It was pomp and glamour as Tusker Project Fame reality show made a comeback last Sunday. For the first time, Southern Sudan joined Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda in the race to win Sh5 million cash, plus lots of other prizes in the competition that will run for eight weeks.
As show hosts Kenya’s Sheila Mwanyigha and Uganda’s Mitch Egwang introduced the contestants, there were stunning performances from last year’s finalists, Kenya’s Ng’ang’alitto and Uganda’s Caroline.
With the show retaining last year’s judges Ian Mbugua from Kenya, Uganda’s Juliana Kanyomozi and Hermes Bariki from Tanzania, the faculty members came in style.
Dance coach Edwin Aoro from Sarakasi showed the audience what he does best with his electrifying dance.
Voice coach Kavutha Mwanzia followed next with a great performance as music producer Robert Kamanzi became the academy’s music director with another performance.
Last year’s principal Achieng’ Abura was replaced by Hellen Mtawali, while pianist Aaron Rimbui remained as the head of TPF band.
Other than Abura, also notably absent was controversial saxophonist Joseph Hellon, who was last year’s music director.
A total of 18 contestants were introduced into the show, but only 15 of them made it into the academy. They include Kenya’s Stephen Nyabwa, Prudence Kibaya, Juvenalia Ochieng’ and Amileena Mwenesi. Uganda is represented by Davis Ntare, Rachel Namubiru and Thomas Madooba, while Rwanda has Elizabeth Gaga, Gilbert Gabiro and Atete Gaëlle. Aneth Kushaba, Leah Mwambogela and Peter Msechu will be representing Tanzania.
Southern Sudan managed to get Kuonck Deng and Paleki Obur in, who were both excited for their country to be recognised and involved in this year’s reality show.
Uganda’s Brendah Nankinga, Rwanda’s Liz Mugwaneza and Tanzania’s Cynthia, did not impress the judges much and they lost their chance to make it into the academy. Perhaps the most stunning performance from the contestants was from Kenya’s Steve, who wowed the crowed with his rendition of Musa Juma’s Mercelina.
During the eight weeks to be spent at the academy, the 15 contestants will be coached on how to improve their music careers including voice, instrument, dance and performing skills.
Contestants in the show will strive to prove to judges and viewers that they are the best music talent from the region, with the hope of walking away with prize money, a recording contract from South Africa-based Gallo records and a host of other goodies.
Viewers can tune in every day for the shows to watch their favourite contestants fight it out, with the elimination and nomination shows coming every Saturday and Sunday evenings, respectively.