Preceded by chief judge Sheldon Hope’s words “the show was won in the first half”, Kim St Hill-Sealy was announced the Richard Stoute Talent Contest 2015 Over-21 Category winner at Divi Southwinds on Sunday.
Visibly overcome by the moment, Kim nonetheless stepped forward to again sing Never Never, the second of two classic Shirley Bassey numbers she passionately delivered during the contest.
Kim, who is employed in the finance sector, told Barbados TODAY she “thought the competition was tight” and that it was “hard to describe [her feelings], but [she was] happy”. The young woman plans to take her talent on the hotel circuit in the future.
Kim was awarded 873 points and the Irving Fatman Weekes Trophy ahead of Damien Smith, with 784 points, and Stacy Atherley, with 770 points.
In the first half, Damien did well, but seemed a bit restrained with Stevie Wonder’s Overjoyed, while his stronger gospel choice of No More Nights was met with uproarious applause.
Stacey Atherley gave her all in the uptempo Leona Lewis’ Bleeding Love, before freshening up Vice Versa Love, a reggae cry for peace, with R&B elements.
Trophies for the competition were flown in and delivered by sponsor Nicky Lashley.
The other nine competitors on the evening were also awarded congratulations and medallions by the contest’s namesake Richard Stoute: Akeere Alleyne, J’anne Greenidge, Jaleesa Greaves, Farah Brathwaite, Ian Bartlett, Jason Stowe, duo Nadia Holder And Jamal Springer, Shereece Chandler and Mike Grannum. Stoute shared that this expansion of the talent competition had been “conceptualized to give those out of the teens a chance” to shine.
Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development Steven Blackett again gave his support and endorsement of the developmental show.
Only the top three results were announced.
The 2015 Over-21 Final was adjudicated by 2015 Pic-O-De-Crop Monarch William Classic Waithe, Lester Welch, Natasha Gibbons, Don Sir Don Marshall and Sheldon Hope (chief judge).
Guest appearances were by 2014 Over-21 Winner Nicole Clarke, Anthony DePeiza, Super Reuben and one of this season’s judges, Peter Longfellow Bryan.
The 2015 Richard Stoute Teen Talent Contest concludes with the finals of the main showcase –– the 13-21 age group –– next Sunday at Hilton Barbados.