THIS WEEK ON DIGICEL RISING STARS: Contestants really dug deep this week, it really was an Unplugged event

As Jamaica’s competition quickly diminishes with the top 5 drawing near, the soulful seven left each brought their best to this week?s show. Each trying to win the title of Digicel Rising Star 2009 a couple shows early, a few outshone the rest, making enough of an impact on both the judges and audience to make this a possibility.

This week, the pre-recorded music we are so used to made an exit, stage left, while a live acoustic band made its entrance, adding to the ambiance of a spectacular show. Joining weekly judges Anthony Miller and Clyde McKenzie, was this week?s guest Judge, the one and only Cindy Breakspeare, Jamaica?s first Miss World Winner. Also joining the show as Kiki?s Chill Room co-host was popular dancehall artiste, Bugle.

Outstanding Performances

As the intensity of the competition mounts, three contestants figured out not only how to cope, but how to leave their audience wanting more this week.

While seeming to lose herself in the music, Princess Tia?s memorable performance of Tarrus Riley?s Lion Paw left the audience in uproar, and the judges smiling big. Her soulful, emotion flooded rendition had just the right amount of theatrics to finally win over Killer Miller: ?I know I?ve snubbed you in the past, but I think you struck a local note, and clawed your way back into the competition.? he commended her.

While Clyde stated: ?It was just beautiful. The last part, that was just powerful?.

The Diva Adena is back! No longer suffering with a sore throat, Adena tore the roof off the house with her amazing vocals in this week?s performance of Tamia?s Stranger In My House. After the audience?s obvious appreciation of her performance, the judges could not dare do anything else but agree with them.

?You certainly have left us with no doubts as to whether you can sing. You brought it!? was Cindy?s response.

Finally back in Miller?s good books, he stated: ?Finally somebody who can sing! I like the contemporary sound of that song, I like the drama of that song, that left me tingly all over.?

Brown Sugar really brought it this week with her performance of Tanya Stephen?s What A Day. Her earthy voice, coupled with her ability to hit every note and the emotions which poured from her throat gave Brown Sugar her well deserved ovation, and did more than satisfy the judges, she left them impressed.

At a loss for words, Clyde finally stated: ?You are a commanding presence. You must be from Gaza, you are a teacher! I don?t know what to say.?

Cindy, as impressed as the audience said: ?I loved it, the lyrical content especially. I am a big Tanya Stephens fan. It suits you because you came to say ?I am who I am?. It was a great song choice. For the first time tonight, I got goose bumps.?

?Boy, Adena better watch out!? was Anthony?s retort. He closed the round of positive comments with: ?I think what I like about her is she is not fake.?


The unplugged theme left the show with a rather mellow vibe, fashion wise, as it seemed all the contestants energies were put into their voices. Even Yendi and Kiki were sporting more relaxed looks, as opposed to their usual ultra glamour.

Relaxed, however does not mean lacking in chic, and this week?s best outfit goes to Princess Tia, who rocked an army green military-esque belted blouse, a floor length cream peasant skirt, and brightly coloured sandals along with chunky wooden jewellery. A single peacock feather hung from her top pocket, completing her Mother Earth?s soldier look.

Keeping up with her urban roots was Brown Sugar in a black bustier and jacket, mini jeans skirt with black leggings and red, patent leather above-ankle boots, topped off with huge, funky gold earrings and a red and gold medallion. Called ?brave? by Miller for her ensemble, Sugar?s back stage simple, yet real reply was: ?I?m from the ghetto, mi haffi represent, cyaan come act like stushy!?

Finally finding his inner ?Mr. Dapper?, Angele held it down for the guys, in a Brown dress shirt with red and gold checkered patches, brown leather pants, and three toned, brown Dockers, with a cream Fe
dora with dark brown belt to complete his look.

Notable Judges Comments

This week?s performances were so memorable, that even Killer Miller?s natural instinct to devour seemed diminished; however, that is not to say he didn?t try.

After Angele?s notably weaker, stationary performance of Justin Nozuka?s After Tonight, Miller had all the proof he needed that Angele was all moves and no voice: ?I did not like that performance at all. You do not even have a mediocre voice; that was sub-standard.? Miller told him.

Clyde, agreeing stated: ?This is unplugged; I felt no electricity.?

Miller then snubbed Lady Danielle after her performance of Leona Lewis?s Better in Time so quickly and sharply, she may have no recollection of the event. Miller stated: ?I think you took on a song you were ill equipped to deliver. It came and it went and I was indifferent.?

Moments got Miller?s worst critique of the night after their performance of Johnny Nash?s Hold Me Tight. Clyde, who seemingly enjoyed the performance, stated: ?That Johnny Nash (song) has a lot of presence… Hey, you?ve got to give it to them.?

Miller, who had no qualms about showing his dislike, commented: ?And I am going to give it to them! That went bad right from start to finish. They?re doing this oldies thing, and they?re just flogging it to death. It?s losing its charm and it?s not working anymore for them; your movements were a comedy of errors. I didn?t like it tonight.?

Audience Comments

The audience seemed to leave the auditorium in euphoria, with few having any negative comments about the show.

In response to Sandy Smith?s performance of Stepping Out of Babylon, one audience member stated: ?Anthony was right about her NDTC moves, she should have just stood up there and sang, her voice is so powerful!?

Another member commented on Angele: ?Staying stationary doesn?t seem to be his thing, or singing for that matter.?

When asked to sum up the show in one word, another audience member took a deep breath, and then simply replied: ?Awesome.?

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