Search­ing for a bright spark

View­ers can ex­pect more di­verse con­tes­tants and tougher chal­lenges in Clever Girl’s new sea­son, writes Bibi Nur­shuhada Ramli

New Straits Times - - Groove - LOOK­ING back at how Sea­son 1 had fared, the pro­duc­tion team had taken the show’s flaws into ac­count to come up with a more chal­leng­ing sea­son. “Many view­ers had com­plained how easy the ques­tions were, and why we in­cluded ques­tions on en­ter­tain­ment,” said

(From left) Hani, Sara, Ika, Visha, Shaz­ana, Alia and Kiera.

THE first sea­son of TV3’s re­al­ity show had con­tes­tants who were mostly from a le­gal back­ground. The sec­ond sea­son, how­ever, is more di­verse. Two are mod­els, one is an Ox­ford Univer­sity grad­u­ate and there’s even a geo­sci­en­tist. How­ever, it’s not ev­ery day that view­ers get to know a woman who nav­i­gates an oil tanker.

“I’m an op­er­a­tions ex­ec­u­tive and I transfer crude oil from one port to an­other,” said Alia­sur­aiya Mohd Isa from Me­laka, be­fore adding: “It may sound like a man’s job, but I’m here to prove that women are just as ca­pa­ble.”

Fondly known as Alia, the 25-year-old is cur­rently un­der­go­ing her diploma in nau­ti­cal stud­ies at the Malaysia Mar­itime Academy in Me­laka, hav­ing fol­lowed in her older brother’s foot­steps.

“I’m a bit of a tomboy. It was my mother’s idea to join since she wanted me to be all dolled up,” she re­vealed with a laugh.

Alia is one of the 14 con­tes­tants of the re­al­ity com­pe­ti­tion, hosted by Alif Satar, which seeks to un­earth Malaysia’s bright­est and smartest girl.

“Join­ing is more of a per­sonal chal­lenge. Be­sides test­ing my knowl­edge skills, I hope to show­case a dif­fer­ent side of my­self,” said Alia.

Also aim­ing to chal­lenge her­self is Hani Naz­rina Hanizar, 21, from Perlis, who started an act­ing ca­reer in Jan­uary through a sup­port­ing role in the TV3 se­ries

“Act­ing and are two dif­fer­ent in­ter­ests. I aim to in­spire peo­ple by prov­ing that I’m good at both — that I have the knowl­edge as well as the tal­ent,” said Hani.

(From left) Camy, Fadila, Ain, Mas, Shaza, Emyl­lia and Iylia.

The ac­tu­ar­ial science grad­u­ate had ac­tu­ally au­di­tioned for Sea­son 1 and made it to the Top 28 group. With her act­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, she was con­fi­dent enough to try out for Sea­son 2.

Hani be­lieves that is a ve­hi­cle for her to show­case her ca­pa­bil­ity, which will be help­ful to her act­ing ca­reer.

How­ever, hav­ing ap­peared on tele­vi­sion means that she’d be more prone to ne­ti­zens’ com­ments. “But I’m not too wor­ried be­cause ev­ery­one makes mis­takes. At least I can say that I’ve tried. I don’t know how far I can go,” said the rookie ac­tress, who had been in three other pro­duc­tions so far.

Like Hani, Visha is one of the youngest con­tes­tants. The 22-year-old doesn’t see that as a dis­ad­van­tage though.

“Age doesn’t de­ter­mine your ma­tu­rity nor in­tel­lect. In fact, I con­sider it a plus since I’m still fresh from school,” said the law stu­dent, who is cur­rently on her se­mes­ter break.

She added: “I think what will pro­pel you for­ward is how you han­dle the pres­sure.”

The Jo­horean, whose full name is Vishe­bannu Kr­ish­nan, was also pushed to join

by her mother.

“She had wanted me to join the first sea­son, but I’m cam­era-shy and I had too much go­ing on at the time.

“When au­di­tions for Sea­son 2 were an­nounced though, she dragged me there,” she ex­plained, laugh­ing, be­fore adding: “I can’t be­lieve I made it this far.”

Mean­while, the re­main­ing con­tes­tants are Sara Amelia Muham­mad Bernard (Sara, 24, Perak); Noor Syaki­rah Mohd Azam (Kiera, 27, Pe­nang); Nur Iylia Badarud­din (Iylia, 27, Kedah); Fadila Zukaira Mohd Nor (Fadila, 24, Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan); Mas Syah­miIz­zah Izhar (Mas, 24, Kuala Lumpur); Nu­rul Shaz­a­lina Zain­udin (Shaza, 30, Ke­lan­tan); Nu­rul Ain Aziz (Ain, 27, Pa­hang); Nur Emyl­lia Halmi (Emyl­lia, 28, Tereng­ganu); Syafiqah Ishak (Ika, 30, Sabah); Shaz­ana Ka­maruza­man (Shaz­ana, 24, Se­lan­gor); and Camel­lia Onn (Camy, 28, Sarawak).

The win­ner will take home the cham­pion ti­tle and RM100,000.

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