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Tomeika Jeffrey is Montserrat’s first Idol

Tomeika Jeffrey of Davy Hill and former reporter of The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) is the first Montserrat Idol.

Tomeika Jeffrey, Montserrat’s first Idol

When the MC for the finale, Andre West, Deputy Fire Chief Royal Montserrat Fire Service made the announcement, the crowd was uncontrollable with joy. Ms. Jeffrey was clearly a favourite of the crowd from an early stage.

Shanell Meade, Second Place Winner

The 25-year old, mother of three, is a business student at the Montserrat Community College. In the second position was 25-year old Shanell Meade, also, of Davy Hill. The final round was held on Saturday March 26, before a sizeable crowd at the Soca Cabana in Little Bay. Ms. Jeffrey said she never expected to make it that far but was eternally grateful.

Tomeika Jeffrey won herself a round trip to Antigua compliments of Fly Montserrat, $400 and $50 free mobile credit from LIME. Shanell Meade got $400 and a wrist watch compliments of Karishma.

Their journey began on January 29. Back then the two women along with eight others, all above the age 17 cut off point, signed up to be a part of the first ever Idol show on the ‘Emerald Isle’. The idol hopefuls were Celia Marshall ‘Shwaniyah’, Maxcine Lee, Renvet Sweeney-Piper ‘Diamond Tip’, Brenda Gordon, Ronel White, Steve Jeffrey, Racquel Wedderburn and Luceena Weekes.

Mr. Tom Walker

On the opening night of the show, Mr. Walker had said, “We’ve got some of the best singers you may never have heard of. This is an eight-week competition.”

The first two to be booted off the show were Celia Marshall ‘Shwaniyah’ and Maxcine Lee. The following week Renvet Sweeney-Piper ‘Diamond Tip’ bade farewell. The elimination process continued with Brenda Gordon, Ronel White, Tomeika Jeffrey’s brother – Steve Jeffrey,
Racquel Wedderburn and Luceena Weekes respectively.

The Montserrat Idol show was the brainchild of Tom Walker. He said he felt the urge to introduce such an event to Montserrat after attending one of the elimination rounds of the Calypso competition late 2010. There he saw the need for immediate and constant feedback from judges. After exploring some possibilities, the Montserrat Idol was on the drawing board a few weeks later.

Judges for the Final Show

The battery of judges changed weekly but revolved around a particular set of persons. The panel for the finals comprised the Manager of the Royal Bank, Cassandra Ryan, Reinford Gibbons also known as ‘Kulcha Don’ and Country Manager/Operations Director of DHL/Montserrat Shipping Service, Lorraine Lewis.

The two finalists were required to do three pieces for the finale – disco, acapella and one of their choice. First up was Tomeika Jeffrey who did Gloria Gaynor’s I will Survive. The self-described, ‘fine sexy Mama’ stroked the crowd’s emotion as she took control of the night. The judges called this performance a good one. The male judge called it a perfect choice, one she made look too easy.

Shanell Meade gave her rendition of the Donna Summer’s On the Radio. Yes, she too had the crowd in the palm of her hand. The judges said she made the song her own. They told her she had also upped her game.

Ms. Meade chose Killing me Softly for her acapella. Some persons in the crowd sang along with her making it impossible to hear her at times. Some even made comments both in support and against her. The judges praised her for the her lovely voice and the right attitude that went with the song.

Then it Tomeika’s turn, this round she did Come on Over. Her powerful voice was lost in the screams of the crowd at intervals as they showed her much love. Judge Cassandra Ryan gave her the only standing ovation for the night and called the performance ‘off the chart’. After Ms. Jeffrey completed her song, it took some moments for the crowd to calm down.

The final round of the finale saw Tomeika doing her rendition of Etta James’ At Last.  The Judges called the performance good use of her voice and body language and told her she was consistent.

Ms. Meade did Beyonce’s You give me Fever.  According to the judges, this may not have been a good song choice but she did it well. They loved her voice and tone but said she needed to pack more power into the performance.

Sponsors included Fly Montserrat, Ashok’s Supermarket, Karishma, LIME and Jacquie Ryan Enterprises Limited.

The finale was punctuated with several cultural performances including Tom Walker along with Peter Filleul and Cecil ‘Ceepeekee’ Lake; the Volcanics Vibes live band and cast off Racquel Wedderburn among others.

A few days after the finals, Mr. Walker explained that he could not attach a price to the show since the expense to offset it was rolled into the normal operations of the Soca Cabana. “The best I can tell you is that because we have done it at our place we have been able to keep the overhead expenses to a minimum.”

The winner said publicly later about her achievement, “I was confident going in that I would have won the competition and I’m feeling very proud of myself. so I would like to say thank you to all persons who voted for me during the competition I would like to thank individuals who helped me like Bill Tonge and Andrew West, Tom Walker, my sister , Mr. brothers, my friends everybody who came together to make this possible.”

Explaining the use of the Idol name and the fact that there is the American Idol and the British Idol, Mr. Walker said it conveys what he was trying to establish. “This is an event where singers would compete not just to be the best singer but to be the best performer as well. I don’t think there is an issue with the name. We are in a different part of the world. I don’t see a problem.”

The Audience accounted for Thirty-Four Percent of the Votes.

All combined, the three judges accounted for 66 percent of the votes and the audience made up the remainder. “We wanted in cases where the judges were split on a decision, the audience can decide and so on.” Mr. Walked added. When questioned as to how many votes Ms. Jeffrey won by, he said he would rather not answer but she was the clear choice of both the audience and the judges.

Mr. Walker, on behalf of the other organizers – his wife Mary Ann Walker and Andre West, is satisfied with the show. “I would like to say thank you to a lot of people. The people of Montserrat supported the show. They came every week in large numbers. They were interested in the show and the competition. I was really gratified.”

Would the Montserrat Idol be an annual feature in the calendar of activities for the ‘Emerald Isles’? “I would like to continue but we haven’t formally announced that as yet.” Mr. Walker responded.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Tomeika Jeffrey of Davy Hill and former reporter of The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) is the first Montserrat Idol.

Tomeika Jeffrey, Montserrat’s first Idol

When the MC for the finale, Andre West, Deputy Fire Chief Royal Montserrat Fire Service made the announcement, the crowd was uncontrollable with joy. Ms. Jeffrey was clearly a favourite of the crowd from an early stage.

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Shanell Meade, Second Place Winner

The 25-year old, mother of three, is a business student at the Montserrat Community College. In the second position was 25-year old Shanell Meade, also, of Davy Hill. The final round was held on Saturday March 26, before a sizeable crowd at the Soca Cabana in Little Bay. Ms. Jeffrey said she never expected to make it that far but was eternally grateful.

Tomeika Jeffrey won herself a round trip to Antigua compliments of Fly Montserrat, $400 and $50 free mobile credit from LIME. Shanell Meade got $400 and a wrist watch compliments of Karishma.

Their journey began on January 29. Back then the two women along with eight others, all above the age 17 cut off point, signed up to be a part of the first ever Idol show on the ‘Emerald Isle’. The idol hopefuls were Celia Marshall ‘Shwaniyah’, Maxcine Lee, Renvet Sweeney-Piper ‘Diamond Tip’, Brenda Gordon, Ronel White, Steve Jeffrey, Racquel Wedderburn and Luceena Weekes.

Mr. Tom Walker

On the opening night of the show, Mr. Walker had said, “We’ve got some of the best singers you may never have heard of. This is an eight-week competition.”

The first two to be booted off the show were Celia Marshall ‘Shwaniyah’ and Maxcine Lee. The following week Renvet Sweeney-Piper ‘Diamond Tip’ bade farewell. The elimination process continued with Brenda Gordon, Ronel White, Tomeika Jeffrey’s brother – Steve Jeffrey,
Racquel Wedderburn and Luceena Weekes respectively.

The Montserrat Idol show was the brainchild of Tom Walker. He said he felt the urge to introduce such an event to Montserrat after attending one of the elimination rounds of the Calypso competition late 2010. There he saw the need for immediate and constant feedback from judges. After exploring some possibilities, the Montserrat Idol was on the drawing board a few weeks later.

Judges for the Final Show

The battery of judges changed weekly but revolved around a particular set of persons. The panel for the finals comprised the Manager of the Royal Bank, Cassandra Ryan, Reinford Gibbons also known as ‘Kulcha Don’ and Country Manager/Operations Director of DHL/Montserrat Shipping Service, Lorraine Lewis.

The two finalists were required to do three pieces for the finale – disco, acapella and one of their choice. First up was Tomeika Jeffrey who did Gloria Gaynor’s I will Survive. The self-described, ‘fine sexy Mama’ stroked the crowd’s emotion as she took control of the night. The judges called this performance a good one. The male judge called it a perfect choice, one she made look too easy.

Shanell Meade gave her rendition of the Donna Summer’s On the Radio. Yes, she too had the crowd in the palm of her hand. The judges said she made the song her own. They told her she had also upped her game.

Ms. Meade chose Killing me Softly for her acapella. Some persons in the crowd sang along with her making it impossible to hear her at times. Some even made comments both in support and against her. The judges praised her for the her lovely voice and the right attitude that went with the song.

Then it Tomeika’s turn, this round she did Come on Over. Her powerful voice was lost in the screams of the crowd at intervals as they showed her much love. Judge Cassandra Ryan gave her the only standing ovation for the night and called the performance ‘off the chart’. After Ms. Jeffrey completed her song, it took some moments for the crowd to calm down.

The final round of the finale saw Tomeika doing her rendition of Etta James’ At Last.  The Judges called the performance good use of her voice and body language and told her she was consistent.

Ms. Meade did Beyonce’s You give me Fever.  According to the judges, this may not have been a good song choice but she did it well. They loved her voice and tone but said she needed to pack more power into the performance.

Sponsors included Fly Montserrat, Ashok’s Supermarket, Karishma, LIME and Jacquie Ryan Enterprises Limited.

The finale was punctuated with several cultural performances including Tom Walker along with Peter Filleul and Cecil ‘Ceepeekee’ Lake; the Volcanics Vibes live band and cast off Racquel Wedderburn among others.

A few days after the finals, Mr. Walker explained that he could not attach a price to the show since the expense to offset it was rolled into the normal operations of the Soca Cabana. “The best I can tell you is that because we have done it at our place we have been able to keep the overhead expenses to a minimum.”

The winner said publicly later about her achievement, “I was confident going in that I would have won the competition and I’m feeling very proud of myself. so I would like to say thank you to all persons who voted for me during the competition I would like to thank individuals who helped me like Bill Tonge and Andrew West, Tom Walker, my sister , Mr. brothers, my friends everybody who came together to make this possible.”

Explaining the use of the Idol name and the fact that there is the American Idol and the British Idol, Mr. Walker said it conveys what he was trying to establish. “This is an event where singers would compete not just to be the best singer but to be the best performer as well. I don’t think there is an issue with the name. We are in a different part of the world. I don’t see a problem.”

The Audience accounted for Thirty-Four Percent of the Votes.

All combined, the three judges accounted for 66 percent of the votes and the audience made up the remainder. “We wanted in cases where the judges were split on a decision, the audience can decide and so on.” Mr. Walked added. When questioned as to how many votes Ms. Jeffrey won by, he said he would rather not answer but she was the clear choice of both the audience and the judges.

Mr. Walker, on behalf of the other organizers – his wife Mary Ann Walker and Andre West, is satisfied with the show. “I would like to say thank you to a lot of people. The people of Montserrat supported the show. They came every week in large numbers. They were interested in the show and the competition. I was really gratified.”

Would the Montserrat Idol be an annual feature in the calendar of activities for the ‘Emerald Isles’? “I would like to continue but we haven’t formally announced that as yet.” Mr. Walker responded.