Fly FM’s Fly­dol 2017 win­ner Ili Ruzanna Iqbal shares her ex­cite­ment in join­ing the sta­tion with BIBI NURSHUHADA RAMLI

New Straits Times - - Entertainment -

SHE was the clear win­ner even from the be­gin­ning. Ili Ruzanna Iqbal, 22, stood out from the hun­dreds of hope­fuls who tried their luck dur­ing the city-wide au­di­tions for the third in­stal­ment of Fly FM’s ra­dio icon and dig­i­tal video star search last month at Sri Pen­tas in Ban­dar Utama, Pe­tal­ing Jaya.

She won the cham­pion’s ti­tle, a RM10,000 cash prize and a chance to be Fly FM’s ra­dio an­nouncer.

The Pe­tal­ing Jaya-born win­ner, who is of mixed Malay-In­dian parent­age, won the hearts of judges with the witty puns that she in­cluded when car­ry­ing out tasks dur­ing the au­di­tions.

“I’ve al­ways en­joyed us­ing puns in my con­ver­sa­tions. So, I fig­ured that if my friends like them, the judges might too,” said Ili, who beat nine con­tes­tants in the fi­nals for Fly FM’s Fly­dol, which ended last month.

The three-week au­di­tions saw con­tes­tants go through a jam­packed ra­dio syl­labus that made them “on air” ready within a short pe­riod.

In be­tween those lessons, they were given in­dus­try-ap­pli­ca­ble tasks. This was fol­lowed by elim­i­na­tion rounds, with elim­i­na­tion de­pen­dent on how they per­formed in those tasks.

The com­mu­ni­ca­tions grad­u­ate from Tay­lor’s Univer­sity takes pride in her puns, and lis­ten­ers can catch more of them when she goes on air this week­end.

Be­sides her puns, and at times lame jokes, Ili has a bub­bly per­son­al­ity and is keen to make friends.

“I al­ways thought I’m a lit­tle weird, but when I met the rest of the team at Fly FM, I feel like I be­long.”

Ili ini­tially stud­ied phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sciences, but couldn’t find her foot­ing.

“I felt so lost. I didn’t know what went wrong be­cause it was what I had wanted to pur­sue all my life.”

She then opted for com­mu­ni­ca­tions, ma­jor­ing in broad­cast­ing. This led her to find­ing her true call­ing.

“I’m an ex­tro­vert and en­joy an au­di­ence. In col­lege, I did some host­ing, so I have ex­pe­ri­ence in speak­ing to a large crowd.”

At the same time, Ili wants her voice to be heard by a larger com­mu­nity.

“This win re­alises my dream to do so. With my own ra­dio show, I hope to spread pos­i­tiv­ity to all. I think this is what ev­ery­one needs now. I aim to make my lis­ten­ers smile.”

She is un­der­go­ing on air train­ing to pre­pare for her big show­down.

Fly­dol 2010 champ Guibo, who helms the sta­tion’s morn­ing show Hafiz & Guibo with Hafiz Ha­tim, was one of the five judges and men­tors on Fly­dol 2017.

United States-born Guibo, whose real name is Syed Naguib Al­sagoff, took Ili un­der his wing.

“Guibo ad­vised me to be real when speak­ing to ra­dio lis­ten­ers.

“And, also, since there are no vi­su­als, ra­dio an­nounc­ers need to be more an­i­mated in their vo­cal de­liv­ery.”

And her fears? Ili wor­ries that she may say the wrong things on air. The last thing she wants is for her lis­ten­ers to be of­fended.

“Af­ter all, we all learn from mis­takes. I just hope I won’t make one too many.”

Ili Ruzanna


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