By Nigel Nassar
JINJA - After two months on the road, the Coca-Cola Rated Next Sing It regional search has finally ended.
The search visited Mbarara, Masaka, Kampala, Arua, Lira, Mbale and finally Jinja, which saw 26 make it to the national level.
A total of 93 winners will have a showdown at the National Theatre this weekend. The eventual top 10 will enter a boot camp where voice coaches will be hired.
Commenting about their regional search experiences after the Jinja auditions on Saturday, each of the judges (Siima Sabiiti, Benon Mugumya, Sharpe Sewali) said they will miss the drama.
They were also pleasantly surprised that Jinja had so many amazing singers.
(PHOTOGRAPHER: Donald Kiirya)
This contestant had his traditional instrument well-tuned and he had to feel his vibe flow from deep within before hitting the stage.
The judges listened, watched and took notes as contestant by contestant showcased what they are made of.
The auditions are a true epitome of freedom of expression. No limits whatsoever in the quest for the next superstar!
“Jinja was so forgettable last season, which cannot be said of it this time around. In fact, we have been pleasantly surprised. Of the 192 hopefuls who turned up, a whole 26 made it to the nationals; that is amazing,” said judge Sewali.
One of the finer singers was Shakira Nakiyimba, who had been rejected at the Mbale auditions the previous week, and Sharifah Kayondo, who had also been rejected in the Kampala auditions.
And as always, we had some loonies as well, an outstanding one being that chap Sir Pro Engineer He Horn Rasta Face.
And just as Day Two of the auditions came to an end, the team was blessed by a singing couple: Immy Rose and hubby Jim Lassiter from Atlanta, Georgia.
They call themselves the Bukaya Irregulars, they have been married for 31 years and are on holiday in Uganda.
They live in Bukaya and sing for the elderly people. Crooning the Malaika song in a duet rendition, they turned out a much-needed relief after a long weekend of sifting through so many jokers.