By Denis Dibele & Nigel Nassar
Urban TV Coca Cola Rated Next, the singing competition that has over the last two months traversed the country in search of Uganda’s next best singer, made its Kampala stopover on Saturday and Sunday.
The venue, MTN Arena in Lugogo, filled to the rafters. Day One turned up so many hopefuls that when the search team registered their 1000th contestant, they closed, sending the judges on a long journey screening 1,000 people.
From as early as 10:00am, the judges Maurice Kirya, a renowned local artiste; X FM’s Siima Sabiiti, and music producer Sharpe Sewali, who were all upbeat and in good moods, sifted through them all for 12 hours.
A contestant shows his skills on the keyboard
A good number of them dressed like superstars, a thing that made the judges moods even better.
Others’ dressing was more dramatic than stylish, but on the whole, fashion statements were made.
That also came with very big singing talents, according to the judges, with Siima pointing out that there were some two particularly talented girls she envisions going so far in the competition.
While some sang and got the judges’ “yes”, others took a “no”, breaking down and crying for another chance in vain.
Most went for popular local and international artistes’ songs. But the majority of those who went for departed connoisseur Whitney Houston’s did not pull it off, for her high pitches are hard to hit.
The judges had to make some tough decisions
By the end of day one, 175 people had been elevated to day two, which kicked off at 2:00pm at the same venue. Here, they were trimmed to 43, who will this Friday at Ndere Centre join the 83 selected from the other regions of the country, in a sieving that will see them go down to 30 finalists.
The 30 finalists will from then on undergo a residential boot camp at Ndere Centre, where renowned local artistes, producers and mentors will fine-tune their craft ahead of the grand finale next month.
The finale will see the winner walk away with sh50m and a recording contract with Fenon Records, while runners–up will take home some prize money, iPads and smart phones, among other prizes.
Be sure to catch the auditions from previously visited places on Urban TV every Friday at 2:00pm or Sunday at 7:00pm. On Bukedde 1, tune in on Wednesdays at 3:30pm, while Bukedde 2 screens the auditions Mondays at 7:30pm and Saturdays at 8:00pm. On TV West, tune in Sundays at 10:00pm and Mondays 1:00pm.
READY: Contestants wait their turn at the Urban TV Coca Cola Rated Next challenge