By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
SONG and dance took centre stage as talented Bahamaians strutted their stuff for the ‘40 years of Talent’ competition.
The competition consisted of twenty one competitors from throughout the Bahama Islands.
The winners of the evening included Adrianna Munnings, who won by singing the song ‘When I’m back on my feet again.’ Adrianna’s winning reward was $1,000 cash.
Anfernee Rolle danced a spirited performance of the ‘Caribbean Slide’ and was the first runner up. Her winning prize was a total of $500.
Second place went to Rashad Cunningham, who sang a rendition of ‘The prayer.’ Rashad’s winning prize was $250.
Held at the National Centre For The Performing Arts in Shirley Street, last Sunday’s competition was hosted by the Bahamas Talented Youth Organisation (BTYO).
It is the organising body responsible for The Miss Bahamas Talented Teen Scholarship.
BTYO members are all volunteers who give their time to host such events because of their passion for young people and the performing arts.
BTYO developed out of The Hal Jackson Talented Teen Scholarship Competition which was introduced to the Bahamas over 35 years ago by Helen Annie Russell.
Sonovia Pierre, CEO of BTYO, was the 1989 winner of that competition.
She said: “Hal Jackson’s focus was primarily on talented young women, however, BTYO’s focus is talented youth.
“This event, the talent competition, is a first and of course it coincides with the commemoration of the country’s 40th Anniversary of Independence.
“It is a fundraiser for Miss Bahamas Talented Teen Scholarship Competition 2014 which is scheduled to be held next May.”
Ms Pierre said the youngest performer was 11-year-old singer, Tia Lightbourne, and the eldest was 35-year-old Adrianna Munnings.
Ms Pierre said: “In round one, the competitors were given 90 seconds to perform. At the end of round one, the audience chose the top ten finalist to advance to the second round. In the second round the contestants were given three minutes to show off their skills.”
Bahamian singer Julien Believe Thompson, M Jay of 91.7 fm, and Moya Da Millionaire Movie Maker Thompson were the judges.
Bahamian singer Dyson Knight of Baha Men and Visage Band kept the energy levels going through the evening.
The crowd were also entertained by ‘Shine’ the clown from The Emanji circus.
Ms Pierre said the goal had been to discover new talent.
Not everyone could be a winner, she said, but everyone got a chance to display a unique talent.
“Exposure is key, if you have a talent and keep it hidden, it is of no use to you,” she added.
“This event gave persons the opportunity to express themselves and showcase their talent without boundaries.
“The playing field is levelled and the show was fashioned much like the ‘America’s Got Talent’ show because all performing talent was accepted and encouraged.
“I think artists looking on should be encouraged by other upcoming artists so that they can know that the struggle is real, however success is possible,” said Ms Pierre.
“I am a music teacher and a musician and I hear persons complain all the time about the lack of possibilities or places to perform. I believe in our culture and I believe in our talents. The culture of a country is where the soul of the people lives,” she added.
BTYO encourages young people to excel and pursue their dreams while helping them to attain scholarships for higher education.
“We will be back for ‘41 Years of Talent,’ said Ms Pierre.