Maori Television is preparing itself for an influx of kaiwaiata from around the country as popular karaoke-style show HOMAI TE PAKIPAKI opens its doors to new singing talent – with a new series live to air every Friday at 8.30 PM.
It’s not unusual for the streets around Maori Television’s Auckland studio in Newmarket to be filled with singers warming up and trying out different approaches to songs as they wait for the chance to impress the producers of the programme. Some people arrive hours early just to ensure they are the first through the door, such is the interest in HOMAI TE PAKIPAKI.
The live competition is based on audience text votes. Singers perform every week for the chance to win $1,000, and heat winners carry on to the semi-finals. If they come through that, then it is all on and they get to sing their hearts out in the grand final with the chance to win $10,000.
Rose Scicely (Ngati Maniapoto, Ngai Tuhoe) admits she had never seen the show before she headed to Tamaki-makau-rau to take part. But her kids were ardent fans of HOMAI TE PAKIPAKI and they were adamant that this was the opportunity of a lifetime. So five of them piled in to a car and made the three-hour journey north from Otorohanga. After a lifetime of singing at home, at whanau parties and on the marae, Rose relished the opportunity to share her voice with the nation.
On the other hand, Mikaere Paki (Tuwharetoa, Ngati Apa, Kai Tahu, Ngati Porou, Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Kauwhata, Ngati Paoa) had seen the show and was keen to take part. But he had to build up to it. “It took a while, then one day I worked up the nerve and I just jumped in my car in Porirua and headed north. I didn’t really tell anyone, I just started driving.”
Both of them made it through the audition process and on to the HOMAI TE PAKIPAKI stage. Rose says it was a bit daunting: “It’s live – really, really live – the music starts and you have to deliver, no mistakes, no second chances. It’s frightening and thrilling and scary and amazing all at the same time. It’s this gift, this opportunity to share your song with the motu. It’s really humbling.”
However, both Rose and Mikaere agree that singers also need to be a bit strategic about how they take their run at HOMAI TE PAKIPAKI. “You may want to sneak up and have a go without putting too much pressure on yourself but if you do get selected to perform, you need to let your whanau know so they can vote for you,” says Mikaere.
HOMAI TE PAKIPAKI producer Erina Tamepo (Ngati Porou, Ngai Tai) has no doubt that there is still a wealth of untapped talent just waiting to be discovered as they open their doors for the fourth season with a new host – Matai Smith (Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Ngati Kahungunu).
“I expect to see plenty of fresh faces this time around. I don’t think we’ve seen every singer in the country, although we’ve seen more than a few,” she laughs. ”There’s always this huge sense of anticipation on Friday afternoon, even amongst the most jaded TV types. Who is going to show up today? How will they handle the material, and what bit of magic will we get to see tonight?”
HOMAI TE PAKIPAKI screens on Maori Television every Friday night at 8.30 PM with registrations starting at 4.30 PM and auditions opening at 5.00 PM. For more information about the audition process, check out the HOMAI TE PAKIPAKI page on the website, www.maoritelevision.com, which also includes video on demand.