Team Blue -- Juniors wait their turn during last Saturday's prep session for the first of the elimination rounds for BTC Starmaker Season 3 airing tonight at 8 pm on ZNS-TV. The popular BTC reality series lands two winners who become the young voices and faces of the telecom company for one year, winning a $10,000 contract and priceless opportunities.
STARMAKER SPIRIT -- Hundreds tried out but only 18 made it through to the first round of BTC's popular Starmaker reality series. Saturday they were treated to a day of prepping including encouraging words from upbeat and dressed down BTC CEO Geoff Houston (below). The first televised version airs Wednesday, March 28 at 8 pm on ZNS-TV 13 and is replayed Saturday night at the same time.
BTC STARMAKER SEASON 3 PREMIERES TONIGHT American Idol, slide over. Dancing with the Stars, step back. The Voice, listen up. It’s the third season of BTC Starmaker and by all accounts, it’s the hottest, the toughest, the most demanding – and possibly the most rewarding for the local, home-grown, highly popular reality series – ever.
The first televised segment is set to air tonight at 8 pm on ZNS-TV 13 when viewers who pay close attention to the action get a chance to win a 4G BlackBerry or phone cards of up to $100 by answering questions on the Starmaker Facebook page. Last Saturday the top 18 chosen from hundreds of hopefuls got a dose of what’s like when camera lights heat up and the judges bear down. Over nearly seven hours of prepping and preening, being told what traits to display, what's hot, what's not and what it means to represent BTC, they were scrutinized on everything from product knowledge to the details of their own grooming, right down to crossed legs and trimmed cuticles.
At stake is local stardom, a one-year $10,000 contract and unlimited opportunities. Of the 18 remaining contestants, only two will be chosen, one in the junior category ages 13-17, another in the senior 18-30. Like their TV counterparts, their success will be based on a combination of judges’ scores and popular vote. Already, this season’s Starmaker page has more than 10,500 fans.
Even on this day with nerves at warp speed and hopes soaring sky-high, they had a taste of opportunity afforded by reaching this level – an up close and very personal chat with BTC CEO Geoff Houston. The man who has lived and worked in a dozen countries across the globe, several times taking small non-competitive telecom companies to fast-paced, first place market leaders showed up in his Saturday dress-down, get-down jeans, white tee, and open plaid shirt.
"Go for it," Houston told the group clinging to their dreams and his every word. "You are going to have ups and downs. Don't worry about the downs. I just want you to know that BTC is really pleased to be part of it. Without your commitment, your passion, Starmaker would not exist."
Houston told the group that one of the first things he did when he came to The Bahamas one year ago was to meet the Starmakers. "I realized just how significant this was," he said. "It is important that we stay connected with young people. The technology we sell and the products and ideas, the apps, are from young people for young people. You are our future and the future of the telecoms world. You give us new ideas for new apps. This is a fabulous way to stay connected with young people and stay relevant." On a more personal note, he congratulated them for getting this far in the competition.
"You represent everything that's good about youth," he said, "Good, peaceful, hard-working outspoken. And you keep us connected." For most, it was a time to absorb every bit of advice, even if it came with a tap on the knuckles from Deborah Geear, a judge and co-founder of Yodephy Dance and Modeling Studio. She strode into the room demonstrating the difference between entry and entrance, poured over fingernails as if she were examining them panning for gold, talked about proper ways to sit for males and females and made anyone who slouched feel as guilty as if they'd thrown a stone at a newborn puppy. Handshakes, appearance, dress, it was all about success.
BTC VP of Brand and Communications Marlon Johnson was frank. "This is a big deal," he said. "This isn't about the $10,000 though that is nice. This is about the opportunities it can lead to." For the first time, Starmaker auditions were held in Abaco and Grand Bahama with more than 75 people turning out between the two islands. Five from Grand Bahama and two from Abaco made it through to the round of 18. The show will be aired again on Saturday at 8 pm. Elimination rounds will be aired every Wednesday, re-played on Saturdays at the same time with the finals held before a live audience set for May 16.