After seeing hundreds of hopefuls during two open auditions in Montego Bay and Kingston over a week ago, Digicel Rising Stars’ producers have chosen the top six candidates in the race to become the new host of the popular television show.
The chosen six are: Kemesha Bolton, Cameka McRae, Deidre James, Julie Malcolm, Terri-Karelle Reid and Lady Rennae.
The first Digicel Rising Stars’ host hopeful to face an audience will be Kemesha Bolton as she’ll be holding things down at the Clarendon audition in May Pen on Saturday April 11. Kemesha who is from Kingston is a student at Mico University College where she is completing a bachelor’s degree in Primary Education.
Kemesha says she’s excited about facing the Clarendon audience and she’s looking forward to having a great time in May Pen: “I’m definitely looking forward to it, I love television, I love hosting and performing.”
Kemesha says she’s nervous about facing the crowd on Saturday but she has been practicing: “I’m very nervous about the audition but I plan to do my best. I’ve been in front of the mirror everyday practicing, trying to think about the things I love about the show and how I can make them better.”
The next day the Digicel Rising Stars auditions will be in the sunshine city where Cameka McRae will get her chance to shine. Cameka says she’s happy to have been selected: “I’m excited, I just can’t wait to show Jamaica my bubbly personality and that I’m capable of being the next host”.
Cameka who is from Portmore says she doesn’t think that hosting a show in her home town will give her an edge: “I don’t think it will, I don’t think it’s easier either and I would be comfortable hosting in any of the five locations.”
Cameka who is a television producer by profession has a communications degree from Northern Caribbean University. She is quick to point out that she’s a church girl with spunk who is not afraid to speak her mind: “What you see is what you get. I’m very real. I don’t think I’m better than a soul. I like to think I speak my mind most of the time. I’m very creative and I have a wild imagination and I’m not afraid of new things.”
The Digicel Rising Stars team is on the north coast with week two of auditions in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. The Montego Bay auditions is on Saturday April 17 at the Wexford Hotel and Deidra James will be performing hosting duties. Despite growing up in Kingston, Deidre is no stranger to the north coast as she was born in St.Ann.
Deidre is probably best known for working as a presenter on Fame FM. She says she hopes that experience will help her in the drive to be the next Digicel Rising Stars host: “I’ve always had an affinity for entertainment, hence my natural drive for the industry… I do have some experience in TV & broadcasting, so that may work to my advantage, hopefully.”
Deidre says she plans to bring lots of fun and excitement to the audition: “I really just want to be myself. I truly enjoy making people happy and making them laugh, even at my own expense, in fact, MOSTLY at my own expense.”
On Sunday April 18 at the Hibiscus Lodge in Ocho Rios, Julie Malcolm will be putting her best hosting skills on the line trying to win over Jamaicans. Julie who is from Clarendon says she went crazy with excitement when she was told she made it to the top six: “I felt like screaming and rolling on the floor and I actually did. Seriously though, I felt humbled that out of so many qualified applicants; even television presenters that I admire, the judges chose me…wow!…I still have goose pimples.”
Julie says she hopes the experience she’s garnered from teaching for over a decade and entering several competitions helps her shine on the Digicel Rising Stars stage. She’s also banking heavily on her personality to help win over voters: “My warm and bubbly personality enables me to connect with people from varying cultures.”
The final host hopefuls Terri-Karelle Reid and Lady Rennae will take the mic when the Digicel Rising Stars auditions come to Kingston for back to back shows at the Girl Guides Headquarters on April 24 and 25.
Former Miss Jamaica World Terri-Karelle Reid will take control of the Saturday audition and she says she’s looking forward to a big day: “Day one of the Kingston Auditions usually has one of the highest volumes of hopefuls. I plan on being myself: spunky, bubbly, down-to earth. I think it is very important to have fun with it but also relate to the participants and create a relaxing vibe and a comfortable environment for them so that they can put their best foot forward when facing the judges (which can be very intimidating).”
Terri-Karelle says her reign as Miss Jamaica World in 2005 has given her a platform to showcase her personality and be a public servant which has prepared her for several challenges including this one.
Digicel Rising Stars wraps up Season 7 audition shows with day 2 of the Kingston auditions hosted by Lady Rennae and she can’t wait to see what Kingston has to offer.
Lady Rennae says she thinks she has a good chance of being the next Digicel Rising Stars’ host: “I’m a person who loves music and am a great supporter of Jamaican talent…with all the chaos and excitement that will be taking place in the competition, the auditioners really need someone they can feel comfortable around and the voters want someone real and relatable.”
Lady Rennae points out that she’s been in the media industry since her early teens and now, as a stable presenter on Fame FM and RETV, she says she’s quite comfortable behind the microphone.
Despite coming pretty close the last time Digicel Rising Stars was looking for a new host, she points out that this time things will be different: “Bwoy last time I was so in awe of it all, but this time I’m going to show the Digicel Rising Stars audience and the producers of the show more of Lady Rennae, more of my charisma, versatility, charm, raw talent – and most importantly the professionalism required for a show of this calibre.”
Jamaica will get a chance to see Kemesha Bolton, Cameka McRae, Deidre James, Julie Malcolm, Terri-Karelle Reid and Lady Rennae host Digicel Rising Stars’ auditions when they air on TVJ starting on Sunday June 13. Rising Stars’ fans will then be able to vote and choose who they want to be the new series host.