Crying for One Direction

She cried all week at school.

Exam stress? No.

Compassvale Secondary School student Gabriella Goh, 13, was distraught at not having won tickets to watch her idols, the lads of English-Irish boy band One Direction, on the big screen.

Almost 300 Directioners - that's what fans call themselves - descended on The Cathay at Handy Road on Saturday morning for an exclusive preview screening of the 3-D concert movie and documentary One Direction: This Is Us, organised by Sony Pictures, The New Paper and HOT FM91.3.

They were among the first to watch it in Asia, before the film officially premieres in countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia on Thursday.

The ones who didn't manage to win tickets through various contests in this paper and on radio, like Gabriella, resorted to getting the attention of HOT FM91.3 DJs Boy Thunder and Adam Piperdy, and their "angels" who were roving the area outside The Cathay with extra tickets to the screening for deserving Directioners.

When Gabriella's "Boy Thunder pick me" sign and her constant singing - nay, yelling - of One Direction song lyrics finally scored her a pair of tickets to the 11am screening, she collapsed in a small heap, sobbing. "I came here at 8am and I made a sign (at the) last minute," said Gabriella.

Can you guess what she was doing throughout the 1½-hour screening afterwards?

That's right - crying.

And she wasn't the only one.


From the screams and tears at The Cathay on Saturday morning, one would have thought One Direction members Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik were in town.

At the 1D World pop-up store outside The Cathay, fans Gracia Wong and Joy Koh, both 14-year-old CHIJ Toa Payoh students, belted their hearts out doing karaoke to One Direction track C'mon, C'mon.

Halfway through the song, the pair dropped the microphone they were sharing and ran off screaming when they were handed a pair of tickets to the screening by Boy Thunder.

Their C'mon, C'mon duet partners, Temasek Primary School students Zarith Sofia and Ashley Goh, both 12,

But they didn't have to wait long until they,also scored tickets, which saw Zarith crumpling into a crying heap, one of many this reporter saw that morning.

If you watch One Direction: This Is Us, you'll understand behaviour like this is de rigueur for Directioners.

Giggling was one of the tamer things they did - every time a half-naked One Direction heart-throb came on screen, whoops and whistles and sometimes even applause would erupt throughout the theatre.

The girls also seemed torn between screaming and shushing each other so that everyone could hear the five pop stars go into their rags-to-riches story.

The movie, directed by Super Size Me film-maker Morgan Spurlock, is a behind-the-scenes look at life for the boy band as they tour the US, South America, Europe and Japan.

It is punctuated with clips of the boys performing on stage, as well as emotional sit-downs with the quintet and their parents about how life has changed since being discovered on UK reality singing show The X Factor in 2010.

It got at least three quarters of the audience sobbing silently, judging from the exclamations - "So sad, oh my God, did you cry, too?" - and the eye-dabbing observed after the screening.

When radio jock Boy Thunder - whose real name is Gerald Koh - asked the girls whether they would watch the movie again, a shrill "yes" came from Gabriella.

Now, who says kids these days don't care about anything?

"I'm going to watch it 300 times! No, a million!" - One Direction fan Gabriella Goh, when asked if she'll watch the movie again.

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