Wednesday, 17 September 2014

DOWN TO THE WIRE: Rising Stars' top three make a sprint for the #1 spot

THE DAZZLER: Moodie was Tina Turner fierce on Sunday's Rising Stars' episode.

Though things got off to a shaky start, by the end of the night you felt like you'd just witnessed a down-to-the-wire photo finish. That's the best way to describe Sunday's best-of-the-best face-off on Digicel Rising Stars, as the three remaining contestants brought the fight to the stage and ended up, if only slightly, raising the bar as the hotly anticipated grand finale draws closer.

Going for the gold this season are a particularly diverse and uniquely talented trio, namely JL, T'Rizzy and Sarai-Lee Moodie. None of these up-and-comers are on the later side of 25, but judging by their in-it-to-win-it performances, they each represent the determination and youthful vitality that have become hallmarks of Digicel Rising Stars, which remains a terribly important vehicle for young stardom hopefuls, now in its 11th season.

With his choir-boy good looks and clean-cut profile, JL was first out the gate on Sunday night, with his version of Bruno Mars' "Treasure" and later the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" renditions vocally iffy at times but imbued with an infectious energy. His male counterpart T'Rizzy fared better, on account of his strong takes on the chart-climbing "Am I Wrong?" and the quasi-operatic classic "Delilah" (chosen by judge Anthony Miller), which compelling showed off his capacity for bring-them-to-their-feet powerhouse vocals. Excellent song choice.

But easily the most surprising of the three was Miss Sarai-Lee, a livewire who demonstrated ample versatility as she made fun, light work of Nicki Minaj's "Moment For Life" and Tina Turner's "Proud Mary," complete with sparkling costume and sexy, dramatic choreography. Clearly, this is an aspiring songstress who's not afraid to show that she's got a bit of an edge. With a cool mil up for grabs, mama worked hard for the money.

Even so, it's too close to call, but TALLAWAH is betting on a Sarai-Lee/T-Rizzy showdown for next week, a match-up that could deliver Rising Stars' highest ratings in recent years. In fairness, all three are worthy contenders, and we wish them the very best of luck and can only hope that whoever walks off with the big prize later this month will go on to become just as trailblazing as big brothers Chris Martin and Romain Virgo. With groomable talent like theirs, they deserve opportunities that'll allow them to deliver on the promise they have shown.

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