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Monday with the Editor: Singapore Idol - who will win?


Hallo everyone

The Singapore Idol TV programme draws to a climax this Wednesday. Just who will win - Taufik or Sylvester?
Just about everyone has done a take on this. In this column, I am about to tell you my prediction for the finals.
But, first, let me make a few comments. I have not been following the programme from the start, I must admit. So, I have a vague idea of the talents of the contestants. From what I have read in the newspapers and magazines here, I gather that the ideal Singapore Idol should be voted in on the basis of talent and packaging.
I have heard Taufik and Sylvester singing. I must say, Taufik does have much better vocals. But, I think that he suffers from an image projection problem - he looks too much of a goody-two-shoes to me. On the other hand, Sylvester fits into an anti-establishment model - something that young people readily identify with.
So, if I were to put Taufik, Sylvester, and popular boyband groups 5566, Energy, and Tension together in a line up, I would say Taufik sticks out like a sore thumb. What attracts young people to 5566, Energy and Tension will pull these people towards Sylvester naturally.
I do not particularly like Sylvester, not least because every now and then, while at my pc typing away my articles, I get to hear Glen Ong on the Morning Express complaining about Sylvester - you see, I habitually listen to the Morning Express every weekday morning so I can't help listening to Glen's grouses.
I have heard Glen telling everyone over radio that he heard it firsthand that Sylvester and another finalist were an item. I have read Sylvester's remarks in the local newspaper denying they were an item.  Following this, I have heard Glen voicing his dissatisfaction over radio about Sylvester - you see, Sylvester's remarks made Glen see red.
This episode has sort of affected my opinion of Sylvester, though I have never met the chap myself. And reading local newspapers' reports on Sylvester's family problems hardens my stand.
But, I am not young. I am also not voting in this contest. I know thousands of young people will vote furiously in this contest to select the Singapore Idol. And I think that controversy, which by right should work against an individual, does not work against a rising star. This invariably means the controversies looming over Sylvester, together with the attendant publicity, will lend a helping hand to making him the first Singapore Idol.
Yes, Sylvester will win, not only because of these controversies, but also because of his expanding fan base. I have personally seen a demonstration of his appeal. I was on the MRT two weeks ago, and witnessed some secondary students ogling over some pictures of Sylvester which one of them must have snapped while in the TV studio. I think there were six girls altogether, taking turns to sketch Sylvester's name on some drawing paper. 
I have heard many times that Singapore artistes must make it big overseas before they are accepted by Singaporeans. But, the Singapore Idol programme is changing this perception already. This is good news for us all.
With his appeal to students, as well as the Ah Bengs and Ah Lians, there is no way for Sylvester not to win on Wednesday, I daresay.
When the dust has settled on Wednesday night, idol-crazy Singaporeans will have to wake up to a new problem - how to get an international audience to appreciate their choice of Singapore Idol in the World Idol contest.
But, what if there's a tie? It is possible, you know. Glen Ong has an answer to this. Over radio this morning, I heard him telling everyone that, if the programme's producers allow, the two finalists should compete over who says "She sells seashells on the seashore" better.
Have a good week!


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29 November 2004