By Kennedy Nyavaya
Organisers of the Dream Star talent show have opened up a virtual audition platform for talented Zimbabweans who wish to battle it out for top honours at this year’s edition of the annual event.
To enter the auditions, individuals and groups will, for the first time, need to send videos of their acts via email to address email@example.com instead of showcasing physically, owing to the national lockdown rules to curb Covid-19.
Speaking to Standard Style on Friday, Leornard Mapfumo, artistic director of the show organised by Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation (JCMC), said they had to find ways of continuing the show in the midst of the pandemic.
“This year we have decided to go the virtual direction because of the Covid-19 pandemic because postponing the show was an outright no for us,” said Mapfumo, adding that with travel hiccups out of the way, they were expecting more participants and viewers.
“The restrictions put in place to protect the country mean people cannot gather in large numbers and participants will not be able to travel to our auditions because that is restricted to essential travel only, so doing it virtually is the best way to make sure that people can audition.”
Auditions will close on August 15, with the live grand finale scheduled for two months later. The ultimate winner will bag US$4 000, while first and second runner-ups will go home US$1 500 and US$750 richer respectively.
All finalists are set to receive US$250, with a new viewers’ choice category also on the cards.
“Viewers will vote through our Facebook and SMS voting platforms for their favorite act,” said Mapfumo.
“The voting starts from the first episode of the show, viewers will be able to vote for 10 acts to the next round of the semi-finals. From there, they will vote for four acts to automatically qualify to the finals and during finals they will vote for the people’s choice winner who will walk away with US$1 000.”
Dream Star is arguably the best talent show in the land, hosted by JCMC in partnership with China Africa Economic and Culture Exchange Research Centre and the Chinese Embassy.