by Kimberley Cummins
By the end of the first half it was quite obvious who had the fifth preliminary of the Richard Stoute Teen Talent contest in the bag.
When the competition was over, Cherish Maynard did not disappoint in taking the title home. Before a modest crowd last night at the Divi Southwinds Resort in St. Lawrence in Christ Church the 20-year-old wowed with Foolish Games and Adele’s Rolling In The Deep. Her voice was good even though sometimes, in the first song, she sounded as if she was crying.
In the latter, the new arrangements, which she conceptualised along with Strategy the Band, sounded a bit confusing and all over the place. Other than that, the crowd loved her and so did the judges, who awarded her 672 points for her renditions.
The adage “saving the best for last”, in my opinion, was very true in the case of Rodeesia Singh. Her performances were not the type to have people jumping to their feet, but rather, it was the kind to have one mesmerised and fixed on her every note. She was very good in both songs and there was no denying she had the sweetest voice on the night. Her renditions were pleasing, ingenuous and felt effortlessly brilliant. She sang When You Kiss Me by Shania Twain and Solitaire by Neil Sedaka for second place and 635 points.
Third placed Tasha Mathurin, who sang Now And Forever as well as Just As I Am was much improved. She earned 603 points.
Though Khadisha Baker did not move on to the semi-finals she should be applauded. Of the nine contestants, she was the only person who sang an original. Hers was a self-penned gospel R & B song called I Had A Dream. She also sang I Look To You.
In the younger competition, Princess Thomas rendered Rihanna’s Diamonds and her Junior Monarch finals composition True Royality. This 10-year-old had confidence galore, she delivered her message clearly and was impactful but her voice was the not best. Her husky tone is unique and with some molding by a vocal coach she will improve tremendously.
Malik Stuart is the lone eight to 12 contestant semi-finals bound. He danced the “three time step” and was entertaining for his 553 points, but that was about it; his vocal ability was challenged.
Other contestants were: Shannia Carter, Nykasie Springer and Akeiba Inniss. [email protected]