In badminton, we are always hoping for an upset against the stronger badminton powerhouses, but usually fail. A case in point is the recent SEA Games when we took home silvers at best. But in the arts and entertainment world, such as the Asian Idol which patterns after the hugely popular American Idol series, Singapore recently caused a shock win! Yesterday being a public holiday, I was sitting at home to watch the Asian Idol replay from 4.30 pm which ended around 8 pm. It was worth it to see the best in Asia parading their wares in the electrifing atmosphere of the indoor stadium in Jakarta, attended by some 5,000 fans and supporters of their various idols. Against all odds, our own Singapore Idol, Hady Mirza, came out tops to become the first Asian Idol, beating favourites from host Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and India. Each contestant had to sing a song in English and another in their national language. In terms of powerful voices I would rank Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines as the leaders of the pack. Miss Vietnam Idol was the most elegant and beautiful and Mr Indonesia Idol was the most popular on home ground and was expected to win, even surpassing Miss Malaysia Idol who had the best voice. Miss Philippines Idol delighted me with her national dress, the rich red high sleeves et all, but she was a little short on the high notes. Mr India, while being young and versatile, sang an Indian number which did not endear with the audience. But Mr Singapore Idol, Hady, though lacking a powerful voice but not lacking in singing and entertainment talent, started off in a locally composed Malay number "Surrender". This Malay song resonated with the audience and many more watching at home who are familiar with the Malay and Indonesian languages. So when the results were announced in the late of the night, 24 hours being given to voters via sms, it was not without reason that Hady was chosen as the first Asian Idol. Hady is young at 27, attractive especially to the female viewers, talented and versatile in both English and Malay songs. It was revealed that all the home-grown idols got more or less the same percentage of votes from their own country but as the rules required the voter to choose two names, Hady was the other "outside" overwheming favourite! One reason went that Hady was also given the vote because he was the least threatening to the respective country idols. But I like to think that Hady has that "X" factor which compensated his other shortcomings. Whatever, this upset win is most welcome and Singapore is proud of Hady for being chosen the first Asian Idol.