The Bidvest Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg played host as the venue for the final leg of the My Top Billing presenter search.
Such is the buzz that the competition has stirred, the queues started as early as 10pm on Thursday night, some contestants having slept in their cars and the stadium bathrooms to get ahead in the queue. Hundreds of people lined the street on Friday 8th June to get the chance to audition.
Top Billing presenters Janez Vermeiren, Ursula Chikane, Lorna Maseko and Sinazo Yolwa made up part of the preliminary judges panel, while previous presenter search winner Simba Mhere roamed the crowds taking photos, signing autographs and giving advice.
“Very cold conditions in Joburg didn't scare off those wishing to make their Top Billing dream a reality,” said Janez, “All gave it their best shot but at the end of the day only a lucky few were good enough for the callback phase.”
The Joburg auditions were an eye-opening experience for Ursula: “Seeing all those eager, young (and a few older) faces so badly wanting a slice of the Top Billing dream was amazing. It brought home the reality of the show's impact on viewers throughout the years. I'm overwhelmed by the courage shown by the most nervous candidates and the determination of those who came from as far afield as Botswana, Malawi and Zambia.”
After four days of intense auditions, 75 of the best went through to committee callback which featured Janez, Ursula and Lorna as judges. From here, the group was cut down to 25 for the final judging stage with Top Billing Executive Producer Patience Stevens, presenter Jeannie D as well as comedian and Nedbank ambassador Eugene Khoza.
The Joburg leg of the auditions saw some real talent, with an overall feeling of satisfaction from the judges.
“The presenter search in Johannesburg was beyond amazing,” said Top Billing presenter Lorna, “It's been really heartwarming to hear how Top Billing inspires people to dream. We saw the most people since we started in Bloemfontein, many hopefuls gearing for their Top Billing dream. Good luck to the top 10!”
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If you would like to see more of how the audition process unfolded make sure you don't miss our Saturday 1 hour specials dedicated to all the most memorable auditions.
23 June 2012: Bloem & Durban auditions
30 June 2012: PE & Cape Town auditions
7 July 2012: JHB & Polokwane auditions
To see more photographs of the auditions CLICK HERE To read about what happened at the other cities we auditioned CLICK HERE
We have started loading some of the audition videos. Which contestant is your favourite? CLICK HERE