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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

SpeCtuLaRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR SyDnEyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Well well here’s my second post (I’ll stop counting once I write more often!)
Harbour bridge at an awesome angle!
Anyways…never ever in a million years I thought I could win a contest as awesome as this! I entered this contest without any expectation but end having one heck of great time!

This is my adventure to “Koalaland” courtesy of MTV Asia!

The first thing I took note of the competition was the trip to Sydney, Australia! Wooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!! Then I saw… it is to watch Kelly Clarkson…hmmm…ok….that would be nice I thought….coz to be honest…I’ve heard about her…she won the first American Idol….ok so….I didn’t get to watch the first season but I still was aware about her….then the grand prize was to be her Personal Assistant for a day…hmmm…ok not bad either….now the catch…. 

Tell us the reason why you should you be Kelly Clarkson’s Personal Assistant…ARGHHHH!!!! I hate this part of the contest….coming up with slogan and such but somehow I manage pour in a few reasons and totally forgot abt the contest…untill ‘Since You Been Gone’….tone….that was my mobile’s ringing tone and also my caller ringtone……whomever was on the other line calling to inform me that I have won felt like they made the right decision! I was napping at the time….if am not mistaken it was on second day of Hari Raya…so Malaysia cuti but Singapore working (MTV Asia is based in Singapore)

I picked up….and the caller on the other line said…

“Hi, Kanmani, am Puteri (yup I still remember her name~the "Princess" who gave me a great news!) calling from MTV and CONGRATULATIONS you are our Malaysian winner for the Kelly Clarkson contest!”

I still sleepy headly answered “Huh...Yes, What?” so blur.

Puteri : Kanmani….you are going to Sydney to meet Kelly Clarkson!

Me : WAT!!!!!.....Oh My God (yeah back then we say Oh My God not OMG!) REALLY?...##$)*#)!*!!!!...some explicits…hihihi)

I don’t quite remember much of the conversation after that except she telling me she will get in touch with me again to give more info later.

I was like….did that just happen? Or was I day dreaming?....well day dream it maybe have been but the reality hit me hard!...I get to go to Australia with all expense paid! Woooooooooooohoooooooooooo!!!!!

Few days after the call I started my ‘research’ on Kelly Clarkson….buying her album…her had js released her second album ‘Breakaway’….I cut out magazines with her picture….start listening to more of her songs but my favourite till now it “Since You Been Gone”!
Guess who!!! 
So finaly the day arrived….wait….wait for it….we skip a few chaps….after the trip MTV asked me to write about my winning and here’s what I babbled about (few details has been edited or added)

My winner’s account on close encounter with a true Idol Down Under!

It was unbelievable when I received an out of the blue call from MTV, informing that I won an all expense trip to Australia to catch Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Breakaway Tour’ together with four other winners from Singapore (Zin), Thailand (Yok) and Indonesia (Laurinda), respectively.

I took an eight hour flight to ‘Kangarooland’ and waiting for me at the airport was a Benz with a lady driver! WOOT! WOOT! I got in and was driven away to Holiday Inn, Darling Harbour, my home for the next two nights, which was just a stone throw away from Sydney Entertainment Centre where Kelly was scheduled to perform the next night.
First thing I look for was this sign!
Mani has landed in Australia mate!

Comfy hotel
The next morning, after meeting each other at the hotel lobby around 9.30 am, we ventured outside to explore Sydney as much as we could. Laurinda was residing there (how convenient!) so she took us from our hotel to all the way to the Opera House (a distance of over 10 kilometres I think!) BY FOOT!)

.....this view.....
The sight of Opera House, Harbour Bridge! OMG!!!!!! I can’t believe it till now! It was AMAZING!
One of my most precious picture! 
The ‘getting lost and finding our way back tour’ (Laurinda did an awesome job taking us around but we did get lost a bit here and there!) lasted till almost 2 pm and we got back to the hotel with 6 hours to spare before the concert but I was pumped to start my Personal Assitant job!

No time for lunch so after a quick pit stop in my room to freshen up I got back down to the lobby at 2.30 pm and met with Sony-BMG Australian Rep-Corrine. While waiting I was handed my pocket money (100 quid!) and Corrine received a call and it didn’t sound as I was told that Kelly was feeling under the weather and had to call off her previously planned program. I was like “OH MAN!” but then what can I do?
Didn't have time to go in so
just take picture from outside...
perhaps next time!
By the boat...
Inside the train

I went back to my room, had my lunch and later went out for some souvenir shopping with Zin nearby the hotel. Got back to our room around 5 pm and got ready for the big show! 6.30 pm we came down but was told to hang out till 8 plus so we grabbed some light dinner and I was told I’ll get to meet her backstage before she goes on stage for make up for the plan cancelled earlier. YAHOOOOOOOOOO!

The winner's far left, Yok, Zin (at the back) monkey Mani and Laurinda
just outside the venue, Sydney Entertainment Centre before start of the concert
I got my VIP pass to the envy of the rest of the gang. We, (Joe-MTV producer, Corrine and I) continued our journey backstage and hung out again. Honestly I was feeling a bit restless coz it was taking a bit longer than I thought to meet her as opening act, local band Rogue Traders wrapped up their performance.

I brought along some stuffs (poster, cut outs) and I also bought a t-shirt at the venue to get Kelly to sign on it. Her bodyguard took it from me and said he’ll get her to sign it. They were surprised coz I had quite a lot things with me! hihihi ;p
Finally the wait was over…walked in and there she was…DANG! So pretty in real person and sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo friendly…I was floating…she gave me a hug to calm my nerve and then we shared a short conversation….she talked so fast while I was speaking gibberish! I even managed accidentally to curse when a camera battery died suddenly! She was so cool about it!

Before the show!
I was the only outsider allowed to met her!
She invited me to meet her band and I shook hands with ‘em and stood next to her in a circle while she did her group prayer before starting her biggest concert in Australia.

On my mind at that moment was…."nine thousand (9,000) screaming screaming fans was waiting for her outside and thanks to MTV I was the only lucky monkey who was with her at the moment! WOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

I wished her good luck and was ushered inside to experience an awesome show. She was great. More than great! She was….I don’t have word to describe her performance as I was over the moon coz I was gonna see her again after the show!

I enjoyed every minute of her concert. She did almost all the songs from both the debut and very successful sophomore album flawlessly. I lost myself during ‘Since You Been Gone’ singing my heart out. It was like a huge karaoke session as everybody was singing along to her.

Her power packed performance lasted for about two hours and I was all smiling again as I can’t wait to congratulate her on the great show. After the rest of the MTV winners gathered, we waited patiently till the local winners had their chance to meet and greet her. We were the last bunch so I think we spent the most time.

After the consert!
She got really friendly with me!
Look at my star struck face! hihihi ;p
I went first and she greeted me with open arms, we hugged and had another small chat. Took a picture or two and the rest of the gang had their turn. We had a ball meeting her as she was really friendly. I got to hug her one last time and we bid goodbye. I was in cloud nine and thanking everyone I encountered at that moment.

It was splendid and we did a small shoot for MTV’s People Really Win segment outside the venue and parted our ways. I was still star struck and not sure what time exactly I fell asleep after looking over and over again at the pictures that I took and the stuff that she signed for me.

My precioussssss!!! Am never gonna wash this t shirt yo!!! 
The next day, Zin, Yok & I hooked up and went for another lost and found adventure again as Laurinda had to start her Monday morning work again. We were reminiscing each other’s experience of meeting a truly warm and humble artist. We went around town and got back to the hotel around 3 pm as Yok and Zin’s flight out was at 5 pm while mine was at 10 pm. We bid each other goodbye with a promise of staying in touch from that moment on (We still do keep in touch!)

Below are sum pictures of the interesting things I came across my journey!

Saw this bird a lot
macam burung gagak in Malaysia!

This cute little bugger's name : Gizmo!
Cute eh? hihihi

Yup! that's the Australian PM poster!
Can u imagine sumting like this in KL?

Dush for Bush! 
Had a fun time exploring Sydney by myself during this ride!
I was left by myself so I went on the the famous hop on hop off bus tour around Sydney, passing by Opera House again and few other famous buildings and returned to the hotel at nearly 6pm. Another well mannered driver was waiting for me in a white Benz…..aaaa….the life of a winner!
,  the Darling Harbour monorail station 
Mani was here!
While waiting for my flight back home….I was all smiles….WHAT A PRIZE! WHAT AN ADVENTURE! THANKS GOD! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I WILL NEVER FORGET THIS!

Lil video presentation prepared by MTV that came out in MTV Asia Channel!

Mani mumbling on MTV! 

Well….if you think this is great wait till my next GREAT WIN! A TRIP TO LOS ANGELES TO WATCH THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS!!!

Stay tuned!!!  

Wished I could stay here forever till I went to Hollywood! ;p

P/s - A lil bit more of the pictures from the land down under