THAT TIME AGAIN: Hostess Terri-Karelle amidst a sea of stardom hopefuls at auditions.
WHEN we chatted with DaWayne ‘Touriss’ Wilson during the Best School Bands Competition earlier this year, the 18-year-old Cross Keys High student made it clear that pursuing a career as a reggae-R&B singer was foremost among his future plans. He means business. For the just-launched 2017 season of Digicel Rising Stars, the impossibly tall and impressively talented chap is among the 14 stardom hopefuls who’ve survived the audition round and have advanced to the live-show round.
Touriss, who lists Tarrus Riley and Romain Virgo among his influences, has some stiff competition to contend with, as six other talented young vocalists impressed the judges during the islandwide auditions to make the cut. While Qurios offered a rendition of “Smile Jamaica”, Faizon Brown and Short Boss hit all the right notes with their takes on “If Only For One Night” and Adele’s “All I Ask” respectively.
Francois Martin connected with his interpretation of the pop hit “Breathless”; Affneil Lamont scored high marks for doing justice to the classic anthem “A Change’s Gonna Come,” while Jerone Riley got the nod for his rousing performance of John Legend’s “This Time.”
Among the seven female vocalists vying for top honours, there’s a wellspring of fierce vocal ability, with standouts like Rae and Anthonia Atkinson bringing their A-game to the party. No less determined to strike gold are the Jasmines – Jasmine Collins (who wowed with “I Rise Up) and Jasmine Barnes (“All I Could Do Was Cry”) – and India Celine, who made light work of Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain.” Rounding out the list: Jada, who performed Beyoncé’s “1+1” and Donica Dennis, who beautifully sang Jazmine Sullivan’s “Lions and Tigers and Bears.”
The live show round kicks off this Sunday night, July 9, on TV-J, with Terri-Karelle Reid reprising her role as hostess, while Conroy Wilson, Alaine Laughton and Anthony Miller return to the judges’ table.