Now Reports

Gaikokujin Star Tanjo 2011 Video and Photo Report

34 international acts from over 16 nations applied, but only eight were selected to perform in Fukuoka Now’s second annual foreign talent contest- Gaikokujin Star Tanjo !

Held in Fukuoka’s newest venue JR Kyushu Hall, the location of this year’s contest was itself an impressive sight. 767 guests were treated to state-of-the-art facilities, whilst enjoying the buzz of conversation, delicious offerings from various food and drinks stalls, and a million-dollar view of the city from the top of JR Hakata City (enhanced by the dazzling Christmas illumination display below)! Reporters from KBC TV and Fukuoka Now interviewed guests as anticipation for the main event grew.

The night’s entertainment started with a bang, as Japanese guitarist ‘Jo’ immediately grabbed the audience’s attention with his unique style of rhythmic acoustic guitar-playing. Hundreds of party-goers filled the huge hall to watch and cheer as eight talented acts from all over the world (ALT48, Anna Mihejeva, Bouzid Hamed, Daniel Byron, Kelly Harlock, Leah Olsen, Mari Somerville, Peter Bertrand) gave it their all- singing in English and Japanese, playing instruments, dancing and even beat-boxing before a panel of five esteemed judges. The competition was tight, and from the audience’s response it seemed all contestants had earned themselves ‘star’ status before the final results were tallied. The show was not simply a competition, but an opportunity to showcase the range and scope of talent that Fukuoka’s foreigners have to offer.

After a tense wait, the night’s MC, Dom, announced the results: French beat-boxer Hamed had taken the title and first prize of ¥100,000 (for a repeat encore performance), having impressed both the audience and judges with his spectacular performance. A very close second place was awarded to Leah Olsen, whose powerful rendition of Christina Aguilera’s ‘I Turn to You’ was dedicated to her mother, and jazz singer Mari Somerville took out third prize with an Ella Fitzgerald number. There were smiles and congratulations all round amongst the finalists, each of whom was considered a winner for making it into the final line-up.

With that, the night’s formalities were over and the stage was reclaimed by a different type of entertainment as Das Funkt (DJ) and the sexy Chat Voleur Dancers took the spotlight- pushing JR Kyushu Hall’s sound and visual equipment to the limit and instantly filling the dance floor. By midnight, the stage had been well and truly taken over by revellers, as they made the most of a very memorable and entertaining night.

Party Snaps on Flickr

Photo Booth on Flickr

Originally published in Fukuoka Now magazine (fn157 Jan. 2012)
Fukuoka City
Published: Jan 1, 2012 / Last Updated: Jun 13, 2017

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