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Music of Thursday, 24 August 2006


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There was a dramatic display of mixed feelings at the TV3 premises in Accra last Thursday as three persons, out of ten finalists were selected to represent Accra in the Mentor 2 reality show.

The winners, Victoria Kwablah, 22, Anita Nageh, 19 and Henry Prince Lamptey, 20 cheered and hugged each other whilst the others, obviously disappointed, told Graphic Showbiz that they would not give up trying to get into the Mentor House and would follow the show to Kumasi where the auditioning sessions were due to start on August 21.

Prior to the announcement of the winners, members of the Mentor production crew engaged the participants in conversation outside the studio to ease their tension as the judges collated their scores.

As they sat out there waiting, some of the participants were silent while others smiled and tried to hide their anxieties.

When the time eventually came, judge Mark Okraku Mantey, filled the atmosphere with suspense as he announced the three adjudged winners.

Ironically, before making the announcement, Mark asked the participants to choose their own winners and the ones chosen by them perfectly matched what the judges had agreed on behind closed doors.

?You selected your own winners which prove that you really have good musical ears,? Mark told the participants as he congratulated them.

Stars of the Future first runner-up, 21-year-old William Amui a.k.a Ramzy was spotted among the final 10. He declined to give reasons why he joined the Mentor show in an interview with Graphic Showbiz.

He was selected with Osbert Kaitoo, 21 and Rebecca Acheampong, 22, as stand-bys. Ramzy placed second to Irene Logan in a talent hunt reality show dubbed Stars of the Future organised by Charter House Productions early this year.

He expressed disappointment at not being selected in the final three. ?This is not the end for me though. I will follow them to Kumasi for the next audition.? he said.

The Accra audition started on August 15 with over 800 participants who were all given the chance to justify their inclusion.

Last Thursday saw 10 selected finalists proving why each should be part of the final three chosen from the Accra sector to enter the Mentor House.

According to Judge Dominic Ansa-Asare, since their main aim was to have contestants who could measure up to international standards and would perform better than those in the previous Mentor show, they have now tightened the criteria required for qualification into the House.

To prove this, the participants sang their own songs accompanied by reggae, R&B and highlife rhythms to test their speed, breath control and ability to sing in key.

It would have been difficult for an outsider to point out a favourite since all the finalists did their best. The judges were, however, able to select the final three after attentively listening to each participant.

One of the new judges on the show who has been appointed as the music director, in charge of training the contestants? voices, Daniel Freeman said that unexpected things happen in every competition and that they selected the best ones on purely professional basis.

?It is hard to drop someone who has struggled to get this far but if you do not meet our standards, you have to go.? said the Voice Coach and Musicologist.

The concept of Mentor, a talent hunt reality show on TV3, was adopted from a similar show organised in Malaysia by TV3 Malaysia and its target is to hunt for young people with raw musical talents to be transformed into real stars.

According to Hammid Yakubu, the show?s producer, the winners of the first Mentor show, Prince and Andy are still working on their respective albums.

Meanwhile their travelling documents are being processed to enable them study for three months at a music school in the United Kingdom.