August 23, 2013
Gospel night at Digicel Rising Stars
File - Kadian Thompson
File - Ramian Williams
Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
The Digicel Rising Stars performance show started off with a difference. Since it was 'gospel' night, artiste Jermaine Edwards opened the show with Nah Bow (To Satan). Gospel artiste, Kevin Downswell, was also introduced as the guest judge.
The competition has dwindled down to six competitors with Shana-Kay Sealy and Sasanya Dawson getting the boot on Saturday night.
Tish Brown was up first and he delivered a commendable performance of Whitney Houston's I Look To You. His performance was pitchy at times, which did not go unnoticed by the judges.
Craigy T remarked that the performance was very well done while Kevin Downswell noted that Tish had a tremendous voice but needed to build on it.
His fellow 'St Bess' competitor Kenny Smith, was up next. Singing Downswell's You Make Me Stronger. Smith's performance was one of the better ones of the night.
"I'm tremendously humbled and thankful for choosing a song from my repertoire. Good job," Downswell told Smith.
"I'm very happy you picked that song. It broke the stereotype of gospel having to be boring. I wanted to jump up on stage with you," Tanya Stephens remarked. However, Anthony was unimpressed.
"It all sounds the same. It seems like you're a one- trick pony," Miller said.
Ramian Williams was up next and got mixed reactions from the judges for his George Nooks cover.
"I love how you come reggae up di ting. It was fun, light and happy. Very well done," Craigy T said. While she liked the performance, Stephens stated that the song did not show his vocal range and abilities. Miller, on the other hand, was less than tactful in his response.
"Nobody does tepid like you... It's like herbal tea with too much sugar," he said.
Chevanese 'Chevy' Thomas delivered an anticlimactic performance. Having believed she would have dominated this week's gospel performance, audience members were left stunned and disappointed after her rendition of The Lord Is My Shepherd.
Tanya Stephens commented that the performance was not good. "I think you feel too confident that Christians are gonna vote for her ... you didn't even know the words to the song. That was not good."
"Honestly Chevy, that gospel train went off the rails. You were a scary Christian tonight. You gave me the willies," Miller told her.
Downswell noted that her voice sounded tired while Craigy T urged her to quit fighting the notes.
Once again, it was Verlando Small who stole the night. The saxophonist delivered a rousing, entertaining set of gospel medleys which had all the judges agreeing that it was the stand-out performance of the night.
"That was fantastic. Excellent performance. You let your soul come out through the music," Craigy T said.
"You played that instrument better than people can sing in this competition. You were entertaining," Miller said.
The final slot of the night was reserved for Kadian Thomas. It was evident that her voice was a little hoarse, which impacted her delivery.
"You sounded hoarse. It wasn't so smooth. I don't think the song brought out your vocals," Stephens said.
"Good performance. I don't think the song selection was well suited for you, but it was an entertaining performance," Craigy T said.
Kevin Downswell closed the show with a stellar performance of It's Already Done.