At the end of both of her performances the audience was on its feet giving rousing applause, it was no wonder that Diandrea Harris was crowned the winner of the 43rd Richard Stoute Teen Talent Finals on Sunday night. Now with a scholarship to the Barbados Community College and plans to take on the local and international singing stage, Harris is not only jubilant but excited for the future.
Harris, 19, who sang Don’t You Remember and Yet Still I Rise amassed a total of 814 points as she sang exceptionally well from the first to the last note of each song. “This is one night that I was not nervous, I normally get really nervous,” she said, adding that she was expecting the win because everyone was telling her she would, based on her performance on the night.
The closest rival was 17-year-old Daianna Price who sang Try It On My Own and I Look to You. Price scored 786 points and was a favourite with the crowd who followed the show throughout the preliminaries and semi-finals. She was welcomed to the stage by standing ovations and cheers before she sang the first note and did not disappoint her supporters.
Tarique Griffith, the only male to place in the top five, scored 775 points for his songs Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word and You Are the Reason. His renditions were well received by the appreciative audience.
Fourth place went to Kayla Alleyne who sang Hallelujah and Sky Fall while Kenyah Joseph placed fifth after her renditions of I Who Have Nothing and Wind Beneath My Wings.
When the winners were announced, there were tears of joy as well as tears of disappointment from contestants who did not place.
Donna-Lisa Yearwood gave beautiful renditions of I Know Where I’ve Been and She Used to Be Mine. Her songs, while not some of the more popular ones, were well done and showcased her vocal ability.
Weslon Samuels who sang Careless Whispers and Suddenly was also impressive but failed to place.
Another crowd favourite, Nicole Sealy, gave better deliveries of her songs during the semi-finals and was not as impressive on Sunday night. She sang Where Do Broken Hearts Go and Can You Reach My Friend.
Meanwhile, Amirah Cordice who sang One Night Only and Without You impressed in the first half but gave a more subdued second half performance.
Impressive and equally energetic in her performances was Casey Jemmott-Boyce who sang Keep Pressing On and Life Is Made to Be Enjoyed. The renditions of the two calypso songs found favour with the audience and added an additional element to the night where mostly ballads were sung.
However, it was Kiah Shurland who is no stranger to the stage who had a difficult night. Shurland who sang Alabaster Box and You Say had some difficulty reaching the notes. She sang Alabaster Box and left the stage in tears but came back during the second half to redeem herself.
All the performers represented themselves well including Janisha Best who sang Out Here on My Own and Make It Like It Was. Aaliyah Welch sang My Heart Will Go On and Water From The Moon.
Tavon Boyce delivered the songs Wildflower and I Who Have Nothing with confidence; so too did Sheriah Gibson who sang When We Were Young and What A Beautiful Name and Crissanna Baird who sang You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me and Don’t Cry Out Loud.
Kareesa Chase who sang Rise and the calypso song Get Over not only excelled on the stage but also won the prize for the essay component of the competition. She wrote the best research essay on the topic Importance of the Barbados Museum.
Executive Producer of the show Richard Stoute paid tribute to friend Tony Clarke who was a long-time member of the production crew. Stoute said it was the first time in 40 years they were producing the show without Clarke. He sang It’s Not Easy to Say Goodbye in his honour. (LK)