KUCHING: After a long wait of five years, Hazama’s patience has been paid off after he was selected as the contestant of Akademi Fantasia season 9 (AF9) and finally emerged as the champion during the concert finale at Putrajaya Square in Putrajaya on Sunday night.
Hazama, or Hazama Ahmad Azmi beat out three other finalists, Lena, Fina and Azri, with his energetic performances of two songs ‘Lagu Cinta Teragung’ and ‘Pukau’.
He received RM200,000 cash, a trophy by Astro, hamper and cash by Power Root worth RM5000, and a Sony camera worth RM3299.
Prior to joining AF9, Hazama, 27, has auditioned for AF since season 4 but only managed to secure a place as the prelude contestant.
Hazama’s golden ticket to the popular reality show occured following the surprising announcement of ‘Operasi Gugur’ in AF9 in which two present contestants were booted out while two new contestants, one of them Hazama, were taken in.
His first performance, ‘Pukau’ by Tomok threw the audiences wild when popular Malaysian actress Lisa Surihani made a special appearance. His second song was his single ‘Cinta Teragung’.
During the press conference that followed, Hazama explained that his experiences in the entertainment industry in the five years before joining AF9 has given him an edge over the other contestants.
“I still have more room to grow, and the panel of tutors in AF have helped me to be more matured,” he said in the press conference joined by AF headmaster Amy Search, Astro Ria manager Azlin Reza Ami and host Aznil Nawawi.
According to Hazama, the vocal techniques taught by Syafizawati Sharif was one of the most important lessons he had gained during his time in AF as he had learned various techniques to sing.
Asked about his future plans, Hazama said he will be joining the music industry as a singer.
Meanwhile, Lenaber Haidir or better known as Lena, 20, emerged the first runner-up and received RM50,000 cash, a hamper and cash by Power Root worth RM2,000, a trophy by Astro and a Sony camera worth RM1499.
Lena delivered a strong performance with ‘Dunia’ by Bunkface. During her second performance, she sang her own single ‘Sisa Kisah Kita’ with special guest, popular actor Shaheizy Sam.
“I am thankful to be in the second place,” the Sabah-born songstress said.
Fina, or Nurshafinaz Jebat, 18, who was taken in with Hazama during ‘Operasi Gugur’ won the second runner-up and received RM20,000 cash, a hamper and cash by Power Root worth RM1,000, a trophy by Astro and a Sony camera worth RM1,499.
It was a family affair for Fina who performed ‘Satu Harapan’ by Jaclyn Victor when her siblings came on stage to sing with her. Her second performance was her own single, ‘Menangis Lagi’.
“It was very challenging to get into final, especially when I entered AF midway. I am very lucky,” said Fina who hails from Malacca. Another finalist, Azri or Mohd Azri Abdullah, won the third runner-up and brought home RM5,000 cash, a trophy by Astro and a Sony camera worth RM1,499.
Azri performed ‘Ku Tak Bisa’ by Slank, and his own single ‘Niskala’.
“Hazama’s and Fina’s entrance to AF9 was like an ‘alarm clock’ for the rest of us. It made us realise to compete with each other in a healthy way,” he said when asked about his chance as the champion slipped after Hazama’s presence in AF9.
The AF9 concert finale was special as all the previous AF hosts, AC Mizal, Jimmy Shanley and Sarimah Ibrahim co-hosted together with Aznil. The judges for the night were Fauziah Ahmad Daud, Hattan and former AF headmaster Datuk Ramli MS.
The previous AF champions also came to give a special performance during the finale namely Vince, Zahid, Mawi, Faizal, Mila, Stacy and Hafiz except Shahir who had injury.
The headmaster’s band, Search also performed their hits ‘Lagi Gotchic Malam Eden’, ‘Isabella’ and ‘Pelesit Kota’.
Akademi Fantasia season 9 is the final season of the reality show series. Commenced in 2003, the concept of the programme was taken after Mexican reality show, La Academia.