OUR latest stop on the TEENage Expressions Tour Journey was the largest high school in the Caribbean, St Catherine High School. TEENage co-ordinator's alma mater, is not only big on students, it's also big on talent, and had some of the best talent pieces we have seen this season.
The tour began with a question-and-answer segment, which saw seventh graders Annakay Williams, Tyra Thompson, Tavar Harriott, Vitallia Turner, eighth grader T'Anna Dalla, ninth grader, Denissa Newsome, and 11th grader Hakeem Chambers all walking away with prizes from our sponsors Flow and Seprod.
The first performers to hit the stage were Venice and Attea, who did an original dub piece entitled 'Ungry Days, which was well received by the crowd. Shanakay Daley was next, singing Queen Ifrica's Lioness on the Rise, which had the crowd singing and swaying along.
Next on stage was Venice McFarquhar, who did an original dub piece entitled STD, which enthralled the crowd and had them chanting along about the importance of safe sex.
Following her, was star deejay-in-the-making Janarey Christian, whose original, radio-worthy song Wake Up Dis Mawnin had the crowd in a frenzy. Then, Nickel Mitchell sang his original, upbeat song Baby.
After the stage had been cleared, it was then commandeered by the St Catherine High Drummers. They came on stage in African-print costumes with matching African instruments like the Log Drum, Dun Dun drum, Ken Ken drum, Sang Ban drum, the Jembe drum and maracas. The seven man ensemble thrilled the crowd with their original drumming pieces which incorporated the occasional dancehall dance move.
Next to hit the stage was Semaigh Howell, who sang his Rich In Love medley. Following him was Shamoya Porter, who did an original spoken piece with great crowd interaction entitled Bleachas.
After, Krysnel Forbes sang a medley of Destiny's Child Emotions, Ce'Cile's Cheater's Prayer, and Fantasia's When I See You, and though she stumbled along the way, her schoolmates were there to catch her up, singing along.
The first break in the competition was for part two of the Flow and Seprod question-and-answer segment, which saw seventh grader Ashae Myton and 11th grader Joan-Sayah Dixon both walking away with prizes.
After the break, De-Jean Rose and Romario Brown took to the stage singing their original song First Lady, whose smooth lyrics had the girls swooning. Following them was Christopher Allen, who recited Ricardo Orlando Knight's The Tears I Feel.
The next performer, Lisa-Lee Barnett took the crowd through a series of emotions with her spoken word piece Who Is Responsible?.
The depth of the story she wove through speech and song had the crowd so enthralled that it rendered them speechless for most of her performance; they hung on her her every word, so as not to miss a thing.
The second break in the competition was for the Serge Island Cool Fruit Drink-off competition. Eight contestants entered the arena, two box drinks in hand; but in the end it was only ninth grader Denissa Newsome, who came out victorious, holding both her empty boxes upside down as proof.
As the final set of performers got ready to hit the stage, rumours of a very special guest artiste disrupted the crowd and made them restless. Despite this, Sheriece and Company took to the stage, giving a great a capella performance of the gospel song Lead Me To Rest. Following them was Lorel Williams who sang Keisha White's The Weakness In Me.
As the last performer exited the stage, the students went into hysteria upon seeing the guest artistes.
Exco Levi hit the stage first, and despite the fact that it had began raining, he had them swaying along with a medley of his latest songs.
Dancehall livewire Popcaan then jumped on stage and had the students braving the rain to sing out all the songs in his repertoire including Only Man She Want, Dream, Clean, Raving, Party Shatt, and So Bad.
After all the madness had ended, the judges were finally able to tally up their scores. In third place was Venice McFarquhar, while second place went to the St Catherine High School Drummers.
First place, and a chance to perform at the TEENage Observer Expressions Tour Finals in July, went to the very deserving Lisa-Lee Barnett, who gave one of the best performances we've seen this season.