A calypso crown?

Former Junior Monarch, Anita Charles

by Kimberley Cummins

Can calypso win the Richard Stoute Teen Talent contest again?

Twenty years ago Adrian Clarke did with John King’s Calypso Travelling, Sunday another AC showed that she was determined to accomplish that feat also.

From a field of 16 contestants, former Junior Monarch, Anita Charles, secured a spot in the semi-finals when she won the seventh and final preliminary. At the end of the show she gained 674 for her renditions of her very own H.E.L.P and Mercy Said No by CeCe Winans.

The first was a calypso dedicated to the late Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson; in a clear and powerful voice she had a conversation with him. “That is kaiso,” was the screams of several of the approving members of the Plantation Garden Theatre audience during and after her performance.

The former Springer Memorial Secondary School student commanded the audience as she sang and used the stage with confidence; and as the audience applauded her efforts the skies opened to rain showers of blessings.

In the second half, Charles chose to sing a gospel number, a move which highlighted her versatility. Plain and simply she is talented; her tone was smooth and sweet and her delivery was impeccable and very passionate.

Crowd favourite Chantal Griffith did not disappoint; in the first half she trailed in third spot by 13 points to the leaders Charles and Sade Lampitt who were both on 343. Nevertheless she came back and at the end of the contest she was beaten into place second by a mere two points at 672.

All credit must go to her rendition of Shirley Bassey’s I Who Have Nothing, one could hear a pin drop in the Christ Church venue as she sang. Her raspy, not too seductive, voice made the audience concentrate and listen to her intently- she sounded truly wonderful. Griffith had a classic, timeless voice somewhat reminiscent of Whitney Houston in the 1980’s but still distinctly her own. She was also brilliant singing Houston’s You Give Good Love, and seemed to enjoy herself most as she wore an endless stunning smile.

Third place and 651 points went to Nickyl Blades. Someone in the audience called him “sugary”, but in my opinion, he was average. His clean cut look and the dapper attire stood out more than his voice singing I Believe. Though his voice was also weak performing Daniel Bedingfield’s If You’re Not The One the women in the crowd loved it, especially when he hit the high note in the chorus singing in falsetto.

Moesha Daniel was good performing the 1961 Billboard single Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles but it was definitely her rendition of Imagine originally performed by the legendary John Lennon which earned her 601 points plus a recommendation from the judges. She shocked everyone when she started to belt out the lyrics in this number, who knew she had such a commanding tone? Though her voice was good in the first song it was much better in this number since it emphasised and drew attention to the quality of her vocals much more.

Others given the chance to move on to the semi-finals were: Lampitt- 650, Mikaila Collymore- 621, Ronelle King- 582, Shanta Bowin- 569, Amoura Boyce- 558 and Crystal Hope with 552 points. Additional contestants who performed were: Donette Anthony, Shavonne Dottin, Kayla Griffith, Shaquille Layne, Jelesa Mayers, Jermaine Oxley and Leeann Phillip.

The eight to 12 category was dominated by Jessica Green. Her spirit was infectious; she was energetic, self-assured and persistent in her performances. Bringing back the Crop-Over fever, the Alexandra School student wined, rolled and shaked her derriere all in an effort to demonstrate how Bajans do in This Is What We Do by Nathalee. To earn her 540 points she was equally as electrifying performing Shakira’s Waka Waka.

Rihannah Reid, with 448 points and Davika Lorde, with 391, will also be participating in next Sunday Junior final.

They were special performances from 2011 winner, Everdene Smart, 2012 honouree, Lillian Lorde, Kerry Ann Hot and Spicy Deane and Over 21 contestants: Charmaine Bradshaw, Christine Carter and Matthew Williams. kimberleycummins@barbadostoday.bb

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