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@Lalla_Hirayama has got Talent! @LiamJV speaks to the @StrictlySA on @etvsa judge

She recently landed a spot on the judging panel of ‘SA’s Got Talent’, Liam Joyce speaks to ‘it’ girl Lalla Hirayama.

Lalla Hiraya (PIC: e.tv/SA's Got Talent)

Lalla Hirayama is arguably one of the hottest women on South African television at the moment, her Asian genetics have helped her with that, but getting to the top was all her own sweat.

Hirayama went from being a back-up dancer for some of the country’s top performers to being a must-have celebrity at VIP events.
A V Entertainment presenter, actress, model, dancer and Strictly Come Dancing season 6 runner-up, she has done just about everything. It has been a good few months for her, not only is she a judge on SA’s Got Talent (Sundays at 6.05pm on e.tv) which is in its fifth season, she was also named as the new face of Legit.

How are you enjoying SA’s Got Talent?
It’s a tough job sitting on the judging panel, but I am loving every minute! I’ve been a fan of the show for many years so it’s been a fantastic experience.

What is your relationship like with your fellow judges?
My fellow judges are industry heavyweights, so sitting next to them is an honour. Mam’ Shado is a phenomenal woman who I look up to. She’s thoughtful, loving and strong, everything a woman should be. I’m now her Asian adopted daughter. Fresh is every bit of goofy and corny as he is on radio. He’s great to work with and also professional. This is the second time we’ve worked on a TV project together.

We have had a dance act win previously and even a singer, what act are you hoping will win this season?
In the beginning I was hoping for a variety act to win. Now that we’ve seen the talent, I don’t think it matters. I just want an incredible act that sweeps South Africa off its feet to take the title.

What do you think about the talent in our country?
I think South Africans are creative, passionate and unique, and to top that off, they’re talented in so many different ways. Unfortunately, I feel South Africa doesn’t have the infrastructure to nurture talent the way they do overseas. So platforms such as SAGT are so important for our performers.

As a dancer yourself, what do you think of the quality of the dancing on the show?
I’ve seen some amazing dance talent on the show and some not so great performances. As a dancer, I feel I have to make sure the quality of dance that makes it to live shows must represent the standard South Africa really has. I’ve seen 1 or 2 acts that have impressed. But nothing I’ve been blown away by… yet!

Have you already spotted a winner?
Way too early to say!

How would you describe yourself as a judge, do you know what you want or are you willing to give anyone a chance?
I’m willing to give people a chance if I see potential. You can’t be closed-minded and sit as a judge and know what you want. I don’t think that’s fair judging.

How did you become the new face of Legit?
We had been in discussion for years, so it’s been in the pipeline. It’s a great feeling to see it become reality.

How excited are you about this new venture?
It’s an incredible honour to be a part of it. I’m still pinching myself! A lot of love went into this and I’m hoping it will be well-received.

Who are some of your favourite local fashion designers?
David Tlale and Arwen Swan are the most incredible designers in the country. Make that Africa!

You are always putting your best foot forward on the red carpet, what is fashion to you?
Fashion is trends that are offered to you every season. Style is what you choose out of that. It’s personal. You need to understand fashion, and discover style. And it starts with knowing what and who you are.

Catch SA's Got Talent, Sundays on e.tv at 6.05pm 

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