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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

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Tim Tierney

(Posted 8 p.m., April 1)
Orléans duo vie to become MuchMusic's newest VJ

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Junior Mbeng and Ryan Pownall are representing Ottawa and Orléans on the MuchMusic VJ Search reality show. File photo

Orléans natives and good friends Ryan Pownall and Junior Mbeng are going to be battling each other and 18 other contestants for the opportunity to become MuchMusic's next on air personality.

Both young men had their video profiles selected from among hundreds of entries to the 2013 MuchMusic VJ Search. They will board the MuchMusic VJ Search bus in Vancouver this week and will travel across Canada as part of a reality show in which the VJ hopefuls will perform various challenges.

A contestant will be eliminated after each show until the finalists arrive in Toronto for the finale on April 26.

During yesterday's premiere, the 20 contestants were introduced to the MuchMusic audience through a series of short videos. Subsequent shows will air daily at 6 p.m.

Pownall, 20, is a deejay and bartender at Tequila Jack's in the Byward Market. After graduating from St. Peter High School.in 2010, he enrolled in the marketing program at Algonquin College. During his introduction video he appeared lying in bed in purple briefs, and with his dog Toby. He also gave a little insight into how he intends to approach the program.

"I plan to play a little dirty and also a little nice. Actually a little bit a both, but you'll never know which," said Pownall who was referred to as a "ladies man" and "partyer" by the MuchMusic VJ panel critiquing the contestants.

Mbeng, 23, graduated from St. Matthew High School in 2008 and is currently the director of marketing at York Entertainment. In his MuchMusic profile Mbeng descibed himself as being outgoing, optimistic and energetic. He also got the MuchMusic logo tattoed on his forearm to show his dedication to the show.

On Tuesday's show the 20 contestants will be whittled down to 18 before they even get on the bus. Each of them will be judged on their interview skills and the two weakest peformers will be sent packing.

To see Ryan Pownall's audition video visit http://www.muchmusic.com/vjsearch/top20/ryan-pownall/335625/. Junior Mbeng's video is at http://www.muchmusic.com/vjsearch/top20/kevin-mbeng/341401/.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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