Girl power at The Final 1

The Final 1 winner Farisha Ishak speaks to Today, Aug 21, 2013
The Final 1 winner Farisha Ishak spoke to Today directly after the end of the results show, where she thanked her supporters who helped her on social media -...
Farisha Ishak breaks into boys club as The Final 1 winner
Published: 7:35 AM, August 22, 2013
Updated: 4:00 AM, August 23, 2013

SINGAPORE — Ever since the first Singapore Idol season in 2004, practically all of Channel 5’s reality singing competition shows’ winners have been boys (the exception being Jill-Marie Thomas for One Moment Of Glory). You’ve now got another lady bucking the trend.

Farisha Ishak, 19, emerged the winner of The Final 1 at the end of the “live” show held on Wednesday at The Star Theatre, earning herself more votes from the public than 28-year-old marketing executive Shaun Jansen.

“Yeah, girls can sing, man!” laughed an excited Farisha right after she had won herself a S$50,000 cash prize and a recording contract with Hype Records worth S$50,000. “I think today I really just let go, and I would say that I performed my very best today. I think what played a part in that was the energy from the audience. When everyone stood up and danced, I was like, ‘Yeah! Let’s go!’”

Judge Ken Lim was of the opinion that a female winner was “a good thing — we need, at least, to try and work in a female icon, right?” But gender wasn’t the defining factor in the results — it was still down to the singing. And Lim said he had predicted Farisha’s win right from the start.

“It’s pretty obvious,” he said, but “given the fact that I am a judge, I’ve got to make sure I keep such opinions to myself, right?” He chuckled. “The audience will still look upon vocal quality as a priority, eventually. They may be distracted along the way, but somehow, towards the end, their decision will still be based on vocals. And with all due respect to Shaun — he is a fantastic package, something I would even say that Farisha lacks — but in terms of vocals, I think it’s pretty obvious that Farisha has an edge over Shaun.”

Jansen, whose fans were po-faced at the result, shared: “I did feel a bit disappointed because I was gunning for the top spot, but thinking back, after my feelings came in, I’m very happy to be where I am already and because of that I took this whole show tonight as something that I had to go out and enjoy.”

Does Jansen have a chance of making it as well, Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert style? “I’m sure he can do well,” said Lim, who is also the head honcho of Hype Records. “It’s just a question of his timing, his connection and how he’s managed.” Does that mean Lim is considering working with Jansen, too? “If he sees an agreement to my objectives and at the end of the day he’s comfortable, I don’t see why it cannot be a possibility,” he said.

But for now, Farisha is the new artiste to watch. “We need to understand her; we need to see what works for her best, commercially, and what is her space in the market,” Lim said.

“I’m pretty excited to see what’s in store for me,” Farisha beamed.