Among the thousands of new students wandering from class to class at UMS today, there is one young lady attending her first courses for a Music degree.
But MBC Star Audition contestant Didi Moo harbours a whirlwind tale inside her, one which — in a matter of weeks — took her to Korea and back, twice!
Yesterday evening, she sat in Bella Italia with her sister Joan and manager Chris Pereira, unwinding after the flight from Seoul that afternoon.
“All grown-up, lah,” mused Chris.
Well, Didi Moo is still a young lass, but she’s certainly a bit more worldly than a week ago. It’s been an eventful time.
The Jade Sisters performed in Ranau for a SuriaFM Open House event on Saturday Sept 24. “We had lunch with the Ranau YB, who had heard that Didi was flying back to Korea for the second audition that night,” recalled Joan.
They returned to Tamparuli so that Didi could pack before taking the night flight to Seoul.
Datuk Masidi Manjun had arranged for Sabah Tourism personnel to help Didi get to her accomodation on her arrival.
“On Sunday morning, the Sabah Tourism people were waiting for me at the airport, they had a big tag with my name on it!” said Didi. “We took a cab to the hotel, which was about an hour’s drive from the airport.”
This time, Didi [who had made the last five in the youtube contestant category] was auditioning with contestants from the other categories – Europe, the US, and the Korean home contestants. Her roommate was from the UK, a Chinese Briton from Bristol who had previously competed in the UK’s X Factor. That evening MBC brought them all together for a dinner and they rested before a big day ahead.
Didi said, “The next day, we were taken far away to a ski resort, about a two hour drive from Seoul. We weren’t told what would happen, but we were given free sweaters, which was good because the place was very cold! There were many tv cameras there, and when we walked out in line we had to look serious – like we were all rivals who wanted to win this competition! No smiling and laughing with your friends!”
Didi got an insider’s taste of working on site with big tv crews: “The emcee would talk, and the camera people kept saying: ‘Cut! Do it again!’ They said it a lot! It took a long time to get something right.”
A Korean celebrity then gave all the contestants a vocal Master class, how to sing a song in different genres. The contestants were left in a practice area where they worked on their techniques before performing their song in different styles. Didi said, “Many people were singing very loudly! I just practised by myself, on my Korean song ‘Love Song’ by Big Bang.”
After those performances, it was time for lunch, then the make-up session and the interviews. “Somebody translated for me in English,” Didi said, “And they were asking me to dance the Sumazau again. ‘Do the THIS thing!’ they were saying.” She did the bird wing movement with her hands and laughed.
After that the auditions started. There were around 140 contestants, and they would be cut to around 30 that day.
“Around 8pm it was my turn,” said Didi. “I’m a bit tired by that time. I sang ‘Love Song’, and the judges said my Korean pronunciation was not very clear, and that was the end of my audition.
“But I was like: It’s okay. I learnt a lot from this and saw many things. I wanna do it again, this time with my SISTERS!”
Personal growth takes many forms; Didi took a shuttle bus to downtown Seoul from the resort the following morning, checked herself into a hotel and explored the city for a day, all without being able to read a word of Korean (but with a bit of guidance from sister Joan and GOOGLEMAPS! Bless the internet!
Sabah Tourism picked her up and took her to the airport the following morning, and she arrived at KK Terminal One to her waiting family, a wiser young woman than before.
Didi Moo, her parents, sisters and manager Chris Pereira will be holding a press conference soon. SabahSongs will update this post after the press conference.