Photos: Tammi Tan
Jean Danker’s had such a busy year at work she hasn’t had time to sit down and reflect on the year that’s soon to pass. Not that being busy counts as a bad thing in her books however, the Class 95FM DJ enjoys the buzz and work adrenaline, “with no complaints,” she chirped.
When not hosting her evening radio show with partner Mike Kasem, Jean can be found hosting roadshows, events, and most recently, upcoming reality talent contest on Channel 5, The 5 Search. The programme which aims to find “the next big thing” in showbiz has yet to air (watch out for it on Jan 5) but filming has begun.
No stranger to hosting TV programmes (she has done shows like Talent Time, Brides of the World and First XII), this is Jean’s maiden solo gig on TV. “It’s liberating, it’s kind of fun in the sense that you get to control it, and basically, you don’t have to worry about the chemistry with your partner,” quipped Jean, during her interview with xinmsn after filming a promo trailer for the channel’s new “local upsize” revamp.
The only challenge she had so far was to memorise chunks of text in the initial episodes as there were no cue cards or teleprompter to read her lines from, up until a week ago. Spending a good half an hour prior to each recording, sitting in a corner with a cup of coffee while digesting her lines, Jean exclaimed, “I just had to use brainpower and it’s intense!”
“There’s a lot of memorising and it’s very tedious. Sometimes you get a page long [of text] for the introduction too… but you really test yourself to see how strong you are.”
Unlike Singapore Idol which saw host Gurmit Singh play the role of “big brother” to the contestants, Jean’s presence in the show serves one and only one purpose – “to link everything together and connect the audience to what’s happening.” She plays an impartial role while judges Tay Ping Hui, Bryan Wong, Selena Tan and a weekly guest judge will double up as the contestants’ mentors, helping these contestants hone their acting, singing and hosting craft through workshops and critique.
With less than 11 days to go before the dawn of a brand new year, 2015 is shaping out to be an action-packed year for Jean. Even for someone who doesn’t believe in “planning”, she’s got a few milestones ready to be checked off her to-do list -- first up is a Japan holiday to plan and look forward to in January, next the 36-year-old hopes to “move to a bigger place with Glenn [Ong]”, her radio DJ fiancé, and then, finally, “maybe plan to get married,” said Jean, with a hint of uncertainty in her voice.
The couple have been dating for more than five years and almost walked down the aisle two years ago but called it off due to surmounting pressure and attention on their nuptials.
“I think we’ve been kinda just sitting around [on wedding plans for] quite a while, so maybe, we might do something like that,” she explained before adding, “[We talked] a little bit [about getting married], and it’s actually up to me to plan it with him being the typical dude right?” she chuckled.
“It’d be something small, cute and fun,” she promised.
With no dates in mind yet, the bride-to-be joked that it could and might just happen in two months down the road too, given her spontaneous nature. Don’t expect her to morph into a bridezilla though, Jean’s so chillax about it she plans to just “pick something off the rack” – something “simple” she maintained.
So will it be a traditional wedding with the full works? “I don’t want it to be a big ‘do… I always feel it’s about two people and the people you love and people that love you. Small and intimate – that’s what I like.”
Catch Jean Danker in The 5 Search starting from Jan 4 (Sun) on Channel 5 at 9.30pm.