SA's got talent Judge Lalla tells us what makes a winner

2014-07-14 19:00

There's no doubt that Lalla Hirayama has talent! The Japanese-born dancer and presenter has had us in awe for ages, but this year she'll find a new challenge... as a judge on the popular talent search SA's Got Talent.

We spoke to Lalla shortly after the announcement to find out what she's looking for on the show...

Congrats on being appointed a judge on SA's Got Talent. We take it you're excited?

I'm super, super excited! It's such a great show and brand to be a part of. It's a huge honour. When I got the call I was at work in the make-up room and I remember just screaming like it was my first job. It was a great feeling and to think I'm on a judging panel with such great entertainers.

Have you ever participated in a talent search before?

No, not exactly a talent search. But growing up, even since I was 3 or 4 I've been on stage competing in Eistedfords, piano or dancing competitions, so I know a little of what the contestants will be feeling.

Well, what are you looking for in your winner?

Obviously I'm looking for potential! And passion! They would have to have an entertainment or performing background. I know how nerve-racking it is to stand in front of people and judges. I mean, we also take into account that it is nerve-racking but I'm looking for someone who has the hunger and the drive and who is extremely passionate about what they do. I want to be entertained. South Africa wants to be entertained

You talk about nerve-racking moments. How do you deal with those moments?

I think you should embrace the nerves because that is what will give you the stellar performance you have inside of you. If you don't have the nerves then  you know it won't go off as well as you hoped. It gives you the extra adrenaline flow that you need to excel, but the trick is not to let it go to your head.

Do you think, as a judge, you'll be partial to people who have talents in dancing or presenting, like yourself?

(Laughs. No) We looking for an entertainer. Someone South Africa will be proud of putting on an international stage to represent us. I want people to go "WOW! I never knew South Africa had that talent!". Whether it's a singer or a dancer or even something completely different. Bring it on.

Well, the cameras haven't started rolling yet, but what is the craziest thing you've seen performed?

I saw somebody try to stand on the highest pole in the world and so the guy had to climb the pole and stand on one foot, on this tiny little pole. It was the most insane thing!

Is that something you would do for SA's Got Talent?

No ways! I'm petrified of heights! I'm also scared of lifts. It's intense! It's like a small box that goes up high. I'm petrified.

Does this stem from the whole Beyonce-Solange lift incident?

No ways! It's more a claustrophobia thing! I think Beyonce was just trying to keep the peace. I wouldn't even take a local celeb on in the lift.


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