Update with video: Auditions for Le Leo
The audition phase for Bluesky’s Le Leo o Amerika Samoa 2014 was a smash hit. A total of 32 talented young local singers sang their hearts out at the KVZK studio in Utulei, vying for one of the 20 slots available for the second season of the local singing competition.
“The talent presented by the contestants was a testament of the singing gifts of our young people, and the Le Leo program allowed them to showcase their talents for the community today,” said Tapumanaia Galu Satele Jr., the Deputy Director of the Dept. of Youth and Womens Affairs (DYWA) following the auditions.
DYWA Director Jonathan Fanene continues to offer his support of the Le Leo program, saying he looks forward to being part of many more programs like this one, programs that promote local youth and their talents.
It was Tapumanaia who hosted the live auditions. The two judges who had the task of selecting the top 20 were Tony Langkilde and Jonitta Fruean, who was also a judge last year during Le Leo’s first season.
Each singer brought a different vibe, with many belting out church music which, according to Tapumanaia, was no surprise “as many of them obviously had choir backgrounds.”
After the auditions, Langkilde said, “This year’s show looks like it’s going to be very tough… there’s a lot of talent out here today.”
Jonitta Fruean was able to boost the self esteem of a few performers, as she commented not only on how well they sang, but how they dressed the part and showed emotion during their performances.
The talents showcased in this year’s auditions included Nelson Tualevao of Leone, who is blind and performed well during the audition, with his rendition of “Samoa e Matalasi”.
A few contestants took a risk and chose to sing more modern songs and Samoan music which the judges appeared to enjoy very much.
One of the youngest contestant_s this year is fifteen-year-old Neemia Fa’afiaola who showed off his musical skills by singing a gospel song while playing the ukulele.
The official results for the auditions and the selection of the top 20 will not be announced until next Wednesday, March 5.
The judges, and representatives from Bluesky Communications and DYWA will have the chance to review the performances again before selecting who they believe is the best of the best.
More information on the Le Leo Program can be obtained by contacting the DYWA Office at 633-2835.