TAMBUNAN LASS TAKES HOME PRIZE
Empowered with the new points system, Angelica Paujin defeats fan favourite Saiful Muhammad Noor for the ‘Mentor Milenia’ crown. DENNIS CHUA has the story
REALITY talent shows often see their winners voted for by viewers’ Short Messaging Service (SMS) votes. While the most talented is arguably the most popular, this is not always the case.
TV3’s Mentor Milenia is aware of this, and this year, it restricted SMS voting to 30 per cent of each the contestant’s marks, leaving 50 per cent to be determined by the show’s no-nonsense judges Datuk Hattan and Fauziah Ahmad Daud, and the rest to a semiprofessional jury.
This resulted in Sabahan vocal powerhouse Angelica Paujin, 17, narrowly defeating fan favourite Saiful Naim Muhammad Noor, or Usop, in Seri Pentas 2, Plaza Alam Sentral, Shah Alam, last Sunday.
One-time Idola Kecil 3 semi-finalist Angelica from Tambunan, was the protégé of singer-songwriter Akim Ahmad, while firsttime contestant Usop of Kulim, Kedah, was the protégé of last year’s winning mentor, singer and actor Hazama Azmi.
“I was down with a cold, but Akim told me to persevere. During his days in Akademi Fantasia, he also faced a similar predicament,” said Angelica, or Elica, after the final concert which was broadcast live on TV3 at 9pm.
Angelica, Usop and two other finalists, Rozaimi “Along” Rosli of Alor Star and Syaheera Aziz of Johor Baru, were each required to sing a solo number and a duet with an established artiste. Angelica performed Nicki Astria’s Samar Bayangan and Ceritera Cinta made popular by Rio Febrian and Jaclyn Victor, with former Mentor Milenia contestant Hael Husaini Razmi as her duet partner.
Hattan hailed her as the show’s most improved contestant and said she was capable of performing challenging ballads with her powerful voice. Fauziah also commended her for a “job well done”.
Akim said: “Angelica has a strong fighting spirit despite her soft-spoken ways. Whenever she’s on stage, she goes all out to serenade fans. I’m happy that after 10 weeks of coaching, she has become a more focused singer.”
Thanking her mentor for pushing her, Angelica also paid tribute to Akim’s wife, singer Stacy Anam, for guiding her.
“Akim and Stacy have been great friends throughout the competition. While they pushed me to give my best, I enjoyed my training sessions with them because I gained a lot of knowledge.”
Angelica and Akim, who marked his first Mentor Milenia win, bagged the grand prize of RM100,000. She also won the RM10,000 Neffos Choice Protégé Award sponsored by Neffos, a Neffos X1 Max handphone and a holiday to London, England.
Usop mesmerised fans with his manly voice, singing Khai Bahar’s Bayang and Datuk M. Nasir’s Malam, performed as a duet with former Mentor Milenia winner Salma Asis.
Hattan praised him for his smooth vocals and honest performances, while Fauziah said he and Salma told a painful story effectively.
“While many expected me to win because of popularity, Mentor Milenia also emphasises talent and the judges have the biggest say. I’m happy, for I’ve given my best and I was fortunate enough to be coached by Hazama,” said Usop, who shared RM50,000 with his mentor.
“Usop has been a most ‘teachable’ protégé. He is a quick learner and takes the competition seriously. He may lack singing experience, but he is naturally talented. I’ll continue to guide him, and I’m confident he will be a great singer one day,” said Hazama, who told Usop to always make his songs “listenable”.
Third-placed Along, 20, shone with his rendition of the heartfelt Datuk Sudirman song Merisik Khabar. Hattan and Fauziah said he nailed it with that performance.
However, his duet with Siti Nordiana Memori Berkasih, which she originally performed with Achik, was criticised by Fauziah for lacking creativity.
In thanking his mentor Tomok, Along said the One In A Million 3 champion was straightforward in pointing out his weaknesses and offered good suggestions on how to improve his performances.
Tomok said Along’s experience in Idola Kecil 1 gave him early exposure to singing contests, and helped him reach the finals. Tomok and Along took home RM20,000.
Syaheera, 19, combined traditional and modern music in her two performances. She sang Francissca Peter’s Sekadar Di Pinggiran accompanied by traditional percussionists, and Dayang Nurfaizah’s Di Pintu Syurga ,a duet with Misha Omar, accompanied by “lagu Asli” musicians.
Hattan praised the creativity of Syaheera and her mentor, Black, while Fauziah felt her voice was drowned by the percussionists in the first song.
Black, who shared RM10,000 with his protégé, said: “Syaheera has been doing great, despite her lack of singing experience and being nervous in the beginning.”
Thanking Black, Syaheera said: “He encourages me to enjoy what I’m doing and says if I enjoy my work, I will strive hard to excel in it.”
The show, hosted by Issey Fazlisham and Marsha Londoh, saw Indonesian pop-rock group Nidji, guest perform.
(From left) Saiful Naim Muhammad Noor, Angelica Paujin and Rozaimi Rosli with their ‘Mentor Milenia’ trophies in Shah Alam on Sunday.