New Vision (Kampala)

18 February 2013

Uganda: Urban's Rated Next - Mbale Joins Big Ranks

Mbale — After an almost two-week hiatus, the Urban TV-Coca Cola Rated Next singing contest last weekend headed east, Mbale to be exact.

And the contestants in this town, away from being good dressers and having good amounts of confidence, also belted out some good singing, a good transition from Gulu, which was dominated by rapping hopefuls.

Co-judge and music producer, Sharpe Sewali who has a phobia for rapping contestants, was specifically relieved that there was none of that this time, and actually enjoyed these hopefuls' singing.

His colleague, instrumentalist and X-FM radio presenter Siima Sabiiti, noted that most of the singers had good voices and did their compositions, a thing they did not see a lot in places like Lira, Arua and Fort Portal.

Mbale's quality of talent actually measured up to that we found in Mbarara and Gulu, the best so far.

The afternoon was hot. But, the venue on Day One, which was hosted at Mbale Cricket Oval, was chockablock on over 50 enthusiastic youth, each trying their luck at the highly coveted contest, tag-lined, Sing It.

TALENTED: Contestants who sailed through after Day Two. PHOTO/Dennis Dibele

The performer of the day was an Austrian on a volunteering mission in Uganda, based in Mbale. Eva Maria Kehrer, who did her rendition of Roberta Flack's Killing Me Softly, got all the judges' attention and onlookers' alike.

She is by far the hottest contender from all the regions the Rated Next team has been, and is sure going to give hopefuls a run for their money as she is one of the cream of nine the judges selected from Mbale on Day Two held at the Sun Rise Inn in Mbale.

The nine will be versing contestants from Arua, Gulu, Lira, Fort Portal, Mbarara, Kampala and Masaka come April in a race to win sh50m and a recording contract with Fenon Records, the main prize.

Rated Next will be in Jinja on February 23rd and 24th, and on March 2nd and 3rd, the search will be in Kampala.

To enter the competition, one has to buy a bottle of Coca Cola, from where they will be issued a registration form, which is returned to the nearest Coca Cola agent. You can also do the same at any auditions point.

Away from the main prize, the first and second runners up will each walk away with sh5m, 2m and an iPad, respectively.

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