There’s a Jamaican Simon Cowell? Yup, DIGICEL Rising Stars Judgement – The Wrath of Anthony ‘Killer’ Miller
“You don’t know what its like to listen to this song … I am surprised I am still awake“. No, this is not American Idol’s Simon Cowell nor ex-Fleet Streeter Piers Morgan from … That was the verdict R3 got from Anthony on August 3rd; the comment came in response to R3’s rendition of the Bee Gees hit song To Love Somebody. Other Miller comments such as “like your suit, but that song is much too big for you” (directed at Wayne Williams), and “you look like figurines about to break” (directed at SLR) have proved to be as entertaining as the performances in the 5th Season of Digicel Rising Stars. Miller doesn’t suffer fools gladly and on Sunday nights is at his best throwing volleys of witty commentaries that may at times seem caustic to the onlooker or the contestants. Since this season, Miller has made some comments that have kept viewers talking, one particular, to a female contestant: “If you were a fly I would have squashed you...”; his subtle way of telling her she could not sing.
Despite this, he has given what seem to be limited comments deemed less harsh. “These guys are the real deal,” he said of Kahlil’s stage rocking performance in the first top-ten show. Cameal Davies was lucky on the 10th of August to get the comment: “You look great, but you sounded even better. Love the package.” Lashana also shared in the dessert being served by Miller on the same evening when he said, “I like big voices and raw talent…that was good.”
However the contestants have taken his comments in stride, seemingly aware of the sincerity embedded in the ‘Killer Miller‘ judgments.
“At first we worried about Anthony’s comments when entering Digicel Rising Stars 2008, but we kissed our fears goodbye and went along,” stated Latoya of the group SLR. “Everyone is afraid of his comments, but we know what we want and what we have to do to get it…so we use his comments to improve the group.”
Constable Leisha Rose gives her opinion of Anthony’s harsh comments: “I’m not scared of Anthony because I know his comments are meant to help in improving my performance.” Rose also indicated that Anthony was the one who gave her the ‘call back slip‘ in her Mandeville auditions.
“In the beginning before I actually entered Digicel Rising Stars 2008, I always imagined actually being in front of him and how scary it must have been for all the contestants.” K’Alee admitted, “But after I entered it wasn’t all that bad.”
Secret Melodies explained that they value all of the Judges’ opinion and that it is part of what they use to improve the group’s weekly performances: “The judge’s opinions are meant to guide us,” gave Courtney. Moiyan added: “It was because of what they said to us that we actually re-entered the competition after we weren’t so successful in 2006.”
Kevon and Donovan, the two other members of Secret Melodies, believe that Anthony’s comments were at times different than those of the other judges’: “He may say something that we as contestants find harsh, but that’s the music business and we have to get accustomed to it,” claimed Donovan. Kevon added: “We just have to use his comments to help build us as a group, because like it or not he knows what he is talking about.”
Since the Digicel Rising Stars first aired on TVJ, Miller has earned the reputation, from contestants and viewers, as the no nonsense judge notorious for unsparingly blunt and often controversial criticisms, insults and wisecracks about contestants and their singing abilities, or lack thereof. In the eyes of many he is either just plain feisty or has elevated snappiness to an art form.
In essence people either love him or love to hate him, but either way this brassy Digicel Rising Stars’ Judge gives contestants ‘the honest truth‘ as he sees it. Based on his ‘honest truth‘ his comments are aimed at the improvement of contestants. So if your singing sub-par you are going to hear it from ‘Killer Miller‘, so get it right. Miller is not going to pamper you; he is going to let you know whether or not you’re ready for the big stage. One wonders what would happen if you put him, Piers and Simon in the same room?