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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The youth leadership challenge

The youth leadership challenge

In episode two of YLC, the twelve contestants faced their first challenge – a songwriting competition. The contestants split into two teams and were given a few days to write a song to be performed live in front of an audience of thousands. The songs were required to be on the theme of encouraging youth in Cambodia to get more involved in their communities and specifically to both register and vote.

To prepare, the teams received special training from Khemrak Phearum, the brother of and songwriter for Cambodian pop singer Khemarak Sereymon. The teams performed their songs live on stage at the Youth Democracy Festival in Siem Reap on June 26 & 27 and the winning team was determined by SMS vote from members of the audience at the festival. A total of 694 SMS votes were cast from unique phone numbers in a close competition that was decided by only 8 votes (351 to 343).

The winning team was rewarded with a reception where they met the alumni from all of the past seasons of YLC and got the opportunity to get advice and encouragement from the former contestants. The losing team had to make the difficult decision to “send home” two of their teammates. The following two contestants were sent home: Kong Chantyrith and Suy Thaylee. To read and comment on the lyrics of the songs, visit Lift’s facebook page at



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