Bahrain, Nov 11 : In a spectacular event organised by Konkani Kutam Bahrain in association with Aangann Konknechem Saudi Arabia at the Bahrain Cultural auditorium here, Robin Sequeira from UAE and Joylene Gonsalves from Kuwait won the 5th season of the prestigious, closely-fought GCC-level Konkani singing contest Gulf Voice of Mangalore. The keenly-awaited finale was held on Friday, November 11 from 4 pm onwards.

While Carol D'Souza from Qatar and Sabita Mathias from UAE were adjudged first and second runners-up respectively in the female category, Clement Fernandes from Qatar and Ralph D'Souza from Saudi Arabia bagged the second and third places, respectively, in the male category.

Six female and an equal number of male singers from six Gulf countries performed their best in three rounds, in what turned out to be a gripping contest and a tough call for the judges. The 12 finalists - Ralph D'Souza and Pramila Rodrigues from Saudi Arabia, Carol D'Souza and Clement Fernandes from Qatar, Robin Sequeira and Sabita Mathias from the UAE, Glen Vas and Joylene Gonsalves from Kuwait, Prakash D'Souza and Inez Lobo from Oman and Christopher Lobo and Teena D'Souza from Bahrain - came a long way in the contest, defeating their competitors in the auditions and semi-finals in their respective countries of residence.

The event started with a welcome note by young compere Santosh Danthy, followed by a procession by singers along with guests, organisers, and representatives of the six countries. The national anthems of Bahrain and India were played.

Henry D Almeida, the man behind the hugely successful event, and joint-chairman of GVOM Season 5 welcomed the guests, sponsors, and audience on behalf of the organising committee. The event was formally inaugurated by lighting of the lamp by Fr Fredrick D'Souza, parish priest of Sacred Heart Church, Bahrain, Walter Nandalike, founder of Daijiworld media group, Arun D'Souza, joint-chairman of GVOM-5 from Saudi Arabia, Stevan D'Souza, main event co-coordinator, Ronald Fernandes, committee member and Henry D Almeida in the presence of other dignitaries.

The real charm of the event started when Leslie Rego, the master compere entered the stage soon after the GVOM anthem. He took charge of the contest for the next couple of hours, anchoring the entire phase of the competition with his usual poise and elan. The first round consisted of songs chosen by the singers, for which they had prepared well in advance, followed by performances of songs as per the choice of judges without background music, and finally, a common song to contestants in each of the categories.

Each and every singer exhibited top performance in every round, belting out the numbers with confidence and clarity. The competiton was tough to the core, and it was extremely difficult for the judges to choose the best. But the experienced jury, comprising Fr Charles Vas from Mumbai, Anil Patrao and Prashant Raj from Mangaluru showed top class professionalism, appreciating and encouraging the singers while giving them helpful pointers.

After two rounds that thoroughly tested the prowess of the contestants, six - three each from male and female categories - made it to the third and final round. They were Sabita Mathias from the UAE, Carol D'Souza from Qatar, Joylene Gonsalves from Kuwait, Clement Fernandes from Saudi Arabia, Ralph D'Souza from Saudi Arabia and Robin Sequeira from the UAE. The last hurdle required the finalists to sing a common song - while the female contestants rendered the song 'Bhaginthlya Sobith' by the late MickMax, their male counterparts sang 'Angelina' composed by Gratian D'Souza.

The last round saw the finalists putting in their heart and soul into impressing the judges one last time. As suspense grew and nails turned shorter from biting, Leslie Rego announced the winners one by one.

The winners were crowned and felicitated in the presence of Henry D'Almeida, Arun D'Souza, Morvine Quadros, Walter Nandalike, Steven D'Souza, Nelson Alva, Stany D'Souza, Kevin Alva, Ronald Fernandes, Vincent Sequeira, Edward Noronha Carol, Sanjay Sequiera and others.

To remember the event for life, a souvenir prepared by the joint organisers was released during the event.

Guest Walter Nandalike in his address praised the efforts put in by the organisers despite limitations in Bahrain. He made a special mention of Henry D'Almeida who turned the 'impossible' into 'possible' with his commitment, hardwork and leadership skills. He specially remembered the late WIlfy Rebimbus, who was instrumental in making of the maiden event during year 2008, and also the founders Lawrence Pinto and Louis Rodrigues from Kuwait.

Fr Charles Vas, who was one of the judges, in his message appreciated the organizers for hosting such a grand event and said that the contestants were so talented that they deserved to sing in films.

As part of other entertainment, Preema D'Souza, well-known female voice from Konkan region along with previous GVOM male title winner Morvine Quadros rendered a few numbers much to the delight of the audience. Vibrant dances to the tunes of songs in different languages, performed brilliantly by Eunice D'Souza and troupe, added extra spark to the event.

The orchestra led by Rajgopal K deserves a huge applause for not only complimenting the singers to perfection but also performing a superb intrumental fusion that had the crowd whistling and crooning cha-cha-cha to the beat of the drums. The special performance by Rajgopal on lead guitar, Deepak Jayasheelan on keyboard, Prakash Anthony on drums and percussion, Rajesh Bhagavat on tabla/dholak, Tony D'Silva on bass guitar and Sandeep Vasishta on saxophone and flute evoked standing ovation from the audience.

Sponsors, artistes, contestants and founders of GVOM were also felicitated during the event.

The sixth edition of Gulf Voice of Mangalore will be hosted in Kuwait by KCWA, one of the most vibrant associations in the Gulf. The memento was presented to the president of KCWA as a token of appreciation for taking forward the event to the next season. streamed the entire six-hour long event live from Bahrain.


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