The turnout may have been small but the talent certainly wasn't when locals showcased their skills at Rotorua's Got Talent auditions held at the weekend.

The auditions, held at the Sportsdrome on Saturday, saw a handful of acts come before the selected judges, while others who registered sent in videos of their performances.

The four finalists will be announced tomorrow and the overall winner will be announced on Friday.

The winner will get to perform 30 minute slots at Mudtopia and Rhythm and Vines.


The judging panel was made up of Mudtopia Festival co-director Sarah Lewis, Rhythm and Vines founder Hamish Pinkham and Rotorua Lakes Council's major events co-ordinator Jason Cameron.

Lewis said the judging criteria for the acts was based on whether their performance would translate over to the stage as well as considering the demographic of the audiences at Mudtopia and Rhythm and Vines.

She said she was expecting a bigger turnout for auditions but was impressed with those who performed.

"I was really excited with what I saw at the auditions and there were definitely some performances that caught my attention."

One of the standouts from the weekend was local rapper Shaquille Graham.

Graham said he had nerves going in but felt it went well.

"There was a bit of extra pressure to just perform in a small room in front of the two judges, but I just did my thing and got in my element. If you have belief in your own abilities then you'll be okay."

Graham has been rapping seriously for three years now and has had experience on the big stage.

"I emceed on one of the stages at Rhythm and Vines last year so that was a crazy feeling."

This year Graham hopes to be on the Rhythm and Vines stage again, but this time as a performer.

"It would be a great stepping stone for me. Performing at those events could be the platform I need to take my career further, so I hope I proved myself to the judges."