Bit Bit wows Teen Tal­ent judges

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Entertainment -

by Kim­ber­ley Cum­mins

Seven-year-old Ke­naz Walker may be small in stature but he was large and in charge last Sun­day night.

He cap­tured vic­tory in the fifth pre­lim­i­nary of the Richard Stoute Teen Tal­ent Con­test, which was held at the Divi South­winds Re­sort.

From a field of seven con­tes­tants, this young­ster, more pop­u­larly known as Bit Bit, stole the show from his first per­for­mance.

With Please Give Bit Bit De Crown, the song that took him to the fi­nal of this year’s Ju­nior Monarch com­pe­ti­tion, Walker was a show­man and his dic­tion the clear­est on the night. What’s more, the fledg­ing en­ter­tainer’s vo­cals were very strong and his pres­ence was just in­fec­tious. While many may ar­gue that Un­chained Melody by the Righ­teous Broth­ers is a very dif­fi­cult song choice for any­one re­gard­less of age, it’s quite safe to say that Walker is not among those per­sons.

Once again he opened the show on solid foot­ing with good pitch and range. And the ease with which he man­aged the key change was wor­thy of a stand­ing ova­tion.

He scored an in­cred­i­ble 644 points, 59 more than sec­ond place Javonne Bowen who sang Whit­ney Houston’s Sav­ing All My Love and Ri­hanna’s Love On The Brain.

In the for­mer she was rel­a­tively good when com­pared with some oth­ers. And in the lat­ter, though her vo­cals were good, in my opin­ion she lacked a grit­ti­ness and soul needed to make the per­for­mance even bet­ter and mem­o­rable. It al­most felt like a recita­tion of lyrics, but, on the up­side, she looked stun­ning in both halves.

Bowen has ev­i­dent po­ten­tial but it felt as if she wasn’t dig­ging deep enough to dis­play or un­earth the un­known. Maybe it was due to first-time jit­ters but she will have to step up her game and give 100 per cent in each half if she in­tends to ad­vance be­yond the semi-fi­nal.

Third-placed Machia O’don­nell-smith earned 513 points for her ren­di­tions of Irene Cara’s Out Here On My Own and Jewel’s Fool­ish Games. She, too, was sat­is­fac­tory and it’s ev­i­dent that she has a pas­sion for singing and en­ter­tain­ment, so she would only ben­e­fit from fur­ther train­ing.

Though Ali­cia Al­leyne wasn’t rec­om­mended for the next stage she might want to con­sider en­ter­ing an­other pre­lim­i­nary if she can.

This young woman is tal­ented as demon­strated on the night but she seemed ex­tremely un­com­fort­able and some­what ap­pre­hen­sive singing Say Some­thing by A Great Big World. It was okay but there were glimpses that it could have been much bet­ter aside from the dis­com­fort.

Weak­ness In Me by Joan Ar­ma­trad­ing gave Al­leyne an­other op­por­tu­nity to show off her wares and while her vo­cals were times bet­ter and she seemed more vi­brant than with the first, it still felt as if she was hold­ing back.

Other con­tes­tants were Chrisanna Stoute, Kiah Shur­land and Rane­sha Ste­wart.

Zoe Arm­strong and Skye Mur­ray rep­re­sented well in the Over 21 con­test.

(Pic­tures by Mau­rice Giles.)

Third-placed Machia O’don­nell-smith earned 513 points for her ren­di­tions of Irene Cara’s Out Here On My Own and Jew­els’ Fool­ish Games.

Sec­ond-placed Javonne Bowen sang Whit­ney Houston’s Sav­ing All My Love and Ri­hanna’s Love On The Brain.

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