The auditions for season 3 were held on August 29 at the Yamaha center here and yours truly was again one of the judges. There were more entries this year so I was looking forward to it and hoping to see some new talents. However, to put it mildly, I was disappointed with what I heard and saw. I suppose I’m going to receive some flak for this but I’m going to be honest and try to offer some constructive criticism here.
Firstly, a lot of the contestants from the junior and senior sections suffered from nerves. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again—nothing destroys your playing faster than nerves. It’s easy for me to tell the contestants to relax and enjoy themselves; after all I’m not in the hot seat. But if you let your nerves overwhelm you, you’re in big trouble. Everybody experiences some nerves before a competition such as this, but you have to learn to keep it under control. I heard a lot of train wrecks where the tempi got faster and faster as their nervousness edged up; what a pity.
Secondly, some contestants decided to get creative and added in their vocal abilities for this competition. Bad move. As far as I’m concerned, this is Piano Idol. Moreover they didn’t think about the balance between their vocals and the piano (they sang without amplification so I could barely hear the vocals with the piano being played so loudly) You can’t just throw things into the pot like this and hope and pray it’ll work, it won’t! A good chef doesn’t do this, so why should you? And if you really want to sing, you should enter in the Ensemble category, where singing is permitted.
Thirdly, most of the contestants didn’t have a winning attitude. People, this is already season 3 and you don’t enter this competition just for the sake of entering. You need to motivate yourself to do the best you can, and you need to have that winning streak inside of you. Your teachers too, should help with this.
After saying all this, I was impressed with the performances in the Ensemble section. The contestants here were more at ease and I pretty much enjoyed judging them.
I dunno, perhaps it was my presence that made all the contestants go haywire. Well I have some good news for you—I won’t be judging the Finals on October 10, so there. If you’re one of the lucky ones who qualified for the Finals, you have one less thing to worry about!