Ken Lim (born 1964) is an album producer, composer, publisher, artist manager and concert promoter from Singapore who came under the spotlight in 2004 as a chief judge of the Singapore Idol series. His remarks and deadpan expressions invariably drew attention with his comments.
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Singapore's Simon Cowell
Ken Lim is best known for being a judge on Singapore Idol and is most likened to America's Simon Cowell. He is the judge that usually gives the harshest comments and criticisms that serve as the singer's wake-up call. However, I find that his critiques are usually crisp and insightful, providing excellent information that the singer can use to better himself.
He always has a surly face on, and it is rare to see a smile flick across his face. He is not a grumpy man because he does sometimes banter with his fellow judges which injects fun and laughter into Singapore Idol. However, many people have also commented that he is a bit too much like foul-mouthed Simon Cowell. I sometimes even find that they look the same with their no style hairstyle, plain t-shirt and jeans. Admittedly, Simon Cowell has a sharper tongue than his Singaporean counterpart.
Irregardless, there is no doubt that Ken Lim definitely has a lot of experience in the music field and surely has a lot to offer. This makes him one of the most respected and eminent figures in my eyes and to receive criticisms from him will surely be beneficial.
Don't try too hard Ken
The problem with Ken is that when he tries to be the bad judge, he tries so hard that he passes off as a contrived product. Positively unnatural. Seriously though he does give credit where it is due but the whole Ken Lim demeanour comes across as him trying too hard to outdo Simon Cowell.
What Ken Lim should have done is to show what is naturally him, unless of course, trying too hard to emulate others is his natural tendency.
The scary one
If you are in a singing competition, your most feared judge would probably be Ken Lim. He is famous for his criticism which are sometimes constructive and sometimes not. When it is not constructive, it can be funny depending on how you view it. For example, this week, I heard him comment that the contestant's singing at the final 1 was like "wild animals mating". Hahahhaa just for laughs!! Don't take it too seriously though. If you are someone who is easily offended, you probably would not take to Ken Lim too well.
The feeling that he gives off is a scary one. I would not dare to approach him for guidance if I was a singer. :( and the other reviewers are right, I get the vibe that he is trying to be Singapore's Simon Cowell. With his squinting eyes, his style of criticizing outrightly.. It's like applying cold water to burned area (you know that meme??).
Credit When Due
I do not know how Ken Lim is like apart from what I see on TV. I have to admit that the guy does not mince his words and is very direct. I do enjoy and appreciate his honesty whenever he comments. He isn't afraid to say what he thinks to help people in the show. I think this is the sort of quality that we as Singaporeans need to learn. 'No B.S" You may dislike his style but I am sure being in such a competitive business would be much worst off in reality.
He being around for so long and successful at his work must has its merits. We should not be jealous or take pot shots at people like him who has helped shaped the local music business. After all, he's done well while we are just people shooting our mouth off. Give credit when due. My respects to such a Singaporean.
Recently just before his new show "The Final 1" - head honcho Ken Lim has been his usual "straight-talking" undiplomatic self. He ended up raising the ire of the local music community by labeling them as on the "verge of extinction". Turning his back on the very same community he should have worked with to support the show. Because that is where the damn talent is. The local musicians who have busted their asses off and honed their craft unnoticed for years. Its not so much the undiscovered gems but these hardworing local musicians who would show Singapore really has talent and not making the show a laughing stock. A case of tough love gone wrong?
There is a time to be all mighty and opinionated, maybe after your show you can start blaming people. But definitely not before it has even got off the ground and when it needs this vital support. Also, people really respect your words when you have actually made it yourself. That is the number one reason I see Singaporeans not having as much respect for Ken Lim even though he can be at times "brutally honest" sometimes this persona just hurts himself. I personally appreciate his honesty at times but sometimes it is just not needed and results in bad PR.
I would also like to see him able to address the problems mainstream English shows like The Final 1 and Singapore is facing. Or perhaps that is not within his scope and I expect too much.
Downed by criticism
This guy made his appearance on television in Singapore Idol as a judge, but his career goes way beyond that. For many years, he was amongst the better composers and producers in the music industry, and he has been part of many projects such as National Day songs.
He also owns a record company which has been the medium for many rising stars' performances and albums. While he has been fired at for his comments during Singapore Idol for being cynical and a mini Simon Cowell, I actually kind of like his honesty. As a person who understands music to quite a deep depth, I know that his comments make sense, and in fact was more factually accurate than any other judge other than Dick Lee, who is also very musically sensible.
I hope that in his return to the new show the Final One, he will continue to give honest opinions and not kind sounding ones just make a contestant feel good, for good things can be heard by everyone, but mistakes need to be pointed out and learnt..
He vanished too!
I recalled agreeing with many that he was a Simon Cowell wannabe, after witnessing his conduct in the judging panel for Singapore Idol.
I also remembered him desperately trying to warp his image into a positive one via magazine articles and newspapers.
He showed his lavish house, he elaborated about himself. He was everywhere!
I was successfully swayed though via some of the articles. Unfortunately, the article contents escaped my memory system. All that remained was the vivid pictorial memory of his lawn of grey concretes and humongous windows. Oh, and those sofas. The sofas that spanked viewers with bolts of envy.
After Singapore Idol retired from the television screen, never to make a comeback ever again, so did he! Where did Mr Ken Lim vanished to?
I never really liked Ken Lim. Perhaps this is due to my impression that he is a poor man's version of American Idol's Simon Cowell. Or maybe it was due to my personal experiences with the man that led me to be so nonchalant towards his persona.
I am sure that he is a reasonable enough person outside of the media scene, but after hearing from several contestants from the previous renditions of Singapore Idol (I had a few friends who participated; one was even in the last 8), I felt that he was trying to emulate the bad-boy, tough-guy judge image too much. Plus, I met him once at a 7/11 in town, and when I didn't let him cut my queue, he stared at me.
Singapore's Simon Cowell
If you've seen Singapore Idol, you'd be sure to know who Ken Lim is. His harsh and honest criticism of the contestants caused him to appear as unlikeable, and this made him resemble Simon Cowell in the American version of Idol as well as X Factor. However, as cruel as he may sound, he definitely knows how to be professional in his career, and I guess that's what makes people respect him.
Ken Lim has also been known to have written and composed a number of the National Day theme songs. He has also produced songs for other occasions and local artistes, proving that he is possibly one of Singapore's leading and/or more sought after music producer.