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It’s Semi-Final Time on Maorioke!


It’s Semi-Final Time on Maorioke!

After eight weeks and 500 auditions , the best 24 singers are taking to the stage for the semi-finals of Maori Television’s top-rating talent show MAORIOKE – starting from tomorrow night (Friday December 1 2006 at 8.30 PM).

Each of the four MAORIOKE semi-finals, screening on December 1, 8, 15 and 22, will feature six talented performers from around the motu.

At the end of the fourth semi-final, on December 22, judges Whirimako Black, Brannigan Kaa and Betty-Anne Monga make the tough decision about which eight singers are through to the grand MAORIOKE final.

These finalists will then perform with a live band in a special show (screening on Friday December 29 at 8.30 PM) for the title of MAORIOKE Champion 2007, plus the prize of a recording contract with Doughboy Records and $5,000 cash.

The first six semi-finalists are:

Bill Tutaki (Ngai Tahu, Ngati Kahungunu) of Temuka: After winning local talent contests for years, Bill (57) is making is mark in MAORIOKE with his smooth renditions of old-time favourites, like Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darrin, his semi-final song. “I wouldn’t say I sound like Bobby – he sounds like me!” says Bill, who originally comes from Porongahou in Hawke’s Bay.

Brogan Sheehan (Ngati Porou) of Christchurch: With a drummer dad and a singing mum, Brogan (15) has inherited lots of their talent. Her mum Diana also auditioned for MAORIOKE, but it was Brogan who won a semi-final place. A big fan of soul divas Beyonce and Aaradhna, Brogan sings Angel by Sarah McLachlan.

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Moana Keefe (Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu) of Hastings: Teacher Moana (38) kept her MAORIOKE attempt secret from the pupils at the Flaxmere primary school where she works. “I don’t sing a lot at school so I think it will come as a surprise when the kids hear me,” says the mum-of-one, who will perform power ballad Do Right Woman by Aretha Franklin.

Jahmaine Cummings (Tainui, Te Arawa) of Christchurch: Kapa haka Jahmaine (18) is a first cousin of semi-finalist Brogan Sheehan and was made to enter MAORIOKE by one of his aunties, who insisted he filled in the form. “She’s one of those people you can’t say no to,” says Jahmaine, who will perform slow jam hit Let Me Love You by Mario.

Mark Tohinui (Tonga, Niue) of Mangere, Auckland: Mark (25) is the first Pacific Islander to get through to the semi-finals of MAORIOKE. “I always loved the show so it’s awesome to be part of it,” says the music student, who is also a caregiver to his grandmother. His sizzling performance of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On features a few surprises for the MAORIOKE audience!

Alba Horua (Ngati Kahu, Te Aupouri, Te Rarawa) of Rotorua: Mum-of-five Alba (39) sings as she works – at the wheel of the huge concrete truck she drives for a living. Her husband entered her for MAORIOKE because he loves her voice, and her kids, aged 12 to 20, plus her baby grandson, will be cheering her on when she performs Broken Wings by K’Lee.

Join the six hopefuls when MAORIOKE’s first semi-final screens on Maori Television on Friday December 1 at 8.30 PM.


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