BY NOEL THOMPSON, Freelance Writer
Jah Pure and Sister Pure pose for the camera after delivering their original Black Woman Don't Bow Down at Digicel's Rising Star Negril Auditions on Sunday at Wavz Beach. - PHOTO BY NOEL THOMPSON
THEY CAME FROM all across the country, from various backgrounds and ages, as young as 16. Their stop was at Wavz Beach in Negril, Westmoreland.
Digicel's Rising Stars was conducting its third islandwide auditions on Sunday to pick the 10 best from a group of 90 contestants.
Following their performance, 34 out of the 90 contenders were given a third callback, which sent a strong signal that anyone had a chance of being selected among the top 10 later that afternoon.
At 3:55 p.m. the moment finally came. Judges Clyde McKenzie, Anthony Miller and Nadine Sutherland faced the contestants to give the results. And they waited with bated breaths and hearts which seemingly skipped beats.
Mr. Mckenzie first consoled them as he prepared them for the results.
"This is not the end of the road as far as the auditions go. Those who did not make it today still have a chance in Ocho Rios and Kingston," he said. "After a lot of tense discussions we finally picked our 10 and here they are."
As the names were called, one young man reacted by punching his palm, while a 21-year-old woman ran and screamed, obviously overjoyed.
As night fell, the top 10 Westmoreland finalists were geared up for the final round.
They now had to rehearse their songs with musician Peter Ashbourne in preparation for the final 10 performance shoot, which will be aired on Television Jamaica sometime in June.
Set on the white sandy shores of the Wavz Beach, one would be easily mesmerised by the gushing sounds of the ocean. The crisp voices were backed by the melodious rhythms echoing from the Kurzwell piano played by Ashbourne while colourful spotlights beamed, and the sand and coconut trees formed a silhouette to complement the evening's ambience.
One by one the top 10 finalists strolled onto the make-shift stage to face the cameras and give their best performance yet, in a bid to impress the Jamaican populace when voting begins.
But recordings had to be done in a quiet setting. The session was interrupted by the barking sounds of motorbikes and the chitter-chatter and laughter of locals and tourists who strolled along the beach.The Jamaica Star