November 6, 2001 12:02


Your chance to fill the empty space left by the star's departure from the Rumba Festival in Australia...

Organisers of the Australian pop festival that GERI HALLIWELL pulled out of have arrived at a novel solution of how to fill the empty space - by launching a nationwide GERI-OKE contest.

As previously reported on NME.COM, the singer pulled out of the Austereo network's Rumba Festival which takes place in late November.

Australian press reports at the time claimed that the cancellation followed an advance phone interview with Kyle McLachlan and Jackie O's show which is nationally syndicated through Austereo. During the interview the subject of rivalry with Victoria Beckham came up.

A UK spokesperson for the star subsequently put the cancellation down to promotional commitments in the UK.

Now, the 2DAY FM Breakfast Crew in Sydney are attempting to fill the empty space left by Geri by launching a nationwide contest.

Listeners can call into the show to audition by singing 'It's Raining Men', and the winner gets to perform in front of 40,000 festival goers. A roving reporter has also been stopping potential warblers on the streets of Sydney getting them to sing live on air.

Gemma O'Neill from the Morning Crew explained, "We're getting just so many calls - everyone from little kids of 6 and 7 to women in their 40's and 50's. We've even had rejects from 'Popstars' who were turned down because of their appearance. We're just basing this on their ability to sing."

Interested applicants have until November 9, when the final decision will be made and the rehearsals with a choreographer begin.

"We're doing the whole thing - dancers, music, costumes - everything," vowed O'Neill. "It's basically just about having a bit of a sense of humour about it."

Rumba hits Melbourne's Colonial Stadium on November 17, then heads to Sydney Stadium Australia (24). Confirmed acts include Emma Bunton, Shaggy, Craig David and [url=/artists/198211.htm html]Nelly Furtado[/url].

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