Round two of Season 8’s semi-finals brought a new set of promising stars who are bound to give Latoya, Delando, Annette and VOH some major competition! When Tessanne, the resident judge said, “Just bring it, pretend that this performance is your last”, and judge Bambino added “Rock the house, and pretend this audience is all of Jamaica” the contestants over-did their instructions! This week’s group had the Courtleigh Auditorium audience on their feet for most of the night, cheering and screaming!
Promising to Ruff it Up for them, this week’s guest judge, the young, talented and musically delicious, Chino, had the female audience members screaming in delight when he stepped out.
The series’ hottest new star, host Terri-Karelle Reid opened the show warmly with her winning smile and said a farewell to Stephanie Barnes and Jermaine Burford from last week’s batch.
On Sunday Jamaica was introduced to: Rocio Graham who prefers to go simply yet majestically by Rocio, Michael Allen who is going by his soulful alter ego Dominic Young, Courtney Morris or the ‘blazing’ Jah Flaamez, Tressan Barnett who will be going by her radiant alter ego Summer, the trio who have recently changed their names from VIRGYN to J’AR and Chantel Lamont as the overly impressive Tash.
Belting out Celine Dion’s To Love You More, Rocio, who is living up to the only-first-name-necessary divas who came before her, like Mariah, Barbara and Celine, had the audience on their feet applauding her powerful voice and graceful stage presence. Her convincing performance also got the judges on her side. While Chino said simply: “You look like a star, and you definitely sounded like a star!” Tessanne went further, saying:
“You are so regal… and what a range! There is so much more to come for you and from you, I can feel it!” However, Bambino thought it could have been a bit more refined when he said: “Some parts of it sounded a little like you were screaming… but to do a Celine Deion song and mi nuh waah cork mi ears, you did good.”
The unassuming Tash, will be major competition for all of the other Digicel Rising Stars’ hopefuls this year after her exceptional and genuine performance of Ikaya’s Fly Away showed up her compelling voice, and her dynamic stage presence. Tash’s performance rocked the crowd, and had them singing along, and jumping out of their chairs and cheering loudly in approval! A mini diva in the making, Tash has true star potential.
“Tash where have you been!?” was Tessanne’s question to the young star, “Your voice is the type of voice that I want to hear on the radio… I believe every word you’re singing!” she concluded, obviously impressed. Bambino was equally as impressed, saying: “You did exactly what I said you should do… you came out and rocked the house!” Chino added finally: “Keep it up, you’re definitely a star!”
Our spicy, trendsetting host Terri-Karelle, again wowed the audience in a muy caliente, one-strap, orange number. Her mini-cocktail dress along with a pair of gold and bronze strappy platforms set the stage a blaze.
Other fashion hits were Rocio’s floor length, empired-waist, , baby-blue Uzuri gown and Jah Flaamez’s black suit with red green and gold accents, an original by popular local designer, Carl Sway, and black alligator boots. The other contestants, though not as impressive, weren’t that off to be called misses.
Though her bubbly personality makes her loveable, this wasn’t enough to spare the talented Summer from the effects of singing the wrong song, Mariah Carey’s Love Takes Time, which the judges concluded did nothing for her voice:
“It was… normal. It was like a Saturday Night Live skit, it didn’t grab me at all.” said Bambino nonchalantly. Chino agreed, saying “Nothing particularly stood out.” Tessanne gave her a bit more direction, first correcting her on her mic control, then saying: “It was an ambitious first try, but I think that was definitely the wrong song for you.”
Tune into TVJ this Saturday at 9pm to see which four contestants will stay and which two will go home from the second 6, and Sunday at 8pm when the competition heats up when your Top 8 finalists perform. And don’t forget to vote!