Joseph shines at teen talent

The second round of preliminaries of the Richard Stoute Teen Talent competition had its fair share of hits and misses when it came off last Sunday night at the Divi Southwinds Resort. While some contestants spectacularly raised the bar in their performances, others dropped the ball.

Dominating the 13-21 category, 13-year-old Kenya Joseph deservedly advanced to the semi-finals with a score of 693 points. Singing Love On The Brain by Rihanna and One Night Only from the Dreamgirls soundtrack, she captivated the crowd with her powerhouse vocals. Clearly ahead of the pack, Joseph’s dominance was evident as second placed Kayla Alleyne trailed her by 97 points.

Alleyne, also 13, received 597 points from the judges for her rendition of Alabaster Box, a Cece Winans recording, and Out Here On My Own from the musical Fame. Her modest disposition as she stood on stage was quickly discarded once she started singing.

Shonette Alleyne followed in third place with Will You Still Love Me and Holy Spirit. The 17-year-old’s vocals were well received by the audience. She confidently rendered the two gospel songs and effectively used her vocal chops to entertain and amaze the audience.

Gabrielle Yearwood did not place in the top three, but her performance so impressed the judges that they recommended that the 15-year-old should proceed to the semi-finals.

Yearwood performed We Found Love by Rihanna and You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me by Cher. Her performance of the heartfelt classic by Cher was compelling and skilfully delivered. However, in the second half of the competition, her song choice failed to properly highlight her vocal prowess. Where the performance lacked singing, though, Yearwood showed off her dance skills.

Jaleesa Greaves came out as the winner of the over 21 segment with a score of 534. Performing To Love You More by Celine Dion and I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston, Greaves’ delivery was exceptionally good. Her competition for the night, Jerome Small, only attained 465 points, which showed the generosity of the judges.

Six-year-old Kenaz Walker gave a truly Bajan rendition of the national hit, Emmerton, by Anthony Gabby Carter and Amazing Grace. Walker showed no inkling of fear as he stood in front of the audience engaging them.

Ranesha Stuart was another young contestant who showed great promise, although her performances were intermittently shaky. The nine-year-old performed Flashlight by Jessie J and My All In All.

Last Sunday’s show also included performances by Vivica Fagan and Keonai Walker.

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