by Charmaine Walker
Unlike The Richard Stoute Teen Talent Final, where the judges had a difficult task arriving at a winner from a very competitive field, Kiann Browne put significant distance between herself and the other contestants in the final of the Richard Stoute Over-21 Copmpetition at the Barbados Museum on Sunday night.
From just the first 20 seconds into her interpretation of No More Nights by David Phelps and We Shall Behold Him by Sandi Patty, the discussion among many patrons seemed to be centred on who would place from second and below.
It was clear that barring a sudden bout of laryngitis for Browne, this competition was over.
Browne showcased crystal clear vocals, outstanding voice control, and simply beautiful pitch. She raced out front from her first selection and never looked back.
The songbird scored 749 points, a vast 158 points ahead of the second-placed finisher. Chief judge Sheldon Hope later made the comment that her score and lead were the highest in the competition in an extremely long time.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY after her commanding victory, Browne said that she came out to minister in song and that was what she did.
Despite this being her first time in the competition, Browne said she felt comfortable on stage and confident in her ability to deliver. Browne received $2, 000 for her win as well as a trophy.
As for second, third and fourth place, it was a case of déjà vu to last year’s final. For the second time in a row, Zoe Armstrong took the runner-up spot with 591 points with her songs Reflection originally by Christina Aguilera and I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston.
Rashida Codrington took home third place with 575 points singing Never Enough made popular by Loren Allred and One Moment In Time from Whitney Houston’s collection.
Fourth place again went to Anita Elcock with 533 points doing a number by Phil Collins entitled Can’t Hurry Love and Tamia’s Me.
The top five was rounded out by Nicole Sealy doing I’ll Never Love This Way Again and I Know Where I’ve Been.
Other competitors in the final were Natalie Hinkson, Sherryann Husbands, Alicia Alleyne, Jalissa Greaves and lone male Bentley Jones.
Stoute, the show’s founder and inspiration, gave back to his patrons by allowing free admission to the event but asked persons to donate at the door what they could to go towards helping another patron in desperate need of assistance. (CW)