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Young dancer drives home quality car

Vivacious dancer Azhar Adam became the ‘Star of New Zealand’ at a keenly contested talent search last fortnight in Auckland.

He and his ‘Syprus Dance Group’ received repeated applause by a capacity crowd at Dorothy Winstone Centre of Auckland Girls Grammar School on September 25.

The item, which had a touch of ‘Haka’ was adjudged the best.

He drove away in a Suzuki Swift, given by The Car Clearance Centre as the top prize.

‘Star of New Zealand’ featured 21 contestants in the final round, chosen from more than 170 eager contestants from all over New Zealand.

As a Realty TV Show, telecast on Triangle TV throughout August, it was one of a kind, organised by Jayesh Bateriwala (Dance Pe Chance), Vinay Mehta (GPlus) and Viraf Todywalla (V4U Entertainments Limited and Event Manager).

As well as the audience, who held 50% of the votes, a judging panel comprising Gina Te Phata (Dancer), Marlaina Curtis (M C Arts. Taranaki), Mumta Gounder (Indiking), Rachel Aylward (Makeup Artist), Satend Sharma (Radio Tarana) and Sonarchand Singh (Choreographer) decided on the finalists and the winner.

Masters of Ceremonies Jazeel Mistry and Divya Hariharan demonstrated quality, with clarity and humour.

The following were the Runners-Up (One to Seven): Rex Braganza (The Garagewalla Dance Group)- Samsung 42” TV; Nelson Tiatia (The Precision Dance Group) Panasonic 32” TV; Jignal Patel (Asia Nachle Group) LG Mobile; Arun Iyer (Singer) LG Mobile; Niquay Langton (Full Fat Dance Group) Vodafone Mobile; Cece Va’afusuaga (Singer) Vodafone Mobile; Katie Rudd (Dancer) Vodafone Mobile.

The following were the finalists:

Dancers: Amy Finnigan, Azhar Adam, Divya & Geerthana Nanthakumar, Harry Singh, Jignal Patel, Katie Rudd, Nelson Tiaha, Niquay Langton, Rex Braganza, Shawn Thomas, Sneha Rajiv; Wild Card Entry Nishanti Selvaraj (Taranaki)

Dancers and Musicians: Rushabh Trivedi

Singers: Arun Iyer, Cece Va’afusuaga, Stephanie Piquette, Vikash Lal

Singers & Musicians: Amanda Saldanha, Karl Austin and Tia Taonikere

Students of Elm Park Primary School and V4U Dance Studio were among the guest performers who opened the show.

Viraf regaled the audience with an item adopted from the Hindi film, ‘Om Shanti Om,’ while nine-year-old Dhruv Gupte excelled in drums, rendering the song ‘Jai Ho’ from ‘Slumdog Millionaire.’

Former Auckland Mayor John Banks paid tribute to the Indian community, saying that people of Indian origin enhanced the plurality of the Auckland society.

“Such events not only bring forth talent but also celebrate our multi-ethnic fabric,” he said.

National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Auckland (Super City) Council Local Board candidate Ram Rai were among the other speakers.

A special mention must be made of Viraf, to whom many would justifiably credit the success of the show. A man known for his passion to explore and expose talent, he was the driving force of Star of New Zealand. While the other two organisers extended their support, it was Viraf who struggled to put the event together, against several challenges. As we wrote this review, a number of readers have sent their compliments to him, saying that Star of New Zealand should become an annual event.

“There is nothing like it,” they said.

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