There was no question Sunday night who the winner of Richard Stoute over-21 Finals was going to be. Straight out the gate, Rebekah Carter was the shoe in for the top prize with her professionalism and attention-grabbing vocals.
The 2013 winner of Richard Stoute Teen Talent Competition brought down the house as she flawlessly belted out I Surrender by Celine Dion and This Is My Life by Shirley Bassey. Her first performance was nothing short of outstanding but it was to be expected taking her repertoire into consideration.
Her enthralling vocals captivated the audience, earning her a rousing applause from every person packed in the Divi Southwinds room. And as if her first performance wasn’t enough to pull on one’s heart strings, her delivery of the hit by Shirley Bassey in the second half confirmed her crowning glory.
Filled with poise and overflowing passion, Carter ripped away at her competition to give a stellar finale.
Always the best man but never the bridegroom, Damien Smith reclaimed his second place position in the Over-21 competition again this year. Smith graced the stage with You’ll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and the Pacemakers and Midnight Cry by Michael English. Contrasting with his youthful appearance, his performances showed maturity and depth.
It was during the chorus of You’ll Never Walk Alone, that Smith’s prowess radiated, as he hit the high notes in his delivery. Meanwhile, Smith’s performance of Midnight Cry in the second half of the competition was for the ladies, as he serenaded them with his honey-dew vocals.
From the preliminaries, Christopher Padmore was a top candidate for the final five. Not only was his voice domineering but he remained in key and possessed excellent pronunciation. In the first half, Padmore performed Solitaire by the Carpenters, and he continued his lucky streak with The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack.
It was a tight competition with 15 contestants vying for the prize. There was no shortage of talent but some performers missed a couple steps in their effort to claim the first place prize.
Zoe Armstrong was one of those performers who throughout the competition showed not only her vocal talent, but also her ingenuity and creativity. While she did not place, Armstrong tackled a social commentary and acoustic performance – quite different from her preliminary and semi-final performances.
Singing Free Your Mind in the first half, Armstrong had a good start but fell flat in her ending, especially the screeching halt which was out of key. However, she redeemed herself in the second half with her acoustic performance of If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys. Accompanied by a guitarist, her adventurous song choice was a refreshing and welcome change. Solely relying on her voice, Armstrong’s personalization of the song led to a delightful and entertaining performance.
Shane Headley was also a familiar face, having just competed in the Richard Stoute Disabilities competition. Singing Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by The Platters and Have I Told You Lately by Rod Stewart, Headley showed tremendous improvements in his vocal abilities and stage presence. A completely different person from his first preliminary performance, his performance was soothing and enjoyable.