November 20, 2004

Before I go on about my rant, I'm happy to say that I've completed the 40 days of purpose campaign and that I've surprised myself. I've surprised myself with the discipline I've managed to muster in order to read one chapter a day for a period of 40 days, something I never thought I'd have the discipline to do. I've also surprised myself with the amount of spiritual growth garnered from this experience. It's truly been a rewarding and enriching experience and I'd highly recommend this book to all you budding Christians out there.

It's amazing what you find when you least expect it. I scanned my eyes across Life! section, hoping to find some entertainment for the night as I was feeling really bored and yes, I have no life on a Friday night. I came across this listing "Singapore Idol" and I thought to myself, what the hey? I'll try it out. I was tremendously surprised. Not only did the idol contestants perform their hearts out, they also had a certain stage charisma. I think the problem with us Singaporeans is that we judge TV programs and entertainment products solely on their country of origin and not on the intrinsic value. That's why so many of our own artistes find it hard to cut it back home and move overseas where they become huge stars. But anyway, I digress. As I was watching the final three contestants joust it out for a place in the final at the Indoor Stadium, I came to a realisation that the three of these contestants, were in fact, stereotype representations of different kinds of Singaporeans.

Firstly, Olinda. Olinda is your typical short-haired, fat and ugly butch. Granted, she may not have admitted to being a butch, but let's face it. That hair, those clothes and that style, who could mistake it? She embodies the hopes and dreams of lesbian women in Singapore who have been hurt by men before and want to get back at them by winning this competition in order to prove that "girl power" does indeed exist. Olinda has no looks whatsoever and would prove a challenge to marketing agencies if she does indeed win the competition. But to her credit, she has an extremely powerful voice and if this world were fair, she'd win this competition. Unfortunately, it's not and we all know it.

Then there's Taufik. Taufik embodies the hopes and dreams of Malays in Singapore who are striving to create an identity for themselves and to prove the racial stereotype of Malays as lazy and stupid as false. All the downtrodden, beat up minorities will surely root for him as they see Taufik as a projection of what they cannot be. Between Taufik and Sylvester, I'd say it's a tough fight, but I think Sylvester will edge it not through merit but by through sheer fact that he is Chinese.

Sylvester. The embodiment of the Chinese 'ah beng' and hero to the thousands of Chinese-speaking teenagers in Singapore. He carries the hopes and dreams of all the 'ah bengs' in Singapore who always wanted to take part in a singing competition but found out that Singapore Idol was English-only. His dyed, frizzy hair and long thin legs give him a look which isn't uncommon to what I see on Orchard Road every week. He definitely can't sing either, from what I've seen so far and the only thing that's carrying him through this competition is the immense support he's garnered from the naive and stupid teenage girls chanting and hanging onto every word he utters.

My verdict? Sylvester to take it, with Taufik coming in a close second. Sorry lesbian women, there is no chance in hell you guys are going to make a statement this time round.

And really, we should start giving local productions a chance. SOME of them are really credible.


Traveller fell apart at 10:38 AM


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