I couldn’t eat and sleep for weeks. My heart pumped furiously throughout this period. I told my folks I might burst into tears, or I might just collapse from the overwhelming emotions — or hunger — at the end of the show.
Well, there wasn’t any drama that night. I had a plate of noodles with luncheon meat before driving home calmly.
The 18th Singapore Hit Awards is over!
To answer some queries, we held the red carpet segment indoors after careful considerations. The area in front of the huge LED screen on Level 1 was too small to hold the crowd. And it was beside a two-lane road. We didn’t require any risk assessment experts to tell us that it would be fairly dangerous. Furthermore, it would be too time consuming for everyone to travel up to Level 6 after the segment.
That’s Liyi and I on the carpet. I totally forgot to keep my phone. I was in a corner shouting out questions and instructions — Where are the hosts?! Are the artistes here yet?! Who’s late?! No one’s late?! Oh, someone’s late! Where is the next artiste?! I don’t want to hear that they are on their way. I want to know EXACTLY where! If someone published a video of me behind the scenes, no one would like me anymore. And oh, people would realise they won’t be able to beat me in a shouting match. Haha. No one believed me that we would be able to start the red carpet on time at 7:30PM because it never happened before. Well, we began at 7:29:30PM!
I made a mental note to hire a PA next year. There were so many things I had to hold -microphone, cue cards, phone, rundown, security pass, a walkie talkie with the ground team, a separate walkie talkie with the production crew, etc. I caused the sound crew a minor panic attack, because I didn’t remember who I passed my microphone to. And I totally forgot about my all access pass. Fortunately, the security guys knew who I was and let me through before I could explain myself.
I hope you enjoyed the performances. Apart from items by the various award recipients, we scheduled several special segements. Wilber Pan promised me personally that the opening act was to be of concert standards— and it certainly was. By the way, we have never used that crazy amount of lights ever. Karen Mok decided to bring along her guzheng at the very last minute— and surprised us all. Chou Hui wowed the crowd with her latest single and two classic tracks. I insisted that we had to feature local artistes prominently— MICappella, The Freshmen and Ruth spent weeks putting together the tribute segment for Pick of the Pops’ 30th anniversary.
I whispered to Zoe Tay that there were a couple of steps on stage which she had to look out for. She wanted to hold my arm, but decided that it looked too formal. We locked hands instead — leading to me gush on stage, “I’m holding Zoe’s hand! I’ve finally made it!” Hahaha!
We were very serious about putting up a perfect show. Look, even the chaperone is so handsome— although I chided him for taking photos with everyone in his suit but wore a singlet in our picture.
All the photos that you see here were initiated by others. I had my phone with me all the time, but I was too preoccupied to take a single photo. It was a good thing I was ushered around to take pictures, or I would have nothing to show on the blog, and left with zero memories of the evening. Chi Lam was undoubtedly one of the biggest stars of the night. Can I just repeat one last time that I am still amazed that we managed to confirm his attendance in just TWO days? I expected a thousand and one demands from the management, but I didn’t get any. It was so incredibly easy!
The magnificent trio from Hong Kong — Grasshopper — was presented The Honorary Award. They were in high spirits throughout the trip and even insisted I stand between them for the photo. They closed the three-hour show on a high note. The finale was exactly everything I imagined— full of colours and energy, and people would just stand up and dance, and swarm to the front. I walked out to the loading and unloading bay to take a breather fifteen minutes after the show ended. I was like, “That was GREAT! Now, what are we going to do next year?!” I feared I was going mad. We hadn’t even finish tearing down the set, and I was thinking about the next show?!
I told the public and the industry folks that we’re doing this for the local music scene. And I told my folks that this isn’t just a station event, but a corporate event. Every bit is true. But I knew at the back of my mind that people were watching my every move, and they framed this to be “a Cruz Teng event”. People were skeptical that I would be able to pull it off — because I was only a radio deejay just nine months ago. People suspected I would falter under pressure, or succumb to one wrong decision after another. Come on, wasn’t it obvious that I wasn’t doing this alone? I had tonnes of people helping me!
To FLo, thanks for the vote of confidence. To Veron, thanks for the brainstorming conducted from across the Pacific Ocean. To Rebec, it was our first time working together on a major project. Thanks for the support. To Wai See, thanks for the advice and troubleshooting. And my beloved team who slogged with me every single step of the journey, and bearing with me — simply because I was only a radio deejay just nine months ago.
I am so glad to have had Johnni as executive producer. He is way older, and much more experienced, but he never once talked down to me. He listened to everything I had to say, and advised accordingly what could, or could not be done. He didn’t believe that I would shed some kilos in time for the Awards, and he was visibly surprised when I managed to.
Thanks to the co-organisers, media partners, record labels, artiste managers, artistes, sponsors, and all those who provided backend and promotional support. And my friends and family for the moral support. (I’m available for mahjong anytime now.)
I am privileged to have worked on the 18th Singapore Hit Awards, and I am sincerely grateful for the support which came my way, and the guys who willingly helped me through everything. (It must be the dimples.)
Let me chill for a bit, before we begin on the 19th show! WOOHOO!