The competition was fierce and the talent was undeniable at the Junior Monarch semifinals last Sunday night.
Unfortunately, only seven in each category could go forward to the finals to meet reigning monarchs Summa and De MC. With that in mind, the semifinalists brought their A-game.
The youngsters in the 7-12 category battled hard, and at the end of the night, those advancing were: KCB, The Mighty Ballerina, Browne Star, Hannah, GlowMaster, KeiMhizz, Kibabba and De Rock.
KCB, a newcomer to the competition, impressed with both her vocals and her expert attire for her rendition of Believe.
The Mighty Ballerina was an absolute joy to watch on stage. A second time finalist, she exuded much confidence on stage and shared a powerful message through her song Building Character.
Browne Star, a very strong contender for the 2017 crown, had a grand performance to start the night. Singing Don’t Pressure Me, he reminded all in the hearing of his voice not to pressure students around exam time because he “could go CP and still be the Prime Minister of this country”. He is definitely one to watch at the finals.
Hannah Glow, a student of the Alleyne School, cautioned her peers to be careful who they choose to hang around, in her song, Friends. She too gave a good performance.
Master Kei is a charmer. His lyrics are strong and his delivery is smooth, to the point and impactful. His song, A Child’s Plea, is enough to grab your attention and once you see him perform, you would agree that he is also a strong contender for the coveted title.
Mhizz Kibabba, a first-time finalist, shows much confidence on stage. The 12-year-old Lester Vaughan Secondary School student clearly enjoys being on stage and she thrilled the audience with her piece Bring Back the Love.
De Rock, who is following in the footsteps of his brother, Browne Star, is also a first-timer to competition. He is bold on stage and one could not tell that he is the new kid on the block. He did a great job in his delivery of Say a Prayer.
The reserves in this category are SanShe and 7 Star. They will be hoping to dethrone Summa.
Although all could not make the finals, they should all be commended for a job well done.
In the 13-18 category, the competition was just as tight. At the end of a hard-fought battle, those going through to the final are: Lady Nica, Mr Personality, Miracle, De Overcomer, Ranaan, Sparkle T and Yahandje.
Lady Nica is undoubtedly a crowd favourite. The first-time finalist is singing Questions for the Minister and the crowd loves it.
Mr Personality definitely lives up to his name. He is a musical protégé, being the son of calypsonians Donella and Rusty, and he is definitely following in their footsteps. His song, Save it for Me, was also well received. He too is a first-time finalist.
Miracle, also a first-time finalist, gave a good performance of her song I Now See.
De Overcomer was quite impressive this year in his rendition of Save A Child, a song that carries a very strong message.
Ranaan, a former monarch, gave an excellent performance of Who Tekkin De Blame. He won the hearts of the Barbadian public way back in 2014 and it’s clear he still has them.
Sparkle T is in her final year of junior competition and after placing third last year, she is looking to take the title. She gave a good performance of This Golden Chain and the crowd loved it.
Yahandje, the youngest in this category, also gave a good performance of her song, De Dream. She has amazing vocals and is one to watch for the final.
The reserve is Tinesha.
They will all be hoping to dethrone reigning monarch De MC who is in his final year of competition.
The final is set for Saturday, July 22 at Kensington Oval.