Homai Te Pakipaki semi-finals set to begin next week

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It is starting to heat up in the Homai Te Pakipaki whare with the first of two semi-finals set to take screen next week.

Twenty heat winners from this year’s season will sing their hearts out one more time for a place at the final. The first ten semi-finalists take the stage at Maori Television’s Newmarket studios next Friday 12 August, and the remainder on Friday 19 August.

Only five from each semi will go forward to the grand final, which broadcasts live to air from the Logan Campbell Centre on Friday 26 August.

Next week’s semifinalists include Phillip Tarawa (Rongowhakaata) who drove all the way from Gisborne because he did not want to let his aunties down, California-raised Samoan-Maori Joshua Aiono (Ngati Kahungunu/Ngati Porou), and Walter Munro from Waipukurau who filled up a van with his 13 supporters, and braved the pouring rain to get to the studio.

Another standout performer was 18-year-old Ashton Phillips (Ngati Kahu) who won over the crowd in heat eight with her killer performance of “You Give Me Something” by James Morrison.

The talent continues with Sammy Taurima (Ngati Kahungunu) from Maraenui, Dougy Petley (Ngati Porou/Ngaiterangi) from Putaruru, Monique Te Paea (Ngapuhi) from Taumarunui, Brennan Hohepa-Barrett from Rotoiti, Tania Ashby (Ngati Whatua/Ngapuhi) from Wellsford, and David Curtis (Ngati Kahungunu) from Pakipaki.

On Friday 19 August, viewers are treated to the tones of Bill Barber who performed “Walking Piece of Heaven” in heat 11 as a tribute to his late wife Anne, and Vavese Paparoa who entered a YouTube world championship competition for performing arts which saw the judges put her straight through to the final in Los Angeles.

Rounding out the second semi-final are Piripi Hodge (Te Arawa/Ngati Porou) from Rotorua, Ruita Taiapa (Ngati Porou/Tainui), Karl Smith (Ngati Raukawa/Ngati Kahungunu) from Kawerau, Timatanga Wera from Papakura, West Auckland Maori funeral director Francis Tipene (Te Rarawa), Melody Potaka-Osborne from Whanganui, Chad Chambers (Ngati Porou) from Marton and Hemi Lito Wong (Ngati Kahungunu) who flew up from Hastings solely to audition for Homai te Pakipaki.

Tune into the Homai Te Pakipaki semi-finals on Friday 12 August and 19 August from 8.30 to 10pm to see which of these fine contestants win a spot to compete for $10,000 in the grand final at the Logan Campbell Centre on 26 August.

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