Lucrative cash prizes and the coveted opportunity to represent Barbados at Britain’s Got Talent has piqued the interests of artistes from across the island. This was evident with 20 entrants taking to the stage when the latest edition of Baje to the World was hosted at the Combermere School, Saturday.
The competitors appeared before a judging panel consisting of music producer Andrew Denny, radio personality Admiral Nelson, head judge vocalist and tv host Cassandra Crawford and fellow singer and first time judge, Tamara Marshall.
However, despite the uptake in competitors, the judges struggled to find a participant that blew them away. The majority in the competition were vocalists and though a few of them had glimmers of brilliance, the judges believed they lacked the consistency to deliver the flawless renditions necessary to make their mark in the United Kingdom. Throughout the night the panel reiterated the need for the participants to showcase their individuality and were underwhelmed by their inability to step out of the box.
Among the pool of contestants were saxophonists Kymani Gilkes and Zukeli Inniss. Though Gilkes is a skilled musician, he failed to wow with Despacito. Inniss looked sharp with his salmon-hued blazer and was suave in his delivery, but the judges were not satisfied with his selection of Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing. His offering prompted Nelson to advise that a concerted effort must be made to promote regional material, and he encouraged this instrumentalist to play something local. Inniss then launched into Leadpipe’s catchy Ah Feeling Ah Feeling which immediately captured the audience’s attention.
One performer who dared to be different and thrilled the panel with her choice of a local production was Lauryn Small. She presented RPB’s Boat Ride on steel pan with a live parrot perched on her shoulder. Unfortunately, her desire to standout backfired as she was distracted by the bird pecking at her ear. Though she was on point with her costuming and was entertaining, as she effectively used the stage, the mishap with her pet bird detracted from her overall impact.
Spoken word artist La Shawna Griffith added some diversity to the evening’s proceedings with her piece Crime and Criminals in which she demanded that Barbadians take a more active role in the fight against crime.
It was unanimous that the most entertaining act of the night was Wrinkles with Rapper’s Delight. He is a natural performer and though he is by no means a top-class rapper, he has fantastic stage presence. He looked dapper in his ensemble and commanded the audience’s attention for the entire time he was on stage.
This week’s line-up included a mix of youth and experience. Seasoned artistes like rapper Rubytech with his original Sexy Lady and Debra Clarke with Get Here were in the running. While a technical problem with the former resulted in his vocals drowning out the music, the latter failed to deliver with her usual gusto. The young brigade was represented by Melika and Kataleya Murphy and Ranesha Stewart.
The next installment of the competition will take place at Queen’s College, Husbands, St James. (STT)