Invercargill Oscars hype

NICCI MCDOUGALL
Last updated 05:00 12/03/2014
 	 2014 Southland Entertainer of the Year
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ

Kelvin Hotel Southland Entertainer of the Year finalists, from left, Cheryl Anderson, Simon Galt, Bryan Townley, Simon Thompson and Michelle Lange at last night's rehearsal for the ILT Southland Entertainment Awards 2014.

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"It's ‘hairs on the back of the neck standing up' sort of thing."

This from ILT Southland Entertainment Awards 2014 organiser Chris Chilton, who says tonight's audience at the Civic Theatre can expect excitement, glitz and glamour.

Finalists and organisers have been busy preparing for the "Oscars of Invercargill entertainment" tonight, when 22 awards go up for grabs, including the Kelvin Hotel Southland Entertainer of the Year.

The five finalists and the region's brightest and most promising musical talent are television's X Factor personality Bryan Townley, 2013 New Zealand Gold Guitar winner Cheryl Anderson and popular musicians Simon Galt, Michelle Lange and Simon Thompson.

"These are pretty much the brightest stars of the last 12 months in Southland," Chilton said.

The finalists will perform in front of celebrity judges Craig Scott, Suzanne Prentice and Dave Kennedy and the audience before votes are tallied to decide the winner.

The judges get 20 per cent each of the vote and the audience gets 40 per cent.

Finalists Thompson and Galt said they were honoured to have been nominated for the award.

Thompson, who has been performing for 27 years, and Galt, who has been performing for 22 years, were looking forward to tonight's show and said all the finalists were great performers and deserved to win.

Expat Southland songbird Jackie Bristow will perform and receive the Westpac Southland Music Ambassador award.

The decades-old event has proved more popular this year than ever before, with about 600 tickets already sold, Chilton said.

The show starts at 7.30 tonight and tickets are available from TicketDirect. They cost $25 per person, $20 for seniors and students, and are free for children under 12. 

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- The Southland Times

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