Maria Diy is on her way to the big time. She just won the Ridge Meadows Got Talent competition last Sunday, sang the national anthem on Canada Day in Memorial Peace Park and now she is one of four kids who won a chance at a wild spot for The Next Star, a Canadian singing competition with a twist.
“Ria was the only one from B.C. who got this far. The 12 finalists are already in Toronto but they have opened four wild card auditions and Ria is one of them,” said excited mom Jackie.
“The judges had great things to say about Ria during her interview, such as ‘she has such a great voice and great stage presence,’” Jackie added.
The auditions in Vancouver were held last May 12 and there were more than 500 people trying for a spot.
“Ria made it past the first audition, then she moved on to the second auditions – both held on the same day. That night, the lucky ones who were going to move on to the auditions (with the judges) got calls, and when we got our call, we were ecstatic,” explained Jackie.
“So seeing her among the selected four wild card auditions took us by surprise, and to think that she is the only one from B.C., and being from Maple Ridge at that, makes us truly happy,” Jackie said.
Ria appeared before the judges – Universal Music Canada’s Mark Spicoluk, country singer and reality TV star Tara Oram, and Juno Award winning R and B singer Keshia Chante.
The Next Star is not a typical talent search. It takes more than pitch-perfect pipes to be a pop star. The show’s focus is to scour the nation for young hopefuls, 15 years and younger, with the talent and determination to make it through superstar boot camp.
These budding pop stars will learn everything from working with music producers, vocal coaches, and music video directors, to presenting their own hit songs, to learning how to own the stage, according to The Next Star website.
The winner of The Next Star will earn bragging rights by having their songs distributed by Sony Music Entertainment alongside Usher, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, One Direction, Miley Cyrus, and even legendary musicians like Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd, and the late Michael Jackson. The prize also includes $5,000 from Sears and a Epiphone Masterbilt acoustic guitar from Gibson.
Viewers can tune in on Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. to find out who the judges award the wildcard. The poll on The Next Star website is where fans can guess who they think will be the Wildcard.