Asia’s Got Talent is taking over the world and the four judges for the reality talent competition include Grammy winner David Foster, former Spice Girl Melanie C, Indonesian rock icon Anggun and Taiwanese-American pop idol, Van Ness Wu. The four of them are on the search for jaw-dropping, mind-blowing acts in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia to come together to see who would be a gem in the entertainment industry. The auditions premiered on 12 March 2015 and to spice things up even more, Philippines-based TV personalities Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez reunited as hosts for the exciting show.
While we are all excited to see who would reign at the top, we spoke to one of the judges from Asia’s Got Talent to learn more about the show. An inspiration to many and an Indonesian rock star with indisputable talent, find out more about Anggun and Asia’s Got Talent below:
Q: What do you think about the talent pool for Asia’s Got Talent this year?
A: The other three judges and I were extremely surprised to see the array of talents. As an Asian, I don’t get to see a lot of these different talents on one stage. We got to have singers, dancers, comedians and other sorts of entertainment. It’s really captivating and makes you want more.
Q: All the judges have different personalities and you come from various places with different experiences. How is it like working with them?
A: Even though we are different, we share the same musical background. Van Ness (Wu) is broader because he does music, acting and dancing. He taught me a lot on how to judge a good dancer. We actually learned a lot from David (Foster) from the way he says things and from the way he directs someone on stage because he is a producer. There is something super human about Melanie (C) and the way she talks to people. She is extremely funny and lovely. I learnt a lot from them and I cannot imagine doing Asia’s Got Talent with other juries.
Q: How do you help the contestants be more confident on stage?
A: Sometimes we need to remind them that they are there because they have some kind of talent and they just need to show it to us. It may be easy for us but it might not be for them. Maybe it’s their first time going on stage and being judged by other people. Sometimes, I would ask them to breathe.
Q: Will there be any drama or conflict between the judges?
A: Well, nothing is scripted and we were not told by the producers what to do. It is all natural and sometimes, we do argue. It’s nothing serious but we have our own preferences. Sometimes I would be the only one who doesn’t like an act and the rest of the judges would love it. Sometimes it’s David and we all make fun of him being of his age. It’s really fun. There is chemistry and it isn’t something that can be made up. I can’t wait for the show because I haven’t seen the final edits yet!
Q: Personally, what are you looking for on Asia’s Got Talent?
A: I’m looking for someone who is going to blow me away, not necessarily in the music domain. I want to be able to be proud of the artistes and recommend them to my friends and family because they are worth watching. The variety of talents is so wide and it makes me a very proud Asian.
Q: What do you think of the contestants’ chances to make it big?
A: Shows like Asia’s Got Talent is really important because these people can use it as a platform to showcase their talents. It is up to them to convince the crowd and the judges. From there, immediate feedback is available. Entertainment is hard. You only have two minutes to convince someone and that’s it. If we have said no to you, come back again next year. Use that refusal as a big motivation to work on your craft. Make it better and wow us with it.
Q: Have you seen any weird acts at the auditions this year?
A: There are many acts I hated, especially when weapons were used. Some acts turned out to be so funny but it was unintentional. Then, you feel sorry for them because it was supposed to be serious and everyone was laughing. There was something that was hilarious! I can’t really say anything but it involves a banana. There were a lot of priceless moments during the auditions and I really hope they would air it.
Q: What do you like about reality programs?
A: It’s a breath of fresh air. I used to be afraid of judging people. After doing X Factor and Indonesia’s Got Talent, it has changed my way of seeing it. I’ve got experience but I am also a public. Sometimes, being a public doesn’t give you the legibility to say something on television. However, you can share your experience when you’re a professional. It’s not about judging, it’s about sharing what you know. With my experiences, I can give tips to those that need them.
Whenever I meet other singers or producers who compliment me, it makes me feel good. Whenever you have something good to say and it’s the truth, you have to say it. They need it. But, when they get carried away and they aren’t good enough, you still have to tell them for their sake. Nowadays, people want to be famous for all the wrong reasons. They see people who have no talent but are super rich and are living the life millions of other people want to have. This is wrong. You have to work hard. Your talent is priceless and you have to work on it. You need examples of people who are actually in the business. I see it like that now, not merely by judging or by being a know-it-all.
Asia’s Got Talent premièred on 12 March 2015 and airs every Thursdays at 8.30pm on AXN (Astro Ch701) and AXN HD (Astro B.yond Ch721). For more information on the judges and the show, visit the official Asia’s Got Talent website.