Digicel Rising Stars returns
Contestant Brianna Warren (left), 17-year-old Dinthill High graduate, and host Terri-Karelle Reid

SEASON 18 of the popular television talent series Digicel Rising Stars is back. The series made its debut on Sunday night on Television Jamaica.

After a two-year break due to the effects of the COVID-19 the series will unfold over the next nine weeks with live shows. One person will be eliminated each week until a winner is determined by public voting.

Sharon Schroeter is the series producer. She is quite upbeat about the series' return.

"It feels surreal but we are happy to be back on air. I think everyone was still in disbelief until the opening music started playing on Sunday. Looking forward to nine more weeks of what we consider the greatest talent show ever," said Schroeter.

She gave some nsight into what viewers can expect this season.

Row J Rose in performance

"Digicel Rising Stars will bring nine more weeks of live performances right into the homes of Jamaica. Each week we will have different guest judges, special performances, and of course the amazing talent of the top 10 contestants."

The 10 contestants were selected from video auditions via the Digicel BIP app in early 2020, prior to the country going into lockdown due to the measures imposed by the Government relating to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The first-place winner will walk away with $1.5 million in cash, among other prizes.

Television producer Anthony Miller, singer and broadcaster Alaine, and executive director of Ashe, Conroy Wilson, return as judges. Sanjay Ramanand continues as the host of the Chill Room.

Contestant Ramon Johnston

The ten finalists are: Brianna Warren, a 17-year-old graduate of Dinthill High in St Catherine; Moneague College student, 26-year-old Ramon Johnston; Maryland, Hanover, resident Shaunette Cameron; Spanish Town's Tamara Watson; designer and dancer Row J Rose; singer, dancer and actor Brandon Williams; The University of the West Indies' biomedical student Orane Green; 24-year-old Font Hill, St Thomas, resident Oshene Watson; Grenadian Robert Ewart, who now calls Jamaica home; and, 28 year-old Luidas Vale, St Catherine, resident Channing Bryan.

Digicel Rising Stars started in 2004 with Portland-based singer Cavan as the inaugural winner. Through the years the series has unearthed popular singers including winners Romain Virgo, Christopher Martin, Noddy Virtue, Jodi-Ann Pantry, One Third, Shuga and Nickeisha Barnes, among several others.

Kevin Jackson

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