Who said that the members of the disabled community cannot sing?
On Sunday night at Divi South Winds Resort patrons at the Richard Stoute Teen Talent over 21 and Disabled Contest were treated to stellar performances from the members of the disabled community who performed their social commentaries and ballads and left the audience craving more.
Shane Headley was the first to perform, and he did not disappoint with his humorous and political song and biting lyrics about topics he was not singing about including Former Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and even founder of the event Richard Stoute.
His rendition even brought some audience members to their feet as they wanted more. His lyrics and delivery reminded one of being at a calypso tent, listening to some impactful social commentary at its best.
The ambiance of the evening continued as Granville Carter, the reigning monarch in the Blind Calypso competition, gave an energetic performance of Guilty. In the song, he suggests that all persons who are guilty should be given no mercy by the law courts.
But there was a shift from calypso with the beautiful rendition of I Feel Good All Over by Anna Beckles. She truly has a big and powerful voice which soared as she hit the notes in the song made famous by Stephanie Mills.
There is no doubt that Juanita Paul-Gibbs can sing as she effortlessly performed Jennifer Rush’s classic The Power of Love which was made famous by Celine Deon. She left the audience mesmerized from the time she hit the first note in perfect pitch and fine voice.
Surely, she deserved to be awarded with a prize if one was judging on raw vocal ability alone as she possessed that in abundance. She passionately sang the ballad and received a resounding applause from the audience.
One thing that could be said about the competition was that members of the disabled community were not treated any differently from the those in the Over 21 age group as they were judged the same.
It was very clear that Granville Carter, Shane Headley, Anna Beckles, Juanita Paul Gibbs, and Richard Daisley should be extremely proud of their performances which brought the audience to their feet, with whistles and shouts as they delivered their renditions.
There was no denying that Sherece Chandler would have emerged the victor of the entire competition as this young lady has a voice much bigger than her slim body could hold. She mesmerized the audience with her astonishing voice as she sang I Surrender. Some of the audience stood, clapped, whistled and cheered as she sang the song hitting every single note. Her renditions only got better in the second half with Visions of Love. She was definitely a class act and deserved to lift the trophy high for her commanding performances of both songs. She received 906 points for her two renditions.
If the squeals from the ladies in the crowd could have counted for extra points, then Johnathan Jeffrey would have been the one to beat. He is what many would consider the full package with the swag, style and voice to boot.
He had the women’s attention as he performed A Song For You and at one point, he came down to a member in the audience and serenaded her.
Jeffrey was not done as he delivered a passionate rendition of My My My which saw the audience screaming, shouting and wanting more. He received a well-deserved second place garnering 867 points for his two renditions.
From an early age we all knew that Kibibi Greenidge would become a vocal powerhouse, and that was evident on Sunday as she passionately sang I Hope You Dance. She delivered the song like a professional, holding the microphone away from her mouth as she belted the high notes. In her second song, Greenidge was interrupted by a member of the audience who fell ill and had to be rushed to receive medical attention. Greenidge used that experience to her advantage and sung her heart out in her rendition of Out Here On A Limb.
Mention must be made of Zoe Armstrong who beautifully sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow and I Have Nothing. One could ask what does this songbird have to do to finally capture the Over 21 trophy. If you are judging her on vocals, she definitely has that and her own unique sound as she adds a level of theatre to her performances making them entertaining. She received resounding applause and was a delight to watch on stage as she truly put her emotion into the song and it was felt by the audience.
At the end of the night, all performers were awarded with medallions and credited by Richard Stoute for blessing the stage with their talents.
Stoute did note his displeasure with the fact that the event’s finals were not being aired on local TV as it was something positive that the youth of Barbados were involved with rather than turning to violence.
The conclusion of Richard Stoute Teen Talent is on November 4 at the Hilton where 16 contestants will battle for the coveted title of Richard Stoute Teen Talent 2018. (LG)