Don't misunderstand me - I am not complaining, just perhaps making excuses why I'm so far behind with my blogging. When you mix a very busy day job and career with outside activities such as press appearances and media interviews, along with the wonderful time I spend coordinating the family around their various hobbies and interests and of course, my commitments to GRL (Grassroots Leader) community activities, I reckon it's very lucky that I can survive with only a handful of hours sleep every night. :)
Coming off back-to-back weekends where I spent some time with the Singapore Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong - firstly at the AMK Task Force Work Plan Seminar held at ITE College Central Campus and last Saturday on my home turf in Fernvale (story time with the kids) - I was fortunate enough to be reminded once again of why it is that I love my involvement in Grassroots.
Story time with PM Lee Hsieng and MP Dr Lam Pin Min and the boys at Fernvale:
You see, last Saturday evening I was invited to take on a new persona - the choice would be mine... the 'evil' Simon Cowell or the more pleasant Randy Jackson. I think I opted more for the latter, as I participated as a guest judge in the grand final of the 'Sengkang West Live - Be A Star' competition.
The serious (and not so serious) judging panel:
The competition, which has been months in the making, culminated with this huge event held at the Anchorvale Community Club MPH. Organized by the Sengang West YEC (youth executive committee), eleven finalists took the stage one final time in an attempt to be crowned the 'SKW Live Star'.
Prior to the event, I really didn't know what to expect - but I really must say now that the level of young talent in our local community is astounding! Every single performer put on a real show, and in a way, I wish that each of them could have been awarded first place.
Having said that, a young lady by the name of Cheryl came on stage and clearly blew everyone in the audience away (including myself) with that difficult to describe thing called the 'X-factor'. Judging was based on certain criteria - tone, pitch, overall talent, stage presence, presentation, interpretation (I'm elaborating a little on the what was on the scoresheet, but you get what I mean).
This winner had it all - in my comments and feedback, for one of those very rare moments I was lost for words. The remarks I did make began with a 'Wow'! Quite literally, the ballad component of her act left me shivering with goosebumps, followed by a desire to stand on my chair and dance as she leapt into a very upbeat performance which even included a rap... Like I said, 'Wow'!
The audience was extremely appreciative with people dancing, whistling, screaming, clapping - during the performance.
I am so glad and honoured to have been asked (along with Peter Leow and three other professional judges) to represent Sengkang West Grassroots organizations as a guest judge, and even happier to have witnessed all of this young talent.
In true Singapore style, there was a broad mix of cultures on display - along with the English perorming acts, we were treated to a very diverse range - from ballads sung in mandarin to what I could only describe as a 'Bollywood style' song in Tamil... once again, inspiring the urge to get up and dance.
I was given an appreciation award for this privelege (completely unnecessary but very grateful):
Let me tell you - Life is good here on the red dot!!
Congratulations for a job well done to the YEC organizing committee:
All the judges and performers together:
Finally, some of the young crowd 'going off':
[VIEW MORE PHOTOS OF THE 'SENGKANG WEST LIVE - BE A STAR' COMPETITION]
(All images courtesy of Raymond Lee)