by Charmaine Walker
Oh, what a night!
It wasn’t late December but last Sunday night, several talented teens came out to showcase their musical abilities at the 44th Annual Richard Stoute Teen Talent Show, held at the Barbados Museum. One top performance was followed by another for the duration of the night.
Executive producer of the show Richard Stoute made a decision to bring the event again this year despite the challenges faced from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But there were a few changes to previous years.
There will be only three shows this year, starting with last Sunday’s preliminary that featured 22 contestants.
Fifteen performers were originally slated to move on to the semifinals next Sunday before there was one addition. Twelve will compete in the November 8 final.
The competition started with Nyael Welch, who rendered For Always in the first half and He’ll Do It Again in the second half and generally performed quite well.
Topping the pack in the first half, though, was Tarique Griffith with a wonderful rendition of A Change Is Gonna Come made famous
by the late Sam Cooke.
He sealed his spot in the semifinal with the selection Bruises. Other top performers in the first half were Kenyah Joseph, Shontae Alleyne-Clarke, Donna-Lisa Yearwood and Roneisha Alleyne.
Impressive and always energetic in her performances was Casey Jemmott-Boyce, who sang an original Uh Cuh Win which explained that she had the ability to win the crown, and she also did well with Deliver Me.
Jemmott-Boyce is never lacking in confidence and part of her charm on Sunday was her decision to sing calypsos, which brought an additional element to an occasion where mostly ballads were sung.
The exuberant audience who attended the show made it very clear that they were glad they were not the judges because of the closeness of the competition and the difficulty the panel surely had in choosing 15 out of the 22 to advance.
Chief judge Sheldon Hope confirmed that difficulty when he complimented all the performers and announced that there was a tie and thus they were taking 16 to the semi-finals instead of 15.
Those advancing to the semi-finals are: Tavon Boyce, Neesha Welch, Tarique Griffith, Kayla Alleyne, Roneisha Alleyne, Shontae Alleyne-Clarke, Casey Jemmott-Boyce, Kereesa Chase, Daianna Price, Weslon Samuels, Kymani Devonish, Nyael Welch, Kenyah Joseph, Donna-Lisa Yearwood, Justine Blair and Theres Lambert. (CW)