“YOUR talent is more than you think it is but not if you exercise it that it will flourish... Now is your time!” Well, not my words. They are words of the DundaStar Talent Search organisers. I stumbled upon them on their facebook page.
Today, those words will mean a lot to hordes of aspiring singers and dancers converging at the New Papyrus Bar in Gasabo, where DundaStar premiers.
Code named “Rwanda’s Next Super Talent”, DundaStar Talent Search is a reality television singing and dancing competition. Being the first raw talent search competition in Rwanda, the organisers have also chosen to televise it to create a richer viewer experience and make the competition interactive.
On November 17, the auditions head to Nyarugenge’s Kigali Sports Club, while the third audition on November 24 will take place at the Rainbow Hotel in Kicukiro. The winners for both the music and dance categories will be determined by viewers through SMS voting and the internet.
For the music category, contestants will be required to sing a cappella (without music or instrumental accompaniment), any song of their choice. Each contestant sings one or two songs, and the good news is that they get to do so in a language of their choice. In the dance category, contestants will have to settle for songs chosen by the DundaStar team.
One can choose to try their luck in both the music and dance categories either as an individual or group. It’s your talent that will limit you.
Contestants who sing/dance to the satisfaction of the judges will be booked for the qualifier stage. Those that make it past the qualification stage will then tussle it out until it is only the best of the best standing.
Every week, the finalists will showcase their skills to the Judges, the public and TV audience. The public and judges shall vote out one contestant from the Talent Studio every week, until the show produces finalists in both the singing and dancing categories.
The winner in the singing category shall receive a “cash prize” and a recording deal with producer Washington Ebangit, while the winner in the dance category shall scoop a “cash prize”, according to the organisers.
The competition has drawn a panel of four judges and a show host/presenter. The judges will be reviewing the performers’ talent (or lack of it), after which members of the public will vote for their favourite singer/dancer.
Contestants will go through the initial auditions stage, and those that make it to the crucial qualifier stage get a chance to join the Talent Studio where they will be tutored and trained in dance and music. All these stages will be captured on camera, and relayed for viewers on national television. From the qualification stage onwards, the contestants’ fate will be determined by the public vote. The contestant with the least number of votes gets eliminated from the competition at the end of every weekly show. The competition will run for five months.
DundaStar Talent Studio
This is part of the last stage of the talent search. Since it’s raw talent we’re dealing with, the studio comes in handy; it will facilitate the top twenty contestants with experts who will offer intensive music and dance lessons to help them better identify their strengths and talent orientation. The studio is a joint effort of several art and culture centres, youth and community-based institutions.
The organisers have set in place stringent rules for the contestants to not only guarantee a colourful competition, but also to forestall any possible legal issues. Only participants with 15 years and above are eligible to audition. Contestants who were below 18 years of age at the time of registration will have to be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian who must show his consent by signing a minor release form.
All participants in this category will be expected to return the signed Minor Release forms with them to the auditions, along with an appointed guardian. Children below 5 years of age will not be allowed in the auditorium.
Those who qualify past the first and second rounds of auditions will be expected to have no binding contracts or commitments elsewhere as pertains to the use of their voice, name or musical talent. The competition is also barred to people with relatives or family members in any of the competition’s partners and sponsors.
Contestants have been barred from wearing any clothing or items with designer names, corporate or sports team names or logos, copyrighted images, and inappropriate messages.Those that violate this rule will be compelled to take off the offending item, turn it inside out or wear extra clothing to cover it.