Rising Stars will not die! ...Producer says show will not end like American Idol

April 22, 2016
Noddy Virtue
File Jody K is the Digicel 2015 Rising Stars winner. Here she poses with her million-dollar cheque at the Courtleigh Auditorium.
In this 2010 file photo, Rising Stars series producer Sharon Schroeter (left) meets with judges Anthony Miller, Nadine Sutherland and Clive McKenzie.
Romain Virgo and Christopher Martin perform during the Rising Star competition held at the TVJ studios in 2007.
Cameal Davis won the Rising Stars competition in 2008 and $1 million
One Third

It was the end of an era as producers called it a day for one of the longest standing talent shows, American Idol.

After 15 seasons, eight of which saw it as a top-rated show on television, American Idol reached its natural end earlier this month. 

Jamaica's version of the hit show, Rising Stars, will today launch its 13th season. However, unlike the US-based version, there is no foreseeable end in sight.

The show's producer, Sharon Schroeter, told THE WEEKEND STAR that the show continues to grow from strength to strength and will continue to grace local airwaves.

"Rising Stars is a household name. It's a staple for many persons. Some persons might have issues with it, but the majority of persons still love the show and look forward to it every year,” she stated.

With 13 years under its belt, many believe that the best years of the competition are behind it and that there needs to be a change. Schroeter, however, disagrees.

“We've not lost any viewers. If anything, we've gained new ones. More people are wanting to be part of the show. People are watching it to see their friends from their communities, etc. We continue to unleash quality talent to Jamaica and that is what people want,” she said.

Since the inception of the show, only a handful of competitors have gone on to have successful careers with Christopher Martin and Romain Virgo being two of the biggest talents to emerge from the talent show.

For entertainment critic and judge of the show, Anthony Miller, while the show continues to attract viewers, not much is heard from them the competitors when the season ends.

“Rising Stars is not a ticket to an instant career in music. However, not many capitalise on the success they’ve had with the show. The show came back with a bang recently and people were once again deeply interested in watching the show. The only issue is that for the rest of the year you don’t really hear anything about it," Miller said.

He continued: "Look at Jody-Kay James who won last year. She was a fantastic singer, she had an incredible voice. But I don’t know if she’s still focusing on being a teacher or if she’s now doing music full time.” 

Rising Stars will begin the audition phase for the new season on May 1, and will see judges Anthony Miller, Alaine and Conroy Wilson returning to the panel.

Terri-Karelle and Sanjay Ramanand will continue to host the show and the chill room, respectively.

“We have some surprises coming up that we can’t yet discuss, as well as a new sponsor on board. But fans will just have to wait and see what is in store,” Schroeter said.

In 2012, the show changed its format with hopefuls being invited to audition via telephone in the categories of  pop, soul/R&B, gospel and Jamaican sound.

Schroeter  insisted that the change in format was not due to a decline in viewers, but that they wanted to try something new.

“We eventually went back to the old format because nothing has worked better than the original format,” she said.


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