Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gripped by the invasive Akademi Fantasia

UPDATE at 5.50pm 30 April 2009: The brutal AFUNDI system reared its ugly head once again during the 7th concert of AF7. Aril, the gedik boy with Rod Stewart’s sexy voice was eliminated despite performing admirably. The finale which saw the three girls performing Feminin’s hit song Untukmu, which contains the memorable line “janji bara cinta”, was a huge disappointment and an anti-climax. More vibrant photos of the concert HERE

Gee, the long-running and hugely popular Akademi Fantasia (or AF), a reality TV talent quest produced by ASTRO, is back. Now, in its seventh season, nearly as old as American Idol. And for the next three months or so we shall see who among the pop star wannabes have the raw talent and the drive to be transformed into top-notch entertainers.

When it kicked off in 2003, the sleek and glossy show caught Papa’s attention instantly. So much so when he received a phone call from a youngish CEO working for a respectable organization one Saturday night, while feasting his eyes on the weekly concert, he managed to steer the conversation away from exchanging ideas on ways to fortify corporate governance. Instead, he rabbited on and on about the groovy and fab performances that he had witnessed such as Vince’s Bunyi Gitar and Rosma’s Tragedi Buah Epal. And also some of the wretched ones like Misha Omar’s Halaman Cinta by Nana, now a radio DJ with a “serak-serak basah” voice ala Rubiah Lubis. She has indeed survived!

He also blabbed about how the vibrant and energetic students of the Akademi ran amok during the dance, drama and vocal classes. And of course the brutal AFUNDI system. Mama said on the night that Rosma was unkindly voted out, Papa's distress was palpable.

Of all the six series concluded so far, Papa reckons AF3 is the best. Not because of the Mawi phenomenon, although many Malays from all ages and walks of life went crazy for everything Mawi back then. But due the X-factor provided by the other AF3 contestants. Feast your eyes on these spectacular "basah meleleh" performances during the weekly AF3 concerts, and you will get the drift: Felix's Cinta Seorang Teman, Akma’s Cahaya and Idayu’s Tiada Lagi Tangisan.

Can AF survive the seven year itch? Surely, as people are still crazy for everything AF. Needless to say, Papa will be rooting for the underdog to win AF7. Do you have your favourite one, or someone whom you think is cut out to be a top notch entertainer?

Do enjoy tonight’s Konsert, an exuberant one Papa imagines. And brace yourself for the constant invasion of DailyDiary with AF fantastically glamorous “newcomers” in the likes of Tiara J and Ida Nerina, in the days to come.