Underdog Noom sings his way to victory on the third season of the TV talent series
Popular talent show “The Voice Thailand” crowned its third winner last Sunday in a closely fought contest that saw Somsak “Noom” Rinnairak take home the coveted first prize.
“I took a job in a fast food restaurant to lighten the load and help my parents cope with the family’s financial situation,” says Somsak “Noom” Rinnairak, adding that he resigned from the restaurant after winning the hit singing competition.
“Noom has an interesting and powerful voice,” notes his coach, singer Jennifer Kim, one of four celebrity commentators on the show. “The winner isn’t always the most proficient but often wins the peoples’ votes for being kind, underprivileged and living. That’s the way our society functions,” Jennifer says of Somsak’s beating his three rivals in the finals, the immensely talented Suthita “Image” Chanachaisuwan, Panjapon “Bom” Thamason, and Jaroonwit “Biw” Puapunwattana.
A native of Chiang Rai, Somsak, 21, has indicated he’ll be giving his Bt3 million in prizes to his parents.
The win also guarantees Somsak an annual income of Bt4.5 million for three years and put him behind the wheel of an Toyota Altis Esport.
Somsak, who has been interested in music since his primary school days, is a firm fan of Da Endorphine and Pop Calories Blah Blah. “The Voice” marked the first time the fourth-year student at Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Chiang Rai’s Information and Communication Technology faculty had participated in a singing contest.
“I love singing; singing makes me happy. After watching the first two seasons of ‘The Voice’, I decided to have a go,” he says.
In the blind auditions stage of “The Voice”, Somsak sang Pop’s version of Nanthida Kaewbuasai’s “Parn Nee” and was picked by Jennifer, the only commentator to turn her “I Want You” chair back, just as the song was finishing.
“I think maybe she heard something special in my voice. After that, she really helped improve my vocal range and to sing with emotion in the next rounds,” he says.
In the battle round, he duetted with Suranat “Art” Chokchoho on Ruangsak “James” Loychusak’s “Mai Arj Plien Jai”. He sang Sirintip “Rose” Hanpradit’s “Kon Hin Kon Nan” in the knock-out round and Anan Bunnak’s “Long Tua Eng” for the live performance. But the song that really won the hearts of the audience and the commentators was his powerful cover of Rewat Buddhinan’s “Sak Won Tong Dai Dee”.
“The final was more like a performance than a competition. I put in my best efforts into my singing and emotional expression,” says Somsak, adding that his first album will feature “the kind of songs that are the most suitable for me and my voice. It will almost certainly be pop music or easy-listening.”
Finalist Suthita,16, a student at Samsen Wittayalai School, performed a medley of “Stay With Me” and “All I Want” in the final round. Her coach was Apiwat “Stamp” Eurthavornsuk.
“I’m a fan of Stamp and the thought of being close to my idol inspired me to participate in this contest. He instructed me to be more dynamic in singing One Direction’s ‘Torn’ in the battle with Chanutiporn ‘Earn’ Nuntakan,” she says.
Panjapon “Bom” Thamason, also 16 and another finalist, is a student of Huai Sak Witthayakhom School, Chiang Rai. A talented luk thung singer, he chose instead to cover pop for the competition. His coach was Saharat “Kong” Sangkapricha.
“I usually only sing luk thung numbers including Pornsak Songsang’s ‘Me Mia Dek’. In the blind auditions, I was surprised when Joey Boy was first to press the button just after I had started singing ‘Duean Pen’. In the end though, I selected Phi Kong. He helped me work on my voice and emotional expression in ‘Nueng Mitr Chid Klai’ when I was up against Jitsamon ‘Nart’ Shattrakom. I had never heard Pause’s ‘Rak Ther Thang Mod Khong Huajai’ before the final round but I really like it now.”
Jaroonwit “Biw” puapunwattana, 21, the fourth finalist and an archaeology student at Silpakorn University, came into the competition quite by chance after replacing a sick friend at the auditions. His coach is Joey Boy.
“I became interested in music when I first heard Pongsit ‘Poo’ Khamphi on TV. My idea was to have Stamp as my coach but I selected Joey Boy instead. He give me pointers on how to get my emotions across in the battle round as well as how I should interpret Micro’s ‘Roon Raeng Luea Kern’ in my battle against Chalothorn ‘Yok’ Thisarj. I was originally planned to sing Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ in the final but that changed during rehearsal to a medley of ‘Rak Diew’ and ‘Samer’. I was really nervous but Phi Jo told me to think of the final round as a concert not a competition.”