Wounded Warriors - Beyond The Battlefield!
Sponsored by: Plumbers and Fitters Local 675
Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. on KHON2
Sunday, July 14th, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. on KHON2
**Special! Thursday July 18th, 2013  at 9:00pm on Hawaii's CW
Sunday, July 28th,  2013  at 6:30 p.m. on KHON2

Hawaii Stars was the inspiration of then Senator Mike McCartney (currently, President of the Hawaii Tourism Authority). In 1992, Karaoke was all the rage and Mike was thinking it would be great to have a TV program showcasing the talent he believed was hidden away in offices, warehouses and karaoke bars. He thought the time was right for a local show that was positive and uplifting!

Bingo! He contacted Carole Kai (whom he did not know) and she in turn contacted a young up-and-coming director, Dirk Fukushima. They agreed to working on this concept. But first, they needed sponsors. In three days, Carole came back to Dirk with a few sponsors and said, “What do we do now?”  “Find a television station!”, said Dirk.

After several stations rejected the trio, they decided to approach the number one station at the time - KHON.  KHON graciously sold them a Saturday afternoon time slot.

So, in the Spring of 1993, with Carole and Kimo Kahoano as co-hosts at Ala Moana Centerstage, Hawaii Stars was born!

Originally expected to run for only 13 weeks, the show was an instant hit! KHON moved the show to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday where Hawaii Stars continued to grow in popularity. Over the next eight years, Hawaii Stars was the #1 locally produced show, and consistently ranked in the top Five shows on KHON. *Dirk and Carole bought out Mike in 1997 so he could pursue other interests.

Why #1? Everyday, ordinary people got their moment in time to walk through that curtain, step onto the stage and be like a Star! (This was many years before American Idol) Their friends, family and Community could celebrate their talent – no matter if they were good or not! It wasn’t about being the best. It was about each person Doing his or her best.

“We all worked hard to make every contestant feel like a Star, from the make-up artist to the hosts to the cameramen!” says Carole.

For many contestants, it was a life-changing experience – one that built self-esteem, developed their character and made them believe in themselves. They realized they could do something they never dreamed they could do, and it helped them move on to other good things in life. One contestant was a victim of spousal abuse (she was shot multiple times by her husband) and was at a low-point in her life. “Being on Hawaii Stars, gave me back my self-respect. I feel like I can do anything now!” she said.

After a two-year break to produce “Jan Ken Po – the Game Show about Hawaii!” Hawaii Stars returned to Ala Moana’s Center Stage in 2003 with a new format. Weekly winners kept returning to the competition until eliminated (a combination of judges’ votes and viewer call-in votes). The winner for the season won a recording contract with Mountain Apple Production Company for a year.  Siona Fruean of Kona took the competition with with an amazing 243,000 votes.  Producer Dirk liked the format because it gave us a chance to see the contestants develop from Karaoke singers to real performers – “that’s what we’re most proud of!” says Dirk.

Executive Producer Carole Kai says that the original Hawaii Stars meant a lot to her because it was about empowering people. But the show was still about making dreams come true.

In 2006, Hawaii Stars moved into an even more aggressive format. Partnering up with the number one venue in Waikiki, the Outrigger Main Showroom, the show did a 45-week Competition with professionals in the music business! Hawaii Stars really had a contest on their hands, every contestant was so talented, popular and great in their own right! For the judging, the Society of Seven Las Vegas, gave commentary after each performance, did away with the visible scorecard and chose a weekly winner.

The Finals in 2006 were judged by SOS creator, Tony Ruivivar, Music Maestro Matt Catingub, Mountain Apple Company’s Jon DeMello and legendary Al Masini, creator of  “Solid Gold”, “Star Search” and “Life Styles of the Rich and Famous”. There was an unprecedented TIE for the Finals - Anita Hall and Anna Marie Love became duo-winnersand each received a contract to perform with the Society of Seven in the Showroom for 10 weeks.

The following season (2007) was an exciting year for Hawaii Stars as we made its new home at the fabulous Magic of Polynesia Showroom. The season was packed with even more of Hawaii’s best performers that included a Duet competition, the return of the ever popular Keiki Stars where the first Young Rising Star was named.  The season Finale ended with the Hawaii Stars Idol Search Competition where the winner won a chance at the final auditions for American Idol.  2007 also marked the end of the top rated Hawaii Stars weekly program and made its final mark in Hawaii television history as one of Hawaii’s most beloved locally produced TV shows.

A New Era for Hawaii Stars….

In 2008, HSPI began to lay the ground work for a new type of TV production that would continue to create and perpetuate the Hawaii Stars show brand.  Producers began exploring subjects and themes that are important to our everyday lives and committed to explaining it in ways that can be understood by young and old. Thorough and concise interviews with experts and/or people with first-hand experiences HSPI presented shows that enlighten and engage your heart.

“We wanted to produce pieces that were truly meaningful with the hopes to educate, inform, and instill pride within our community.” says Carole Kai. 

Along with the return of the popular Keiki Stars and the Annual Weinberg Concert of Extraordinary Abilities, 3 - ½ hour TV specials (DUI A Lesson In Humility, Plumeria & Steel and Living Green) were created and were well received by our loyal viewers. 

Today, Hawaii Stars Presents, Inc. continues its commitment to producing quality local programming with sponsorship partners in mind. Collaboration and input from our clients are encouraged during the pre-production stage to provide maximum benefit to all. We want to fulfill our sponsors’ needs along with providing compelling content – that is the goal of each production.


Hawaii Stars Presents, Inc. is the company that has brought you shows like:

  • Hawaii Stars
  • Keiki Stars
  • The Weinberg Concert of Extraordinary Abilities
  • “Jan Ken Po”
  • Four Strings-History of the Ukulele
  • Ala Moana 4th of July Celebration
  • Golf Hawaii with Mark Rolfing
  • AT&T Heart of Champions with Larry Price
  • Chefs in Paradise (4 years)
  • HAPA Na Mele; “Society Of Seven - Pride, Passion, and Dedication”
  • THE “Ki of Life” – a story about Tadd Fujikawa and Stephanie Kono”
  • Plumeria and Steel - A Partnership in Aloha (The Military in Hawaii)
  • Living Green - How You Can Help The Aina
  • Coaching for Life!
  • Your Money
  • EK Fernandez Family, Hawaii's Pride
  • DUI: A Lesson in Humility
  • Obesity in Hawaii - Stories of Hope!
  • Read To Live
  • Nohelani Cypriano - Pulelehua (My Precious Butterfly)
  • Hawaii's Proud Military
  • Kama`aina Business Success Stories
  • The History of the Military Bases in Hawaii!

Telly Award Winners



About the Telly Awards

Please visit   TheCabHawaii.com

hosts Carole
Carole Kai

Carole is the executive producer of Hawaii Stars. She started her career as a pianist/singer in Hawaii night clubs then became a singer/dancer/entertainer, performing in Las Vegas and in major hotels all over the world! Carole was chosen "Newcomer of the Year" by the major Las Vegas newspaper in 1979.

Her real love is helping people, especially those in Hawaii and the military here (her father was in the Army Military Intelligence Corps during world war II). Carole is president of Carole Kai Charities,Inc., which has produced the annual Great Aloha Run since 1985.

She also started the Carole Kai Bed Race for local charities in 1974 and ran it until 1995. She attributes her work ethic and devotion to helping people to her mother, Ethel. She taught Carole that true happiness comes from helping others with no thought of getting back anything (like the old Hawaiians did).

hosts Kimo
Kimo Kahoano

Kimo has been the dynamic co-host of hawaii stars since the beginning, in 1993. Kimo is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and is a man of many talents. He started his career as a fire knife dancer/singer in the popular al harrington show. He has been a radio personality, is a spokesperson for many products, and an actor and singer. Kimo is also the perennial co-host of the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival.
his list of credits include: Hawaii Five-0; Magnum P.I.; Barnaby Jones; The Jeffersons; the imax film "Behold Hawaii" and the movie, "Blue Crush".

Kimo is known as the all-around "good guy" in Hawaii - always having great conversations with anyone who stops to talk to him.


Jasmin Idica

Hawaii Stars Keiki Starlet

For the first time ever, Hawaii Stars has named 11 year old, Jasmin Idica as our Hawaii Stars Keiki Starlet.
Jasmin is an accomplished vocalist who has swept across the island's youth music scene winning numerous singing competitions across the state of Hawaii, across the mainland and even Internationally.
Along with Emcee, Brandon Kahele, lead for the Fab 4, they will be showcase some of Hawaii's most talented kids at the Keiki Stars st the 50th State Fair Competitions.
Jasmin has been singing at various local events throughout the state, i.e. Adult Friends for Youth, DARE Program, Sunset on the beach, State Farm Fair. She is the 2005 Grand Champion for the Al Waterson & You singing contest, where she was then a regular performer with Don Ho at his show.

Darius Palau

2008 Hawaii Stars Young Rising Star

On June 22, 2008, 13 year old Darius Palau became our 2009 Young Rising Star at the Keiki Stars Competition held at the 50th State Fair.
Darius attends Wahiawa Middle School. His favorite subjects are Math, Science and Robotics where he won in State Championship and moved on to compete nationally representing the Sate of Hawaii in Oklahoma City.   
Darius has had experience in both music and television since a very young age and has appeared in several local television commercials here in Hawaii.  Currently, he was casted a part in a musical called Alice in Wonderland with Applause Performance Academy.  He has competed in numerous singing competitions across the State and more recently won Brown Bags to Stardom's - Middle School Male Division for 2009.  Darius has also performed in a multitude of benefits and community venues such as Sunset on the Beach and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation's Concert of Extraordinary Abilities, Don Ho's and for the Hawaii State Legislature at the State Capital.
One of Darius' goals is to appear on American Idol one day and is so very thrilled to have the honor of hosting the 2009 Keiki Stars at the 50th State Fair.  "From this experience and opportunity, I hope to gain more confidence, knowledge and stage experience so that I may continue to grow as an entertainer and singer..."


Dirk Fukushima

Producer/Director of Hawaii Stars Presents, Inc.

Dirk, a graduate of Hilo High School and the University of Hawaii - Manoa, has been Carole's partner in Hawaii Stars Presents, Inc. since 1992.
He has produced and directed:

  • Hawaii Stars, the Contest for 15 years
  • Keiki Stars for 5 years
  • Jan Ken Po, the Game Show About Hawaii for 2 years
  • Chefs in Paradise for 3 years
  • Fourth of July at Ala Moana Center for 4 years
  • The Weinberg Concert of Extraordinary Abilities for 12 years
  • About 40 different Specials since 1992 Since 2008, Hawaii Stars Presents is producing 6 TV Specials a years that are designed to help, inform and inspire the Hawaii Community.
Dirk is pictured with his fiancee, Dale Tagami


hosts miki

Carole's make-up artist is the
talented Miki Johnson.

hosts oney

Her hair stylist is the popular
Oney @ Salon Mei.



Photography by Paramount Photography

Presented by

Pizza Hut Hawaii's Bestlocal-675Local 1186Restaurant Suntory

the shows

Hawaii Stars was the inspiration of then Senator Mike McCartney (currently, President of the Hawaii Tourism Authority). In 1992, Karaoke was all the rage and Mike was thinking it would be great to have a TV program showcasing the talent he believed was hidden away in offices, warehouses and karaoke bars. He thought the time was right for a local show that was positive and uplifting!