Sunsilk Academy Fantasia’s Debut Concert (Round 1)

After attending the second media conference and chatting with a few of the contestants in person, I knew that these 14 contestants will be going through one hell of a rollercoaster ride. A handful of them are young, vibrant, passionate and energetic, believing that they have got the guts and courage to bypass any obstacles they faced. This is the first reality TV show ever filmed in Singapore and these 14 contestants probably did not know what they are in for. Do they?
During their first media appearance, I got acquainted with Irwin,Vee,Natalie and Phil in person. So while I was watching them on Starhub TV, it felt like I was watching out for my good friends on TV. I feel for them too as I watch them going through the different challenge, hoping over one hurdle after another.  Irwin, Vee and Natalie seemed well-adapted to their new environment but for Phil, things just aren’t quite smooth for him. But he was honest and frank about his feelings when he openly discuss his problems with the other contestants. This really took me by surprise but I was inspired and motivated by his courage to speak up for himself.This is all real. That’s reality TV for you.
I spent about 2 hours per day, watching them going through their daily routine as a student of Sunsilk’s Academy. Because of that, I could practically call myself a “virtual” student of their academy whenever I watch the video footages of them in their vocal training, martial arts, speech training, dance and health and wellness classes on TV. Even though I was physically not there, I got to learn a little thing or two about singing and dancing techniques which are really beneficial, at least to me. Initially, I do have thoughts of forgoing everything I had to join this singing contest but right now, I’m glad I did not because I don’t think it’s fun to have people watching you on camera for 18 hours a day. That’s totally insane for me.
So imagine the pressure that these 14 contestants have to go through.If time permits, I wish I could meet them and say something encouraging to each of them when I was down for their concert on Saturday!
So, what happened on Saturday?

This week, the 7 female contestants battled out against each other. Next week, it will be a manly fight among the 7 male contestants.
I was toying with my brand new Canon 650D that day and thank God, the shots turned out quite perfect.
An air of excitement.
Men in black were all over the place, scurrying from one camera to another. These backstage people are probably the ones under great pressure as they have to make sure everything is in perfect timing.
How did I ever get myself to be part of the media? I had no idea that I would be doing something similar to the job of a journalist.
Food for the farmished bloggers.
We need all that energy to run and wander around the whole place to capture great pictures for the TV.
That’s Angeline. It was so much fun working with this smiley and cheerful woman who secretly took pictures of us while we were all blindfolded in the bus heading to the Academy. (Tee-hee!)
Oh wait! I’m not only a blogger. I’m an amateur photographer too!
I’m working-round the clock with 3 different jobs.
Hosts for Sunsilk Academy Fantasia
(From left to right : Su Bei Ru Ophelia, Joe Tsai, Louis Wu)
The Judges’ table.
A drink and some mints.
Mints to keep them wide awake?
IMG_0119 IMG_0121
It was quite fun watching the TV crew at work with all their gadgets. Camera! 3..2..1..! ROLL!
From left: 

Roy Loi ( 黎沸揮)
Reowned song writer and lyricist 
If you had watched Project Superstar and Campus Superstar before, you would have known that he is a man of few words. His judging style is pretty much like Simon Cowell. Good means good. Bad means bad. If he thinks you’re good, that means you’re really good, close to being the next superstar.

Billy Koh (许环良)
Songwriter, composer and music composer
Billy is a familiar face in the Singapore’s music scene and I’ve seen him countless times as a judge for local singing competitions. He is currently the director of Ocean Butterflies International Pte Ltd.
Eric Ng (黃韻仁)
Music producer and founder of Funkie Monkies Productions
This music veteran is also another familiar face in the music scene. He, along with Billy Koh and Lee Wei Song, are one of the talented movers and shakers in our local music scene.
Vee was the first contestant to perform and she did a great job in the opening of the concert. Though she might have gone a little off-pitch in the beginning where the music background was softer,  she was   appeared to be confident and comfortable on stage.  However, the judges were not too satisfied with her performance, stating that she went slight off-beat. No doubt, NUS CAC voices has trained her well to sing live on stage. I was part of CAC voices too but I have not met her before! Let’s wait for her to shine in her next performance when she has picked the right song to let her vocals touch the audiences.
The 7 guys were seated on stage, cheering for Vee. They each made a banner for 7 female contestants!
Awwww…so sweet, right??? That’s what friends are for. Supporting each other through the good and bad times.
Hui Xian has got one of the best vocals in the competition thus far. She’s musically-inclined and is capable of handling difficult songs with high pitches. However, her performance that night was not up to the judge’s expectations. Maybe she was feeling cold and tense because her voice came off as really pitchy and screechy when she sings.Being too nervous can lead to the constriction of the throat and nasal passage, causing the voice to sound too nasal and screechy. I’m pretty sure she will do better the next round! She might be one of the youngest contestants but she has a powerful and soulful voice.
Natalie is that fun and hilarious girl whom you would like to hang out with. Cheerful and optimistic, she laughed at anything that amuses her.  Her infectious laughter, I believe, is her greatest weapon in this competition. But in this performance, she has to sing a heart-breaking love song which she might be slightly weak in delivering the message across. The judges also felt that she lacked the experience of performing with a live band. She must have felt rather dissappointed after hearing the judges’ comments.After the performance, I actually went backstaged to meet the contestants and that’s when I actually found Natalie tearing. I seriously don’t know what went over me but we hugged, and I said, ” You’re amazing! You did great, girl! I love ya!” She’s full of emotions and mixed feelings! 
But she’s one powerhouse that can bring the whole house down with her strong vocals and dance grooves if she performs a fast number. You could see some Jolin Tsai-influences in her when she struts her dance moves. Wait til you see her dance!
With 4 hours of sleep each other, I am not surprise if the guys would doze off during concert.
In my opinion, Fiona has the best vocals in this competition. Her voice is so smooth and soulful,almost indescribable but unfortunately, her performance was slightly below expectations and she was booted out for the first round of the competition. It’s such a pity because she has a very strong and unique voice that stands out from the crowd. Her marks could also have been affected when the jugdes knew that she changed her song 2 days just before the concert. She felt uneasy with the previous song and found it too difficult to memorize the lyrics. Throughout the week, she was fretting over her song choice and the added pressure and stress had made her broke down into tears. It was tough for her but I knew had she made the right choice to change her song choice. Afterall, it’s not easy for anyone to muster the courage to change something which they are not comfortable with. At least, she made the first step in doing what she believes in. For that, I applaud for her courage!
This is the girly-girl who has that sweet girl-next-door personality. She’s humble, down-to-earth and determined to pursue a career in the music industry. As compared to the other 13 contestants, this girl is serious and tough. With that never-give up attitude, I reckon that she is going to stay long in this competition. Though her vocals may not be one of the best yet, with hardwork and determination, she will be able to shine. She’s one rare jem that needs to be polish before it shines like a star.
Her performance that night was satisfactory with that occasional slight-offs in pitch and rhythm. She has quite alot of work to do in order to catch up with the other better contestants in the competition. But I believe she will go against all odds to fight for her passion! Fighting!
Chloe’s the dark horse in the competition. Prior to the concert, the male contestants were asked to reveal who they think will be booted out in the first round and most of them believe that Chloe and Jessie will be out in the first round because the two of them are too quiet and passive. Even the principal of the academy had a HTHT (heart to heart talk) with the two of them and encouraged them to be more active and open. Chloe went emotional and broke into tears when she was told that she was being too quiet in the academy. Hmm… but what’s wrong with being quiet? I’m a introvert too. But c’mon, it’s just the first week of the competition. Things are just starting to get heated up. Chloe, like all other introverts in the world, will only open up to people whom they are close with. 
Back to the performance, Chloe’s singing was stunning. I was so touched by her singing because it felt as if she has sing out all her sadness with true sincerity. Nothing beats singing a song with a truthful and  open heart. Her song choice was also appropriate for her vocal range and tone. One word. Awesome! So awesome that I was inspired to do a YouTube cover for the song which she sang that night. Coming soon!
ET has been quietly supporting Chloe in many ways. That guys are pretty sweet and caring!
Last but not least, here comes Jessie, a petite-sized girl with a huge voice! She will also be one of the contestants who will stay long in this competition if she continue to be consistent in her performance and singing. However, having a great voice is not enough. Jessie needs to jump out of the big crowd, discover more about herself and talents to make herself stand out. Like Chloe, she can be pretty quiet and takes time to warm up when striking a conversation with.
Lucky or what? I can’t believe I actually had a chance to meet them backstage if not for my friend, Portia who wrote each a little card filled with words of encouragement for them. I’ve wanted to give a big Teddy to my favourite contestants like Chloe and Phil but I was afraid they might not be able to receive it. It’s okay because I’m gonna write them a little card next week!
Tuned in to Starhub Cable TV Channel 110 to stalk on them!
Or be a virtual student and “attend” their classes by watching them on TV while they are having classes!
Honoured to have a photo taken with the host, Louis Wu!!!
With Pearlyn, Jia Yi and Portia.
Coming up:
This Saturday, 21 July, it’s the boys’ turn to battle out among themselves!

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