By Novell Zwange – Pretoria, a city located in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa ruptured to rock music and dance as scores of young children accompanied by their families descended on the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre this Sunday 12 September to catch the pomp and funfair at the country’s second My Camp Rock Road Show event. The subsequent entertainment that took place in Pretoria was not just another music and dance showcase but a successive follow-up to the My Camp Rock Road Show’s first event held in Cape Town on the previous day.
My Camp Rock Road show almost has a cult following. Children from as young as 2 years old to 14 year-olds could not conceal their excitement, and they could be heard singing most of the Camp rock songs word for word. The kids travelled from across Gauteng, from places such as Polokwane, Johannesburg, Cullinan, Benoni, Bloemfontein, and of coarse Pretoria. Early birds started arriving as early as 7am to register for participation in the talent contest as
well as the Rockshops, dance and performance workshops aimed at helping children improve their vocal skills and live performance abilities.
“I am thrilled and I am nervous,” said 12 year old Shane who had travelled with his mother all the way from Durban.
There were loads of prize giveaways, Camp Rock themed activities including performances from My Camp Rock dancers, and free My Camp Rock 2 photo shoots for the audiences. The summer event celebrated the hugely anticipated Disney Channel Original Movie Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, which premieres at 09:00 on Saturday 18th September.
As for the talent contest, the celebrity judges had a tough time choosing the ultimate winner, as the three semi-finalists Daniel Mitchell, Damien Von Staden and Yolandi Engelbrecht showcased some highly impressive performances. The choice of a winner was no easy task as judges could be visibly seen shaking heads, throwing up arms back and forth, swaying hands here and there.
Finally it was a moment of deafening silence as the MC, celebrity TV presenter Pabi Moloi announced Yolandi Engelbrecht aged 14 from Centurion as winner of My Camp Rock talent contest. The elated teenager could not believe her eyes as pop star Heinz Winckler waltzed to the stage to crown her.
“I feel so good, this is amazing.Its my best experience,” acclaimed Yolandi. Her parents were so supportive and she said, “I dedicate this trophy to my dad.”
Celebrity judge Popstar Heinz Winkler who lent his expertise as the judge for Disney Channel’s My Camp Rock talent contest in which Yolandi went on to win an incredible prize of a brand new I-phone and a hamper of fantastic My Camp Rock goodies, said “We saw so many amazing kids today singing their favourite Camp Rock songs. Yolandi is hugely talented and really impressed me, I’m sure she will go far. All of the acts should feel very proud of their performances.”
Backstage all the finalists and semifinalists were hugging each other, comforting each other and telling one another how well they had done. Daniel who at one point became the auidiences’ favourite, remained jovial despite failing to collect the coveted My camp rock trophy. All finalists went away with several prizes, and all participants received certificates.
Christine Service, the Director Of Walt Disney Channel in Africa said she was very excited that both kids and parents had come in droves to ascertain their popular support for this year’s greatest musical showcase, My Camp Rock 2
The audiences were taken to their feet by brilliant performances from the charismatic Jesse Clegg, South Africa’s rising singer-songwriter, and the son of the musician Johnny Clegg.
Jesse had taken a break from recording his second album in Canada to fly over specifically for the event. He sang his smash-hits including Today and Girl Lost In The City from his album When I Wake Up. This was followed by an electrifying performance by rap and hip hop favourite HHP who hosted a special ‘rockshop’, while singing and dancing mentors taught the kids how to perform like Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers with exclusive tutorials. The day was hosted by radio and TV personality, Pabi Moloi, who delighted crowds with competitions and prize giveaways.
Following the huge success in the U.S., where the movie’s premiere was watched by eight million viewers ranking it this year’s number one cable movie, the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato are set to rock South Africa in Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, a full out rock ‘n roll musical that celebrates music, dance and the freedom of summer and reminds viewers to ‘enjoy the journey’, when it premieres at 09:00 on 18th September on Disney Channel South Africa.