The Scotiabank Junior Monarch Finals is shaping up to have keen contests in both categories.
Based on the performances of the juniors last Sunday night at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, the Saturday, July 21 competition at the Wildey Gymnasium should be a captivating display of young talent.
The 25 semi-finalists would have made the judge’s task difficult as every contestant who hit the stage did a good job and gave a showing. However, as with all competitions there were stand outs. There were performances that dazzled, voices that serenaded and lyrics that stuck in your head. Because of time and space constraints, this review will consider in detail .the top three performances of both categories as chosen by Bajan Vibes
In the 13 to 18 age category, where the competition was a bit tighter than that in the 7 to 12 age group, Quon stole the show. If the Queen’s College student can repeat or rather better Sunday’s performance, his six year drought should be handsomely rewarded.
His song Why I Sing tells the story of a youngster knocking on the Junior Monarch door for six years and not even reaching the preliminaries. He commands the stage like a professional. His diction and rendition are clear and because he is telling his life story, one can easily follow and understand the lyrics. The standing ovation he received was well deserved.
But for Quon to take the coveted title, he would have to pull out all the stops since former Junior Monarch and Lester Vaughan student Dynamo will give him a run. He delivers an exciting and entertaining performance of Tales From De Crypt. Although the theme deals with violence and some may say they’ve heard it before, Dynamo’s song is catchy, witty and lyrically strong. When you add that to the veteran’s stage presence, his flawless rendition and ability to sing, he could easily add another title to his portfolio.
There is absolutely no doubt about it – Symar can sing. Truth is, you don’t have to see her or her props. You can close your eyes and simply be serenaded by her voice. And her rendition of Beauty provided the perfect avenue for a performance. The song, which deals with focusing more on inner beauty than skin colour, nose structure, Remy weave and a curvy body, was a refreshing topic.
It was clear why De Overcomer (Bom Appetit), former monarch Ranaan (Kneel and Pray), Miracle (Education)Princess Make’da (Tell me Why) and Yahandje (Don’t Cry) were named finalists. Reserve The Mighty King could have easily made the cut too. The only question would be about the exclusion of Mr Personality. But given that only eight contestants were chosen, it is quite understandable.
In the 7 to 12 age category it would be interesting to find out the points scored by Mighty Bit Bit and Master Kei. If they both bring their ‘A’ game to the finals, along with presentations that are fitting and entertaining, it will be a ding-dong contest.
Mighty Bit Bit’s song Please Give Bit Bit De Crown is cleverly written. His voice is powerful and clear for a seven-year-old. The melody is infectious and the first timer looks the part and connects with the audience. By the time he had finished performing, one felt the need to crown him 2018 Junior Monarch king.
But he has to come very good as Charles F Broome student Master Kei will not make it easy for Mighty Bit Bit. Singing Homeless not Hopeless, he tells the tale of a homeless person who still has hopes and dreams of someday living a better life.
Master Kei walks from one end of the stage to the other with a dejected look on his face. He was bare-foot, dressed in worn and torn clothes with a plastic bag of clothes in hand. His diction is clear and his rendition on point and the crowd showed their appreciation with screams of approval. If Master Kei gets all his ducks in a row, he could be crowned king in this category.
KCB and Just Kari were equally impressive so they constitute a “tie” on the night. KCB’s Save The Country is not an original topic but what she does when delivering the song is. She is easy on the eye. Dressed in her patriotic gold outfit accessorised with blue, it was evident that she was on a mission to put her country back on track.
Just Kari asked Where the Good Girls Gone? and then answered the question by the end of the song. She handled herself well on stage, dressed in a shirt filled with questions marks. In her song, she said she was searching for positive female role models who weren’t caught up with make-up and taking selfies. It was an interesting topic dealt with very well by the composer.
Joshua B (Magic Man), Sakarah (Colour My Country)Browne Star (Peace) and Star Diamond (Bim Tomorrow) were the other finalists named and will definitely add to the competitiveness of the show. The reserves are Dazzle (Violence in Barbados) and Xavi (No Idea).