Joakim Gomez says he's changed his focus

15 October 2012 / 4 years 1 week ago

Source: The New PaperForget him as that contestant from Singapore Idol 2 who can't really sing.Now, Joakim Gomez wants you to see him as the guy who can really talk.And the 24-year-old reality TV star of Korean-Indian descent couldn't have asked for a bigger chance than this year's National Day Parade (NDP) to help you change your mind about him.Gomez, who's serving his national service in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Music & Drama Company, is one of the hosts of Thursday's parade alongside veterans Gurmit Singh, Suhaimi Yusof, Jean Danker and Sharon Au.He was selected by the NDP committee to represent the youth of Singapore.In an interview on Tuesday at the Esplanade's outdoor stage, he told The New Paper he teared up when he heard the good news early this year as it will be the biggest show he has ever hosted."I've always wanted to host the NDP because I love engaging the crowd and making them enjoy themselves," he said."It's also going to start my career... Hosting is my calling in life and I believe I'm good at it."Gomez doesn't consider that his Singapore Idol singing stint in 2006 kick-started his showbiz career as it was merely a platform for him to achieve his end goal of becoming a performer, he said.Then only 17 and having just finished his O levels, the good-looking but controversial fangirl magnet finished fifth in the local reality TV singing competition - despite receiving a lot of brickbats for his weak vocals.Hady Mirza was eventually champion of the second season via public voting.Gomez dabbled in acting afterwards, appearing in the Channel 5 drama Lifeline 2 and Okto's youth drama series The Band, before enlisting two years ago.While he had hosted school events at Chong Boon Secondary School, the teen heart-throb truly earned his stripes in his current stint as the resident host at the SAF Music & Drama Company.There, he said he hosted formal SAF dinners attended by the Minister of Defence and foreign dignitaries, and also Recruit's Evening events.Stand-in hostHe was first noticed by the NDP committee after being the stand-in host for last year's parade, where he hosted a preview show and a National Education show.Before that, he had never taken part in the NDP.Members of the Music & Drama Company perform at the NDP, either by singing, dancing or hosting, and Gomez added he's very grateful for the opportunities the company has given him.Of course, the actual NDP that's telecast live over national television is a different ball game from the previews, but Gomez isn't at all worried about fumbling or saying something inappropriate - or even receiving the same level of national-level criticism as he did for Singapore Idol 2."That's why we have rehearsals and our lines to read," he said."We are intelligent enough not to say anything bad on this stage... and we don't let slip anything on the biggest stage (in Singapore)."The self-assured youngster also doesn't feel any pressure working alongside NDP veterans like Danker and his personal idol Gurmit, who hosted Singapore Idol 2."I'm able to bring myself to match their level," said Gomez confidently.He admitted he's better at hosting than singing, although he sang in a group at the opening and closing ceremonies at the Youth Olympic Games in 2010, and at Marina Bay Sands' light and water show Wonder Full.Which is why Gomez, who completes his national service stint on Nov 9, wants to move away from his Singapore Idol label."There's a good and bad side to it - good because people remember me, but bad because they still brand me as a singer."He already has plans for his hosting career after his national service, but he doesn't want to reveal them yet lest he jinxes it.In line with this year's National Day theme Loving Singapore, Our Home, we also asked Gomez where his most special spot in Singapore is.For him, it's the Esplanade outdoor stage facing the Singapore River, where he has been going for almost 10years for some quiet time to read and think.Added Gomez: "I flew my first kite here with my mother in the 1990s and we also had dinners at the table barbecue restaurants at Marina Bay (which has since closed down)."I like the silence, and it's good to know there's still peace in the hustle and bustle of our city."And there's nothing more iconic than the Singapore River and the Central Business District."

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