It’s just a show, after all…
Gegar Vaganza

Some questioned the integrity of the jury while many thought that the show had been rigged from the start by the TV station

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IN ONE of the most dramatic displays of “fairness”, two finalists in a highly-rated singing competition on a popular channel were announced the joint champions.

Yup, you heard it right. There were two champs and no one got second place.

Apparently, both scored 87% and the esteemed jury (one was flown in from Indonesia) did not seem to know what to do but to award both singers the grand prize, which included RM100,000 cash each as well as other goodies.

While the more unconventional audience who do not take it seriously would just give the television (TV) the thumbs up for the rather “kind” results, those who took the competition seriously could not help but share their disappointment on various social media platforms.

Some questioned the integrity of the jury while many thought that the show had been rigged from the start by the TV station.

Industry enthusiasts were also of the opinion that there should have been a tie-breaker that could determine the rightful winner.

The annual talent show — which is also seen as a platform for talents from the past to make a comeback — earlier became the talk of the town due to certain peculiarities.

The first surprise was when the show was extended to 11 weeks instead of the original timeline of eight weeks. The last three weeks before the show ended, eyebrows were raised as there was no elimination right until the semi-final, which seemed to have defeated the purpose of having a competition in the first place.

Still, one has to be reminded that the show is not as serious as the SEA Games, or any sporting events that would need definite results.

For instance, rhythmic gymnast Izzah Amzan was all smiles when she posed with her two gold medals that she won in the ball and ribbon categories at the recent SEA Games in the Philippines.

A day later, the 19-year-old Izzah was left with only one gold medal, after she was stripped of the shared medal she won in the ribbon with teammate Koi Sie Yan.

A statement was released saying that Izzah had been awarded silver instead of gold by the technical delegate.

The other example is the disputed silver that was won by Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian for the 110m hurdles event.

The final result involved a photo finish, some protest and drama, as both Rayzam and Clayton Kingsley Bautista of the Philippines crossed the line in 13.97s.

However, after a replay, it could be seen that Bautista was the first to throw his head past the finish line.

The 31-year-old Rayzam, who was on the hunt for his third gold medal in the event, protested the result (he felt his chest had crossed the finish line first), but his protests were overruled.

Now, such calamities or disputes, no matter how minute, could sour relationships between countries.

As for the singing competition, one would have to be reminded that such programmes are not meant to be taken seriously.

Those in the know will tell you that in any TV show, the most important part is its entertainment value and the rating.

So, guess what? The real winner is the TV station. In fact, it’s a win-win situation for all the parties involved.

The station got the rating, the advertisers and sponsors got their airtime and desired eyeball, while the contestants’ careers got rebooted.

Integrity? Who cares? It was quite fun to watch, and it did get people talking. On to the next show, please!

Zainal Alam Kadir is the executive editor of The Malaysian Reserve.