Monday, April 23, 2007

Jamaican Idol?

Rising Stars Stage

Rising Stars is a Jamaican show that discovers new talent through a televised singing contest in which people can vote for their favorite singer by phone, similar to American Idol in the United States. It is very popular in Jamaica, and the island has a huge number of aspiring singers and musical artists. This past weekend, we happened to be in Ochi visiting a friend and the Rising Stars auditions were taking place there as well.

The auditions were held at Island Village, a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex located near the cruise ship dock in Ocho Rios. There were about 400 contestants lined up, but according to the Gleaner this was a lot less than last year. There was very little excitement in the air at Island Village. What we noticed most was the police, wooden barriers, and checkpoints that made it hard to move around the area.

The main problem with the auditions, though, is that they didn't broadcast the singers through a PA system. So there was people watching, people singing, a stage ... but no sound to be heard. Why hold the auditions in a very public outdoor venue if you are not going to let the public hear the auditions? If you don't want people to hear them, hold the tryouts indoors.

Let's hope this season of Rising Stars finds some talented singers. My personal favorite from last year was Brushy One String, who played all of his songs using a one string guitar and wore a cowboy hat for every episode. He made it to the top 10.


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