Grooming budding talents on local reality show Mentor

Friday April 22, 2005
Grooming budding talents on local reality show Mentor

Eight well-known singers will play tutor to participants of TV3’s latest reality TV show Mentor, writes SHEELA CHANDRAN.

Reality TV shows are a big hit these days and TV3 is cashing in on that. Tune in this Sunday to Mentor, a talent search show that aims to unearth a new generation of talented singers.

Although Mentor sounds similar to other talent search shows, TV3 manager of entertainment, sports and recreation Azhar Borhan thinks otherwise.

He said the show is unique as it will see eight finalists – seven solo performers and one group – vying for the coveted title and a chance to kick-start their careers as professional entertainers under the tutelage of eight Malaysian artistes.

“The finalists were chosen from over 2,000 hopefuls during the audition exercise held in eight major cities from February till mid-March.

“The chosen ones showed potential and their talents can be further developed. The singers who are acting as mentors will give professional guidance, counselling, vocal training and pointers in song selections,” Azhar said during the launch of Mentor at KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur recently.

The mentors are Siti Nurhaliza, Zainal Abidin, Nora, Noraniza Idris, Liza Hanim, Hattan, Ning Baizura and Cat of Ruffedge and the finalists are Dewi Liana Seriestha, Mas Nabiella Nazari, Nabil Zamanhuri, Norafizah Mohd Yasin, Noor Arlinda Lajis, Siti Surianie Julkarim, Fahmi Jaafar and FO’3 (a three-member group comprising Muhammad Zarul Ashidil, Noor Diyana Muhammad and Mohd Syazwan Roslan).

Muhd Suffian Isa produces the 13-episode series and the hosts are singer Ezlynn and XFresh FM radio deejay Johan Farid Khairuddin.

TV3 Entertainment Sports and Recreation production manager Fadzliniza Zakaria said Mentor is different from other reality TV shows as it involves the mentor’s participation. “They get to compete against each other as well. They can speak up on behalf of their protégé when the jury passes remarks about their performance. This has never been done on other reality TV shows.

“The protégés are divided into two groups. In the preliminary rounds, viewers will see four finalists from each group competing against each other. From there, two finalists from each group, with the highest accumulated points, will move on to the semi-finals. Two will then be selected to battle it out in the finals,” said Muhd Suffian.

SMS votes will account for 70% of the total score with the balance coming from the judges. The champion will walk away with a Proton Gen-2, cash RM20,000, two return air tickets to Los Angeles and a Demak motorcycle. The first runner-up will receive RM10,000 and a Demak motorcycle. The mentor of the champion will also win a Proton Gen-2 and Demak motorcycle.

Nora liked the concept of the show. “Mentor is different from other reality shows. It has a good concept because it gives new talents a chance to shine in the entertainment scene. It also enables mentors to show off their creativity.

“I have a month to train my protégé. During this time, I will try to identify my student’s strengths and guide the person in the right direction. Vocal training is important and I will try to get help from other vocalists as well,” added Nora, who is also a cookbook author.

Zainal Abidin chipped in: “I think Mentor poses healthy competition. It will see professional singers training newcomers with talent. This programme is not only about fame. It would help nurture their talent and give them a bright future. Part of the training will be on singing, speaking and how to be a professional singer. I hope to spend at least five hours daily with my protégé.”

Mentor makes its debut on TV3 this Sunday at 9pm.