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Intrigues, excitement as Star Quest lights up Benin

Published by Guardian on Mon, 05 Mar 2012

THE judges said it. And everyone that followed the three regional auditions of Star Quest agreed. Indeed, the Benin auditions of Nigeria's first and only band-based reality Talent hunt/reality TV reality show proved to be the best of the lot. For Waje, KC, and Paul 'Play' Dairo, celebrity judges of Star Quest, the Benin auditions turned out to be more than expected. Though Makurdi and Enugu had a sizeable turn out, the crowd that trooped to the Excalibur Hotel, Benin, for the three day auditions simply exceeded all expectations. By 8 a.m on the morning of the first day, the crowd was already restless, eager to show their musical talents. A long queue stretched from the registration point, with more of the aspirants joining the queue. The security personnel deployed to the venue certainly had their work cut out for them as they tried to maintain order in the venue.Then the celebrity judges arrived and the crowd went gaga. They simply could not hold back their suppressed excitement following the arrival of KC, Waje and Paul Play. KC turned out to be the major recipient of the crowd's attention. This time the security operatives could not contain the crowd as they flocked around KC, taking pictures and hugging him.The Anambra State former member of KC Presh, the winning group in the very first edition of Star Quest, didn't seem to mind too much as he indulged the crowd. Meanwhile, Waje and Paul Play made a safe get away from the thronging crowd to the safety of the audition venuThen it was time for the auditions. While the judges had to sift through several contestants before picking their preferred choices in Makurdi and Enugu, Benin was a different matter altogether. As the talents kept rolling in to perform, the 'yes' votes from the judges kept coming thick and fast. At some point, Waje, broke down in tears after she was wowed by one of the female singers. It was truly a surprise to see her in such an open display of emotions.Though the only female amongst the judges, she certainly did not seem to be the softest amongst the judges; that is, until she wept. KC too was obviously impressed by some of the performances put up by the aspiring contestants during the auditions. 'It appears as if you guys planned to embarrass us. We have exhausted all of our 'yes' votes still you guys keep impressing us,' he joked. Paul Play was no less dazzled by the Benin. 'I think I have seen some of the best array of talents here in Benin since the audition started. I am truly amazed,' he said.While it was a harvest of talents in Benin, most of the qualifiers actually turned out to be Star Quest veterans, having tried out in previous editions, without much success.It did seem as if the experience was working in their favour. Take Jena Otu for instance. While only 23 years old, Otu already regards himself as a veteran of Star Quest having participated in four previous editions. His doggedness and consistency was rewarded after he wowed the judges with his impressive rap routine. There were several others like Otu, who, in spite of the disappointments of the past, were still ready to give Star Quest one more trial. But aspirants like Otu also realize that going all the way will take more than just their talents. They also realize that winning the much coveted position as the best band will also depend on the quality of their fellow band members. This is what differentiates Star Quest from other talent hunt competitions; the band factor. Other talent hunt competitions seek for the best individual amongst the lot, but Star Quest seeks for the best band. After being selected from their various regions via the auditions, the qualifiers, 55 in all, will further slug it out for the 36 tickets in the Star Fameland.
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