September 18, 2013
Digicel Rising Stars' Top two
Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
They promised an unforgettable show and Kadian Thompson and Verlando Small delivered just that. Having bid farewell to Ramian Williams on Saturday night, the top two in the Digicel Rising Stars competition finally delivered solid, entertaining performances.
Both contestants had to deliver three songs - one from their favourite reggae artiste, a pick from the producer's mystery bag, and an artiste collaboration.
Thompson was up first and delivered a decent performance of All My Life. Anthony Miller, Craigy T and Tanya Stephens all agreed that though it was a good performance, it could have been better. Guest judge Vegas on the other hand, disagreed. "You deliver it wicked. You start the show on a high, mi proud of you," he said.
Like Thompson, Small's performance was not his best. However, his rendition of Redemption Song by Bob Marley was met with enthusiasm by Vegas.
"You might surprise this competition. You are super talented, you have soul," Vegas told him.
Craigy T told Small, "That was a decent performance. I'm impressed that you've grown both on stage and on the instrument."
With round one over and with no clear winner of who took the round, the producer's mystery bag was next.
Several genres were written on paper and thrown into a bag from which the contestants were to choose. Kadian picked Disco and gave a spirited performance of Hues Corporation's Rock The Boat.
"I totally loved it. That is one of my favourite songs and you did it justice," Tanya Stephens said.
However, for Miller, "The boat was full of holes. We're getting costume changes but not fun and strong vocal performance."
"You rocked the boat. Me see Anthony a dance and sing. You rocked the boat and all now the place a shake," Vegas added.
Verlando was next and delivered one of his best performances of the competition. Having chosen MoTown from the producer's mystery bag, Verlando delivered a medley of popular hits including I Want You Back by The Jackson 5, Part Time Lover by Stevie Wonder and Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch by the Four Tops. Verlano's renditions rocked the audience including Anthony Miller.
"Now we talking. That was good. You chose three classic, funky tunes and brought real excitement," Miller said.
"That performance a go win the competition, yuh ready fi do road," Vegas said. But Craigy T believed that while it was a sound performance, it was lacking.
With Verlando the clear winner of round two, each contestant had a chance to redeem themselves in round three with a collaborative effort. Kadian's version of Spotlight with 2008 Rising Star winner Cameal Davis did not go off without a hitch, with Davis outshining Kadian.
"I liked both voices but I don't know how well they blended. It was scary," Tanya Stephens said.
"There will be better days for you. Tonight was not your night. Cameal showed up your vocals," Vegas told Kadian.
"Another costume change, same performance, both awful. You were both shouting at each other," Anthony Miller said.
Though he had walked away as the victor of round two, Verlando did not capitalise on this. His rendition of Fever with 2011 runner-up Latty J was disappointing.
"I didn't think the pairings worked. The second performance was the highlight," Craigy T said.
"It was not the best performance. You did pretty well but the combination didn't work well at all," Tanya Stephens said.
Reggae/Dancehall artiste Vegas ended the show on a high by donning an afro wig and a retro outfit for his performance of Sweet Jamaica and Love Yourself.