The new queen of the 42nd Richard Stoute Teen Talent is a pupil of Trinity Vocal School, Jalissa Edwards.
Edwards gave a powerful rendition of I Who Have Nothing in the first half of the competition. Dressed in a red polka dot dress, she delivered her song with style and class belting out some of the notes dramatically to convey the song’s message. There is an old adage that persons leave their strongest song for last and that was evident with Edwards as her delivery of Natural Woman was nothing short of a performance suited for the finals of a show like X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent.
Dressed in a blue, long dress, Edwards delivered her song hitting beautiful notes and runs while being dramatic on stage making sure that Natural Woman was understood by all. Her delivery brought some members of the audience to their feet. Edwards walked away with the coveted title as well as the cash prize with 932.5 points for her two renditions.
The star of the night would be Tavon Boyce who, from his first note, had members of the audience spellbound. Many of them recorded his flawless rendition of Music and Me on their cellphones.
In the second half, his voice only got sweeter as he flawlessly sang Try It On My Own. The future is bright for this young vocalist, as he not only sings in key, he has a vocal range that surpasses his age. Members of the audience, astonished by the voice of this 13-year-old, stood as he performed his selections, placing second with 841 points.
Judges would have had a hard time deciding who would have placed third as there were three stunning performances from Dianna Price, Rashida Codrington and Diandrea Harris.
Dianna Price truly sings from her heart and conveys emotion with each note she sings; her voice is packed with clear diction and a beautiful tone. In the first half, she beautifully sang the song Read All About It. In the second half, she told the story of heartbreak with the song Jealous. She placed fourth in the competition and almost tied with the 3rd place performer Rashida Codrington as a mere half a point separated them.
Rashida Codrington placed third with her passionate rendition of One Moment In Time. It was well received by the audience with many rising to their feet in appreciation of her passionate tone.
In the second half, Codrington performed This Is My Life, delivering the song passionately as if it were her personal testimony. She expertly delivered this song and narrowly claimed third place from Price, as she scored 792.5 to Price’s 792.
There is no denying that Diandrea Harris can sing as she showcased her low sultry voice performing Through The Fire in the first half. However, a song change may have cost her. She changed Skyfall for which she received a standing ovation in the second half to All I Ask. She delivered both songs well and a few members of the audience stood as they enjoyed her renditions.
If you were to listen to Regina Ruck with your eyes closed, you might have believed you were at the Metropolitan Opera House as Ruck sang her two opera selections Flying Free and The Holy City. It was the performance of the latter that brought the audience to their feet in a standing ovation. She is definitely one to watch as she hones her craft.
There was a shocker of the night from Shontae Alleyne-Clarke who did not impress the judges with her renditions of And I Am Telling You and Bridge Over Troubled Water. Despite winning the 6-12 category of the Richard Stoute Teen Talent, she failed to deliver powerful vocals in the song. She did cause one member of the audience to duck when she kicked off her shoe during her first song And I Am Telling You. Her management team must advise her that this practice is unacceptable and puts the safety of patrons at risk.
There were also guest performances from former Richard Stoute Teen Talent alum Ayanna John who gave two entertaining renditions of her original songs and Richard Stoute Teen Talent 2017 winner Trinity Clarke.
The 2017 winner gave an astounding rendition of Beyonce’s Listen which had members of the audience in awe at the vocal range of the 12-year-old Alexandra student.
The audience also enjoyed the performances from the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Honoree Screwface who gave an entertaining performance of his hit song Banana Republic.
The highest placed contestants in the Over 21 and Disabled Category were also presented with awards. In first place was Juanita Paul-Gibbs, second place went to Granville Carter and third place went to Richard Daisley. They all received cash awards for their outstanding performances.
Also receiving a special award on the night was Shane Headley for his entertaining rendition of I Know Dat in the Over 21 and Disabled Category. He received a prize from Clini-Cab Inc.
Rashida Codrington and Chief Judge Sheldon Hope also received special awards for their dedication to ensuring that Richard Stoute Teen Talent was a success this year.
Headley also dominated in the essay competition placing first for his exceptional essay; second place went to Shontae Alleyne-Clarke and third place went to Kereesa Chase. All of these awards were cash prizes.
All the contestants received a medallion from alum Stephanie Chase. The contestants who performed in the finals of the 42nd Richard Stoute Teen Talent Contest were: Dmitri Hoyte, Tavon Boyce, Amanda Mascoll, Weslon Samuels, Kereesa Chase, Kayla Alleyne, Casey Jemmott-Boyce, Rashida Codrington, Princess Thomas, Diandrea Harris, Jalissa Edwards, Dianna Price, Shontae Alleyne-Clarke, Regina Ruck, Crayshanda St Hill, Tarique Griffith and Donna-Lisa Yearwood.
Founder of the event, Richard Stoute, told Barbados TODAY that he thought the 42nd edition was the best he has had in years and that all the contestants did an excellent job. [LG]