Klang lass Reen Rahim, a part-time model and Umie Aida fan, wins Pilih Kasih 3, writes Dennis Chua
AS Pilih Kasih 3 marks the end of top actor Rosyam Nor’s popular actor search, it is befitting that his fellow Selangor-born Reen Rahim has been crowned its champion.
The gorgeous part-time model had always dreamt of becoming an actress and television personality but failed to muster the courage to audition for Pilih Kasih 1 and 2 in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
Reen says: “My family persuaded me to audition this year as it was the last season of Pilih Kasih. I had no choice but to muster courage and give my best in the show.”
Reen is a fan of Pilih Kasih executive producer Rosyam as well as its judge Datin Paduka Umie Aida.
“They are both major stars from Selangor, and I have always wanted to follow in heir footsteps someday,” says 24-year-old hairstylist.
The moment she joined Pilih Kasih as one of its eight female contestants (the 16 contestants were divided evenly between the sexes), Reen had been hugely popular with fans and had never been in the bottom three in terms of Short Messaging Service (SMS) votes.
A hit with male fans (who apparently formed the bulk of voters), she has been likened by viewers and staunch supporters as a lookalike of beautiful veteran actress Susan Manen.
“I love Susan, for her beauty, grace and acting talent. While we have similar looks, I’m very much my own person,” says Reen.
In each weekly episode of the 11-week actor search televised live at 9pm on Sundays from Tuanku Muhammad Auditorium, RTM Seremban in Senawang, Reen has been the subject of chief judge Dr Abu Hassan Hasbullah’s razor-sharp tongue.
Abu Hassan, whose criticisms of the 16 contestants are full of flowery rebukes as baldi (pail), tiang lampu (lamp post) and biskut marie (marie biscuits), initially reduced Reen to tears.
But her instructors Erma Fatima and Hamzah Tahir advised her to take them as a challenge to better herself.
“Abu Hassan’s constructive criticism stung me every week, but in the process, I learnt to roll with the punches. As the Kelly Clarkson song goes, what does not kill you makes you stronger.”
Reen, who is equally at home in English and Bahasa Malaysia, was one of three favourites to win Pilih Kasih 3.
The others were Marina Jose of Kuching and Hakim Yazid of Kuala Lumpur.
Reen won the first prize of RM10,000, a 3D/2N holiday for two at Holiday Villa in Sanur, Bali, Indonesia and sponsored prizes.
Hakim, 26, finished second and won RM5,000, a 3D/2N holiday for two at Holiday Villa in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and sponsored prizes.
Marina, 23, finished third and won RM3,000, a 3D/2N holiday for two at Holiday Villa in Cherating, Kuantan and sponsored prizes.
Sura Sojangi, 22, of Klang, won the TM-sponsored Best Actor prize of RM3,000. She previously participated in Astro’s actor search Anak Wayang and made it to the top 10.
Reen says: “Marina and Hakim had the crowd cheering the loudest and were clearly the girl and guy to beat. I’d like to thank Abang Rosyam and his team of instructors for pushing me to overcome my shyness and shine in musicals, monologues and short films.”
A fan of sitcoms, action comedies and action movies, Reen has learnt not to be picky with her roles.
“Rosyam and Umie Aida told me that a great actress plays the good, bad and funny. I’m happy to have played all three in our weekly episodes of Pilih Kasih, most notably in the weekly drama where I was the antagonist.”
Hakim, who grew up watching Rosyam Nor’s films and television series, said joining Pilih Kasih 3 was a dream come true.
“It was the chance of a lifetime to meet my hero and learn the tricks of trade from him,” he says, adding that he also admires Shaheizy Sam and Zul Huzaimy Marzuki.
“I’ve always wanted to excel in bad guy roles, and our mentors challenged me to be as convincing a villain as possible.”
Marina thanked Abu Hassan and fellow judges Fauziah Nawi, Umie Aida and Erra Fazira for guiding her well.
“Last season’s winner Livonia Ricky is a good friend. She advised me to take constructive criticism in my stride and do my best to improve each week.
“I was mentally prepared for Abu Hassan each week. Ibu Fauziah, Erra and Umie gave me a lot of useful tips on how to improve my acting,” says Marina.
Sura cites her experience in Anak Wayang as a good mental preparation for Pilih Kasih 3.
“The standards are much higher in Pilih Kasih, and this meant the judges were harder to please,” she says.
“Fans would have wanted me to do better in Pilih Kasih, and I pushed myself much harder than before.”
The other finalists, in descending order, were Heri Aszmo of Kuching, Jalius Jaibin and Fareth Agang of Kota Kinabalu, Theera Alias of Sungai Petani and Nizen Ayob of Kluang, Johor.
The nine finalists showed off their acting skills in a two-hour performance carried live on TV2 at 9pm from RTM Seremban.
All performed in a college-themed musical Cinta, Oh Cinta, the 11th and final episode of Konspirasi Cinta, and delivered monologues.
Hamzah was their monologue instructor while Erma directed the musical and Konspirasi Cinta.
Cinta, Oh Cinta saw Jalius, Fareth, Marina and Theera play instructors in a Glee-like performing arts academy. Reen, Hakim, Nizen, Heri and Sura played their students with issues.
Konspirasi Cinta was a whodunit series centred on strangled model Marlia (Sura in a double role).
Reen played her materialistic fellow model while Marina played their housekeeper who had an affair with Jalius, one of three police officers (Theera and Sura were the others) investigating the murder.
Heri, Nizen, Hakim and Fareth played dashing men who had been in love with Marlia, and who were suspected of killing her.
Fareth and Jalius shined in the musical, wearing thick glasses and parodying Abu Hassan.
However, it was Marina who stole the show, as a nerdy music instructor who resembled Sybill Trelawney, Emma Thompson’s character in the Harry Potter movies.
Marina also excelled in the monologues where she played a woman who was obsessed with looking young, yet suffered from hair loss.
Reen’s monologue was brilliant, too. Surrounded by multi-coloured pails, she spoke of her pain and anguish trying to please her critics in weekly episodes of the show.
Abu Hassan, the obvious target of Reen’s monologue, praised her for improving by leaps and bounds. He likened her and Marina to Maria Menado and Siput Sarawak respectively.
Rosyam says the top four contestants were not only the crowd favourites, but also the most hardworking and talented.
“Reen, Hakim, Marina and Sura have been very consistent and I strongly believe they will go far if they keep up their good work,” he says.
“They have excellent role models in their seniors from the first and second seasons such as Nabila Dally, Cristina Suzanne Stockstill, Iqbal Mazlan and Livonia Ricky.”
Rosyam reminded the winners to persevere on their “slow and steady” journey to stardom and be good at marketing themselves.
“Almost all of our Pilih Kasih graduates act in films and series, and some host television programmes,” he says.
Like their predecessors, the Pilih Kasih 3 contestants will appear in television series produced by Rosyam’s company Suhan Movies as well as television series and films directed by Erma Fatima. Pilih Kasih 3 was hosted by Reza Mohamad. It featured musical performances by actors Liyana Jasmay, Tiz Zaqyah, Qi Razalli and Johan Asari.