Soul clas­sic a win­ner

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By LIZ WYLIE

The stu­dio au­di­ence was amused when it heard Jack John­son would be com­pet­ing in heat eight of the Ho­mai Te Pakipaki singing com­pe­ti­tion last week.

Al­though Mr John­son bears lit­tle re­sem­blance to the in­ter­na­tional folk-rock singer who shares his name, he is a bit of a celebrity since win­ning the heat.

Jack says he was ‘‘dumb­founded’’ when he was named the win­ner af­ter com­pet­ing against four other con­tes­tants and re­ceiv­ing the most votes.

Ho­mai Te Pakipaki (mean­ing to give ap­plause) is a live karaoke show which screens on Maori Tele­vi­sion at 8.30pm on Fri­days.

‘‘It is a show about the peo­ple for the peo­ple,’’ says pro­ducer Piripi Me­nary. ‘‘ We want to give them a plat­form but we’re keep­ing it real and grass­roots.’’

Mr John­son is cel­e­brat­ing his win and his prize ($1000 and a 2De­grees phone) with his fam­ily at their home in Wai­tan­girua.

Mr John­son’s part­ner Orion Rei and their baby daugh­ter trav­elled to Auck­land with him, al­though the show wasn’t the main pur­pose for the trip.

‘‘Jack has liver can­cer,’’ Ms Rei says. ‘‘ We went there for his chemo­ther­apy treat­ment.’’

This trip was the fourth treat­ment ses­sion Mr John­son has un­der­gone.

‘‘I wanted to cheer my­self up and I knew the stu­dio was just around the cor­ner from the hos­pi­tal so I went and au­di­tioned,’’ he said.

Be­fore the screen­ing, Mr John­son was asked to per­form two songs and com­plete two in­ter­views.

‘‘ The pro­duc­ers choose which song they think is best based on length so it fits into the show’s for­mat,’’ he said.

The win­ning song was the Solomon Burke soul clas­sic Cry to Me which earned Mr John­son the high­est num­ber of text-in votes.

No stranger to per­for­mance, Mr John­son runs karaoke com­pe­ti­tions at Jimmy’s Bar in Porirua on Thurs­day nights.

‘‘ It’s him,’’ Ms Rei says. ‘‘This is what he does.’’

The cou­ple’s seven-mon­thold daugh­ter Ly­dia was un­well on the night of her fa­ther’s win, so Ms Rei saw it on the screen rather than in the stu­dio.

Their sons Ramu, six and Cameryn, three, also saw their fa­ther’s win on tele­vi­sion while stay­ing with fam­ily close to home.

‘‘I knew he was go­ing to win,’’ says Ramu. ‘‘Un­cle Wil­liam told me.’’

Photo: LIZ WYLIE

WIN­NER: Jack John­son with part­ner Orion Rei and daugh­ter Ly­dia.

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