Television and streaming services consumption spiked to the highest numbers, due to pandemic restrictions, as home-bound Bruneians sat glued to their sets and mobile screens, engrossed in the news and local entertainment.
This was evident with the successful first season of the Bruneian sitcom Babu-Nya produced by local production house OOPs! that grabbed the attention of a larger, more diverse audience, along with the reality show Bintang Search which was an instant success, garnering over 500,000 views on YouTube since its premiere in June.
Bintang Search is a singing-based reality show that attracted over 300 individuals to showcase their talents during a month-long audition held in June. It featured three celebrity judges – singer-songwriter Fakhrul Razi, entertainment producer Nana Farhana and new singer Rizal Rasid.
From the auditions, a line-up of unique and talented singers was selected to create the programme’s Top 20 Bintang contestants.
Rizal Rasid and Nana Farhana expressed their admiration for the hidden talents in Brunei, “We spotted many talented individuals from the auditions. The Top 20 are our winners, and now it’s all up to how they utilise this platform to grow within the industry.”
The Top 20 contestants will compete against each other to advance to the Bintang Search Final, to be held in late August. Voting is facilitated through the OOPs! website, which is expected to see over 100,000 visitors take part in the Bintang Search voting process.
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Fakhrul Razi commented that reality-TV programmes like Bintang Search can be beneficial to the local music industry whereby it has given the contestants “a platform to showcase their talents to a wider audience”.
Director and programme producer Siti Kamaluddin attributed the show’s success to local youth working tirelessly behind the scenes, most are still learning the basics of
“The Bintang Search has provided a platform for young directors (and production team) to learn on the job as part of their training and gain exposure,” she added.
Siti also thanked sponsors imagine Sdn Bhd, Brunei Press Sdn Bhd, Ximivogue and Liho Tea, for putting their faith in the programme from the very start.
This week, the Top 8 – Mimi Wahab, Najrul Maznibi, Maya Walker, Amalissa, Afifah Sarah, Izzul Masuni, Qistina and Khairul Nadzri – will battle it out for a spot in the programme’s Top 4.
As an added challenge, the contestants are expected to perform two songs back-to-back, in testing their ability to segue and shift the emotional tone of an audience.
Contestant Mimi Wahab said, “Bintang Search has given the contestants a stage to perform and entertain. This is something I am grateful for – a platform to express myself each week.”
Fellow contestant Shakina commented, “Bintang Search is challenging in a way, where we have to memorise a different song every week. But this programme has definitely forced me to grow as a performer and I feel like I’ve learnt so much over a short period of time.”
Bintang Search is aired at 9pm on Saturdays and Sundays; and Road to Bintang at 9pm