The scintillating six finally redeemed themselves on Open Genre Night!
Sunday night’s performance show of Digicel Rising Stars was without a doubt, the season’s best! The top six all showed, undoubtedly, they each deserve to be in the competition. They not only had the audience leaving the auditorium on a high, but knocked the socks off this week’s judges: the lovely Tessanne, the Dapper Bambino, and after receiving rave reviews on his judging last week, the Executive and Creative Director of Ashe Performing Arts Company, Conroy Wilson.
After receiving the least votes last week, the competition said goodbye to Jah Flaamez on Saturday night, but the audience wasn’t too distressed on Sunday, as Terri-Karelle announced that the Producer’s Pick, a contestant chosen to return to the competition, would be the cut-too-short Latty J!
The Intense Chicka Pepita held down the Chill Room again this week, this time with Dancehall Hard hitter, recording artiste and producer, Wayne Marshall. Meanwhile the foxy Kimone brought us the Word on The Street from Half-Way-Tree.
All the stars shone this week, finally one-upping themselves on their previous weeks’ performances. And though Dominic serenaded the ladies with Usher’s Nice and Slow, Rocio rocked the crowd to Pink’s Less Than Perfect, and Anna got the audience roaring when she set her bumpa’ to work with Alison Hind’s Roll It, it was Delando, Tash and Latty J who came out on top!
Dancing and grooving to Michael Jackson’s I Want You Back, Mr. 16, Delando Colley, had the audience up on their feet singing dancing and screaming as he wowed his way into the hearts of voters everywhere with his exceptional performance. “The competition tun’ up tonight!” said Bambino, impressed. “That is what I’ve been waiting for! You find your sweet spot boy, you find it!” said Tessanne cheering him on enthusiastically. And the blunt Conroy said simply “Right song, right key, right performance, right everything!”
Tash was back in full form, belting out Rihanna’s Only Girl, with the type of full blown performance she was originally known in the competition for. The audience was on their feet for most of Tash’s performance, cheering so loudly at some points that Tash couldn’t be heard. The Judges also went crazy over Tash. “This is the Tash we know!” said Bambino excitedly. Tessanne, also excited, agreed, saying “This is what we love about you Tash! Because you set the bar so high, you can’t come with no likkle likkle performance!” While Conroy cut straight to the point, saying “Now you talking about Competition!”
If this isn’t love Jamaica, then you tell me what it is you have for Latty J after her show stealing performance on Sunday Night. Latty’s convincing, heart warming, feel good, had-the-audience-on-their-feet-screaming-pull-up-like-a-real-stage-show performance of Jennifer Hudson’s If This Isn’t Love is more than enough to keep her in the competition till the end.
“You deserve to be here! You are one of the better singers in the competition, and you sure know how to perform. Congrats!” said Conroy, obviously impressed.
Bambino also showed how happy he was to see the returning Latty J, when he said “I’m very, very proud of you, because from watching your audition tape, to seeing you perform here, you’ve changed as an artiste… I’m very proud of you tonight, and I’m glad you’re back!”
“For me Latty J, you are a complete artiste, and I think what’s best about you is that you know your voice, and what’s it’s capable of.” Tessanne said simply, with a very bright smile.
The So-So-Hot Terri-Karelle graced the Digicel Rising Stars stage this week in a colourful water-coloured print cat-suit with a silver studded, mustard jacket, and brown, studded, platform stilettos. But Terri wasn’t the only one lighting the stage on fire this week, as series stylist T’rone Buchannon turned up the heat on the Digicel Rising Stars’ Fashion. Tash showed the audience that it was indeed her day, as this Only Girl rocked the stage in a mini one shoulder wedding gown, with a floor length train, and silver gladiator platforms. Latty J roared in a cheetah print, long sleeved, curve-hugging mini dress, with open toed, black velvet pumps, while Rocio rocked out loud in a black leather cat-suit, with black open-toed booties, and white rocker streaks in her hair.
The only two guys left on the show, Delando and Dominic kept the male swag alive, Delando in a blue plaid jacket with black pants, and a black graphic tee, and Dominic in distressed jeans, a green graphic tee, black vest, and fly fedora.
Rocio’s performance of Pink’s Less Than Perfect, though cheered on by the audience, was less than impressive to the judges. “I think that was a very brave song for you to choose… and I think you are still struggling to find yourself as an artiste and to find your place in this competition. I think there were a lot of good moments, but there were also a lot of pitchy moments in that song.” Said Tessanne, a little disappointed.
But Conroy said bluntly “On a night like tonight when the competition is so high, that wasn’t the best song choice.” He then continued “You have to watch your notes because they were all over the place. It just sounded really weird.”
Bambino tried to be encouraging, but remained honest, saying “I see you trying to step out of your cocoon, and let down your locks… but the vocal quality to me just wasn’t there.”
After the contestants left the audience on a high, host Terri-Karelle announced that Chill Room guest, Wayne Marshall had a special treat for the audience, and they were indeed treated! Wayne Marshall came on singing his most popular track circulating the summer airwaves, Swaggin’, and was then, to the surprise and excitement of the audience, joined by Future Fambo and Tifa, the song’s other two singers.
Open Genre Night 2011 will go down in Digicel Rising Stars history as one of the best performance nights! Tune into TJV this Saturday at 8pm to see which of the Top 6 contestants we will sadly have to say goodbye, and Sunday at 8pm to see what the Top 5 brings to the stage next!