News / Africa

Tough Judges, Open Field in South Sudan's Answer to 'American Idol'

  • South Sudan's "Talent Search" is in its second season.
  • A competitor in "Talent Search," South Sudan's answer to "American Idol."
South Sudan's 'Talent Search' Begins Second Season
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
On South Sudan's answer to U.S. televised music talent search "American Idol," the judges can be just as tough on contestants as their American counterparts.

Take judge Lam Tungwar. He didn't mince words with Paul Abraham when the budding artist finished his performance of “Pretty Girl" for "Talent Search," as the show kicked off its second season in South Sudan.

“Mr. Abraham, you sing 'Pretty Girl,' you have to be smiling and assuming she's just looking at you among the crowd. That’s number 1," Tungwar told the pop star wannabe.

"Number 2: you are not controlling the instruments…the sound is louder than you are,” he said.

Abraham was one of 21 finalists selected from more than 200 people around South Sudan who auditioned for "Talent Search."

For the next 12 weeks, he and the other finalists will perform live at Juba's Nyakuron cultural center, with their musical interpretations broadcast on television around the country.

Three contestants will be chosen for elimination each week by the judges, but viewers will be able to save one of the performers earmarked for the chop by sending a mobile phone text message to a specified number.

In the end, just one contestant will be left. He or she will go home with 15,000 South Sudan pounds and a recording contract.

Evans Mandeah, the executive secretary of the South Sudan Artist’s Association, which organizes the competition, said although the music scene in South Sudan is still in its infancy, artists and impresarios hope that competitions like "Talent Search" will help to boost opportunities for budding artists.

"The music industry in South Sudan is not well paying and one of the reasons is because there is no opportunity which is available for young artists to at least have their talent nurtured, trained and also sell their product in a way that they can be able to make resources out of their talent,” he said.

Most of this year’s "Talent Search" competitors will be given a chance to record at least two of their own songs after the competition ends, he said.

The performers also inspire others, like audience member James Dean, to try their luck as a pop star.

“When you come here and see what other people are doing, it will give you that morale so next time you can do it -- like, next time, maybe I can show my talent," he said.

Dean said he plans to come back every week to watch the contestants give it their best shot in the competition until the field is whittled down to one, lucky, and talented winner.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs