Tears of grief and joy engulfed Mount Soche’s Njamba Room on Saturday night as four contestants were booted out of the Sunbird Search for a Star (SSS) competition while eight went through to the next round.
After being saved by judges during the first eviction show two weeks ago, contestant number 2117, Vimbai Bokosi, could not survive another eviction and her journey in the SSS 2014 came to an end.
She was evicted alongside Enoch Siliya (3118), Kissinger Longwe (2119) and Tumbikani Masi (2114).
Unlike Vimbai, it was a second night of joy for Esther Lewis, who after being saved by judges Marvin Hanke, Rudo Mkukupa-Chakwera and Dumisani Mfune a fortnight ago, proved that she really deserved another chance as she sailed through to the round of eight.
In the third and final eviction round, slated for September 29 at Sunbird Capital, Esther Lewis will be facing Taonga Kamanga (2115), John ‘Rasta’ Chiumia (3114), Teddy Maliza (2112), Chiko Saword (2113), MacLuther Mambala Henry (3117), Chisomo Kumwenda (3115) and Alipo Mpita (2118).
Themed ‘Malawi Night’, most of the contestants, who performed songs by Malawian legends, did very well, but the evicted four’s fate was decided based on the “least” public votes they got following their August 30 performances in the capital city.
The show opened with a performance by the legend himself, 84-year-old Giddes Chalamanda. He accompanied Edgar ndi Davis who also performed most of their hit songs, including Energy Saver and Sausage.
The classics the contestants performed included Bwenzi Langa by Robert Fumulani, Sometimes I Wonder by Kalimba Band, Bambo aTereza and Ntchito ndi Mumtengo by Police Orchestra, Muroyi by Bright Nkhata & Makasu, Zaka Zonsezi and Nkhawa Bii by Evison Matafale, Munyaradzi by Saleta Phiri, Mwatenga Mbiri by Ravers Band and Wambali Mkandawire’s Nkhujipereka.
Though most of the contenders put up exceptional performances backed by Malimba Band, it was John “Rasta” Chiumia’s act that sent the audience wild with Saleta Phiri’s Munyaradzi that left the audience chanting “Rasta, rasta, rasta…” after his performance. Some fans were heard saying “Rasta should not go out of the competition”.
Commenting on the show, sponsors Sunbird Tourism Limited, said they were happy with the performances and the direction the show had taken.
“It was a great show, the audience enjoyed it. Great performances from the contestants and I must say we are moving in the right direction and as Sunbird we are proud to be part of the Search for a Star,” said the company’s group sales and marketing manager, Titania Katenga-Kaunda in an interview after the show Saturday night.
Three weeks to the finale, the producers, E-Wallet, have also expressed their satisfaction with how the show has progressed thus far.
“There’s a lot of improvement and the contestants on their own are able to see there is growth in them. They can now ably perform with a band, which is not easy for someone who has never been on stage before and facing such an audience,” explained E-Wallet chairperson Felix Njawala.
Njawala commended the audience for supporting the contestants during the live shows, which he said has been one of the core motivations throughout. He went ahead to urge the fans to keep voting and take charge of the show.
As neither producers nor the judges have the powers at this stage, it’s all in the hands of the public, so let them take charge, vote in large numbers and that way we will unearth the right talent,” he pointed out.
In the final eviction in Lilongwe on September 27, three contestants will be dropped to come up with five finalists who will battle for the K500 000 top prize and a recording deal. The finale is slated for October 4 and will be at Sunbird Mount Soche.