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

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid