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Monday, July 18, 2011


Gateway To Fame senior winners (all from Danville Park Girls’ High) Jarene Moses (first), Phemele Mzimela (third) and Jessica James (second) pictured with Gateway’s General Manager Adrian Raw, and event co-ordinator Shelley McLean.)

The toughly contested second annual Gateway To Fame talent search competition reached a great climax with the final performance that took place at The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway on July 4.

The 20 singing finalists looked the part when they took to the stage courtesy of sponsor Gateway Theatre of Shopping tenants Stuttafords, who dressed them, and Scott & Wells, who did their hair. They performed one song each to backing tracks, while they were judged by a panel of experts consisting of local performers Evan Roberts, Marion Loudon, Melanie Roberts and Barnyard performer Adri Britz.

The junior (grades 1 to 6) winner was ten-year-old Kristina Burge from Chelsea Preparatory, with Bernelee Frick (11) from Crawford La Lucia in second place followed by Crawford North Coast’s Kiara Teunissen (10).

The senior (grades 7 to 12) category saw a landslide win for Danville Park Girls’ High, with their pupils scoring a hat-trick in the finals. The winner was 14-year-old Jarene Moses with runners-up Jessica James and Phumelele Mzimela. Danville also produced last year’s senior winner, Amanda Kunene, who hosted the evening and did a guest performance along with the 2010 junior winner Andrew Sutton, from Virginia Preparatory.

“The audience, judges and organisers were blown away by the enormous talent on show at Monday night’s Gateway To Fame finale. While the four judges scored them for their performance on the evening, a fifth of the final score was determined by the children’s participation and enthusiasm in the week of workshops held leading up to the event. Jarene and Kristina were both very worthy winners, and we are sure will earn their place back on The Barnyard stage in years to come,” said Debbie Davidson, owner of The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway.

There were big prizes up for grabs for the winners including a microphone (value R3,000 and R4,000) for each winner, as well as a keyboard (value R10,000) for the senior winner from Gateway Music. The two winners will also get the opportunity to showcase their immense talent again to a broader audience, when they make a cameo performance at The Barnyard Theatre in The Final Countdown backed by a live band on October 5, with bookings open to the public. Jarene and Kristina will also get to perform two songs each in Gateway’s Palm Court on a Sunday still to be decided

Pre-show entertainment was provided by four Invited Performers and a team of dancers who also auditioned for their places and participated in the workshops.

The second annual Gateway To Fame competition was yet another huge success, with an overwhelming amount of entrants from schools throughout KZN. The event was organized by local performer Shelley McLean backed up by Liesl Coppin, Shelley Haggard and Calli Thomson who assisted with the workshops.

Other sponsors at Monday’s final included prizes from Gateway Theatre of Shopping tenants The Barnyard Theatre, Wavehouse, ScienCentre, Mr Funtubbles Fun Faire and Ster Kinekor.