Thang Long - Hanoi

Northern crooners dominate singing contest
20/10/2010 | 15:37:00
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Sixteen singers have made it to the first final of the Sao Mai-Diem Hen 2010 (Morning Star-Rendezvous 2010), Vietnam Television's biennial contest to discover future pop stars.

It has been dominated by northern performers this time, with only three from the south making the cut.

They outlasted the rest of the 700 hopefuls, many from rural areas, who sang and danced before a 10-member jury made up of famous artists, including pop star My Tam and musicians Tuan Khanh and Ho Hoai Anh.

The 16 will perform pop, R&B, dance, hip-hop and rock music, with eight qualifying for the next round in HCM City next month.

The show takes place in Tuy Hoa town, Phu Yen province, and is shown live on VTV3.

The organisers have invited musicians to train the participants.

"I will sing and dance to the best of my ability," Pha Le of Hai Phong, said.

One of Le's competitors, HCM City 's Nguyen Vo Lan Trinh, was a contestant at the 2008 Vietnam Idol.

Though she failed to make a mark in that event, it did help launch her career as a professional singer, and she is now popular with the younger lot.

Hoai Thu (Quang Ninh province), Viet Quang ( HCM City ), and My Nhu (Phu Yen province) charmed most people, including the jury, with their creativity, natural voice, and simple style which left an impression of freshness.

Following a grand final in Hanoi in early January featuring four contestants, two winners will be chosen for the Sao Mai Award – one by the jury and the other by VTV viewers.

"Sao Mai Award winners will have many opportunities to be successful in their future careers," organising board member Huyen Thanh said, pointing out most contestants are in their mid-20s.

Pop star Phuong Linh won the event in 2006 and saw many doors opening for her.

Thanh said organisers will help winners and finalists perform live in Hanoi and HCM City and cut discs.

A million fans around the country are expected to watch the contest and vote online or by telephone./.
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