Singers, dancer sizzle at Sandals talent search
SANDALS and Beaches Ocho Rios region's top male and female singers, and dancer was crowned in an exciting event at Beaches Ocho Rios on Tuesday.
The contestants are slated to compete against the regional winners from other resorts in the national finals scheduled for Saturday at Sandals Montego Bay.
Nastacia Davy and Joel Johnson, both from Sandals Grande Riviera, emerged the top male and female vocalists while Jovan Smith from Beaches Ocho Rios was the top dance act.
Rolel Dyce and Bernadine Miller from Beaches Boscobel and Sandals Grande had previously been crowned Best Male and Female Models for the Jamaican contingent.
The event, dubbed ENCORE (Entertainment Now Creates Opportunities Rewarding Excellence), is the brainchild of Sandals' Creative Director Weston Haughton, and started in 2003 to showcase the vast array of talent present in the company.
Each region: Montego Bay; Negril; and, Ocho Rios; staged their regional finals to select champions in the respective categories who will move on to the Jamaican finals. The Jamaican champions will compete against winners from Sandals/Beaches Resorts in St Lucia, Antigua, Turks & Caicos, and the Bahamas for the international crowns.
The male vocalist section was of the highlight of the evening, as Joel Johnson had to fight off stiff competition from his Beaches Ocho Rios and Sandals Royal Plantation competitors.
"I am so proud of myself," said an elated Johnson. "I was bit nervous but once on stage I just let it all out."
Davy was in great form on stage wooing the audience with her remarkable stage presence and showmanship, while Smith's creative dance piece was well choreographed with fluid movements that had the audience applauding wildly.
Both Davy and Smith said they were ready for the challenge come Saturday and were confident of doing well.
The event itself was action packed from the moment master of ceremonies Acleish Pearson, who is the entertainment manager at Beaches Ocho Rios, introduced the contestants and they proceeded to ignite the audience with well-choreographed routines.
According to Sandals' Creative Director Weston Haughton, the company, realising the need to showcase the talents of team members from the various resorts around the Caribbean, a global Sandals and Beaches Talent and Model Search Competition (ENCORE) was introduced to encourage camaraderie, to motivate and to provide unique opportunities to staff to widen their horizons.