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Amazing Grace: Toroma wins Karaoke Idol competition

Tuesday 27 September 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Entertainment, National

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Amazing Grace: Toroma wins Karaoke Idol competition
Grace Toroma, the 2022 Karaoke Idol winner, shows her talent belting out “Listen” by Beyoncé. MELINA ETCHES/22092602

Grace Toroma is the new 2022 Karaoke Idol, wowing the audience and judges with her powerful voice on Saturday night taking out the Cook Islands Game Fishing Club organised competition.

The youngest of the nine contestants, 18-year-old Toroma said she felt “very nervous” on the night singing in front of such a large crowd.

But she put on a brave face and performance, impressing the audience and judges with her song to claim the title.

“It was the best surprise ever, I felt great and honoured and had lots of fun, finally enjoying the one thing my life revolves around … singing,” Toroma said.

“I surprised myself doing something different and fun, winning was the bonus. … like who doesn’t need $1000,” she said.

Toroma was raised surrounded by a “singing” family. Her father is a Seventh-day Adventist Church pastor and for as long as she can remember her whole life revolved around the love of singing.

“I love singing. My siblings sang all the time, mainly gospel songs and their love for singing just grew on me and I enjoy it.”

She also praised her “amazing” older sister Ngametua Mokoroa who “sings so well and beautifully,” and who has been an awesome singing coach teaching her a lot about singing.

With the help of her older sister Tapita, also known as Vina, she chose two pretty difficult songs – “Listen” by Beyoncé and “This Is Me”, a song performed by Keala Settle for the film The Greatest Showman.

“If you listen to lyrics of both songs, they speak of thoughts from the heart out loud,” she said.

Throughout her life, Toroma said she would think “I can never be good enough or I can never be that much” and when she first heard these songs she soon realised, “I’m more than enough, I can and I will”.

Toroma struggled with anxiety growing up and being so shy she would worry about everything especially about what mattered to everyone else. This took a toll on her mental health, she said.

“But here I am, I took up this opportunity and decided to have fun doing something I love doing best… singing.”

She also believes songs do bring out “the thoughts in your heart that you hide and are hesitant about”.

“Being in the finals made me realise that I should always try and challenge myself to do something different, something fun and something that will help me mentally.”

Toroma would like to thank her family and friends near and far for the never-ending love and support, her parents and siblings. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart and a very special thanks to my work colleagues the ‘Avsec Family’ for making the night extra special with their cheer.”

The judges on the evening were Sonny Daniel, Kathy Nubono, Toka, Henry Ahfoo Taripo and Jonalyn Sendito.                                

The results are as follows: 1st Grace Toroma $1000 kindly sponsored by Nav and Tetua Singh, 2nd Unarii Tafale, 3rd May-An Rillera. Consolation prizes were awarded to the talented karaoke finalists: Paul Dwane, Tara Tairea, Janette Olliver, Tungane Barrett Connor, Kuki Tolevu and Joan Aydalla.