| On 1 year ago

[UPDATED 22/05/20] Was GOLD 905FM S’pore Celebrity Name Drop Contest Biased?

By Zat

Congratulations Shalehan!

Scroll to the end for the latest updates to this saga.

Overnight, local radio station, Mediacorp’s GOLD 905, found itself mired in controversy. Accusations of bias and unfairness swirl regarding the recent crowning of a winner for their long-running and highly popular game show—Celebrity Name Drop. In this game, the DJ plays a series of 14 1 sec sound clips of celebrity voices which listeners have to identify.

On Wednesday, 6 May, GOLD 905 announced one lucky Jerome Tan as the winner on Facebook, winning himself S$10,000 in cash and a shopping spree.

Shortly after, a comment by Muhammad Shalehan asked for an explanation of why his entry did not win especially when his list of 14 names was exactly the same as Jerome’s. Here’s GOLD 905 response:

Now that pronunciation competency is suddenly brought into the picture, let’s have a listen to both contestant’s entry. You be the judge of who pronounced it better.




As you can imagine, it is a very difficult game to win. In a way, it’s a tedious guessing game as opposed to one that tests the keen hearing of the listeners and the speed and luck at which one calls in. There’s also the element of extreme patience and tenacity in listening out for all the wrong and right answers from previous callers to finally collate a name list that is correct and in the order that it appears. This is the correct order of names for your reference:

Tony Hadley
Maggie Wheeler
Ellen DeGeneres
Jim Carrey
Geroge Clooney
David Bowie
Belinda Carlisle
Julie Andrews
Lionel Richie
Stevie Wonder
Meryl Streep
Michael Buble
Rebecca Lim

Another commenter, Syaheer, made a video comparing the pronunciation of both contestants, in turn, followed by the correct rendition based on the website, HowToPronounce. Have a listen:

Reactions were swift and varied:

It seems that GOLD 905 might have dropped the ball on this one. Doling out pronunciation as a determining factor in a last-ditch attempt to justify the winner does not seem at all fair. In their promo video, there were only 3 criteria listed to win:

The voices of disapproval on Facebook grows by the minute largely in part of the prize money being so lucrative. This issue has also been picked up by popular Podcast channel, OKLETSGO, further exacerbating the calls for GOLD 905FM to justify their choice of winner.

What do you think? Who should have won?

[UPDATED: 08/05/20]

Gold 905 has reached out to Shalehan with a justification for their crowning of the winner.

[LATEST UPDATE: 19/05/20]

On 10th May 2020, Shalehan reached out personally via email to Tony Hadley to clarify that his pronunciation of Mr Hadley’s name was correct. Tony Hadley is an English singer-songwriter who became famous in the 1980s as the lead singer of the New Romantic band, Spandau Ballet.


In response, Tony Hadley sent him a video message to ascertain that Shalehan’s pronunciation is accurate. Here’s the video:

[LATEST UPDATE: 22/05/20]

Congratulations Shalehan for winning S$10,000 as well!

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