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–    a dancing, pregnant singer and flowers for Charmaine BlackmanBy Leonard GildarieIt has suddenly evolved into one of the most watched shows in Guyana. Not only for its diverse, talented contestants, but the fact that for a fraction of what it cost to produce such a show in more developed countries, Guyana was able to come up with one that raises the bar on local productions. Hundreds of contestants have auditioned with 45 left to literally face the music over the weekend.But behind the hype, personalities and quirky judges, it has not been an easy task for the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T). This year, for the first time in its seven-year run, the show has added a segment to allow for Bollywood songs to be included. Then the age limit was dropped. A media blitz to raise the hype was also done with auditions then taken to the three counties.This past week, we managed to be invited by the producers to have a first-hand look at how things are done. From an outsiders’ view, it is a nightmare. You are dealing with contestants, many of whom are working. The logistics of getting them on time, arranging for food, lights, music, getting the judges on time is a major challenge handed to a team of GT&T folks.Arranging for practice and meeting deadlines for final taping of the shows remains a major challenge in an arena that is still relatively unknown to Guyana.But GT&T has managed to hand the show’s coordination to a team of its staff,Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys, HJTV and NCN and a few others that involves almost 100 persons. It was the first time for me at Theatre Guild since it was rebuilt. I liked it, though it is small. It has a modern, attractive feel.According to GT&T’s Anita Balram,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, who is coordinating the Bollywood segment, her assignment is no easy one.  GT&T has to balance the show’s public relations, logistics and all the other arrangements.“No, I have not had the nightmare yet. But it is challenging. This year, as you know, we have eased the age limit barrier and added the Bollywood segment.”Balram is charged with ensuring contestants and judges turn up for the show’s taping.As if that is not enough, stage settings, a grand rehearsal and ensuring contestants receive their songs to sing for the next show is all involved.“It is long hours and sitting with the judges and the editors late at night to come out with that final tape that is being aired.”But logistics could prove a killer. I was there from around 18:00hrs. The audience was sitting waiting impatiently for more than 90 minutes for one of the TV production crews to arrive. There was nothing that could be done. Fortunately it is not being shown live, and then there is Kirk “Chow-Pow’ Jardine, whose part in a local movie and experience in show business have paid off. His job is to keep the audience alive.GT&T has hired lights and sounds and then there are the designs for the background and stage. The money adds up.“We had budgeted around $60M for these,” explains Abena Fung, the Project Manager appointed by GT&T.Back stage, on Friday night in the Bollywood segment,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, it was a flurry of activities and Oldies Night.Joel Ghansham, a flamboyant judge who show-business experience has brought life to the show, is particular about his makeup and clothes. Ajay Baksh, another judge, mops his face constantly. He too has been made up,Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping, but it is a little humid.In one corner of the dressing room, a few dancers – male and female- adjust costumes and practice a few moves.Outside, in the hallway, I was surprised at the seeming ease of the contestants. They were already dressed and  some were humming. Others were plugged up to their phones, listening to music.One of the contestants is a pandit from Cornelia Ida, West Bank Demerara. In the pre-show interview, under the umbrella lights, he asks Guyana to pray for him.The contestants and one of the judges, Celia Samaroo, all prayed before the start of the taping.Outside Kerwin Bollers, a producer from HJTV who is no stranger to show business, is unable to grant an interview. Logistics and the late arrival of a TV crew understandably  have him hopping mad.“Yes, this year,Supply Authentic NFL Jerseys, we have seen a tremendous response to the show like never before. You know we have a Bollywood segment which took awhile to catch on, but the competition is intense now. To keep contestants alive and in the show, viewers can text in their support for their favourite singers,” Project Manager Fung indicates.The GT&T team is secretive about the number of texts it has received but conceded it has been beyond the planners’ wildest expectations.“We can’t talk about it, but the support from viewers is unbelievable,” says Fung.The competition itself has been thoroughly entertaining, moreso for its sideshows.In fact, the coordinators said, the entire show is scripted except for what the judges, contestants or hostess may say.On Thursday, during the English segment taping, singer Charmaine Blackman, whose Afro hairdo had the audience and her fellow judges gasping, took it one step further. This time, she wore green and yellow weavings prompting Ghansham to tell the audience that her colours were matching, right down to all her garments.I liked the fact that Linden, which won the competition last year, has come out strong again.There was one contestant whose high-kicking performance mesmerized the screaming audience. She is pregnant but her high-energy performance did not give any indication of this.Another lady,Baker Mayfield Jersey, accompanied by her dancers, performed a split on the floor that shocked the judges.The smokes and lights lent to the excitement of the audience who hooped and hollered and screamed angrily at judges when a particular comment was not welcomed.Nia Allen, age 10, whose Queen Ifrica’s ‘Daddy’ struck a chord with the crowd, continued to significantly contribute to a year that GT&T will find hard to match up to in future shows.Then there is Brandon Harding. The 17-year-old wowed the judges with Chris Martin’s “Paper Loving” and even presented Charmaine with plastic flowers. His hip-swiveling was loved by the ladies.But it was the teacher… I can’t remember her name, whose soca wining and gyrations prompted one judge to wish he was part of her class.I am not sure how GT&T will make back the money invested, but for me it was a great show in which I hope to never, never be asked to help coordinating.With the finals set for early December, and 15 contestants expected to be sent home in coming days, the show is expected to heat up even more.If the past days could be used as a standard to judge what is to come, I am buying some clothes and taking the family to the finals, where 10 contestants each will battle it out in the two segments.