By REGINA LEE
Photos by MELISSA ONG and FOO KHAI YEE
Not many of us would say standing in front of a wild crowd of 500 people is an easy task. The 50 finalists in the Sri KDU My Challenge 2013 talent competition, however, seemed to enjoy their time on stage last weekend.
“I joined the competition not for the medals, but because I love singing and performing,” said Nik Alyssa Johaan, 16, who went home with two special awards – Best Showmanship of the Year and Best Performer of the Year.
The annual inter-school talent competition sees students competing in various arts disciplines, including band, solo singing and modern dancing.
Alyssa also led her band from SM Sri KDU, Selangor to winning the gold medal for the Band category with their energetic performance of Bruno Mars’ Runaway Baby.
As for Ng Jun Shawn, gold medallist in the Solo Singing category and winner of the Best Vocalist of the Year, being 13 was no reason for him to shy away from his passion for singing. In fact, he wanted to prove age is just a number when it comes to singing.
“People tend to judge me and say ‘He’s 13, so tak boleh lah’, but I know what I’m capable of when it comes to singing. And I love the satisfaction of proving them wrong,” said Ng, who performed a Bruno Mars song, It Will Rain.
While most of the performers at the event were outspoken and chirpy, Amrita Soon, 17, from Frontier Learning Centre, who performed her original song Red, was one of the few who seemed quiet and shy. Soon, who first started song-writing at the age of 12, admitted, “It’s like an outlet for me because I don’t really say much – songwriting says everything better than I can.”
She feared that her choice of music genre would give her a lesser chance of winning a medal in the competition. But the judges, mesmerised by her performance, crowned her as the bronze medallist in the Solo Singing category.
Yap Lee Shane, 16, and his dance crew from Sirius Scholar were the biggest winners of the day, taking home the gold medal in the Modern Dancing category and two special awards – Best Team Spirit of the Year and Best Creativity of the Year.
“I thought that there was a system error when I saw our names all over the place,” said Yap, when he found out he was nominated for four special awards. He was also named Best Dancer of the Year.
The man behind My Challenge, Zachary Wong, said it’s the passion of the young talents for the stage that he loves seeing most.
“I want to do it for this generation. I wish my teachers would have held this kind of events for us when I was in school,” said Wong, who added that he hopes to see more talents being given the chance to shine when My Challenge returns in 2014.