Performers polish skills

Auditions get harder

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 07:12 22/05/2012
Hannah Braddick
EMMA ALLEN

Try time: Dancers Hannah Braddick, 12, and Caleb Griffith, 14, go through their paces at the auditions for Marlborough's Top Talent

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Marlborough entertainers are pulling out all the stops at auditions for Marlborough's Top Talent this week.

The auditions, held over two days, conclude this afternoon, and three judges have the tough job of whittling the numbers down from 54 to 25.

The successful 25 will perform in the semifinals this Saturday before the judges who will narrow the 25 down to 10 finalists.

Those final 10 will work their magic at the grand finale at the Marlborough Floor Pride Civic Theatre on Saturday night at 7.30pm.

The judges of the semifinal and final will be Marlborough Express editor Steve Mason, Marlborough Dance's Jeannie Mark and actor, singer and dancer Shane Cortese.

Marlborough 4 Fun chief executive Katrina Lange, events organiser Lauren Haward and Marlborough Floor Pride Civic Theatre general manager Alana Cairns are judging the auditions.

During the first round of auditions last night at the Wesley Centre in Blenheim, Mrs Lange said they had a range of all ages, from 8-year-olds up, showcasing a surprising array of talents.

"We wanted to do something different for the region and we know there are a lot of talented people in Marlborough." Entrants had five minutes to set up their equipment and show the judges what they could do.

One hopeful entrant was Jessie Amer, 8, from Rapaura School who sang California King Bed by Rihanna, her favourite artist.

Jessie does not have a lot of performing experience, but she is a member of the school choir.

"I was a little bit nervous but the judges were really nice, I hope I did OK," she said.

The judges said she was "very cute". They would be letting contestants know on Wednesday whether they had made the cut.

Marlborough Boys' College students Logan Silcock, 15, Isaiah MacDonald, 14, Delacy Walsh, 14, and Louis Butson, 13, are all members of the Star Dance Academy and performed a hip-hop lyrical – done to the lyrics rather than the beat. They had been working on the moves, which they choreographed themselves, for about four months.

Mrs Lange said the grand final was going to a huge night, in Hollywood style, with a red carpet, a drink on arrival, dramatic lighting and other entertainment.

Tickets to the grand final are available at the venue or online at ticketdirect.co.nz

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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