Caribbean night

The semi-final of the GT&T Jingle and Song Competition featured Caribbean Night so the contestants had to bring it home with Soca, Reggae and Dancehall. Some were in their zone while others just couldn’t handle it.
Dorian Obermuller – “Mr Fete” by Machel Montano

I am a huge Soca fan. Huge! And this performance did not move me. While he did well with the vocals and presentation (the judges agree) to me it was a lazy performance; he was not energetic enough. The two back-up dancers brought it way more than he did. Judge Gordon Moseley said it started off rocky but he pulled through by the end, while Judge Charmaine Blackman said he came to perform which he did and other contestants should keep up. 3.8 Stars
Sherbeth Hinds – “Come Through” by Timeka Marshall

culture boxBeautiful! Just beautiful. She sang with passion, which is all I really want to see in a performance. Gordon noted that she is very consistent in the competition whiles Charmaine pointed out that she loved how she handled the notes naturally, which is like – a big thing for Charmaine!). 4 stars

Lemuel Chestor – “Missing You” by Busy Signal
He dropped the torch with this messed up rendition, which is sad because he is a really good singer with a persona that somehow matches this kind of music, but the song did not suit him and it was a huge disappointment; just boring. Judge Sean Bhola mentioned that this was his most challenging performance yet and was a struggle. 2 stars
T’Shanna Cort – “Guyanese Wine” by Big Red

I loved the energy, the flavour that she put in the song – she made it her own and that is very important. Charmaine noted that she jerks her words and put all her energy into it, smoothing it down. I respectfully rebut because I think that ‘jerk’ was needed. 4 stars
Michael Small – “I’m in Love” by Christopher Martin
Excellent performance with great vocals; a definite in the final. The high point of this performance? He walked over to the judging panel and presented Charmaine with a rose. Judge Joel Ghansham leaned over and snatched the rose from Charmaine! This had the Cultural Centre in an uproar as the two fought over the rose! The judges loved him. 4.5 stars
Neil Maraj – “Soca Do Me” by Adrian Dutchin

A tasteless performance from a guy with great vocals. Charmaine said he needed more rehearsals but I don’t think that was the problem, during his entire performance I was saying what Gordon said at the end: “They could have chosen a better song for you.” But Sean said it best: “Soca did something to you tonight, whatever it did was not at all good.” 2 stars
Ominelle Orne – Song not announced.

The performance needed some spice. No connection, no passion in singing and the judges agreed: “Performance didn’t work out for the best” – Sean; “Song was not ideally suited for you to bring out the nice, sharp tones that you have” – Charmaine; “There was no connection” – Gordon; “You need to work on it” – Joel. 1 star
Sonia Barrow – “When You’re Gone” by Cecile

Sang the introduction, quite beautifully actually, went along gyrating then bam! Walked off the stage. Came back on, started over and then: Are you kidding me? Walked off again! 0 star

Ryan Hoppie – “Vybz Can’t Done” by Machel Montano
Energy, vocals, personality, fan base – what is it that this guy doesn’t have? He considered this to be the hardest performance thus far and it was quite noticeable that the dancing did tire him out but at least he now has a whole new respect for Soca and showed the other contestants how it has to be done and although he sang a Trinidadian’s song, Hoppie came out with the patriotic colours painted on his face – excellent touch!  He gave Joel a scarf for supporting him along the way. Joel in glee showed Charmaine that he too can get something, for which he remarked he was ‘Hoppie’ (Happy) 4.9 stars
Karen Couchman – “Undercover Lady” by Timeka Marshall

A pretty fair performance but not very energetic. Couchman was in her comfort zone and sometimes we just need someone to step out of that – especially in the semis where your passion depends on your place in the finals. Not a good night for Couchman. 2.5 stars

Darren Benjamin – “Chill Spot” by Christopher Martin
Comfortable on stage; gave a vibrant performance for a reggae song but the definite show stopper was coming down to the end of the performance he did a twist that was definitely the crowd pleaser and blew me away. As Sean said, “This song was made for you.” 4 stars

Lerone Souvenir – “Affairs of the Heart” by Damien Marley
He has to be praised for the way he can tackle any genre of music and put in his own unique vocal performance. That is definitely what will take him all the way to the finals! “Love the fact that you don’t ever try to sound like the artiste, make it your own.” – Gordon; “You need to develop confidence, that is your only downfall and it shows on stage. You need to be confident in yourself.” – Charmaine; “Your voice will cause people to stop and listen but be careful.” – Sean. 4.8 Stars
Diana Chapman – “Call My Name” by Destra Garcia

She brought the carnival vibe to this competition but as Gordon noted, performing a Destra song is tough and there was no melody. She needed to put in a lot more to match her vocals with her presentation and the overall vibe she came out with. 3 stars
Edward Perez – “That Girl” by Jah Cure

Not a bad performance. It was natural and well received by both the judges and the audience. I was actually impressed. 4 stars
Natasha Yhapp – “Man Down” by Rihanna

An excellent performance and her twist to the chorus was thrilling, this competition needs that natural passion. She even received a standing ovation from the audience! All the judges had to say was Wow. Joel bowed before her in astonishment. Charmaine loved the twist. She said in her estimation there was more passion and emotion than Rihanna’s version. 5 stars! (Jairo Rodrigues)

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