Monday, 24 March 2008
Aiyaa So Lukewarm One!
Well last Saturday night was the first Akademi Fantasia concert not helmed by Aznil Nawawi after five seasons at the forefront. I must say that although the new compere AC Mizal said that the students of season six were running on diesel engines and were slow to warm-up, the fact is that his style of compering contributed greatly to the lukewarm start of the new AF season. The way AC handled the show was no different than that of hosts of other music talent reality shows where there exists a wall between the host(s) and participants, where usually the host merely plays the role of introducing the participants to the audience and even if they interact it is only at a superficial level.
This is where the magic of Aznil lies, as we audience feels the care he genuinely feels for the students, where he is not only treated as a big brother but respected as such. You can feel his personal touch when he veers off script, as he can personally pick on the foibles or things that has happened to a student, especially in manipulating the feelings of not only the audience but the students themselves. Thus he is able to motivate a student that may be feeling down or nervous, especially in the first concert of each season where naturally everyone have butterflies in ther stomach. Compare this to the comments made of this season's students, where virtually everyone received comments that nervousness affected their performance. Thus in this aspect at the very least, AC has failed in emulating the previous host.
I believe the difference brought by Aznil is because he was really passionate about AF, as testified by his professionalism in putting his other compering jobs on hold when the AF season comes on. Thus he could concentrate fully on the show, even helming the daily diary programme which gives him the inside look on the going-ons inside the academy. This would definitely give him the advantage in helming the show with care and concern as nuggets that audience may not have been exposed to before the concert can be used to surprise the audience, as the shock value is not only limited to the number of students that actually leaves the academy at the end of each concert but to actual experiences of the students, thus the audience has the chance to share and feel a stake in the students life.
Thus my wife and I believe that Astro made a mistake in splitting the hosting duties between AC and Sarimah. They should have been so bold and selected Sarimah to wholly helm the show on her own as she would have had the same advantage of the inside look into the daily going-ons inside the academy from her diary program to make her hosting of the concert more real. AC may react by saying he too can do the same, but without giving up his other shows during the season I doubt that he has the time and the wherewithal to gain the insights that would make the show more passionate. And the first thing he should realise if he intends to do a better job as a AF concert host is to understand and emulate Aznil's mantra, the show is all about the academy, i.e., the students and not the host, as he came across as trying too hard to project himself more than the students during the show, especially when he failed to prepare the students to face the critiques in their inaugural concert. So let's see if the diesel engine malady is truly the students' affliction, or is it the host that needs the overhaul over the coming weeks concerts.