Jinja — Amazing levels of talent and a distinct sense of style are what best describe the Urban TV-Coca Cola Rated Next auditions that took place in Jinja over the weekend.
In what summed up the upcountry auditions, Jinja so far boasts perhaps the biggest turnout compared to previously visited places - Arua, Gulu, Lira, Fort Portal, Mbarara, Masaka and Mbale.
By 9:00am on Saturday, which was Day One, Main Street Primary School, the venue, was already chocking on contestants, shooting up to over 200 by midday, just about the time the judges took their seats.
Judges Siima Sabiiti from X FM, renowned musician Maurice Kirya and music producer Sharpe Ssewali had a hard time sifting through the huge turnout, elevating 39 of the hopefuls to Day Two at Safari Inn.
Specifically impressive were some guitarists, the very first to perform - their singing and amazing skill with the guitars had the judges and cheering crowds
Interestingly though, none sang in Lusoga, the local language there - the closest to Lusoga was Luganda, their neighbours' language. That notwithstanding however, the contestants on the whole had a good dress sense, and their voices were finer than anywhere else the team has been so far.
They were so good that by the end of Day Two, the judges had zeroed in on 16 finalists for the April finale in Kampala, a much bigger number compared to the usual 10 they have been elevating elsewhere.
"It's likely the Jinja contestants borrowed an idea or two from the previous auditions Urban TV, TV West and Bukedde TV 1 and 2 have been airing, which is good because we had a fine lot to choose from," said judge Kirya before joining the other judges in castigating the Jinja crowd for not being supportive enough, as they mostly booed their contestants instead of supporting them.
Overall, the auditions were amazing, a testimony that the Kampala auditions on March 2nd and 3rd at the MTN Lugogo arena promise to be even more exciting.
So if you imagine yourself a singer, show up at the Kampala auditions on the said dates and give your dream a stub at reality.
The winner will take home sh50m, a recording contract with Fenon Records and an iPad, while the 1st and 2nd runners up will get sh5m and sh2m respectively, plus an iPad each.