Liberia: MTN Y’ello Star Competition Heats Up

MTN Y'ello Star 2 judges have selected fifteen contestants from 500 to participate in the next phase of the competition – the Y’ello Academy. 

Deangers M. Hyverland, Icey, Keith Hunder, Davidetta Bainda,  Emmathia Duncan,  Rewina Henneh, Willie Harmon, Benkies Dolo, Andrew Williams, John Rudolph During, Samuel Dean, Bobby Tamba, Samuel Mulbah, Vanessa Karn, and Jervis Johnson will enter the Y’ello Academy on Saturday, July 30, 2022.  

For the next three weeks, contestants will take master classes in vocalization, stage performance, dance, production, branding and marketing, entrepreneurship, copywriting, and publishing.     During this time, the contestants will compete in a series of elimination rounds. Only five will advance to the grand finale where the winner of the 2022 MTN Y’ello Star competition will be chosen. 

On Facebook live Wednesday, Head Judge Chris Wolo and renowned singer and Rapper Geno, called each winner to inform them of the good news. 

Surrounded by his colleagues, thirty-year-old Jervis Johnson of Cape Mount County received the call while at work.   At the final face-to-face audition in Monrovia, Mr. Johnson said that his advancement to the Y’ello Academy is just the beginning on the road to MTN Y'ello Stardom.

“I know it is going to get tougher as we go along. So I need to practice to try and get all the tutors I am going to need.   It is not just about music or having the voice to sing but understanding how you can impact people through your singing.  I am prepared to learn,” he said.

Mr. Wolo agreed.  He said, “The Y’ello Academy contestants should expect to perform music from different musical genres while in the Y'ello Academy and be challenged.

More than 500 contestants submitted a recorded video clip of themselves singing hoping to make it to the Y’ello academy. This season’s auditions were hosted in two different cities: Ganta City and Monrovia. Of the fifteen announced, one auditioned in Ganta City.

After reviewing video clips, and holding the face-to-face audition in Ganta City and Monrovia, the judges deliberated and concluded that fifteen contestants embodied the qualities required to compete in the Y’ello Academy. 

According to Mr. Wolo,  “The criteria used for contestant selection included vocal ability, general star quality, diction, lyric pronunciation, voice texture, creativity, song interpretation, self-awareness, ingenuity.”

“Even though only fifteen we selected for the Y’ello Academy,” said Geno, “we recognized the potential and talent of all the contestants and encourage those who did not make it this year to try again next year."

The MTN Y'ello Star2 winner will walk away with a brand new car, a 1.5 million LRD record deal, USD 300, and a one-year performance contract with Lonestar Cell MTN.   On top of that, they will receive one gigabyte of data monthly for one year and six months' worth of gas from S+.  

Audiences should also look forward to the MTN Liberia Music Awards in November where the winner MTN Y'ello Star season 2 will perform. The MTN Y’ello Star2 Grand Finale will take place at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex in September.