The judging of Star Search 2016 went right down to the wire before a winner was declared on Saturday evening.
Fifteen year old Eliziuritabeth Fanueli from To’omatagi took out this year’s award beating her nearest rival by a slim 1.5 points.
Held at Gym 1 at Tuanaimato, the final night saw friends, families, supporters and sponsors listen as the five finalists vied for first place.
The representative of the major sponsor of the competition Anufesaina Chan Mow congratulated the competitors for this year’s competition.
“In reaching the final hour of this competition, as a representative of Chan Mow and Company Ltd the major sponsor for Star Search 2016, I welcome you all who are here tonight as well as those tuning in from home,” she said.
“A special thank you goes out to friends and families of all our contestants who have helped prepare them from the very first day of this competition until the end.
“This would not have been possible if it wasn’t for your support.
“Thank you also to the judges for giving great advice to the contestants for the betterment and improvement of their God-given talents.”
The five finalists who were vying for first place were Tuau Maauga Motu of Vailele, Desmond Rokeni of Nuu, Mona Lio of Vaimoso, Eliziuritabeth Fanueli of Toomatagai and Lanuola Kesa of Tufulele.
They competed in two categories, the Samoan song and their personal choice of English songs.
At the end, the people of Samoa and the judges selected 15 year old Eliziuritabeth Fanueli.
She also won the People’s Choice while Mona Lio of Vaimoso was the first runner up.
Ms. Fanueli won by just 1.5 points from Mona Lio so it was a close competition.
The winner took home the grand prize of $6,000, two round trips to New Zealand and vouchers from different co-sponsors.
The rest of the competitors each received cash prizes of $1,000 and other consolation prizes.