by Kimberley Cummins
Jakela Stoute is back with a bang.
After taking a one year hiatus from competition in 2012, there was no stopping her last night as she beat out seven other contestants to win the sixth preliminary of the Richard Stoute Teen Talent contest.
Almost every note which came from the 13-year-old’s mouth drew loud applause from the Divi South Winds Resort audience. They loved her and they had every to. Both her renditions, in the first half Adele’s Don’t You Remember and then A Moment Like This by Kelly Clarkson, were excellent. She has grown a great deal as a performer since the last time we saw her, and even though her voice did crack on occasion and she messed up a bit in the bridge, she earned 741 points.
Seasoned Teen Talent contender, Chantal Jemmott had to settle for second place, 51 points shy of Stoute. Her rendition of Go The Distance was exciting but her performance of Beyoncé’s Listen was a let down. Despite the fact that she was an obvious crowd favorite, she sounded nasal as she sang. In the latter performance she was entertaining, she sounded as if she truly related to the lyrics but then she began to rush the song. At one point she was ahead of the music and devoted fans in the crowd shouted for her to slow it down. Nevertheless, Jemmott did well to retain her poise and end on an incredibly high note.
One of the most pleasing performances came from Erica Best. Since first entering the competition she has shown significant improvement. Last night she put her own spin on Josh Turner’s Your Man to instead sing Your Girl and it was well-received. She managed to hit all the popular bass notes and seemed to enjoy herself tremendously. Judging from their reaction, evidently, the audience did as well and along with third place and 633 points, she earned a rousing applause.
Other contestants were: Jamina Smith, Jaenali Harding and Atoura Moise-Clarke. The lone male contestant Ajani Haddock and his twin sister Leilani were the top two in the 6- 12 category however, with 678 points only Ajani advanced to the semi-finals in that competition. The 11-year-old had a good voice, good stage presence and plenty of potential.
In the Over 21 contest, Christine Carter singing Inseparable and For Always beat Mike Grannum’s performances of Let Me Try Again and From Russia With love into second place. Also competing in this contest were: Risa Downes and Jelesa Mayers. [email protected]