Tahirah takes top spot
TAHIRAH GIBBONS may have been the youngest act of those in the second preliminary of the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Contest, but that didn’t stop her from stealing the show away from others twice her age.
The penultimate of the nine contestants to face the judges last Sunday night, this nine-year-old received thunderous applause accompanied by a deserving standing ovation for her performances and sent the audience at the Divi Southwinds Resort into a frenzy.
It was indeed a memorable moment when the West Terrace Primary student took to the stage and gave an exciting first performance of Shania Twain’s From This Moment On. She undoubtedly put some of the older contestants to shame through her wardrobe, stage presence and vocals. But evidence that much works needs to be done to improve her enunciation was quite clear in her rendition of Jessie J’s You’re My Flashlight. She earned 684 points.
Second place and 56 fewer points went to Danielle St Hill, who could be deemed the “voice” of the preliminary. In spite of some hoarseness late in her performance of For A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, St Hill gave an interpretation that was romantic, soulful and felt truly meaningful. Her vocal prowess was in truth the best and she used it well to connect with the crowd, so much so that they were moved to commend her with rousing applause.
In the second half, however, though her vocals were still good and she looked gorgeous, St Hill was unable to capitalise on the momentum created in the first half and maybe this was partly due to song choice.
In my opinion, Monica’s For You I Will was not the best selection to either enhance or showcase the obvious strength of St Hill’s vocals. Her rendition was okay, but after such a dynamic representation in the first half much more was expected.
Third place went to newcomer Javin Johnson, who earned 598 points, while Maaisa Clarke with 596 points was recommended to move on the next round.
Special note must also be made of Shaunette Alleyne and six-to-12 contestant Yahandje Daniel. Alleyne had a spectacular voice and presence but her downfall was that she waited until too late in the game to display it. Like many other contestants, Alleyne did not seem to understand that the contest is won in both halves.
This young lady’s rendition of Stand Up For Love was rich and almost comparable to that of Destiny Child’s but it was a pity she had to play catch up because of her subpar first performance. Nevertheless, thanks to the judges, she and Daniel will get a chance to redeem themselves in another preliminary.
Other talented teens were Terry-ann Nero, Kiah Bynoe and Gabrielle Yearwood. Over-21 contender Alicia Ifill earned 630 points. (SDB Media)