Grammy-winning producer shows off magic trick
Acclaimed singer-producer-songwriter, 16-time Grammy winner and chairman of Verve Music Group.
Asia's Got Talent judge David Foster's musical achievements are no secret.
But now the Canadian can add a hidden talent to that impressive list of accolades - magic.
He may not be the next Blaine or Copperfield, but the 65-year-old performed a spontaneous trick during our interview session that put the regional media under his spell.
The charismatic Foster wasted no time - he wrote a number on a reporter's notebook and started keying in numbers suggested by other media volunteers into a borrowed mobile phone.
A four-digit number multiplied by another four-digit number, a three-digit one and then any two, three or four-digit number.
The result?The number 1,272,015 flashed on the screen.
The same number was written on the piece of paper earlier.
What had us cheering and applauding was when we saw that it matched yesterday's date - Jan 27, 2015.
We later realised that there was no way the numbers could have tallied.
Sure, we were momentarily fools at the mercy of his "impressive trick" - his words, not ours - but we had to applaud his spontaneity and enthusiasm.
And it is with this talent that he hopes to wow the judges, if he ever decides to join a reality talent competition.
"Yes, I think I would have a shot. At least compared to the other magicians that we have seen so far," said Foster, who has been dabbling in magic for the past year, thanks to his magician friends.
He has been showing off to his fellow judges Mel C, Anggun and Van Ness Wu backstage or in the dressing room during dull or lull moments.
It is clear that Foster is confident, frank and has a no-nonsense attitude.
This is the same persona that viewers will see once Asia's Got Talent airs in March, calling to mind comparisons to well-known reality TV baddie Simon Cowell.
In fact, Foster's co-judges are quick to call him out as being "the mean one".
"I think we're all well-balanced. And as the oldest, I have the least patience. It's a different culture here, and I realise you have to be a little gentler in Asia.
But I can only be myself and will not sugar-coat my comments," he said.
Still, Foster, who has worked with Asian talents like Charice, Yuna and Siti Nurhaliza, is confident of uncovering a bright spark in this region.
"In terms of singing, Asia has had a tradition of copying the West for over 50 years, but now it's finding its own flavour with singers.
I'm certain someone like Rihanna and Katy Perry will pop up from Asia," he said.
She takes selfie with Van Ness Wu to make sister jealous
Van Ness Wu counts throngs of women across Asia as his fans.
And he has won the heart of Indonesian pop diva Anggun's sister, who is a long-time supporter.
When she learnt that Anggun would be working closely with her idol, she could not contain her excitement.
To make her jealous, Anggun took a selfie with Wu and has plans to record a quick video for "bragging rights".
The Paris-based singing sensation gushed: "He is multi-talented.
He shocks us with his hairdo and sometimes wears these funky hats.
He's super fashion-forward."
She added: "He is super sweet sometimes.
At times, he says yes to an act and we are all like, 'Are you serious?' He has a big heart; sometimes we make fun of him."
Anggun, 40, said the quartet enjoy great chemistry and get along well with each other.
She even shares parenting tales and tips with Mel C.
Mel C and Anggun have a daughter each, aged six and seven respectively.
Being in the same boat, they share the struggles and joys of being working mothers.
"Before becoming a mother, I am a woman and I have my career and that is important.
But being a mother is the identity I cherish the most.
We have to be a superwoman, and sometimes we fail while sometimes we succeed," she said.
Anggun returns to her Parisian studio tomorrow to record her new album.
"It is a French and English album that will be out in October.
It was pushed back because of this (Asia's Got Talent) stint," she said.
Spice Girls reunion? Maybe
She has gone from Sporty Spice to Selfie Spice.
Former Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm, better known as Mel C, has a new obsession - the selfie stick.
And it is all thanks to Asia's Got Talent, which she said was the reason behind her newly-acquired toy.
"I didn't even know what a selfie stick was, but a lot of kids got them for Christmas.
"I didn't even want one, but we were taking selfies and I thought it would be great to take photos capturing the audience," the 41-year-old English singer told M yesterday during an interview at Marina Bay Sands to promote the reality TV show.
One day, the self-proclaimed selfie stick convert hopes to sneak a quick selfie with her music idol Madonna.
"Do you think she'll like my selfie stick? I bet she would. We can do a flattering angle. The high angle thing is good because it's like having a face lift," she joked.
Off-camera, Chisholm is a barrel of laughs and maintains a cheery persona.
But as a judge on the show, fellow celebrity panellist David Foster jokingly dubs her "The Wicked Witch of the West" - the East equivalent of the title belongs to Anggun - and says she
can get cranky at times.
Does she agree?
"Sometimes we disagree on an act and if I feel passionately about somebody, then we do find ourselves at loggerheads," she admitted.
Asked if she looked to fellow Spice Girl and seasoned reality talent show judge Mel B (Melanie Brown) for advice, she said their personalities are as different as night and day.
Brown sat on the judging panel of The X Factor UK and Australia and America's Got Talent.
"Melanie's quite harsh when it comes to judging so I have to be my own person," said Chisholm, who said that gargling to songs is her secret talent.
Chisholm gargles perfectly on-key to Spice Girls tunes, Anggun later added.
Now that Sporty, Scary, Baby, Ginger and Posh Spice are pursuing individual careers, a reunion gig since Spice Girls' 2012 Olympic Games appearance might remain a fan's dream.
But Chisholm said that the quintet remain close friends and get together whenever their schedules permit.
She makes it a point to celebrate birthdays with Emma Bunton (Baby Spice), both of whom turn a year older every January.
A typical shindig includes "girly fun like cocktails, karaoke and dinner", a tradition they were not able to keep this year due to work commitments.
"We were both quite sad, but we did say we'll make up for it when we get home," said Chisholm.
It is not impossible that she and her former band mates may come together officially as a complete unit once more, she said.
"We don't have any plans, but you know, I didn't think it would happen in 2007, but it did. I'll mention it to the girls," she promised.
This article was first published on Jan 28, 2015.
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