by Chanet Morris
The first preliminary round of the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Contest was held last night at Divi Southwinds and the winner of the 6-21 category was pretty much obvious after the contestants’ first selections.
Shardinay Worrell stole the show with her renditions of You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me and It’s All Coming Back To Me, ending with a total of 620 points — 43 points more than second position, Clint Howard who scored 577 points with the songs Crawl and You Got It Bad.
The event ran without any visible hiccups but the turnout was poor, with more than half of the chairs remaining unfilled. Whether it was due to the location, advertising or otherwise, the crowd was sparse and the persons in attendance seemed to be merely family and friends of contestants as loud applause for each came from particular segments of the audience.
The winner of the 6-21 round, Worrell, as well as young Fancina Bassalet were probably the only two contestants who received loud cheers from the entire audience.
Apart from them, the crowd appeared to be more fired up during the entertainment segment while the judges tallied their scores.
Former winners of the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Contest, Niko Johnson and Jabari Hurdle, as well as a mini fashion show, were clearly greater crowd pleasers than the 11 contestants.
Cherisse Richards took third place with 560 points with her songs If We Hold On Together and Can You Reach My Friend and young Kayla Alleyne also advanced to the next round of the 6-21 category following her renditions of Redeemer and To Sir With Love.
With only two contestants in the Over 21 category, Cherisse Simon took first place with 478 points, singing Right to be Wrong and Changes Will Come, while Anthony Grazette was second with 463 points singing Midnight Cry and His Strength is Perfect.