ELOQUENCE and composure won the day at Han Chiang University College of Communication’s (HCUC) Host Idol Search Contest 2018 in Penang.
Tasked with doing live reporting and promotion of products in front of a large crowd at Gurney Plaza, the 15 finalists delivered captivating segments.
All high school students, they displayed the gift of the gab to stake a claim for prizes and HCUC scholarships worth more than RM150,000.
The judging panel comprised news anchors and hosts including NTV7’s Tan Ley Teng, 8TV’s Owen Yap and TV1’s Ivan Toh.
Muhammad Fayyadh Mohd Yusof of SMK Ibrahim won the Malay category after a convincing performance reporting on a landslide and promoting a bicycle.
“I like to entertain people and often join public speaking events at school,” said the 15-year-old.
Top spot in the English category went to Uteh Arianna Abdul Jalil, 16, of SMK Sultan Badlishah, also a regular participant of debates.
“The key is to be calm and confident so your audience can understand you.
“I also watch a lot of live reporting on TV to get ideas.
“I’m happy to win a scholarship as it sets me up after high school,” said Uteh, who covered a hypothetical road accident and promoted baby strollers.
SMJK Keat Hwa’s E Jia Xi won the Mandarin category as well as the Most Popular Host award.
She delivered a segment on a dragon boat festival and marketed deodorants.
“Since young, I’ve been very talkative. I enjoy spreading positive vibes through my words.
“I prepared for the finals by watching news coverage about incidents,” said the 16-year-old.
Muhammad Fayyadh, Uteh and Jia Xi each won a full scholarship, prizes worth RM2,000, a certificate and trophy for their efforts.
Nur Farzanah Jainul Abideen and Nur Fatin Ahza Bashahrudin finished second and third in the Malay category while Nisa Qistina Badrul Hisham and Barathraj Muniandy came second and third in the English category.
Playing bridesmaid in the Mandarin segment were Teoh Jing Rou and Kok Li Ying. They all won half scholarships.
The Host Idol contest, in its third year, was aimed at discovering aspiring TV hosts and newcasters.
It kicked off with auditions in March, after which 45 youths were shortlisted to attend a workshop and produce a Youtube video.
The field was then whittled down to 15 for the finals.
HCUC vice- chancellor Dr James Beh Kok Hooi said they wanted to encourage youths to speak for what matters and shed stereotypes.
“We want to encourage a generation of thinkers and dreamers.
“At HCUC, we acknowledge it is Malaysia’s youths who are responsible for the rise of alternative media and the sharing of current issues on platforms like Facebook.
“We fully appreciate the power of the media to shape society.”