Five out of 102 music hopefuls got the golden ticket to qualify for this year’s singing competition, Sunbird Search for A Star.
Adrian Kwelepeta, Rustica Kapito, Stembile Banda, Chisomo Nteteka and Sigele Akim are the selected few that braved the hot and windy weather of Lilongwe.
In a typical resemblance of South Africa’s idols, judges Alinane Mphande, Dumisani Mfune and stand in Sweeny Chimkango displayed the traits of arguably Africa’s top singing contest when they perfectly performed their role, by calling a spade a spade without batting an eye.
Some of the hopefuls could not help it, but shed a tear as Mphande, who was like Unathi Msengana, Chimkango was Gareth Cliff and Mfune who was as critical as the bespectacled Randall Abrahams of SA idols, made scathing decisions that left some contestants feeling belittled.
“I can’t help, but the judges were too rough with me. They told me I can’t sing. I feel that was too much,” said one contestants who refused to be named.
However, the judges say they are not looking for numbers but rather quality.
“Unfortunately, we cannot compromise on quality which is the key element of the show. We are looking for people who are a complete package in terms of exceptional voice, ability to express himself or herself musically. However, it is not easy for one to be a whole package, hence a few people will be awarded a place.
“Of course, others have got the potential but we could not get them this year. At the same time, a lot of people who came for auditioning are doing genres like Hip Hop or ragga. But we are looking for a pop star, as such some had to miss a chance because of this,” explained Mphande.
Mfune chipped in saying: “We are happy with those that have made it to the next round. They represent the best that Lilongwe offered”.
With the Mangochi audition last Friday yielding nothing, there are 19 places up for grabs as the auditioning team heads to Sunbird Mzuzu, Sunbird Livingstonia Beach on August 28, Ku Chawe on August 30 before wrapping up the talent search at Sunbird Mount Soche on September 1 and 2.
“We are looking for 24 people for the show that starts on September 7 in Blantyre and later transcends to eviction stages. If we do not get the required number, we will still go ahead and start with those unearthed. But if we get more than the requirement, we will hold second round of auditions to trim the number,” said Felix Njawala, one of the organisers.
He said the auditions are open to everybody who is over 18 including those that participated in the previous seasons.
“Eight people from last year’s edition auditioned but only one has made it. Let me also mention that during the first eviction, nine people will kiss good bye to the top prize of K500 000.
“Again, after the opening show, two contestants with the highest number of votes through public voting will be immune from possible eviction the following week,” said Njawala. n