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Live Karaoke Contest Reaches Business End


Live Karaoke Contest Reaches Business End Of The Season – On Maori Television!

It all comes down to this.

After hundreds of live performances, thousands given out in winners’ prize money and tens of thousands of viewer text votes, the heats for Maori Television’s most popular Friday night live karaoke show, HOMAI TE PAKIPAKI, have come to a close.

Let the next two legs of the contest – the all-important semi-finals and grand final – commence. The first semi-final starts this Friday September 12 at 8.30 PM, and performers will be expected to sing their socks off in order to make the cut to go through to the grand final.

This is the business end of a competition that has whipped up a cult following around Aotearoa since kicking off the second series in April.

HOMAI TE PAKIPAKI is a live talent contest held at Maori Television’s Newmarket studio. Singers have come from all corners of the country to audition, with the best of them selected to perform live later that same night. Heat winners – twenty in total – have already pocketed $1000 in prize winnings, and now their common goal will be to keep hope alive, to go through the semi-finals, and into the finals. The overall winner takes out the title, the mana – and $10,000.

The singers represent some of the finest talent in the country. Add to that talent the warm and welcoming vibe of the hosts Te Hamua Nikora and Ben Baker, and it’s not hard to see why the dedicated audience in the studio and at home keep coming back for more.

Wannabe singers and their whanau come from far and wide across Aotearoa to be part of the action. For those who can’t be there in person, text vote lines have run hot as fans show their love for their favourite singers.

“I think it’s popular because it’s not NZ Idol. Nobody is prepped. Our singers know it’s all about the skill they’ve brought with them that night,” says Te Hamua Nikora (Ngati Porou), who has presented the show for both series. “It’s the realness, and I’m pretty sure that’s what the viewers like about the show.”

From September 12, the singing contest goes into culling mode, to whittle down 20 heat winners to just the top 10. On the 12th and 19th, two semi-final shows will be held, and the top 5 singers from each semi will still be in the running to become the next big winner. Then it’s on to the biggest shindig of them all – the grand final at Freeman’s Bay’s Beaumont Centre, on September 26.

Whakawhanaungatanga, or family ties, and iwitanga have never been more important – in order to win, singers need to be connected, preferably to people with cell phones.

Some of those performers looking for support will be: a young freelance animation student from Gisborne; a 7th former from Kawerau College; Annie Crummer’s cousin who came up from Otaki to perform; and a guy from Gisborne who was only in Auckland while his wife was having an operation, and he decided to wander down to Maori Television’s studio and have a go.

HOMAI TE PAKIPAKI producer Erina Tamepo says the Beaumont has already proved to be an ideal venue. Last year it held more than 2,000 excited Aucklanders and out-of-towners, who got what they came for - a great night’s entertainment at the grand final. She reckons the signs are good support will be even stronger this year.

“As last time, wannabe audience members should simply turn up on the night, for a show that includes the top 10 singers, and many special guests. A gold coin entry will get you in, and don’t forget to bring your cell phone. As in every other episode, the supreme winner will be selected by text votes.”

HOMAI TE PAKIPAKI screens on Maori Television on Friday nights at 8.30 PM.


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