Thirty-four young musicians and singers attended two days of auditions since Friday, with 27 making it to the final elimination round Saturday.
Three vocalists, two drummers, one bassist and one guitarist made the cut.
M1 is a reality television programme that involves picking the best six musicians and making them into a solid band, which will be offered a three-year recording deal with peninsula-based O2tw Records Sdn Bhd, the producers of the show.
The programme aims to form a band that is versatile, flexible and reflects what Malaysians want - the successful talent will form the first popular choice band and naming of the band will be undertaken via an interactive platform involving the public - hence the name Malaysians Want or M1.
The judges were international label producer Fauzi Marzuki, multi-award winning songwriter and musician Helep Yap and singer-lyricists-actor Cat Farish.
Yap said overall Sabah has a pool of talent in music.
"But, we are looking for more musicians especially percussionists as Sabah is known for its ethnic and tribal material. Nevertheless, if we do find good singers from here, we will pick them to heighten the challenge with other singers from the rest of the country," she said.
According to her, the judges focus more on talent and at times they overlook some of the rules, for instance, the age limit.
"There is one contestant who can sing really well and we let him in.
If the age is one or two years above the age limit and if we like what we see, we will consider. We will talk with the production company as to whether they can allow it but for us, the judges, we just look for talent," she said.
Vocalist Julie Melissa Justin, 22, of Keningau, had a sore throat the night before the final audition but said she did not let it stand in the way of her dreams.
Julie, the founder of Borneo Buskers who had entered other reality television competitions before such as One in a Million and Akademi Fantasia, said she will give her best to compete in M1.
Another contestant, who impressed the judges with his talent in singing and playing the guitar, drum and keyboard, was 27-year-old Benn or Jimbonievin Simon Bukag.
Happy to have got through to the next level, Benn, who had auditioned for Akademi Fantasia and Keynote competition, said he actually did not want to go for the audition based on his past experience in other reality television shows where he was only kept as a "reserve candidate."
"My wife and friends encouraged me to try my luck. I only knew about the audition in the last minute and I just played whatever music genre that came to my mind," said Benn, whose father taught him to play the drum and who learnt to play other instruments on his own.
Benn, of Kota Belud, said he is looking forward to the next stage, which is the workshop in Kuala Lumpur, to improve and polish his skills in music.
Suib Zainin, 30, who is the main vocalist for "The Fingers" band, said he was happy to get through the audition.
"Though my age is past the limit for the programme, I think maybe because of my talent or my luck the judges gave me a chance," said Suib of Beaufort.
The seven lucky contestants will be joining other participants for the next leg of the competition.
M1 will be broadcast over Astro Ria and Hitz TV every Saturday from 3pm to 4pm, beginning end of January.
SUMBER : DAILY EXPRESS
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