NESTLED just outside the town of Lucea in Hanover was our latest stop as the TEENage Observer Expressions Tour journeyed to Green Island High School.
Singing, dancing and drama were all on the Green Island talent agenda, and the school body enjoyed the talent of their fellow students thoroughly.
The first contestant, Floyd Griffiths, opened the tour on a sombre note with his rendition of the gospel song One Last Stand. Following him was Georgietta McIntosh, who did a conscious dub poem entitled Don't Neglect.
Following this, two more singers took to the stage, first Curtis Douglas, who sang the gospel song Free; then Mahalia McKoy, who sang Alicia Keys' No One. They had the crowd singing and swaying along.
Davion Mahabee then took to the stage to recite the Louise 'Miss Lou' Bennett's poem Rough Riding Tram, much to the amusement of the crowd. And after Javaughnie Atland brought the crowd to a reflective mood with a rendition of the gospel song Dark Is The Night.
The first break in the competition for the trivia segment which saw students Analee Spence, Dannakaye Guthrie and Kaina Spence all walking away with prizes from our sponsors Flow and Seprod.
Coming off the break, Raheim Sommerville got the crowd riled up when he broke out all of his Michael Jackson moves. The choreography was to the piece called Jackson Jam, which generated cheers and screams from the audience as he moon-walked, split and slid himself across the stage.
After Sommerville, Shanice Smith took the spotlight singing Keisha White's Weakness In Me, hitting all the right notes, and getting a positive response from the crowd.
Head girl Ashari Ricketts was next, and she did an original dub piece on the hardships of poverty entitled Ghetto Lifestyle, which captivated the audience and earned her a rousing round of applause at the end.
Dadrian Williams then gave a brief, but entertaining, performance of Chyna's Rise. Singer Damiane James then went on the stage and belted out Etana's Free, soothing the audience once more.
The second break in the competition also left students Lamar Clarke, Krystina Vernon and Chanay Brackett walking away with prizes from our sponsors.
Iesha McKella then led us out of the break with a Green Island High original dub poem entitled Mummy Stop It. The poem on child abuse held the audience's attention hostage, while the few who knew it chanted along.
Evon Williams was next, singing his Jamaican Love Doctor medley while serenading his fellow student, much to the excited screams of the female members of the audience.
Then, another break in the competition saw students Roxann Stennett, Kashawn Chambers, Racheda Lewis, Lowayne Clarke, and Shelon Marks all walking away with prizes from our sponsors.
Jevon Jackson and Javaughn Lawrence of the Island Squad took to the stage next, doing a pop, dancehall and hip hop inspired dance piece that got the audience up out of their seats. Following them was Akime Shaw, who did another Green Island High original dub piece entitled There Must Be A Way Out, an obvious crowd favourite.
Next was Rushane Brown, aka Deejay Star, performing his original song Stay Strong, which got a positive response from the crowd.
Following him was the dub duo in full costume, Subrina Anderson and Tevoun Daley, who recited Michael Smith's Mi Cyaan Believe It, which proved to be another crowd-pleaser.
Diva-in-the-making Kadedra Buchanan took the stage next, and her reverberating rendition of Whitney Houston's I Look To You was well-received.
Following her the Explosion Dancers did an up-beat pop, dancehall and soca-inspired dance piece which got the crowd up and dancing along.
Then it was finally time for the now famous Cool Fruit Drink-off Competition. Six contestants entered the arena, but of the six hopefuls only one, the only male in the group, Lorenzo Haylesm could turn both of his empty Cool Fruit box drinks upside down in victory.
Then the final two talent pieces for the afternoon came from Passion Drummers and Latoya Bernard, who sang Celine Dion's When I Need You, which calmed the crowd down for the guest artistes.
As the competition closed and the judges started tallying up the scores, guest artiste Expression Tours veteran Mixing Lab the human beat-box and his protégé Stephen took the stage. The duo beat boxed riddim after riddim, which had the crowd in a frenzy and would not allow them to leave.
They eventually got the crowd calm enough to introduce local artiste on the rise and also a Green Island graduate of 2008 Rane Son, who sang his song Pack Up and Gone. After Rane Son's performance Mixing Lab and Stephen commanded the crowd once more, and left them on a high.
After the frenzied crowd quieted down following the guest artistes performances, the judges decisions were finally announced.
For the first time in TEENage Observer Expression Tours history, there was a tie for second place between Akieme Shaw (There Must Be A Way Out) and Iesha McKella (Mummy Stop It). And first place and a chance to perform at the TEENage Expressions Tour Finals in June went to Michael Jackson extrodinaire, Raheim Sommerville.
— Kristen Laing