Conroy Wilson, the Executive & Creative Director of Ashe Performing Arts Company has found a permanent seat in the judges chair on Digicel Rising Stars, for this their eighth season. Wilson who will be replacing show favourite, Tessanne Chin – who will be going on a six week tour in Japan, is excited about his new role.

Conroy replaces Tessanne as DRS Resident Judge

Known by the DRS fans as the “blunt” judge, it’s Wilson’s tell-it-as-it-is personality that gave him the rave reviews from the shows’ audience, which prompted producers to give him the permanent judging seat.

But Wilson is in no way new to judging talent, as his position at Ashe, which includes both the Ashe Academy, a school for training in the performing arts and edutainment and the Ashe Ensemble, a full-time professional performing arts ensemble, has had him selecting the best of the best talent since Ashe has been a household name.

From practicing the piano in primary school to being a part of the Little People and Teen Player’s Club, then going on to Executive Director of Ashe, Wilson has been in the entertainment business for what he can only call “a long, long time.” Now a prolific songwriter, musical arranger, ‘edutainment’ specialist and behaviour change communication consultant known through-out the Caribbean, Wilson has been proving to the Digicel Rising Stars audience that his blunt, but constructive criticism is worth listening to.

Excited about being able to contribute to the outcome of the eighth season’s winner, and contributing overall to the development of the Digicel Rising Stars contestants into true stars, he is ready to dish the honest comments he is known for; so the stars, whether they are “the complete performance package” or fall into the category of “dat neva ready at all” better be ready to catch them.

Conroy warms his seat as DRS Resident Judge

When asked his opinion of this season, he commented confidently: “I feel that it is growing. It started off with high expectations, because I had high expectations, but somewhere in the middle it got a little bit shaky. But with the last couple of shows its building back, the whole atmosphere of the competition is turning up, so it’s getting good.”

Wilson isn’t ready to name favourites or least favourites yet however, though the name of the contestant he is most looking forward to packing their bags seems to be ready to jump off the tip of his tongue.

But is there anyone who has gone home already who he thinks should have stayed?

“No. Apart from Latty J, who they brought back.” He said with a straight face. “I think Latty deserves to be there. I can’t begin to think of anybody that went home who should still be here.”

But as impressive as some of the contestants are to Jamaica at large, it is Wilson’s professional opinion that they all still have a lot of growing to do. “I think all of them need to step their game up. They are quite okay.” he said unenthusiastically.

Tash seems a little bit above the board because she adds a whole element of drama to everything that she does, but even Tash needs to step up her performance.” he continued. Then concluded with an air of finality, “Everybody needs to step up their game, I would say everybody times ten! That’s what we need to see.

With only four episodes left, Jamaica waits with baited breath to see who will be left standing as the 2011 Digicel Rising Star. The Judges can voice their opinion, but only YOU can decide who will take it this year!

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