch the name). His comments were OK, mostly they tended to reflect his opinion that the contestants need to be themselves more rather than trying to impersonate somebody else.

Fauziah was gorgeous. And sweet.

Paul Moss was his usual self – although his first comments on Andrew’s performance were pretty funny. As Jien said, he must have taken a few hours to compose them!

But Roslan really took the cake for being the judge everyone loved to hate last night. I guess he must have been really pissed off at all the negative criticism he’s been getting by fans and reviewers of the show, about how his comments are so inane and seemed to be recycled words week in, week out. Well, last night he went all out. Not a single contestant was spared:

To Andrew: “Your movement is awful, and your singing is awful.“.

To Dina: “RAP doesn’t want to sign losers – remember that.

To Zamil: “Hari ini, nyanyian Zamil teruk!

To Nikki: “I don’t like it. […] you didn’t use your talent.” (this actually brought an interruption from Paul Moss, who vehemently disagreed with Roslan.)

To Saiful: “Saiful menyanyi, taklah seberapa, tapi masih ada kat sini lagi. […] mungkin dengan muka Saiful yang lawa dan manis, bila Saiful cakap ‘Please vote for me OK’, itu yang orang vote tu agaknya…

To Vick: “.. during the high part, you got pitching problems.

To Jac: “I expected more actually.

Well, that ends my recap of Malaysian Idol’s Rock night. Actually I just started out wanting to post a couple of pics of Jac, but I guess I got a little carried away..

Anyway, for those who want to catch last night’s performances, watch the repeat on TV3, Sunday 12pm.

OR you can catch the video clips at the Malaysian Idol Viewer Site.

Now excuse me while I go and vote for Jac…..


9 thoughts on “You Rock, Baby!”

  1. Jebat: Err, I think you’re in the wrong place la…..

    James: Only based on last night’s show…? šŸ˜›

    Elena: Yeah! Jac rocks! Now go vote for her! šŸ˜†

  2. it’s obvious they know so little about rock to have made those song choices. i’m gonna sound like a pretentious rock purist, which is what i am anyway, but.. fluffy commercial hitztop40 garbage, that’s what they’ve all chosen.

    jac made an excellent and classy song choice. and there are so many i can think of! it doesn’t matter that “the judges didn’t really want rockers on the show”… the right rock song would allow a feelgood stage presence that any show will welcome. hell, pearl jam’s “last kiss” would be totally fine for me! 90’s stuff are always good. or even an elvis oldie, why didn’t anyone think of that? or how about flattering paul moss with something from his label, say one of oag’s classics or post-“slumber” hits, pick your flavor? god, idiots!

    yay, next week’s r&b week, nikki’s thing! i vouch for her to be in the final two with jac (with jac of course winning). that’d be so hot.

  3. Jac! She’s the one. She’s simple, being herself, yet she got style. Her vocal, stage doubt, she got talent. She’d be cute, she’d be sweet n precious, she rock!

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