by Kimberley Cummins
This was how many patrons felt when they left the Plantation Garden Theatre last night after the Richard Stoute Over 21 semi-final.
Of the 23 people who competed, a mere seven, maybe, were of a calibre worthy enough to compete for the $5,000 purse at next Sunday’s final. The rest sounded as if there were a part of a bad karaoke session, gone worse.
Spectators in the small crowd that showed up at the Christ Church venue to support them were forced to endure this torture without intermission.
Credit must be given to Matthew Williams, Princess Best, Christine Carter, Michael Alexander, Jamie Depeiza and Richmond Reid – they did incredibly well to stand out from the pack.
If the points were disclosed on the night they would probably have revealed that Michael Alexander was in the top three. His performance of We Are Young by Fun was dynamic; his voice and diction were good and he appeared very comfortable on stage. He rocked the audience and they got into his performance by clapping and applauding loudly for him.
Alexander’s second half performance of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah was drastically different. This number highlighted many of his vocal weaknesses and he was unable to execute many of the punches which the song is known for.
Matthew Williams opened the showed on a good note. His voice was strong while singing Melissa Etheridge I Run For Life and rendering Prince’s Purple Rain, which suited his tone.
Princess Best followed him and she too kept the standard high. She sang Adele’s Make You Feel My Love and My Immortal by Evanescence; Best was good in both but much better in the first. In this number her voice was soulful and sweet and her diction was extremely clear; while the latter sounded somewhat forced.
Christine Carter’s vocals were good but she had no stage presence and the audience looked bored and disinterested.
Reigning monarch, Jamie Depeiza was not to be left out. She sang Touch Me In The Morning by Diana Ross and Midnight Train To Georgia by Gladys Knight and The Pips. Her voice was good and diction was very clear. She performed with much passion and determination.
Also very passionate in performance was Troy Arthur. He sounded purposeful, very emotional and directed as if he had a point to prove. His voice was not one of the best but it was better than some of his previous performances.
If he continues to sing in tenor, and not falsetto, he would be one to watch at the November 25 final. He sang Frank Sinatra’s My Way and I’ve Got To Be Me by Sammy Davis Jr.
O’Neill Harvey had a great stage presence but by twisting his mouth as he sang, he made it very difficult to hear much of And I Love You So and One Dream.
Other finalists are: Bryan Best, Gaby Best, Charmaine Bradshaw, Arthur Moore, Shelly-Ann Niles and Jason Stowe.