Digicel Rising Stars 2008 season premiered last Sunday with a slew of changes. Among them were new presenter Yendi Phillipps, who made her debut and has been the topic of many discussions ever since. “Yendi looked nice, and she looked like she was having fun with the people” commented Peta-Gaye Young a hairdresser interviewed about the show.
Despite the contestants’ hits and misses the judges were on point as Jamaicans got a taste of what is to come this year. “You couldn’t be gone soon enough”, exclaimed Anthony who seemed pained at the sight of a performer who did a poor impersonation of Michael Jackson and an even poorer, inaudible rendition of “Gone too soon.”
Before those final words Anthony asked him to stop but Nadine encouraged him to continue to the chorus. There was no improvement and in the end Clyde agreed with Anthony. The gentleman left the stage.
Such was the synergy of the judges, each in their usual element. Nadine, the ever-caring encourager, urged some to try again. Clyde, as he does with words, weaved song titles and catch phrases into his assessment of performances while Anthony, the only one brave enough to use that famous St. Thomas “o” word, said only what needed to be said in his feedback to the hopefuls.
Most noticeable was the judges’ chemistry, an ostensible consequence of spending much time together each year for the last five years (at least for Anthony and Nadine; this is Clyde’s fourth year) arguing with each other about contestants’ performances, appearance and song selections. During the time they have also shared ideas and seemed to have grown on each other.
“They seem like friends and I think it is good. It certainly will be interesting to see what happens this season with them”, shared Renee Smith a fan of the show, who was overheard speaking with some of her office colleagues. Not much was said of their fashion but there thumbs up for Nadine’s hairstyle.
Synergy aside their job in deciding the top ten could not have been an easy one as St. Thomas provided an unusual mix of talented singers and surprising characters. In the end they felt the top ten reflected the best of what the parish had to offer on the day.
The judges had their say last Sunday but that is not enough for any of the St. Thomas top ten finalists to make it to the studio finals. The public will have to vote to decide which two moves on this week. The results can be seen this Friday at 8:30 p.m. on TVJ. Repeat broadcasts of the show can be seen on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. and Thursdays at 10:30 p.m.
This Sunday will feature highlights of the Mandeville search.