HCM CITY — Ngoc Duc was in the third grade when he learnt he had a serious eye problem that would rob him of his sight.
|Nothing impossible: Van Thi Tram Anh has a previous Vietnam Idol contestant to thank for giving her the confidence to follow her musical dreams. — VNS File Photo
The blind young man from Thai Nguyen City would have sunk into despondency if it were not for his love of music.
"It is music that has always stayed next to me. I want to sing to let people know the miracle that music can achieve."
Duong Van Loi had to drop out of school when he was in the eighth grade to work as a baker after his father died.
He works hard to support his mother and two younger siblings.
His hard life, however, does not stop him from having big dreams.
The native of Phu Vang District in Hue City dreams of becoming a singer and starting a new life.
Another person who has dreams of becoming a singer and embarking on a new path in life is Nguyen Thi Khanh Hoa, spa owner with an eight-year-old child. A third-year student at the Hue Academy of Music, Hoa regrets that she stepped on to the "music road" so late.
The dreams of Duc, Loi and Hoa, and thousands of people like them all over the country, are fuelled by the Vietnam Idol reality show, and they are flocking to the auditioning rounds of the contest's fourth edition that began in the cities of Hue and Thai Nguyen on Sunday.
People from all walks of life and different backgrounds have been inspired by the successes of previous unknowns who have made it big on the national stage because of this contest.
Van Thi Tram Anh is rather overweight young woman who works as a helper at a sanatorium in Hue City.
"There was Nguyen Thi Phuong Anh at the Vietnam Idol 2010 who has an oversized body like me, but she had the love of the audience thanks to her convincing voice.
"I thought why should I care so much about physical appearance when I do not lack love for music? It is Phuong Anh who leds me to this contest."
Director Doan Minh Tuan and composer Duong Bich Ha are the judges in Hue, while composer Tuong Van is the sole judge in Thai Nguyen.
"The forte of Hue candidates are melodious songs," Tuan said.
"While in general, candidates in Hue are not considered as good as in Ha Noi and HCM City, I saw several salient voices come from the Hue Academy of Music."
In Thai Nguyen, the contest attracted singing aspirants from near and far, including the cities of Phu Tho, Cao Bang and even Da Lat.
Ha Ngoc Tien, a civil engineer who had tried his luck at Vietnam Idol 2008, said: "The last failure made me understand that I need to invest more to achieve success at this playground.
"I have since learnt vocal music and now I have enough confidence, which I think is the key to success." The audition rounds will be held in Da Nang on July 4 and 5, Hai Phong on July 7, Ha Noi on July 11-14, Nha Trang-Da Lat on July 18, Can Tho and My Tho on July 20, and HCM City on July 21-25.
The winners of three previous editions of the contest that debuted in 2007 and have become popular singers now are Phuong Vy, Quoc Thien and Uyen Linh. — VNS