Rising Stars Recap: Audition Salvation

Last Sunday's show left me in a state of bliss! Keeping me hooked to my television screen from start to finish. After the glorious Gospel Night, Rising Stars continued on its blaze of glory. The contestants were instructed that for that night, they would all be re-doing their audition songs. At first I was a bit apprehensive, as I thought that their audition song selections were not really challenging. However, the contestants took the chunk of coal that was their audition songs and turned it into diamonds.

Before the contestants could get to transport us back into the past to when they first appeared on this show, I had to once again go through the dreaded elimination process. Lamentably, I went through this extremely heartbreaking and suspense filled moment not once, but twice! For their eighth round of live shows, Rising Stars sadly removed two extremely talented contestants: Casey and Raihanna.

Even though they were talented, it was not that surprising that these two were the ones unfortunately heading home. I share similar sentiments with judge Alaine when she expressed her belief that with the performance those two gave on Gospel Night, Jamaica did not make a bad decision sending them home.

With that said, Casey and Raihanna still got to perform their audition pieces, as their songs of farewell, and what an amazing goodbye they gave! These two left Rising Stars in a blaze of glory as they both gave one of their best performances this entire season. Both contestants took their songs and showed Jamaica that although they may have been voted out, their talent can and will not be hidden. I see so much potential in Casey and Raihanna and I cannot wait to see the brilliant stars they become.

Now with so little remaining, more pressure was on the six contests left. It was time for them to dig deep inside and fight even harder for their position on this show. The top 6 consists of such awesome vocalists and it becomes harder and harder to see a distinct winner each week as they are all so magnificent!

6. J-Lue

Out of all the contestants that night, J-Lue was evidently the weakest performer. I knew it was a death sentence as soon it became apparent that J-Lue would be singing a song from one of the most praised singers of our generation, Beyoncé. Singing Beyoncé's famous “1+1+", J-Lue struggled with the song throughout her entire performance. Unlike the original, instead of making me feel that desperate need to be loved, J-Lue's rendition only gave me a sudden annoyance with basic mathematics. Things are beginning to look a little bleak for J-Lue if she continues performing at this level, for the rest of her competition are the best of the best.

5. Oryan

Oryan's unique voice never ceases to amaze me each night. Giving such an emotional rendition of the classic “End of the Road”, Oryan's soothing voice sent waves of nostalgia into my soul. I felt every word that left his mouth. However, even though his vocals were great, it still lacked a bit of energy. Even though the song is already slow paced, something about Oryan's rendition was just a bit boring and I know he could've put in a bit more. Nonetheless, exceptional job!

4. Celicia

What a vocal beast this young lady is! Not everyone can handle singing one of the legend Aretha Franklin's song but Celicia did such a great job with it. My only problem was that there was a bit of disconnect with the audience during some parts of her performance. Nonetheless, vocals, emotion and interpretation were spot on!

3. Laveka

Powerhouse Laveka has done it again! I always thought that Laveka's voice sounded very similar to that of another powerhouse Fantasia Barrino, and her audition performance reconfirmed my belief. Singing the empowering song “I believe”, Laveka brought the house down. However, there were moments during her song where I felt like she was shouting a bit too much. Nonetheless, Laveka has been one of the most consistent performer this entire season, night after night! I am truly amazed at how she manages to do so amazingly each night. I truly believe she has the heart and the talent to win this competition.

2. Sherlon

Once again, Sherlon's voice came and spread such warmth and light into my life. When I heard that he would be performing Miley Cyrus' “The Climb”, I was extremely concerned. It felt like an odd song choice for Sherlon. However, I should have never doubted Sherlon as his talent is too bright to be dulled by any song. His voice is so seasoned yet angelic and the choices he makes vocally consistently give me Goosebumps. He took Miley Cyrus' song and made it his own! That was one of the nicest “The Climb” renditions I have ever heard. I am really hoping Sherlon finds a way to make his performances even better going forward in the competition since he has been raising the bar night after night.

1. KiiShea

This was the performance I had been waiting for! The female duo took on Sia's “Titanium” and they did an exceptional job with it! The upbeat yet motivational words seem to be touching each and every audience member. Kiishea's performance was stronger and tougher than Titanium itself. These girls bring such a different element to the competition. Their voices blend so nicely to create these alluring harmonies that draw you into whatever story they are telling with their voices. At the end of their performance, the audience's consequent standing ovation was no surprise. I was uplifted, I was motivated and I was entertained! Great job ladies!

It's hard to believe how quickly the finale is approaching. This “Oldies” theme was excellently executed by all the contestants. It feels really heartwarming to see how they all improved from their auditioning days. I truly enjoyed these contestants and watching them mature into the vocalists they are today feels really inspiring.  I can't wait to see which of these brilliant stars will be crowned winner of Rising Stars!

--Nathan Walker



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