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Saturday September 22, 2012
PETALING JAYA: Three songs in three languages belted out with virtuosity, confidence and style won local songstress Nur Shahila Amir Amzah the top prize in Asia's first reality singing contest held in Shanghai.
Also known as Shila Amzah, the 22-year-old emerged as Asian Wave 2012 champion when she garnered enough votes online to beat contestants from China, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and India.
Asian Wave 2012 has been dubbed the first reality singing show aimed at choosing Asia's next superstar, similar to American Idol and news reports have described it as the Chinese version of South Korea's popular survival singing programmes MBC's I Am A Singer and Mnet's The Voice.
Shila's win was confirmed by her younger brother, Syahir Amzah, on his Twitter account which she later retweeted.
Showing her Malaysian pride to the predominantly Chinese audience, she sang a cover version of Jaclyn Victor's Gemilang, followed by her rendition of Bruno Mar's Grenade. But it was her third song, Zheng Fu, a Mandarin number by Chinese star Na Ying, that clinched her the title.
Her performance left the host speechless when he said, “Wow. Oh my God.”
One of the judges, famed Chinese composer Gao Xiaosong, praised her performance, saying: “You gave me goosebumps. You broke my heart.”
Shila could not control her emotions when the studio audience leapt to their feet in applause for her.
She cried tears of joy when famed Cantopop legend Alan Tam handed her the trophy.
The panel of judges, comprising some of the region's top artistes, including Japan's bossa nova queen Lisa Ono, K-pop star Lee Min-woo, Malaysian singer-composer Eric Moo and Hong Kong celebrity Hacken Lee, also sprang from their seats to give her a standing ovation as Shila choked back her tears.
Her father, 1980s pop singer Amir Hamzah Salleh better known as ND Lala beamed with pride when he was shown waving at her in the studio.
“I'm proud to be born in Malaysia. I thank God. I would like to also thank Asian Wave for letting me be a part of this competition.
“To all my fans, thank you for making me feel so blessed.
“I will be here more often and I want to learn more Mandarin because it is a beautiful language,” she said after winning.
Runner-up in the second season of local singing competition One in a Million, Shila was consistent in every round of the Asian Wave competition and had endeared herself to the audience when she sang numbers like Adele's Set Fire to the Rain and a Mandarin song, Forever Love, by Wang Lee Hom.
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