REALITI EPISODE 2

DRAFT 5

by Dzofrain Azmi

(c)2005 Popiah Pictures

TEASER

INT. HOTEL LOBBY / POOL AREA -- DAY

CAMERA POV: POP TV ANNOUNCER stands in the hotel lobby or pool area.

POP TV ANNOUNCER

(rapid-fire)

Selepas pengunduran Jessie yang memeranjat, apa akan terjadi kepada rancangan Malaysia Star?

Walaubagaimana pun, ia memberi peluang untuk sesiapa saja menjadi pserta yang kelima.

Well, I guess it gives all of you budding singers out there fresh hope of becoming the fifth contestant for MALAYSIAN STAR!

(beat)

Macam Yong di sini.

Like Yong beside me.

She turns to YONG, a GEEKY WANNABE, standing beside her.

YONG

Hello everyone!

POP TV ANNOUNCER

Jadi, bagaimana, Yong?

So Yong, you think you have what it takes to be contestant number five?

YONG

Belum cuba, belum tahu, kan?

Why not? Anyone has a chance, right?

POP TV ANNOUNCER

Silalah... Yong!

So let's hear it!

YONG breaks into a song - Madonna's 'Express Yourself". he's terrible. A few moments later, the announcer interrupts.

POP TV ANNOUNCER

(smiles, to camera)

William Hung pun tak boleh challenge!

William Hung, eat your heart out!

(beat)

Dan usaha mencari peserta kelima Malaysian Star akan diteruskan. Siapa akan menjadi pilihan mereka? Jangan lupa, tetap bersama kita. Jumpa lagi, beb!

And the search goes on for the fifth contestant for Malaysian Star. Who will they pick? Keep watching. Jumpa lagi, beb!

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM -- DAY

OPEN ON A TV SCREEN. The announcer signs off.

WIDEN TO REVEAL AMIR and DAYANG standing in a hotel room. DAYANG is doing the sheets while AMIR watches the TV.

DAYANG struggles with the sheets in the background.

DAYANG

You nak I tolong you atau you nak I buat kerja you sambil you tengok TV?

Hey, if I recall, I asked you up here to help me out.

AMIR switches off the TV.

AMIR

Sorry... nak tengok saja.

Sorry, just excited.

AMIR helps DAYANG with the sheets.

DAYANG

(smiling)

Kenapa? Sebab tak sabar-sabar nak tengok si-Baby tu?

AMIR

Yah-eh. Tak pikir pun. Pas tu, hang pulak ada chan dengan si-Burn tu...

Dayang punches Amir on the shoulder.

DAYANG

Don't joke. Pasal dia you kena kerja overtime, jimat duit.

AMIR

Tak apa, tu gitar aje.

(leans towards Dayang)

I masih okay...

DAYANG throws a pillow into AMIR'S face.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM CORRIDOR -- EVENING

AMIR helps DAYANG push the housekeeping trolley as they both make their way down the corridor.

DAYANG is flipping through a newspaper.

DAYANG

(looking at paper)

Cinta Dua Dunia kat KLCC? 915pm.

AMIR

Yang dengan Erra dan Yusry? Mereka kan dah cerai?

The one with Erra and Yusry? They've already broken up, remember?

DAYANG

Sebab tu lah... nak tengok kalau ada signal sebelum tu ke tak.

That's why I want to watch la. See if you can tell they're going to break up.

AMIR gives DAYANG a funny look. She laughs. Then AMIR'S walkie-talkie goes off. He fishes it out of his pocket.

WALKIE-TALKIE (V.O.)

Amir, you're needed down in the office.

AMIR gives DAYANG a look. DAYANG shakes her head vigorously. AMIR hesitates, then...

AMIR

(to Walkie-talkie)

Okay, coming.

He puts down the WALKIE-TALKIE. DAYANG sighs.

AMIR

Sekejap aje. I janji, I cepat balik.

I'll just go down, see what it's about.

DAYANG

Ingat, kalau mereka nak you kerja overtime-

Remember, if they want you to work overtime, just say-

AMIR

Takkan I nak miss tengok film dengan girlfriend I sebab overtime.

I'm not going to miss a movie with my girlfriend just for some extra overtime cash, okay. Don't worry.

DAYANG smiles.

AMIR

(beat)

Kalau susah, ada midnight show.

DAYANG swipes a fist at Amir. Amir laughs and walks off.

CUT TO:

INT. MANAGEMENT OFFICE -- DAY

Open on knocks on the door. Encik Bakri, sitting behind a desk, shouts.

ENCIK BAKRI

Masuk!

AMIR enters.

AMIR

Ya? Boss

ENCIK BAKRI

Amir, sila masuk. Ada orang nak cakap dengan you.

Amir, come in. There's someone here to see you.

Encik Bakri gestures towards MAC who's sitting across from him.

Mac is flipping through some notes.

MAC

Amir Khalid?

AMIR nods.

MAC

How would you like to be a Malaysian Star?

On AMIR'S expression, we

CUT TO:

OPENING MONTAGE

END OF

 

ACT

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- DAY

OPEN ON kids sitting on the floor in the rehearsal hall.

Baby is flipping through a fashion magazine. Mel is dreaming and toying with the locket around her neck. Burn is plugged into his Mp3 player, nodding to the music. Nickson is smsing on his phone.

BABY looks at her watch.

BABY

Mac lambat.

Mac's late.

NICKSON

Wah, better buy 4D today.

MAC enters and everyone stops what they're doing.

MAC

Sorry everyone, had some stuff to take care of earlier.

BURN

Boss... kalau you lambat, you kena nyanyi scales tak?

You're a minute late. Does that mean we get to make you sing scales?

MAC

Trust me, you don't want to hear me sing scales.

The rest laugh. MAC starts handing out sheets of paper.

As the group takes them, we

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- LATER

The group stand in a circle around MAC. Mac has a set of sheets in his hand.

MAC

Kadang-kadang, kami terlalu selesa dengan sesuatu cara atau gaya menyayi. Kami ingat, cara kami adalah cara yang betul, dan tiada cara lain yang sesuai. Bila ini terjadi, kami hilang peluang untuk mendapati gaya baru untuk persembahan.

We all have a tendency to end up singing songs a certain way. We then think of this as the only way to sing. When this happens, we stop exploring the full potential of a song.

(beat)

Dalam dua-tiga hari yang akan datang, kita akan berkerja sama untuk melupai tabiat lama dan mempelajari gaya baru untuk kamu.

Over the next few days, we'll be working together to unlearn these habits that we've developed.

Mac hands out the lyric sheets to each of them.

MAC

Lagu Alanis Morrisette, You Oughta Know.

PING, THIS WOULD WORK BETTER IF IT WAS AN ORIGINAL SONG. PERFORMERS TEND TO TRY TO SING ESTABLISHED SONGS IN THE STYLE OF THE ORIGINAL SINGER WHEREAS ORIGNAL SONGS HAVE A LOT OF ROOM FOR INTERPRETATION.

In your hands, you have the lyric sheets to a song by Alanis Morisette.

(PROD NOTE: JUST PUT ALANIS MORISETTE SONG FIRST. WILL CHOOSE SOMETHING ELSE DOWN THE LINE.)

MAC

Kamu semua akan buat latihan dengan lagu yang sama. I nak tengok bagaimana tiap-tiap satu dari kamu akan menghancuri lagu ini dengan cara yang tersendiri.

You'll all be rehearsing the same song. Why? I guess I want to see how each of you destroy a perfectly good song.

(beat)

Soalan?

Any questions?

Nickson puts up his hand.

NICKSON

Can I pick another song?

MAC

Okay, bila I kata 'semua buat lagu yang sama', makna saya, 'you pilihlah apa you nak'.

Which part of 'you're all rehearsing the same song' didn't you understand?

NICKSON

(shrugs)

Ai, jangan marah bang. Tanya saja.

On MAC'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- LATER

MONTAGE SEQUENCE. INTERCUT BETWEEN:

The different contestants sing different parts of the same song.

CUT TO BABY sings the song in a flirty, sexy way.

CUT TO BURN sings it with attitude. Hip-hop style. He's also making up the lyrics as he sings.

CUT TO NICKSON sings it effeminate.

CUT TO MEL sings it without a hint of emotion.

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- LATER

MAC looks at each of them, then...

MAC

(to Baby)

Okay, Baby... ini suatu lagu yang perlu dinyanyikan kepada seseorang... bukan lagu jenis Hai-nama-saya-baby-tengok-muka-saya-sungguh-cun-kan.

Okay, Baby... this is the kind of song you sing to someone else, not a Hai-nama-saya-baby-tengok-muka-saya-sungguh-cun-kan kind of song.

BABY

(sarcastic)

Muka I cun? Thanks, Mac.

So you're saying muka saya cun? Thanks, Mac.

MAC turns to MEL.

MAC

Melody. Suara bagus. Merdu. Tapi sebuah lagu lebih dari suara kamu sahaja. Expression! Performance!

He turns to BURN.

MAC

(to Burn)

Burn? Lirik kan dah ada. You cuba gunakanya lain kali, okay?

Burn? You have the lyrics in your hand. Try actually reading them next time.

He turns to NICKSON.

MAC

Nickson...

(beat)

Boleh tak kita cuba... manly sikit?

Try performing the song a little more... manly.

NICKSON

Tadi tak cukup manly, darling?

You mean I didn't do that?

The rest of the group laughs.

They're interrupted by someone entering. It's WAHIDA.

WAHIDA

(beat)

Hello?

What's so funny?

The rest of the group turn. NICKSON recognizes her. He turns away immediately.

MAC

Guys, ini Wahida. Dia journalist seksyen hiburan dari Metro. Dia akan bersama kita selama minggu ini.

Everyone, Wahida is the entertainment reporter from Metro. She'll be sitting in our rehearsal sessions over the next few days.

He lets WAHIDA speak.

WAHIDA

(to the rest)

Saya datang untuk memerhati bagaimana pemuda berbakat seperti kamu diubah menjadi star. Buat macam saya tak ada di sini.

I'm basically here to observe how young talented people like you are transformed into stars. Just pretend I'm not here.

MAC

Senang sekali, jangan pedulikannya langsung.

OR Kalau kau tak cakap dengan dia pun OK dengan I.

What she means is ignore her.

He smiles, snide at WAHIDA. She just smiles back.

WAHIDA

Tapi kalau sesiapa nak cakap dengan Wahida pun boleh. Wahida takkan marah. Kut nanti, dapat front page eksklusif.

But if you'd like to have a chat with me, who knows? You might just end up on the front pages of the entertainment section.

The kids react. WAHIDA can see that they like the idea. She smiles at MAC. She's won this round.

MAC

Lunch break. Balik dalam masa 30 minit.

Lunch break. Be back here in 30 minutes.

Everyone walks off.

As NICKSON walks past WAHIDA, he looks away.

WAHIDA approaches MAC.

MAC

Cakap dengan Wahida, nanti jadi famous. Itulah janji tetap Wahida.

Lure them with fame - that always works for you, right?

WAHIDA

Jadi famous itu janji Malaysian Star. Saya tolong sikit saja.

Isn't that the whole point of the competition?

MAC turns to clear up his documents.

WAHIDA

Jadi? Ada peluang eksklusif tak?

So, will there be any chance of an exclusive?

MAC

Semenjak bila orang you nak interview I?

WAHIDA

Bukan dengan youlah. Dah pilih tak, peserta yang kelima?

On MAC'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. SERVICE CORRIDOR -- DAY

AMIR and DAYANG are dressed in casual clothes, both sitting on a crate.

DAYANG

Seronoknya!

This is soo great!

AMIR is silent. DAYANG notices.

DAYANG

Takkan Amir nak tolakan?

Amir, you're not going to say no, right?

AMIR

Dayang ingat tak, betapa susah Amir nak dapat kerja kat hotel ni? Kalau Amir masuk contest bodoh ni, nanti kalau tak jadi, semua hancur.

You remember how long it was for me to get this job? If I try out for some stupid contest now, I'm throwing it all down the drain.

DAYANG

Eh, Amir. Kalau contest ni bodoh sangat, kenapa you selalu tengok kat TV?

First of all, it's not some stupid contest. You watch it yourself.

AMIR

Yahlah, sebab Amir nak tengok bodoh-bodoh kontest tu.

Yah, to see how stupid it all is.

DAYANG

Hmm... Apa yang Amir kata kat Dayang, pada hari pertama.

Second, tell me again what you told me when we first met?

AMIR

(beat)

Yang Dayang bulat-bulat macam Siti Nurhaliza?

What? That you looked like Siti Nurhaliza?

DAYANG

Ya, tapi selain dari tu; Yang Amir nak jimat duit?

No, about what you want to do when you save enough money?

AMIR is silent.

DAYANG

Supaya Amir boleh quit kerja hotel ni? Nak buat rock band? Main muzik Amir?

You wanted to quit this job. Join a band. Play music you love.

AMIR

Yang tu dulu. Amir sekarang ada tanggungjawab.

That was before. I have responsibilities now.

DAYANG

Tanggungjawab? Misalnya?

Responsibilites? Like what?

AMIR

Macam Dayang.

You.

DAYANG reacts.

AMIR

Kan kita nak kahwin tahun depan? Beli rumah baru.

We're going to get married next year, remember? We were going to buy a house.

DAYANG

Jadi... Dayang sebab Amir tak mahu kejarkan impian Amir?

So what you're saying is... I'm the reason why you're not fulfilling your dream?

AMIR

Bukanlah.

No.

DAYANG

Jadi? Kenapa pulak?

Then what's stopping you?

AMIR reacts. On his expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL CAFE -- DAY

The kids are having dinner together.

BURN

Apa problem Mac tu?

What's his problem, man?

(beat)

Masa audition, tak complain langsung, bila dah pilih, tak cukup bagus.

NICKSON

Don't worry-lah Burn. Just listen to him. Dia kan sifu.

BURN

Hey, Mac your sifu; my sifu... Tupac.

BABY

Dia kan dah mati?

Isn't he dead?

BURN

(thumps chest)

Tupac lives. Forever.

BABY

(sighs)

I tak faham Mac tu lah. Jaga intensity-lah, jaga direction-lah, jaga lighting-lah.

I just don't understand the guy. Jaga intensity-lah, jaga direction-lah, jaga lighting-lah.

(beat)

Buat apa I nak jaga lighting? Kan crew dah ada.

NICKSON

Lighting? You know, lighting tu terang gila, panas. Habis moisturiser I.

BURN

Dance kuat sikitlah. Macam I. Biar peluh. Natural moisturiser.

MEL can't help but laugh. The rest notice and turn. MEL checks herself and blushes.

BABY

So Mel, what d'you think?

MEL is silent.

MEL

Um, I think... semua ada peluang untuk meningkati diri.

Um, I think... there's always room for improvement.

BABY

Good answer. Ikut cakap Ayah you ke?

Good answer. Did your father teach you to say that?

MEL looks at BABY, then notices her father approaching behind.

BABY smiles, snide.

MEL

Excuse me.

She gets up and leaves the table. BURN turns to the rest.

BURN

Kita semua ada style sendiri. I'm hip, Baby's sexy, Nickson, you lembik macam keropok basi-

NICKSON

Hey!

BURN

I'm just saying, we all have our own style.

(beat)

Masa audition, judge semua suka. Sekarang, Mac nak tukar.

(beat)

Nanti bila performance, kalau judge tak suka, macam mana?

On everyone's expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL CAFE -- DAY

MEL stands with DAVID.

DAVID

So how are rehearsals today?

MEL

Good. The coach is getting us all to perform the same song. Says it helps us work out different ways of doing it.

DAVID

As far as I'm concerned, there's only one way you should do it... perfectly.

(beat)

But I'm sure you know that.

MEL nods.

DAVID

So now that Jessie's gone, you're going to have to share a room with that other girl?

MEL

Yah.

DAVID

If she gives you any trouble, you just let me know, okay.

MEL

Dad, I can take care of myself.

DAVID

I know. But just in case.

(beat)

I'm proud of you. Mum would be too.

MEL

I know.

On MEL'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL CAFE -- DAY

MAC is sitting by himself, jotting down some notes, with a cup of coffee on tha table.

A waiter approaches. MAC hardly looks up.

MAC

(still working)

Nothing for me, thanks.

AMIR (O.S.)

Encik Mac?

MAC looks up. It's AMIR. AMIR hesitates, then...

AMIR

Pasal audition tu... Encik Mac nak I datang pukul berapa?

That audition you were talking about... what time do you want me there?

On MAC'S expression, we

FADE TO BLACK

END OF

ACT

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- DAY

OPEN ON WAHIDA'S digital recorder, propped up on a coffee table. WIDEN TO reveal WAHIDA facing MEL. MEL is toying with the locket around her neck.

WAHIDA

So tell me, how does it feel like, to be in this competition?

MEL

It feels good. I've been preparing for it for a long time.

WAHIDA

Really?

MEL

Since last year. Dad wanted me to be fully ready when the time came.

WAHIDA

Your dad's known to be a really tough teacher. How is he with you?

MEL

(shrugs, smiles)

He doesn't go easy on me just because I'm his daughter.

WAHIDA

Is he tougher with you because you're his daughter?

MEL reacts, not sure how to answer. On her expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- CONTINUOUS

NICKSON is doing ridiculous dance moves to his song. The other kids watch, amused by his performance.

MAC stops the music. Nickson carries on for a few more seconds to a flourish. The kids clap.

 

MAC

Apa I kata? "Tone down". Jangan terlampau. Kalau Burn, kata "chill". Tapi, you menari macam beruk kena buasir.

NICKSON

(beat)

Encik Mac, you kata ada banyak style. Tapi, bila kita buat style sendiri, you marah pulak.

You just told us that there's lots of different ways to do a song. Then when we do it our way, you tell us it's wrong.

MAC

Saya marah sebab you all nyanyi semua lagu you dalam style yang sama.

That's because you guys sing ALL your songs the exact same way.

BABY

Tapi itu style tersendiri.

But that's our style.

MAC

Okay, sebelum you dapat style tersendiri, you kena tahu apa style-style yang ada. Kamu kena eksperimen dahulu. Itulah objektif exercise kita hari ini.

You guys don't get to have styles until you know what you're doing. That's the whole point of this exercise. To experiment first.

BURN

Atau, you nak semua buat Mac-style saja.

Or maybe what you mean is that you want us all to do it Mac-style.

Silence fills the room.

MAC

(beat)

Sorry, Burn? Tak dengar tadi.

What did you say?

BURN

Kami dipilih menyanyi style kita sendiri. Tetapi kalau you tukarkannya, bagaimana kita nak menang?

Our styles are what got us picked in the first place. You change us, how the hell are we going to win?

MAC

You guys dah perfect, apa yang nak ditukar?

I'm not changing you. I wouldn't dare, since you guys are so perfect.

(beat)

Kita tengok dulu, apa option yang ada.

This is about exploring all the options available to you.

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- CONTINUOUS

MEL and WAHIDA are still talking.

WAHIDA

What about your mum? She was such a great singer. Are you inspired by her?

MEL brightens.

MEL

Definitely. I learn so much just by watching her.

(beat)

It's a cliche when I say that I want to be just like her, but it's true.

WAHIDA

Do you miss her?

A beat, then...

MEL

Yes. I miss her a lot.

MEL has a faraway look in her eyes. She toys with her locket again. WAHIDA notices.

WAHIDA

So if I were to ask you... who do you look up to more... your mum or your dad... what would you say?

MEL isn't sure how to answer.

They're interrupted by MAC'S voice.

MAC (O.S.)

Next!

MEL turns to see MAC looking in their direction.

MEL

(to Wahida)

I think I have to go.

WAHIDA

Go ahead.

As MEL gets up to go, WAHIDA continues looking at her.

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- LATER

Rehearsals are over. The group is sitting in a circle. MAC stands in front.

MAC

Sekarang, you guys semua nak cuba satu style sahaja.

Right now, all of you just do things ONE WAY.

(beat)

Nickson, you're just waiting to hit those high notes, the rest of the song... flat. Baby, you have three dance moves that you repeat again and again. Burn, whatever song you sing, it becomes a hip-hop song.

Nickson, you're just waiting to hit those high notes, the rest of the song... flat. Baby, you have three dance moves that you repeat again and again. Burn, whatever song you sing, it becomes a hip-hop song.

BURN

Whatever.

MAC stares at BURN for a second, then...

MAC

You know what, I don't think you're worried about losing your style. I think you're more worried about singing something other than the five hip-hop songs you know.

(beat)

Apa you takut sangat?

What are you afraid of?

BURN is quiet.

MAC

(turns to Mel)

And Mel, you're so focused on singing the song right that you forget about just being in the moment.

(beat)

And stop touching that locket around your neck every time.

MEL, who's been toying with her locket, stops immediately. WAHIDA notices.

MAC looks at his watch.

MAC

Okay, that's it for today.

The group cheers.

MAC

You all have the lyrics. Learn them by heart. By tomorrow morning, I don't want to see you carrying them anymore.

The group groans.

NICKSON

(to someone else)

Dia mintak kita 'take a break', tapi suruh kita buat kerja pulak.

What's the point of a break, if you actually have to work while taking it?

As the group walks off, MAC glares at BURN. BURN glares back, unafraid.

They walk off. MAC notices... WAHIDA still sitting nearby.

WAHIDA

Seems like you have a rebel on your hands.

MAC

Nothing I can't handle.

(beat)

So will the headlines tomorrow be: 'Coach losing control of Malaysian Stars'.

WAHIDA

(smiles)

Good idea.

On MAC'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. SERVICE CORRIDOR -- DAY

OPEN ON AMIR tuning his broken guitar. It's being held together with masking tape.

DAYANG approaches slowly, her hands around her back. AMIR notices her.

AMIR

Dayang, I cari you tadi.

I was looking for you just now, but they said you went out for lunch.

He sees DAYANG looking at his broken guitar.

AMIR

(gesturing to guitar)

Bagaimana I nak audition dengan benda ni?

How am I supposed to audition with this?

DAYANG places a package in front of him.

DAYANG

Amir boleh cuba ini.

Will this help?

AMIR opens the package. It's a pack of new guitar strings.

AMIR reacts, stunned.

DAYANG

Mungkin ia boleh tolong.

Thought you'll need them.

AMIR

(still stunned)

Tapi... yang ni yang mahal punya.

These are expensive.

DAYANG

Mahal, mahal-lah. Sebab tu Dayang baik-baik mintak budak kedai tu bagi diskaun.

No lah, I managed to sweet talk to boy at the shop to give me a discount. Besides...

(beat)

Lagipun, bila you dah jadi star, boleh ceritalah. Ia semuanya kerana Dayang.

When you become a star, I can tell people that it was all because of me.

AMIR smiles. DAYANG smiles back.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL CAFE -- DAY

OPEN ON BURN sitting across from WAHIDA, sharing a coffee. WAHIDA has her digital recorder in front of her.

WAHIDA

Jadi, nama sebenar you apa?

BURN

Burn Ramli.

WAHIDA

Ibubapa kamu namakan you 'Burn'? Bukan 'Bakar'?

BURN

Whoa... Lois Lane dah buat research.

WAHIDA

Jadi... bagaimana Burn mula minat menyanyi?

So how did you first get interested in singing?

BURN

(thinks)

Tak ingatlah. Kawan I dulu ada Rap Group. You know, dulu zaman Arrested Development. Semua boleh rap, tapi Burn saja yang boleh groove.

I can't remember. My friends and I had started a rap group. But none of them can sing, so whenever they needed anything sung, they'll make me do it lah.

WAHIDA

Groove?

Burn

You know, sing.

WAHIDA

So your friends tak kisah you sekarang solo?

BURN

Rap group tu dah extinct sekarang. Semua-semua dapat girlfriend, semua nak do their own thing.

The rap group's not really there any more. Once everyone started getting girlfriends, doing their own thing, it just kinda died.

(leans forward)

I? Masih single, beb.

Me? I'm still single.

On WAHIDA'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. GIRL'S HOTEL ROOM -- DAY

MEL is unpacking stuff from her suitcase and hanging it into the cupboards.

BABY is on her bed, looking with distaste. She's not happy about having to share a room with someone.

BABY

So, Daddy tak ada pull lagi? You don't have your own room?

So I guess daddy wasn't powerful enough to get his little girl her own little room?

MEL sighs, then glares.

MEL

I never asked for my own room anyway.

BABY

Whatever.

(beat)

That cupboard is mine. Go find your own.

She switches the TV on louder.

MEL glares at BABY, frustrated. On her expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL CAFE -- DAY

BURN and WAHIDA are still talking.

WAHIDA

You dengan Mac macam selalu bergaduh aje?

You don't seem to agree with Mac on a lot of things.

BURN

Mac? Nolah.... I dan Mac ok what.

Mac? No me and Mac get along just fine.

WAHIDA

(mimicking Burn)

What-ever.

(beat)

Burn, Mac tu veteran. He knows what he's doing.

Mac's had a lot of years in the industry. He knows what he's doing.

BURN

Dia zaman kutu rock, rambut panjang, seluar ketat, bukan nyanyi tapi jerit. So, if that makes him an expert now...

BURN shrugs.

On BURN'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. GIRL'S HOTEL BATHROOM -- DAY

OPEN ON the shower running. Outside, MEL is standing in front of the mirror, looking at herself. She carefully takes off her locket and places it on the bathroom counter.

CUT TO:

INT. GIRL'S HOTEL ROOM -- CONTINUOUS

BABY is looking at her lyrics sheet when a mobile phone by her side starts ringing.

BABY looks at the number and scowls.

She grabs the phone and approaches the bathroom door.

BABY

Mel, it's your dad. Calling. Again. Can you tell him you're just the same way you were ten minutes ago?

Mel, it's your dad, and it's the tenth time he's calling. Are you going to tell him to stop or shall I?

A moment. Then the door opens, MEL emerges, in her bathrobe. Her hair's wet.

She grabs the phone and walks off.

MEL

Hi, dad. Sorry, I was in the bathroom.

She turns to see BURN staring at her.

MEL

(to Baby)

Do you mind?

BABY glares, then exits into the bathroom.

MEL

(on phone)

No, dad, I was just talking to my roommate. Yah, she's fine.

MEL feels around her neck and realizes that she's not wearing the locket.

MEL

Um, dad, I really have to go.

She walks back to the bathroom, still on phone.

MEL

Yah, I'll talk to you tomorrow, okay.

MEL hangs up and bangs on the door.

MEL

Baby, I really need to use the bathroom.

A moment. Then BABY opens the door.

BABY

Just don't take forever, okay.

BABY exits and MEL enters the bathroom.

CUT TO:

INT. GIRL'S HOTEL BATHROOM -- CONTINUOUS

As soon as MEL is in, she rushes over to the counter and reacts...

Her locket is gone!

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM CORRIDOR -- DAY

MAC and AMIR walk down the corridor, side by side. AMIR is carrying his guitar.

MAC

Jadi? Dah pilih lagu?

So what song are you going to sing?

AMIR

--- dari Peter Pan. Dan mungkin --- dari Sheila on Seven.

--- By Peter Pan, or --- by Sheila on Seven.

MAC

Satu lagu cukup, 'kay?

You're just singing one song, okay.

AMIR

Amir tahu... Encik Mac boleh tolong pilih tak?

I know, I thought you could help me choose.

MAC

Well... yang mana Amir lagi bagus menyanyi?

Well, which one d'you sing better?

AMIR

Yang lagu Peter Pan tu, bila mula okay, tapi note tinggi tu crack sikit lah. Yang lagi satu korus dia bagus, tapi verse susah sikit.

I sing the first part of --- better, but when it comes to high notes, I sing the second part of --- better.

MAC

Nyanyi lagu Peter Pan tu. Bila judge dengar start you okay, dia boleh excuse chorus dia.

Sing the first one. The start of the song is what the judges notice. You screw up the start, and you blow your chances.

They stop outside the door.

MAC

Ready?

This is it. You ready?

AMIR nods. Then MAC notices the guitar in AMIR'S hand.

MAC

Eh... you tahu, tak boleh guna gitar?

You know you have to sing without that, right?

AMIR

Apa?

What?

MAC

Gitar you. Tak boleh audition dengan gitar.

Your guitar. You have to audition without it.

AMIR

Tapi... Amir selalu main dengan gitar.

But... I always play with my guitar.

MAC

Tapi kali ni, tak boleh.

Well, you can't for this.

(beat)

Is it going to be a problem?

AMIR hesitates, then...

AMIR

Tak. No problem.

MAC rings the doorbell.

AMIR looks worried. On his expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM -- DAY

There's a knock on the door. One of the JUDGES opens the door. MAC walks in with AMIR in tow. The other two JUDGES are in the room.

JUDGE 1

Mac, what is this man? I've got a date in one hour.

Judge two is standing by the mini-bar.

JUDGE 2

Yah... I've seen his date. You don't want him to miss it man. Where's the coffee?

AMIR immediately walks over to get some.

JUDGE 1

And why are we meeting in a hotel room? Feels so... sleazy!

MAC

But you know why, right? Anyone sees us with a new contestant, sure die in the papers tomorrow.

You guys should know why. If we're seen with anyone remotely resembling contestant number five, it's going to be all over the papers tomorrow.

JUDGE 3

And where is this top secret contestant number five?

Mac gestures to AMIR.

JUDGE 2

The Bell Boy?

JUDGE 3

You serious?

JUDGE 1

This is not funny, man.

MAC

Look, trust me. This guy's good.

You just listen first.

Just listen and then judge for yourself.

AMIR turns to JUDGE 2 with a cup of coffee. The judges turn back to look at MAC.

JUDGE 1

So what are you going to sing for us?

AMIR

(hesitates, then)

Knocking on Heaven's Door.

MAC reacts.

MAC

I thought-

AMIR

(interrupts)

Tak apa, I boleh.

MAC

(to Amir)

You sure?

AMIR nods to MAC.

JUDGE 1

The boy wants to sing, let him sing la. My date's waiting, man.

AMIR clears his throat, and starts singing. It's terrible, and his pronunciation is all over the place. As soon as Amir sees the judges' faces, he knows he isn't doing well. He falters. And then he stops. He tries to start again but can't.

A moment of uncomfortable silence. Then...

AMIR

Kalau nak, saya boleh cuba menari.

Everyone turns to glare at MAC.

On MAC'S expression, we

FADE TO BLACK

END OF

ACT

INT. GIRL'S HOTEL BATHROOM -- NIGHT

OPEN ON MEL staring at herself in the mirror, gathering courage.

Then she resolves herself and walks out.

CUT TO:

INT. GIRL'S HOTEL ROOM -- NIGHT

OPEN ON BABY on the handphone.

MEL approaches and stands in front of her, nervous. BABY ignores her at first, then eventually puts down the phone and stares back.

BABY

Yah?

MEL

My locket. Give it back to me.

BABY

(a beat)

Apa loket?

What locket?

MEL

The one I always wear.

BABY

You think I took it?

And you think I took it?

MEL

I left it on the bathroom counter. I stepped out for one minute and it was gone!

BABY

(slow, deliberate)

Why should I want your lousy locket?

And you think I took your lousy locket.

MEL is silent first. Then she storms over to BABY'S luggage and starts going throwing stuff out, looking for her locket!

BABY

Hey!!!

On BABY'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. SWIMMING POOL -- NIGHT

AMIR sits alone by the pool. DAYANG approaches.

DAYANG

Hey, cari you merata tempat. So, bagaimana?

Hey, I've been looking for you. How did it go?

AMIR is silent. DAYANG fears the worst.

DAYANG

Amir?

(beat)

Kenapa?

On AMIR'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM CORRIDOR -- NIGHT

MAC storms down the corridor. BABY is leaning against the wall, rattled.

MAC

What's going on?

CUT TO:

INT. GIRL'S HOTEL ROOM -- NIGHT

MAC enters the room. It's a mess - BABY'S belongings are all over the place.

MEL is sitting on the bed, silent. MAC approaches her gently.

MAC

What's wrong?

MEL

She took my locket.

BABY

I didn't take her dumb locket!

MEL gets up and walks towards BABY. MAC stands in the middle of them.

MAC

Hey, cool it!

MEL

I left it in the bathroom for just one minute. Then she went in. And when I went back inside... it was gone!

MAC turns to BABY.

BABY

Sure, I went to the bathroom. But I didn't take it, okay!

MEL

BITCH!

BABY

COW!

MAC doesn't say a thing. He walks into the bathroom to take a look for himself. BABY and MEL follow.

CUT TO:

INT. GIRL'S HOTEL BATHROOM -- CONTINUOUS

MAC looks around the bathroom, then he crouches down and sees... under the sink... the locket lying on the floor.

MAC picks it up and turns to MEL.

MAC

Is this it?

MEL grabs it.

MEL

It wasn't there just now. I swear, I looked and it wasn't there.

(turns to Baby)

You went into the toilet again just now. You put it there, didn't you?

BABY

What is wrong with you?!

Who wants that lousy locket?

Can't you get it into your head that no one wants that lousy locket?!

MEL

Stop saying that, okay! Don't ever say that. It's from my mother!

BABY reacts for a split second. Then she shouts back.

MAC

Both of you, outside!

The both of them step out.

MAC

We could stand here and argue about who did what, but I'm not the one who has to share a room over the next few weeks. So you guys better learn to get along.

(beat)

You can both start by clearing up.

(to Baby)

And you... outside.

MAC walks out of the room. BABY follows, glaring at MEL.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM CORRIDOR -- CONTINUOUS

MAC steps out with BABY.

MAC

Did you take it?

BABY

No!!!

MAC

Because if I find out you ever did, you're out of this show. Understood?

A beat.

BABY

I want my own room.

Is this a good time for me to ask for my own room?

A beat.

MAC

OK. Pack your bags.

BABY

Now?

MAC

Now. Meet me in the lobby.

BABY

Sure.

BABY walks off, smiling. On her expression, we

CUT TO:

EXT. SWIMMING POOL -- NIGHT

OPEN ON DAYANG'S shocked expression.

DAYANG

Amir nyanyi lagu English? Kenapa?!!

You sang an English song? Why?!

AMIR

Semua judges cakap English, Amir pun nyanyi lagu English.

They were all talking English! I got scared.

DAYANG

Amir-

She stops herself, seeing that AMIR'S upset.

DAYANG

Amir, cakap dengan cikgu Mac tu. Mintak satu lagi peluang.

Maybe we can go talk to that coach. Explain things and ask for one more chance.

AMIR

Mana ada peluang yang lain?!!

There isn't going to be one more chance!

DAYANG is taken aback by AMIR'S outburst.

AMIR

Lupakan saja, okay? Amir dah cuba, Amir gagal, okay? Cukuplah dengan idea star-star ini! Ia takkan jadi, okay?

Just forget it! There are no more chances! I tried and it didn't work out, okay! Just stop with your ideas!! It's not going to happen!

DAYANG glares at AMIR. He knows he's gone too far.

DAYANG

You know, kalau Amir nak serah kalah begitu saja... mungkin Amir tak layak untuk menjadi Malaysian Star.

You know what, if you're going to give up like that, then maybe you don't deserve to be a star.

She storms off. On AMIR'S reaction, we

CUT TO:

INT. GUY'S HOTEL ROOM -- NIGHT

OPEN ON NICKSON facing the mirror, mouthing the lyrics to himself.

BURN enters, in the background.

NICKSON

Yo.

BURN

Yo.

NICKSON

You dah memorise lirik tu lagi tak?

You memorized those lyrics yet?

BURN

Buat apa? Bukan macam lagu ni competition song pun.

What for? It's not like I'm going to sing the song in the competiton anyway.

BURN exits into the toilet. On NICKSON'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL LOBBY -- NIGHT

BABY, carrying her luggage, stumbles into the lobby. MAC is sitting on a sofa, waiting for her.

BABY

So... where am I moving to?

On MAC'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- NIGHT

OPEN ON a darkened rehearsal hall. The doors open, allowing a sliver of light to shine inside.

MAC and BABY step in. In a corner of the hall is a mattress, and a bedside lamp, hastily put together.

MAC

Your new room. Big enough for you?

BABY

You've got to be joking, right?

MAC

Why? It's spacious, air-conditioned, and right next to rehearsals.

BABY glares and walks out.

MAC

Where are you going?

BABY

Back to my room!

MAC

You mean Melody's room?

(beat)

You'll have to ask her about that.

(beat)

But it's late, so why don't you do it tomorrow.

MAC walks off, then stops.

MAC

Oh, the ladies is down the hall, yah.

He walks off, leaving MEL in the huge rehearsal hall.

On BABY'S expression, we

CUT TO:

MONTAGE SEQUENCE

INT. GIRL'S HOTEL ROOM -- NIGHT

MEL lies awake, cradling her locket.

CUT TO:

INT. MAC'S HOTEL ROOM -- NIGHT

OPEN ON an audition tape with a terrible candidate.

MAC sits on his couch, watching the tapes, frustrated. On the table beside him is a half-eaten room service tray.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL CAFE -- NIGHT

WAHIDA sits at the hotel cafe, typing on her laptop.

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- NIGHT

BABY tosses and turns on her matress, finding it hard to sleep.

CUT TO:

INT. GUY'S HOTEL ROOM -- NIGHT

NICKSON is asleep. PAN TO BURN lies in bed, wide awake. He switches on the bedside lamp, makes sure NICKSON is still asleep, then creeps out.

He puts his jeans over his boxers and steps out of the room.

A moment later, NICKSON opens his eyes and look. He's been awake all along.

CUT TO:

EXT. SWIMMING POOL -- NIGHT

OPEN ON DAYANG'S name, on the screen of AMIR'S handphone. AMIR dials the phone and puts it to his ear. No one picks up the phone on the other end.

AMIR puts down the phone, frustrated. On his expression, we

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY -- DAY

EST. SHOTS as a new day dawns over the city.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL LOBBY -- DAY

CAMERA POV: OPEN ON POP TV ANNOUNCER as she faces the camera.

POP TV ANNOUNCER

Daaaan sudah lebih dari dua hari, bukan satu, ya dua hari semenjak penyingkiran atau patut kami kata peninggalan Jessie dari rancangan Malaysian Star, tetapi pihak tertentu belum lagi memberi berita tentang penggantinya...

And it's already been two days since Jessie bowed out from Malaysian Star, and so far, still no word about the mystery contestant.

She turns to a big, bulky guy beside her.

POP TV ANNOUNCER

Walaubagaimanapun, inilah Chunk, dari Seremban, yang akan mencapai peluangnya untuk menjadi peserta kelima.

This is Chunk, who's come all the way from Seremban for his one chance for fame.

(to Chunk)

Jadi, Chunk, kamu nak nyanyi lagu apa?

So Chunk, what are you going to perform for us today?

CHUNK

I'm going to do my human beatbox.

POP TV ANNOUNCER

Silalah!

Go ahead!

CHUNK covers his mouth with his hands and starts spitting out a beatbox impersonation. When he finishes...

POP TV ANNOUNCER

Jadi, bagaimana penonton? Jadi atau tak?

So viewers, what d'you think? Contestant number five?

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL CAFE -- DAY

OPEN ON BABY sitting at a table, with WAHIDA'S digital recorder in front of her.

BABY yawns.

WAHIDA

You look tired. Tak cukup tidur?

BABY

I don't want to talk about it.

WAHIDA

You're a model. Why did you decide to go into singing?

BABY

I memang dari dulu lagi dah nak buat singing. You know, when you look good, okaylah, you're on magazine covers. But then, what?

I was always into singing. It's just that, when you look good, and people want to put you on the covers of magazines - what do you do, right?

WAHIDA

(smiles)

Really? Bagaimana dengan khabar angin yang mengatakan Baby menceburi bidang ini sebab tidak ramai lagi yang mahu menempah Baby sebagai model?

Really? What I heard was that modelling assignments were drying up, so you turned to singing instead.

BABY

Itu tidak benar. Actually Baby banyak reject assignment tahu, untuk competition ni.

That's a lie. You know how many jobs I had to turn down to be in this competition?

WAHIDA

Jadi, beginilah... hasrat Baby lebih kepada menyanyi? Atau Baby mahu jadi star?

So let me ask you... are you in this to be a singer? Or to be a star?

BABY thinks, then...

BABY

To be a star.

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- DAY

The kids are sitting on the floor in the rehearsal hall... everyone except BURN.

MAC

Where's Burn?

No one says anything. MAC turns to NICKSON.

MAC

(to Nickson)

Nickson, where's Burn?

NICKSON

Um, tak tahu lah, boss.

MAC

You share a room with the guy and you don't know?

A beat.

MAC

Was he in the room when you woke up?

NICKSON

Um, yah.

MAC

And then?

On NICKSON'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. GUY'S HOTEL ROOM -- DAY

BURN is in bed, still sleeping. The phone is ringing. He picks up the handle and then puts it down again. The phone rings again. Burn grabs the phone, and the puts it under his pillow.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL LOBBY -- CONTINUOUS

MAC hears the line go click. He stares at the phone receiver and then puts down the phone.

He looks around the hotel and sees Amir doing his work. AMIR turns away, embarrassed.

On MAC'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- DAY

BABY and MEL are rehearsing. We INTERCUT between the both of them singing the same song.

Once it's finished, they turn to MAC.

MAC

The both of you are alike, you know that?

BABY and MEL turn to each other.

MAC

You both think too much.

BABY

I think too much?

That's a bad thing?

MAC

Not usually, but this time...

(beat)

Imagine if you're staring into your boyfriend's eyes, giving him a look that says you love him.

(beat)

But he's thinking about football, or the new car he's going to buy, or look, there's a hot babe behind you. Is that good or bad?

(beat)

Baby, you're always thinking of how you look. Whether you look good standing this way... or doing that.

(to Mel)

And you. You're always thinking - control yourself. Don't mess up. I try singing this way and I might get it wrong.

(beat)

Stop thinking. It's what stops you from being in the moment.

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- CONTINUOUS

NICKSON is sitting, with WAHIDA facing him.

WAHIDA

So how's your mum?

NICKSON

She's okaylah. Eh, you nak tulis tentang dia, ke?

She's okay. You're not going to write about her, right?

WAHIDA

Anything outside of the competition is really none of my business.

(beat)

Do you feel guilty about being here?

NICKSON

I thought you said nothing outside of the competition.

WAHIDA

Well, you are here, aren't you.

On NICKSON'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- CONTINUOUS

The doors to the rehearsal hall burst open. It's BURN, just stepped into the rehearsal hall, looking groggy.

He walks over to the group. Everyone looks at MAC. But MAC doesn't say or do anything.

He carries on talking to NICKSON.

MAC

Nickson, you are so over-the-top, you're distracting people from the song.

NICKSON

But that's who I am.

MAC

Is it really? Or is it who you think the audience wants you to be?

BURN sits down amongst the group.

MAC stops.

MAC

What are you doing?

BURN

Rehearsing, dude.

MAC

They are, you're not. Get out.

A beat.

BURN

What?

MAC carries on talking to NICKSON.

MAC

When you sing this way, your people might laugh and clap and tell you you're great. But in a competition, are they going to vote for you?

BURN

(louder)

I overslept. What's your problem?

MAC

Everyone's here on time.

(beat)

What's your problem?

BURN is silent.

MAC

Unless of course you didn't get enough sleep. Where were you last night?

BURN

I was in my room lah, where else would I be?

MAC

Really? That's not what Nickson says.

BURN turns to NICKSON and glares. NICKSON cowers.

BURN turns back to MAC.

BURN

What is this? Pudu Jail? Why does it matter where I am?

MAC

Why does it matter? Get up here.

BURN reluctantly goes up. BURN reacts. He gets up to perform.

The music starts. BURN does a few lines, then tries to make up the lyrics again.

The rest stare, uncomfortable.

MAC cuts the music. He stares at BURN. BURN just shrugs.

Mac turns to face BABY.

MAC

Baby. Dapat hafal lirik?

Baby nods.

MAC

Melody? Nickson?

Melody and Nickson both nod. MAC turns back to look at BURN.

MAC

"Whatever", right?

Burn stares at Mac, and then walks off the stage. And out the room.

In the background, WAHIDA notices and follows.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR -- DAY

BURN storms out. WAHIDA follows suit.

WAHIDA

Burn!

BURN turns around.

WAHIDA

Mungkn Burn nak ceritakan dari pihak Burn-

Maybe you can tell me your side of the story.

BURN hesitates, about to say something, then...

BURN

You know what, you're like the rest. You guys just wait for me to screw up. Well, screw you!!!

You know what, you're the same as all the rest. You're just waiting for me to screw up. Well, screw you!!

He storms off. On WAHIDA'S expression, we

FADE TO BLACK

END OF

ACT

INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR -- DAY

OPEN ON POP TV ANNOUNCER facing the camera.

POP TV ANNOUNCER

Dan sekarang, saya dengan lagu satu, lagu satu yang berharap dia ada X-factor untuk menjadi Malaysian Star-

And I'm standing here with another hopeful who thinks he has what it takes to be the fifth contestant for Malaysian Star.

Nearby, DAYANG stands, half-watching and half-waiting.

In the distance, the kids exit the rehearsal hall. MAC follows suit.

DAYANG walks towards MAC.

DAYANG

Sir?

MAC

Yes?

DAYANG

Um, you don't know me, but I'm a friend of Amir.

MAC seems to know what's coming.

MAC

Yah...

DAYANG

Yesterday, bila dia perform depan judges, dia dengar semua judges cakap BI. Lepas tu, dia cubalah nyanyi lagu BI.

Well, yesterday, when he performed in front of the judges, he heard them all speaking English, so he got nervous, and decided to sing in English.

(beat)

Tapi, masalahnya, Amir tak fasih-

MAC

I know.

DAYANG

Jadi... can you give him another chance?

I'm glad you understand. Maybe you can give him another chance?

MAC

Um, Miss-

DAYANG

Dayang.

MAC

Miss Dayang, tengok ni.

MAC points over to the MALAYSIAN STAR HOPEFUL having his shot.

MAC

That guy gets one chance in front of the camera. No second chances.

The guy who's singing on TV is bad. Really bad. Mac winces.

MAC

Which is a good thing for him.

(beat)

Amir had his one chance.

DAYANG

But-

(beat)

Dia betul-betul talented. I know he can do it.

MAC

I know he can too.

(beat)

Sorry.

MAC walks off. DAYANG looks at him, frustrated, then turns to see the POP TV ANNOUNCER facing back to the camera.

POP TV ANNOUNCER

Ya, ya, terima kasih Yu Jin, Yu Jin dari Batu Pahat. Bagaimana? Ada chance tak?

Thank you, Yu Jin from Batu Pahat. Does he stand a chance? I guess the search for Contestant number five goes on.

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY -- NIGHT

EST. SHOTS as night falls over the city.

CUT TO:

INT. GIRL'S HOTEL ROOM -- NIGHT

OPEN ON BABY unpacking her stuff and putting back into the hotel cupboard.

MEL watches. BABY glares back.

BABY

What are you looking at?

MEL

Nothing. But that cupboard is mine.

(beat)

Go find your own.

MEL turns away and smiles to herself. On her expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. GUY'S HOTEL ROOM -- NIGHT

The guys are in bed. BURN creeps out again.

NICKSON opens his eyes and peeks out.

Then BURN appears from around the corner and glares.

BURN

What are you looking at?

NICKSON has been caught spying.

BURN

And if you screw me again, you're gonna get it.

NICKSON immediately closes his eyes again.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL LOBBY -- NIGHT

OPEN ON WAHIDA on the phone.

WAHIDA

(on phone)

So it'll make the pages tomorrow? Cool.

(beat)

Yah, I think they're good stories too.

At that moment, she sees... JOE, walking into the lobby, on the mobile.

JOE

Yo, Burn! I'm downstairs, man.

Turunlah sekajap. Minum sikit.

Come down for a few drinks lah.

(beat)

What d'you mean you're busy? Too busy to have a drink with your homeboy? What the hell are you doing?

(beat)

Where are you la, bro?

The phone goes dead. JOE stares at the phone in disbelief.

JOE

(to himself)

Dude hung up on me, man!

WAHIDA thinks, then walks over.

WAHIDA

Hi, did I hear you say that you're a friend of Burn's?

JOE

(checking her out)

Yah, I'm his best friend. Why? You wanna get to know him? You'll have to do it through me.

WAHIDA

(thinks then)

Sure, why not?

On JOE'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL CAFE -- NIGHT

WAHIDA and JOE sit at a table. JOE is attacking a burger.

JOE

Yah, Burn and me... we go a long way back. We used to be in a rap group together.

WAHIDA

He said that you guys made him sing because none of you guys could do it.

JOE stops and laughs.

JOE

Really?

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- CONTINUOUS

In an empty rehearsal hall, BURN stands with his lyric sheet in hand, trying to recite and memorize.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL CAFE -- CONTINUOUS

JOE

That dude. We made him sing because he could never memorize the rhymes, man.

WAHIDA

What d'you mean?

JOE

He gets confused. He be staring at the sheet, for like so long, and then, when it's his turn to bust a rhyme... no go.

He just gets all confused. He'll be staring at the sheet for a long time, so you think he's got it, then when it's his turn to rap, he gets all the works mixed up, man.

On WAHIDA'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- CONTINUOUS

BURN stops and stares at the sheet. Then he crumples it and throws it away, frustrated.

As BURN stands alone in the darkened room and screams.

Then he hears a voice and turns.

MAC walks into the room, with a digital recorder in his hand.

MAC

Let me guess. When you look at the words. They all look jumbled up? Like they don't really make sense?

BURN

(a beat)

What the hell you talking about, man.

MAC places his digital recorder on the table.

MAC

Dari sekarang, kau belajar lirik lagu, guna benda ni. Jangan baca lirik sheet lagi.

Burn takes the digital recorder, unsure.

BURN

Why?

MAC

So that you can learn by listening rather than reading.

(beat)

Because that's what you have to do if you're dyslexic.

BURN is silent.

MAC

Lain kali, Burn ada problem, jangan macho sangat. Mintak tolong.

Next time you have a problem, don't try to act tough and solve it all by yourself.

(beat)

I can't promise that I'll solve all your problems.

(beat)

But at least I'll promise to keep it to myself.

OR

MAC

But at least I'll promise to keep my mouth shut.

BURN nods.

MAC

By tomorrow, you better have those lyrics down.

MAC gets up to leave the room.

BURN looks down at the digital recorder. On his expression, we

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY -- DAY

EST. SHOTS as a new day dawns on the city.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. MAC'S HOTEL ROOM -- MORNING

MAC stumbles to the door and opens it. On the handle is the day's nespaper in a plastic bag.

MAC grabs it, unfolds it and reacts.

On the entertainment section, the headlines read:

BEHIND THE SCENES AT MALAYSIAN STAR - EXCLUSIVE REPORT BY WAHIDA AZMI

On MAC'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM CORRIDOR -- DAY

NICKSON and BURN walk down the corridor. NICKSON is reading from the newspaper. BURN is wearing his shades.

NICKSON

(reading aloud)

Nickson puas hati memberi persembahan hanya setakat kemahuan para pendengar, tapi tidak mampu memberi lebih dari itu.

Nickson is content to go with what the crowd expects of him, rather then to find himself as a singer.

(turns to Burn)

That's not true.

(beat)

You think that's true?

BURN doesn't answer.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL CAFE -- DAY

BABY and MEL sit at a table, both reading the papers.

BABY

(reading aloud)

Tidak boleh dinafikan yang Baby seorang yang cantik, tetapi adakah ini cukup untuk mengangi Malaysian Star?

Baby is drop-dead gorgeous but she has to be more than a pretty face.

Then BABY stops reading. On her reaction, we

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL LOBBY -- DAY

NICKSON and BURN walk through the lobby, still reading the papers.

NICKSON

(reading aloud)

Rasanya tidak. Apabila diberi pilihan untuk menjadi penyanyi atau seorang 'star', tanpa keraguan dia terus memilih untuk menjadi star. Adakah ini haluan industri muzik kami, menghasilkan artis yang utamakan populariti ke atas bakat dan muzik?

Apparently not. When asked to choose between being a singer or a star, Baby chose to be a star. Is that what our industry is moving towards? Singers who care more about the fame than the music.

NICKSON laughs. BURN continues walking, still in shades.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL CAFE -- CONTINUOUS

BABY is still staring at her paper. NICKSON and BURN flop into the seats.

NICKSON

(reading aloud)

Burn suka peranannya sebagai 'rebel' Malaysian Star, mengikut kaki langkah Rock Star zaman lalu.

Burn has a lack of respect for authority. He's the rebel. But aren't all rock stars meant to be rebels?

BURN pulls up his shades and looks at the paper.

BURN

Lemme see that.

NICKSON

Great. So you're the rock star.

All this time, MEL just stares at the paper, silent. Then she looks up and sees...

DAVID, walking towards their table, a newspaper tucked under his arm. He doesn't look happy.

CUT TO:

INT. SWIMMING POOL -- DAY

DAVID and MEL are standing beside the pool.

DAVID

(reading from the paper)

Melody Yeoh semacam menjinjing dunia di bahunya. Dia tidak kata apa-apa bila ditanya jika ayahnya, cikgu vokal terkenal David Yeoh, lebih keras dengannya berbanding pelajar lain, tetapi wajah air mukanya menjawab dengan sempurna.

Melody Yeoh has the weight of the world on her shoulders. When asked if her father, renowned vocal coach, David Yeoh, is tougher on her because she's his daughter, she doesn't say anything, but her face says it all.

He turns to MEL, glaring.

MEL

I didn't say anything.

DAVID

What kind of face did you show her?

MEL

(shrugs)

I dunno.

DAVID

You make me sound like... this monster who forces you to do all this.

MEL

I'm sorry, okay!

DAVID

How can you be so careless in front of a reporter?! Do you know what this could cause us? After how hard I've worked.

MEL

How hard you've worked?! What about me?

DAVID

You? It's for your own future!

MEL

My future! It's all for you!!

DAVID

What?

MEL

All this! Have you ever asked what I wanted? Whether this is what I want?

DAVID

This IS what you want!

MEL

No, it isn't! It's what you want!

On DAVID'S expression, we

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL LOBBY -- DAY

CAMERA POV: POP TV ANNOUNCER faces the camera.

POP TV ANNOUNCER

Daaan... tak habis-habis, kami ada lagi satu yang mahu menguji bakatnya di depan kamera television... mungkinkahnya perserta yang kelima?

And with me here is another hopeful who just might be contestant number five.

She turns to the mystery contestant beside her.

POP TV ANNOUNCER

Dan namamu?

So what's your name?

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM -- CONTINUOUS

MAC is still reading the paper when his handphone rings.

MAC

Yah?

(beat)

Okay, hang on.

MAC grabs a remote and turns on the TV.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL LOBBY -- CONTINUOUS

CAMERA POV: AMIR is on camera beside the POP TV ANNOUNCER, singing a Malay song, full blast.

He's really good.

He finishes. The POP TV ANNOUNCER is stunned. Then she turns to the camera.

POP TV ANNOUNCER

Wow! Jadi bagaimana? Saya rasa, inilah yang dinanti-nantikan.

So what d'you guys think? We might have found our fifth contestant!

CUT TO:

INT. MAC'S HOTEL ROOM -- CONTINUOUS

MAC watches. The person on the other end of the line gets his attention again.

MAC

(on phone)

Yah, I'm watching. Sure, I can set something up.

MAC puts the phone down and smiles to himself.

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- DAY

MAC paces in front of the kids as a group.

MAC

(to everyone)

We've spent the last three days rehearsing this song over and over again.

(beat)

Today, you guys are going to perform it. Not in your style.

(beat)

But in the style that works best for the song.

(beat)

How do we work that out?

(beat)

Listen to the lyrics. Think of what they mean to you. What they're about.

(beat)

Then do it.

(beat)

Starting with Burn.

The rest are surprised. MAC looks at BURN. BURN looks back.

As he gets up on stage, we

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- DAY

MONTAGE SEQUENCE

The kids perform their songs one by one.

BURN remembers all his lyrics

NICKSON tones down on his theatrics.

BABY does it better, a little humbler.

MEL for once does it with feeling.

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- CONTINUOUS

WAHIDA is in the background, watching. MAC stands beside her. They both have their eyes on the performances.

WAHIDA

So was I right about your boy being dyslexic?

MAC

(nods)

Yup. And I guess I owe you something in return right?

WAHIDA

(smiles)

You know what I want.

On MAC'S expression, we

CUT TO:

MONTAGE SEQUENCE

INT. HOTEL ROOM -- DAY

CLOSE-UP on a newspaper. The HEADLINES: LATEST MALAYSIAN STAR CONTESTANT REVEALED. BY WAHIDA AZMI.

CUT TO:

INT. REHEARSAL HALL -- DAY

AMIR, MAC and the rest of the kids stand in front of a crowd of reporters and photographers, all firing away.

In the background, DAYANG watches, beaming.

AMIR catches her eye. As they smile at each other, we

CUT TO:

INT. GUY'S HOTEL ROOM -- NIGHT

NICKSON is asleep. BURN is in his bed, listening to the digital recorder - plugged in to headphones.

CUT TO:

INT. GIRL'S HOTEL ROOM -- NIGHT

BABY and MEL are in bed.

MEL looks at BABY, then creeps out of bed.

CUT TO:

INT. GIRL'S HOTEL BATHROOM -- NIGHT

MEL looks into the mirror, toying with her locket. She takes it off and puts it on the counter.

Then she carefully opens it. Inside.... there's a white powder.

As MEL sprinkles a bit on her finger, then looks at herself in the mirror, we

PULL OUT to a top shot. MEL bends over the sink.

FADE TO BLACK

THE END