Sunday, 16 May 2010

Review: Malaysia's Korean Wave Contest 2010

The 11 finalists of Malaysia’s inaugural Korean Wave Contest battled it out to an appreciative crowd at KL Live on May 15. Read on to find out what went down!

Words by Liz
Photos by 0rch1d

This year marks the 50th year of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and the Republic of South Korea. What a momentous year to hold our country’s first Korean Wave Contest (KWC), a talent competition that is inspired by the rising Hallyu (Korean Wave) in Malaysia.

Hallyu supporters: An important "star" of KWC, the crowd

After a grueling day of auditions on April 17, 11 Kpop-influenced talents were selected to compete at the KWC final yesterday.

Many of the participants upped the ante on their style and performance. While there were obvious improvements in most of the acts, there were also those that didn’t quite impress.

The judges for the day were Miss Soh, a Korean traditional dancer; Kim Keehun, Managing Director of Korea Tourism Organization; Sophia Ridza (pic below), formerly on KBS’ Chit Chat of Beautiful Ladies and Anthony Chang, winner of Astro Talent Quest 2003.

Chit chat: 'So you want me to talk about serious issues...NOW?'

Without further ado, here’s the lowdown of what happened during the KWC final.


Songbirds J.A.C. kicked off the contest at 2:05pm. The trio is made up of sisters namely Jane, Audrey and Carmen (thus J.A.C., geddit? :-)). While the crowd was appreciative when the sisters belted out their medley of Kpop tunes, the performance was OK, not quite starting the show off with a bang.

Sexy ladies: 'Yeah people, we're tellin' ya it's showtime,
right here, right now!'

Next up was Breakers, a cute duo made up of Lufti (a Sarawakian) and Jacky (a South Korean). The pair sang and danced to CL & Minzy’s Please Don’t Go, the same song they performed during the auditions.

Cutie-pies: Breakers Jacky (left) & Lufti telling the
crowd to Please Don't Go

While they were absolutely adorable, their performance was on thin ice because the pair sounded flat and were out of breath most of the time. Bummer. Shaky vocals were their weakness at the auditions and it is sad that there was no improvement in that area.

Ruffneck’z brought their mojo onto the stage and killed their performance! The quartet, which was formed in 2007, had fantastic showmanship and easily connected with the crowd. The boys definitely upped the energy at the venue and showed a whole lotta improvement. *thumbs up*

Power up!: Ruffneck'z put on an electrifying and enjoyable
performance <3

10 Minute Crew connected better with the crowd during their 2nd audition than at the final. While the 6 members looked awesome onstage with their carefully thought out purple-themed attire, their energy did not come across to the crowd well. It didn’t feel like they were into the dance routine and…wait, what did I see? Was someone counting steps?

S-t-r-e-t-c-h: Gotta get those warm-ups in before executing those
powerful moves

Performus interruptus

Solo vocalist Carolyn (a.k.a Memoirs) stepped onstage with a bad attitude. Don’t worry, it was part of her act since she belted out Bad Woman (F.T. Island) and Lies (Big Bang). The teen’s “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” performance was unfortunately marred by an interruption by the MC (Carolyn’s repertoire hadn’t ended and the MC thought it had).

Nasty: I've become a Bad Woman because you
told me nothing but Lies

The next act also suffered from performus interruptus – big time. Yes, the other MC made a big boo boo and appeared onstage a song too early…and overstayed his welcome.

Frustration?: Chrome L (Lancerie - left & Leon) throws a tantrum
because of the interruption while their sexy female dancer appeases
the crowd

Chrome L managed to maintain their cool and wowed the crowd with their sleek and smooth dance moves. The boys heated up the stage by providing “fan service” (showing some skin/abs) and bringing a sexy female dancer onto the scene.

Chrome L – made up of Leon & Lancerie – sang and danced to a mix of Taeyang’s tracks. While it was obvious that their strength was in dance, the singing showed good effort.


Epsilon wowed the judges. The word Epsilon is actually the 5th letter of the Greek alphabet, and used here to represent the quintet. Coming under SHINee World Malaysia, the girls performed to their idols’ tracks.

Ring Ding Dong: Epsilon makes their presence known

While they looked great on stage, I personally felt that the girls were just going through the motions and didn’t connect with the crowd. However, judge Anthony Chang obviously disagreed as he had nothing but rave reviews for the girls, who fared really well in the competition.

DA-Infinity sang and danced to the remix version of 2NE1’s Fire. An OK performance. The group only danced during the auditions but introduced singing into their performance for the final. There were times when the lead singer was out of breath and flat, and there were also times when she was shouting. Heh.

Singin' it: DA-Infinity's strengh is dance


They proved they owned the stage. Progression, a clear favorite in this competition, did not disappoint.

Makin' progress: 'Dang it guys, did we all forget to tie our shoelaces?'

The six members (out of 13 from the original group) delivered the goods. From costume to props and choreography to routine, the boys made everyone take note of their talent. The group that hails from Pahang showed superb showmanship and provided great entertainment.

Cherry Boom were not only cute, they were sexy and wild too. The girls got fan boys going berserk with their high-energy performance. They danced and teased the crowd with some of Lee Hyori’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang choreography, setting the stage on fire. Loved their routine!

Layers upon layers: Who needs a changing room for costume change when you can wear three layers before hitting the stage?

The final talent to take the stage was everyone’s fave solo dancer, Nikki. The androgynous professional dancer did what she does best on stage – dance. She worked up the crowd and mesmerized everyone with her smokin’ hawt moves. Her choice of song for the competition? Taeyang’s Wedding Dress.

Wedding Dress: You ain't seeing me in one onstage,
I've got at-ti-tude

Nikki put on a good show, but it lacked a strong finish. People – including the MCs – weren’t sure when her routine ended and there was an uncertain pause that lasted a heartbeat or two after the music stopped. Nonetheless, it was better to err on the safe side, especially after the double performus interruptus earlier ;-P.

All in, the KWC was a fantastic effort to encourage the rise of the Hallyu in our nation. I’m so proud and happy to see such boldness, ambition and passion in our K-popped! youths of Malaysia.

To all participants (yeah, those who auditioned too): You guys rock…you have to know that.

See you next year? :-)

KWC 2010 winners’ list here.

Progression wins Malaysia’s Korean Wave Contest 2010

Korean Wave Contest kicks off at 2pm on May 15
11 finalists for Malaysia’s inaugural Korean Wave Contest

Exclusive interviews with the Top 5 talents.


Orchid said...


Callie / 荔荔公主 said...

wawawa~Sophia was there~

fishama87 said...

Congratulations to the winner~~

Especially Progression!!~

KuSyad said...

woots! Progression! awesome dance! top 5 were awesome!

*i see me in the first picture! =]

Anonymous said...

What a great idea!! Go Maylay-KPOP!

christy said...

ruffnecks should win something.. their performance was good.. and of course Progression.. they rock the show!!

kylla-the quaint said...

i see me too in the 1st pic~ XD
but yeah!! top 5 were all those greatest performer that evening!

eLainE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eLainE said...

yeah i agree with cristy. Ruffneckz should win,i mean as in top 3.. i think they're way better. as an audience, i enjoyed ruffneckz's performance the most as they make us feel "WOW" but stil .. congratz to all winners~

yoro_ng said...

christy & elaine - thanks 4ur support anyway dats d final result no more changes can b made anyway 10s ruffneckz luv u all


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