I watched the first concert of Akademi Fantasia 5 (AF5) last night, hoping to see something different. There were some changes made, but, I am sorry to say that the changes made did not impress me the least bit. In fact, I think I got annoyed to a certain extent with some of the changes that were made.
For one, the introduction of the AF5 kids look more like a fashion show. The kids changed clothes THREE times last night - one for the opening intro, another one for their individual performance, and again for the MENUJU PUNCAK song. I wished they had stuck to wearing their intro clothes because they were better then the ones they wore for their individual performances. It was okay to change clothes for the MENUJU PUNCAK song since this song required some dancing steps which some of the clothes worn were not suitable for dancing, but to change clothes 3 times? Is this a talent contest, or a fashion show? *scratching my head, trying to think of a logical answer to my own question*
I hated, or shall I say, I just wanted to puke, when, during the previous seasons, when some of the kids came up with taglines to introduce themselves, but because only a few had tagline intros, they were bearable. But this season, Aznil made every kid come up with a tagline which, to me, was really ridiculous, especially those that never thought of one, but, because it was an `instruction' to have one, one kid actually came up with just a 'CAK' tagline and got everyone laughing in amusement. I pity that girl. She must have felt pretty embarassed by the response from the audience in the hall.
For some reason last night, none of the songs performed had any 'umph' to it. It was either the kids just simply did not give their all, were too nervous, this being their first concert, or the choice of songs were simply bad, or worst still, the music arrangement was terrible! It did not bring out the best (if they had any) in any of the kids. Whichever it was, I hope this week, the choice of songs would be better. And please, do something about the music arrangement, Astro. I am no music expert, but last night, somehow, the music simply sounded odd, even for someone like me who is tone deaf! LOL!
I remember the first concert last season where already I could tell who's got the voice, who didn't. Farhan and Haziq were outstanding even in their first concert with Farhan's strong vocals, and Haziq's unique voice (even my hubby who is not into AF has an opinion on Haziq, saying that the first time he heard Haziq, it made him stop doing what he was doing to appreciate the voice and song that Haziq was singing) just perfect for singing traditional malay songs. Too bad Farhan's strong vocals lost out to Faizal's mediocre talent just because young girls were charmed by Faisal's 'humble' background and simplicity as opposed to Farhan's powerful vocals. Again, I ask, are we judging people for their talent or their background to win a talent contest? *sigh*
Anyway, back to the present AF season, another change made by Astro was to have 3 permanent panel of critics, instead of one. Why? So that the critics can see if the kids improve over the weeks? Okay, granted that that might be the reason why Astro decided on 3 permanent panel of critics instead of one, so this means that I have to listen to Ogy's long winded and over-emotional, over-dramatizing comments every week should I decide to watch the concert every Saturday? *sigh* I might just end up flipping the channels each time she opens her mouth to comment.
But, to a certain extent, I do agree with some of the chatters at Channel@15 that the kids need critics of that nature (very direct and blunt) so that they don't fool around too much. I felt that the kids last season did not show any improvement even in their 8th concert because they were either over-confident of themselves, or, simply, they were playing around, especially Amirul. They know that the Akademi is just a stepping stone to being famous, so, whatever the critics say does not really matter for they are already famous just by being admitted to the Akademi.
I have yet to know all the kids of this season for I do not follow the Diaries. I wanted to puke when I took a peek at the diary on Wednesday, 15 minutes into the program, that I had to switch off the TV, when the kids started crying. Do the kids think that by crying will get them sympathy and more votes? Really! Farhan, Haziq, Velvet & Diddy of season 4 upheld their tears for as long as they could, and, with the exception of Diddy, they all got into the finals. There were no dramatising on their parts.
This season, it's only the first week, but already the kids are playing up to the camera. It was okay when Farah did it in season 2. It was already getting annoying when Amylea tried the same trick too in season 3. I think a few played up to the camera too in season 4, but, please, not in season 5 too! Enough is enough! They all look so pretencious!
I think AF1 was the best because all the kids were oblivious to the camera surrounding them. Whatever they did, they were just being themselves, no make-up and all. They were sincere in their actions, whether good or bad. There were no pretence about them because being the first batch, they never knew the number of cameras that were focusing on them. Their relationship with each other were close.
Last season, I felt that some of kids are too full of themselves, and only care about themselves. Their tears during some of the concerts when one of them had to part ways did not look real. When Farhan tried to put up a brave front by holding back her tears, she was rediculed, saying that she had no heart, and no feelings for those that had to leave, She was just interested in getting to the finals. From what I could see, she cared for all of them, though she lack the emotions to show it, maybe because she is the eldest in her family and have been taught to always be strong and look strong for the benefit of others. Even though she was just 22, she was matured, and carried herself well.
Heheh...I bet by now, those reading this would know by now that I am pro-Farhan and Haziq! LOL! But, I also like Diddy, Velvet and Zila. I am hoping that if Maestro fails to promote Farhan & Haziq well, that other recording companies would come forward to produce good albums for them for I see strong potentials in both of them. Farhan can carry most songs well, but I think she would do very well singing songs that brings out the best of her strong vocals. Haziq definitely would be a sure win singing "Irama Malaysia" songs.
Okay, I have side-tracked again! LOL! Back to AF5, I hope next concert (if I feel like watching) will see some vast improvements in the performances by the kids. I hope they would be given the right songs, and I hope that Astro will bring back Sham Kamikaze to do the music arrangement because he has done a good job for the past seasons.
Oh, BTW, it is sad that the kids `kicked' out this season don't get to go back to watch the weekly concerts and give moral support to their friends. I wonder why Astro decided on that move. I can't say that it is a good move. Whatever the reason may be, I hope to see better improvements in the coming concerts.
Note: all photos were taken from Akademi Fantasia's official website at http://www.astro.com.my/akademi_fantasia/v5/