“I want to believe every word coming out of your mouth tonight.” said judge Tessanne, when asked by the glamorous and vivacious Terri-Karelle what her expectations were for Gospel Night. And for the most part, the contestants delivered, producing soulful, convincing performance after performance, setting the Courtleigh Auditorium a light with the spirit!
This week, joining the lovely Tessanne and the dapper Bambino was guest judge, popular local gospel artiste and Digicel Rising Stars Gospel Night regular, DJ Nicholas.
The Intense chicka Pepita held it down in the brand new BlackBerry chill room this week with local Gospel Artiste Kevin Downswell, who has been a part of the Jamaican Gospel scene for 8 years.
After it was sadly announced that Anna had received the lowest votes for the week, and had to say goodbye to the Digicel Rising Stars spotlight, she joined Pepita and Kevin in the chill room, where she gave Jamaica a little taste of what her performance would have been.
Special guests in the audience this week were members of the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica, who held on tight for the amazing Gospel Night journey!
Mellow voiced Dominic Young also won back the audience with his first impressive performance of the season. His convincing rendition of Ruben Studdard’s I Need an Angel had the female members screaming his name. With a male audience member commenting “It sound like a him write dat song deh!” Ever the joker, Bambio made reference to the fact that Young was finally wearing his glasses, which helped him to be more confident, sing better, and not forget his lyrics. He then said jokingly “Make sure wear your glasses again next week!”
The newest set of contestants to jump onto the DRS stage, Judge Tessanne’s Wild Card, the comical trio, V3, really brought their all, giving a memorable first performance. Doing a Revival Medley, with an original intro, Rock of Ages and The Lord is My Shepherd, dressed as a parson, a revivalist and a theif, they gave the audience a hilarious, well rounded show! Still laughing, Tessanne said “I hope you know you set a very high bar for yourselves, because every week people are going to be expecting antics!”
Star-Girl, Tash, gave another amazing performance Sunday night, this time rocking the house with Jamaican Gospel artiste Judith Gayle’s Daddy- O. Tash not only owned her performance but also impressed the audience and judges and had them singing along! First to comment, Tessanne said smiling, “As usual, you totally took the performance and made it your own. I loved that you used up the stage and the attitude you brought to it. You brought the song alive and you worked it. Well done.”
Obviously impressed, DJ Nicholas commented next, “I’m proud again… when I was watching you, the way you sang it, the way you moved, the characteristics, it was awesome!”
While Bambino, still smiling said “What I notice is that a second before the music comes on you just switch out and is like you get into another role… I thought you brought your all tonight.”
The Rising Star to watch for the night, and possibly the rest of the competition is lady on the rise, Latty J! Quickly becoming a crowd favourite, Latty J only sealed her star status with her Gospel Night’s performance of local Gospel super-star Chevelle Franklin’s Radio’s Playing! Not only was her performance convincing, but she rocked the Courteliegh Auditorium, and had the congregation going wild!
“That was the best performance of the night! And it was from one of our own gospel artistes! Mi love it girl!” said DJ Nicholas still beaming!
“It was one of the better performances of the night, you were very in tune with your culture right there!” commented Bambino.
And Tessanne sang her praise, saying “Not everybody can sing Miss Chevelle, cause she bad! And you just took that song and made it your own! Every time you get on that stage, I have a good time!”
Fashionista Terri-Karelle made our fashion hit list again this week, black and cream baby doll cocktail dress with a black lace bolero, with pearls and her black and cream peep-toe, Mary-Jane’s. Also making our hit list was Rocio’s grey tweed dress with matching grey cheetah print wrap, and Latty J’s red, green and yellow peep-toe wedges that had even the judges commenting.
Representing for the men was Jah Flamez who donned a red and black suit by local designer, Carl Sway, and square-toed crocodile leather shoes, with air brushed crosses on them, in keeping with the Gospel Night theme.
The newest set of Digicel Rising Stars, V3, had the craziest fashion for the evening! In keeping with their performance, one dressed as a revivalist in a floor length white dress with a red belt and head tie and accompanying pencils, while another dressed as a parson in a black suit with black shirt and black shoes, and the third one as a thief in a under shirt with shirt askew, and cut off pants (and one show missing)!
After VOH’s less than impressive performance last week, they won back the audience and the judges this week their A cappella version of Dig a Little Deeper, by Fairfield Four. Their tight harmonies had even the judges singing their praise, with their only opposition coming from Bambino, who said “I hope you guys can sound as good with music next week.”
And after his noteworthy performance last week, Delando Colley more popularly known as 16, disappointed the judges this week with an unmoving performance of Lauryn Hill’s His Eye is on the Sparrow. Tessanne, who was obviously looking for more, said disappointedly, “I think that’s a very big song, and a very ambitious song to try to do, and I don’t think it was the right song for you. You managed, but I want you to do more than manage… I expect better next time.”
While Bambino, agreeing, said “Jamaica loves you because you’re sixteen and have that cute lil smile… but there is gonna come a time when they have to decide between the cute kid and someone who can really bring it… you really have to improve yourself when you come back.”
Once the Digicel Rising Stars had cleared the stage, chill room guest, Kevin Downswell performed his original song, Change is Coming, from his first album Close to You released in 2008. Change is Coming moved the audience, and was the perfect sombre end to an exciting, moving night.
Tune into TVJ this Saturday at 9pm to see which two contestants are at risk of going home next; and Sunday at 8pm to see who leaves and meet the Bambino’s Wild Card. And don’t forget to vote!