Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Singapore Idol 

Practically everyone in Singapore now knows that Taufik Batisah won the Singapore Idol contest last Wednesday. Today, The Straits Times carried more stories about the contest.

1.1 million votes were cast during the finals. Of these votes, Taufik got 62 percent. The other finalist, Sylvester Sim, got only 38 percent. But apart from the runner-up prize, there is another consolation for Sim: he gets to perform at Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai’s concert this Saturday.

The Straits Times also reported today that over the show’s 15-episode run, it generated calls and SMS worth $1.5 million. As the newspaper puts it: “That’s phenomenal because even brand-name charity shows on TV routinely put celebrities through risky stunts to impress home viewers, and keep donation phone lines ringing... All the Idol finalists, who started out as 11 unknowns, had to do was sing.”

Which perhaps suggests that the risks that celebrities take in charity shows may be unnecessary and that the hours spent practising the stunts may be a waste of time. Both the fields of economics and management say that doing what you do best is likely to prove the most rewarding.

Incidentally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has apparently endorsed Taufik’s win. During the People’s Action Party 50th anniversary rally on Sunday, he told the audience that “in the end, the right man won” the Singapore Idol contest.

Maybe the PAP should recruit Taufik to entice more young people to join the party.


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