Written by Naadia Buhary | Photos by Wei Yng
It’s 7pm and there’s a palpable air of excitement inside Audi 1. The semi-finals was about to begin and unlike the auditions, it was open to the public. As the judges take their places, and the crowd falls silent, it’s time for the first performance of the night, a duet singing an AJ Rafael song. Nathanael on the cello was up next. While his classical performance on the cello and violin impressed us, his singing didn’t quite make the mark.
The night was dominated by singers, while two beatboxers and one dance group provided the variety. There were some technical difficulties with the PA system and computers, especially during Sarah Jade’s and The Buddies’ performances resulting in an inability to hear the sound of the guitars being played. Nevertheless, the contestants sang well projecting confidence despite such issues. Two contestants performed the same song as they did during the auditions. Despite improving on the performance, the judges were left wondering if they were able to extend their range and abilities to other songs within the genre. Stand out performances for that night from the judges’ perspectives included a jazzy rendition of Magic’s Rude by Joshua and Keith, and Deswin’s mind blowing beatboxing performance, which included a range of genres from Classic, Dubstep, and Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake. Another strong performer for the night was Novia Chua singing Little Mix’s Cannonball, hitting those high notes very well!
The only dance group of the night, The Underground boys, performed a rather energetic performance, but lacked proper choreography. The other beatboxer for the night, AGK, performed a medley including Linkin Park, Calvin Harris’ Summer and Martin Garrix’s Animals. He ended his performance with an attempt at stand-up comedy!
The two Korean girls, Jina & Jee Hye, performed a toe- tapping rendition of Jessie J’s Domino, complete with sexy dance moves. At certain times, they sounded pitchy, which was pointed out by the judges, but they certainly kept the crowd enthralled as they ended their performance to calls for an encore.
It was obvious throughout the night that the performers were certainly more confident, as they used the floor and kept the crowd engaged during their sets. Looking back on the auditions, I was certainly impressed at the improvements! However, there was one issue that kept nagging me through the show: the judges. It felt at times that the judges didn’t always give very constructive criticism, limiting it to “That was a good performance”, “Overall, good performance”, while it didn’t always feel that way, and I felt there were performers who performed better but were not selected (Nothing against you guys!) Here’s hoping the judges step up their game at the finals!
The list of finalists have been released and we can’t wait to see what you have to offer! Good luck everyone! May the force be with you!