Digicel Rising Stars goes hunting for its new host to be the face of its seventh season tomorrow in Montego Bay.
With former host Yendi Phillipps announcing in February she would not be returning, the producers of Jamaica's most popular TV show don't have much time to find and groom its host, as airing is scheduled to begin on June 6.
Tomorrow's audition takes place at the Wexford Hotel between 2 and 7 p.m. and will be followed by another on Thursday at the Knutsford Court Hotel from noon to 7 p.m. Show producer Sharon Schroeter said similar to the contestants, the public would vote for the show's next host.
"Anyone in Jamaica, male or female, over the age of 18 who believes they have the talent the vibe and the excitement to be the next host for Digicel Rising Stars can audition," said Schroeter. "Jamaica has, over the last several years, embraced the competition and we thought it would be a great idea for Jamaica to choose who they feel is the best person to be the next host."
After the two auditions in Montego Bay and St Andrew, producers of the show will choose six finalists who will compete for the position. The six will then have the opportunity to show Jamaica their capabilities by hosting the contestant auditions at the five locations throughout Jamaica. At the end of each audition show, viewers will get their chance to vote for who they believe has what it takes to capture the main stage of Digicel Rising Stars. Jamaicans will then be introduced to their new series host at the first live show on Sunday, July 4.
The Chill Room will also boast a new host with the ebullient Miss Kitty taking charge. Former host Kerie-Ann 'Kiki' Lewis-Thombs said she left the show because of a better offer she received. Speculation has been rife that Lewis-Thombs was forced off the show because of a recent documentary she produced that chronicles her time in jail for drug trafficking. A source said one of the shareholders of the show did have some concerns about Lewis-Thombs being associated with the show in light of the documentary.
Lewis-Thombs, in fact, said she was offered the job to host Rising Stars but that the other offer she was courting provided more stability.
"I have a lot of things I'd like to achieve and I was looking for more stability," she told yesterday. "I not only present I produce as well and this other company respects my work behind the scenes."
Lewis-Thombs would not divulge any details on her new job but said "everybody will see soon".
DIGICEL RISING STARS FACT SHEET
ABOUT THE SHOW
Launched on TVJ in 2004, Digicel Rising Stars is Jamaica's first live televised talent search.
In 2010, the most popular local show on Jamaican TV goes into its seventh season with a brand new format and exciting changes.
CHANGES FOR SEASON SEVEN
There will be many exciting changes for the seventh
New Chill Room host
New set design
New audition schedule
The show will now only air on Sundays with the results segment (30 minutes) starting the show.
As in previous years, all live shows will be held at the Courtleigh Auditorium, However, this year there will be no Mas Camp live final show. The live final show will be held at the Courtleigh Auditorium and will air from 8-10 p.m.
AIRING DATES AND TIMES
June 6-September 19
Sundays 8-9:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 6 - Digicel Rising Stars 2009 Review
Sunday, June 13 - May Pen and Portmore auditions
Sunday, June 20 - Montego Bay and Ocho Rios auditions
Sunday, June 27 - Kingston and St Andrew auditions
Sunday, July 4 - Live show (1)
Sunday, July 11 - Live show
Sunday, July 18 - Live show (3)
Sunday, July 25 - Live show (4)
Sunday, Aug 1 - Live show (5)
Sunday, Aug 8 - Live show (6)
Sunday, Aug 15 - Live show (7)
Sunday, Aug 22 - Live show (8)
Sunday, Aug 29 - Live show (9)
Sunday, Sep 5 - Live show (10)
Sunday, Sep 12 - Live show (11)
Sunday, Sep 19 - Live Final Show
The seventh season of Digicel Rising Stars will do an open search for a 2010 host and allow Jamaica to choose that person. The new host will be announced on the first live show on Sunday, July 4.
CHILL ROOM HOST
Miss Kitty has come on-board as the new Chill Room host.
Auditions will take place in five locations across the island for only one day with the exception of Kingston. Five persons will be selected by the judges from each location with the exception of Kingston where 10 will be selected.
Saturday, April 10 - Leiba's Gas Station, May Pen
Sunday, April 11 - Portmore Heart Academy, Portmore
Saturday, April 17 - The Wexford, Montego Bay
Sunday, April 18 - Hibiscus Lodge, Ocho Rios
Saturday, April 24 and Sunday April 25 - Girl Guides headquarters, St Andrew
Clyde McKenzie, Nadine Sutherland and Anthony 'Killer' Miller will return as Digicel Rising Stars' judges.
Guest judges will also appear throughout the show.
The 2010 Digicel Rising Star will receive $1 million and a music video
Second place receives $600,000
Third place pockets $400,000
RJR Communications Group
Knutsford Court Hotel and the Courtleigh Auditorium