Sunbird Search for A Star contest: Grace Chinga’s son fails twice

Sunbird Search for A Star auditions have proven to be a tough ride for wanna-be singing stars with the country’s gospel songbird, Grace Chinga’s son, Steve thumbed down by the panel of judges twice.

The competition, formally named E-Wallet and has been adopted by Sunbird Tourism, extended this year’s auditions to the districts of Salima, Zomba and Mangochi.

On overall assessment, the ride has been tough enough with only 22 contestants made it, two down from targeted 24, clearly stating how the judges were strictly on their guard sieving talent from incompetency.

Zomba has contributed four contestants, Blantyre seven, Lilongwe five, Mzuzu four, Salima two and Mangochi contributed none.

On of the contestant doing auditions
On of the contestant doing auditions

On fair note, the judges’ strictness screamed out one fact, not every great voice can sing, and not every soul could turn out to be a singing sensation; no surprising only 22 stood out set to defy the ordinary once the show rolls off early next month.

The panel of the judges, made of Marvin Hanke, Dumisani Mfune and Mildred Ligoya, proved, however, beneficial on the part of shelled-out contestants with advice and tips on how they could improve their talent.

Some of the notable shortfalls, pointed out of failed participants, were lack of confidence, diction and most of all, poor voice projection with most of them tend to swallow words to the dismay of the judges.

Out of over 220 aspirants that turned out for the two-day auditions at Sunbird Mount Soche hotel, Blantyre, it was Grace Chinga’s 19-year-old son, Steve Spesho who seemed to have had an embarrassing moment when he failed to put up a brave parade worth of his mother’s stature to impress the judges.

Instead, he got a shock of his life when he was thumbed down twice after tried his lucky to make it into the race.

In an interview after the auditions, one of the judges, Dumisani Mfune attributed the failure by the majority aspirants to impress the judges on misunderstanding of the whole concept about the competition.

Mfune said: “Most people had a last year’s edition notion in mind and could not fully comprehend this year’s focus. We are focusing on singers, people who can amaze the audience with their voices. And that was little bit let down on the part of us because we could not get the best out of those who failed to impress”.

Mfune said this year’s event will have surprises with some of the selected contestants posing to be a force to be reckoned with as far as music is concerned.

However, Mfune bemoaned lack of basic music education in the country, which left most aspirants failing to rise above the bar and put up impressive auditions, adding most of them had wrong song choices that were not capable of delivering.

His sentiments were supported by Executive Producer, Felix Njawala who believed the country has talent that begs to be unearthed only if the wanna-be stars themselves are brave enough to defy the odds.

“People need to aim high, and this is why this year’s criteria made it tough for most aspirants because of their inability to put up a challenging display. It’s our focus to make people be challenged to be at their best whenever competing in this competition,” said Njawala.

He said through a week-long intensive training, the selected 22 contestants will learn music nitty-gritties and on how to develop their career to greater heights.

And Sunbird Tourism Public Relations Officer, Akossa Mphepo said were impressed with the audition so far and promised people of fireworks during the main eviction shows starting early next month.

This year’s winner is expected to pocket K500,000 as a grand prize with a second and third runners up getting K300,000 and K200,000 respectively.

The competition has been devised to find new singing talent-unlike last year where some dancers were incorporated.

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