Stars salute late president S R Nathan
Local and foreign stars came out to perform and salute late president S R Nathan alongside the less fortunate at the President's Star Charity 2016 Show
Both celebrities and the less fortunate got the chance to shine on stage at the President's Star Charity (PSC) 2016 show last night, which was held in the new Mediacorp Campus' MES Theatre for the first time and broadcast live on Channel 5.
The 17th PSC show aimed to break down boundaries between celebrities and the less fortunate with its theme, Just Like You.
The show supports the President's Challenge movement, a fund-raising campaign for beneficiaries selected every year by the President's office.
The 58 charities supported this year include the Community Chest, Children's Cancer Foundation and the St John's Home for Elderly Persons.
Viewers were invited to donate through telepolls, the Giving.sg website and Singtel Dash app. The total amount raised at the end of the show from corporate donors, telepolls and online donations was $7.37 million.
ON THE BEAT: Beatboxer Daniel Bawtan (centre) performing with other musicians.
The show kicked off with Justin Timberlake's Can't Stop the Feeling, which was performed by all the celebrities featured on the show and the ITE Show Choir.
Hosts Chua Enlai and Glenda Chong made a good pairing, as Chong's polished delivery complemented Chua's quirky humour well.
In a comedy skit with TV personalities from comedy shows The Noose and Ok Chope!, Chua entertained with examples of what not to say at the PSC show.
"If you don't have enough cash, we accept jewellery, or children," Chua joked while in character as his alter ego, Jacques Ooi.
An All Star Choir made up of 13 celebrities, including Tay Ping Hui, Rahimah Rahim, Kym Ng and Jayley Woo also performed a medley while appealing to donors to contribute to charity.
Wearing matching red-and-black ensembles, they sang Save the World by Swedish House Mafia, as well as the unapologetically cash-themed tunes Money Makes the World Go Round and Price Tag.
POWER OF LOVE: Singer Aisyah Aziz performing Paloma Faith’s Only Love Can Hurt Like This.
One highlight of the evening was a peacock dance item entitled Plenteous Love by Zoe Tay, which was supported by the Dance Ensemble Singapore.
The Queen of Caldecott Hill was dressed in a sparkling silver costume with matching long silver nails and she mimicked the elegant moves of a peacock in the dance while being carried by male dancers. She even pulled off an impressive split towards the end.
"When I first saw the moves I had to do, I told my manager this was Mission Impossible," Tay, 48, said on stage after her performance.
"I had to do a lot of bending and stretching and the most difficult thing was having the expression of the peacock while dancing.
"But I conquered my fear and was able to complete the dance for charity."
Singapore Idol 2009 winner Sezairi Sezali also sang his new single, Fire to the Floor, accompanied by Latin ballroom dancers.
The dancers included 12-year-old Jadyn Lavinia Cai, who was diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosis when she was only six months old, but who is now in remission.
"It was my first live performance of Fire to the Floor and I think it went all right," Sezairi, 29, told The New Paper after his segment.
"Jadyn was really cool. I was probably more nervous than her. She's probably more focused than a lot of professionals I know."
SELFIES GALORE: Celebrities taking a selfie on stage with President Tony Tan.
Jadyn also had the honour of presenting a bouquet to President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who graced the show, at the end of the evening.
This year's show paid tribute to former president S R Nathan, who died in August.
Mr Nathan initiated the President's Challenge in 2000 and supported many President's Star Charity shows during his term from 1999 to 2011.
POETIC TOUCH: 2004 Singapore Idol Taufik Batisah making a tribute to late former president S R Nathan by singing the poem Desiderata.
In honour of Mr Nathan, Singapore Idol 2004 winner Taufik Batisah sang along to Desiderata, a poem written by American lawyer-poet Max Ehrmann.
The touching tribute included footage of Mr Nathan reciting the poem at the 2007 PSC show in his characteristically gentle manner, as he quoted: "You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here."
Veteran Taiwanese singer Chyi Yu also sang her 1979 hit Olive Tree, which she said was meant to inspire viewers to "be a better person, and be your own olive tree".
Chyi Yu (above) also collaborated with local singer Tanya Chua for the finale item, as the duo performed Wing Beneath My Wings backed by a symphonic band formed by primary school pupils. Actress Rebecca Lim accompanied them on the piano.
Zoe Tay told TNP after the show: "It's great that the PSC is still so well-supported by the public after all these years. I think it's a wonderful way to give back to society, as it helps so many people, the old, sick, and even children."
The PSC 2016 encore telecast will be on Channel 5 on Saturday at 2pm. Donation telepolls will close on Saturday at midnight.
"When I first saw the moves I had to do, I told my manager this was Mission Impossible."
- Actress Zoe Tay on her peacock dance performance
Beatboxing from his wheelchair
The slick rhythms for this year's President's Star Charity show came courtesy of beatboxer Daniel Bawtan, who has muscular dystrophy and is wheelchair-bound.
The 22-year-old freelance music producer, who has a diploma in information technology from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), wowed the crowd with his beatboxing skills in several segments, including the opening song Can't Stop the Feeling and finale item, Wind Beneath My Wings.
In an interview with TNP, Mr Bawtan said he was "nervous but very excited" about making his debut at the President's Star Charity Show.
"I've performed with the Inclusive Arts Movement for corporate events, and one of the managers got me the opportunity to be in the show," he said.
"Of course, there is pressure performing alongside all these big names, but at the same time, it's good exposure for me."
Mr Bawtan said he bonded most with singers Jermaine Leong and Ann Hussein during rehearsals, as they connected on a personal level.
"I do have a celebrity crush, but I'm not going to say who it's on," he added.
Mr Bawtan was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when he was four, as he still could not walk by that age. At 13, he needed crutches to walk, and by 15, he moved around on a wheelchair.
"I never really thought much about my disability as a child, but in secondary school, I started to feel left out when my friends were doing things like playing soccer and I couldn't join in," he said.
He began experimenting with beatboxing around Secondary 2, when he would imitate the sound of a drum.
"I didn't even know what I was doing at that time was called beatboxing, but a friend explained it to me through YouTube videos, and I started teaching myself," said Mr Bawtan.
Since then, Mr Bawtan has won silver at the A Cappella Championships (Singapore) beatbox category last year, and is now producing, composing and arranging his own EP The RollOut, which he plans to release next November.
"I called it The RollOut because I've accepted that being in a wheelchair is part of my image, and it's a strong identity people can relate to.
"Musicians are always trying to stand out, but I will do so by sitting down," he said.
Although Mr Bowtan said he has faced discrimination because of his disability, he has found a sense of equality through music.
"It doesn't matter if you're a blind singer, or a deaf pianist; there is only good music or bad music.
"We can still compete with able-bodied musicians, because music doesn't discriminate."