StarQuest down to final six

Cable and Wireless has brought back the phenomenon of ‘must-see TV’ on Thursdays with the weekly airing of the StarQuest competition.

The much anticipated follow up to the company’s spectacular 2004 event is back in full effect taping, airing on CITN and driving thousands to text their favourite performer to that number everyone keeps hearing – VOTE (8683).

Lucky studio audience members are being treated to weekly tapings of the shows’ hour long segments. The tickets are hard to come by, so anticipation remains high at these events, being held now at Club Chameleon in the Strand Plaza. The interior of the well-known nightclub has been virtually transformed into a high end soundstage, complete with funky scaffolding and reflective tubing.

On this very stage it was earlier this week that Cable and Wireless StarQuest said farewell to its first round of eliminated competitors. Singers Marvin Smith and Wayneroy Randal, Hip Hop rapper Blackface, and songstress Isadora Ferrao have seen their last nights on the StarQuest stage, leaving an eager lineup of six competitors battling it out for the coveted $10,000 grand prize.

The Final Six

26-year old Karen Edie – known best for her performances as lead vocalist for the jazz band AfterDark – is one who has survived the eliminations. Having started her career singing in church and at school, the singer’s jazzy lounge ballads are earning her a growing following at the weekly tapings.

Vocal powerhouse Keesa Peart, 27, is back on stage after the hiatus resurrecting her traditional brand of gospel performance. Aside from her aspirations to enter the health profession, Peart is a ‘happily married’ woman of six years.

Morna Richardson – most memorable for her blockbuster performance of ‘Falling’ by Alicia Keys at the show’s original venue, The Harquail Theatre, last fall – has proven her versatility in performance since the re-launch of StarQuest. The singer’s physical and audial presence onstage was palpable.

Ballad performer Kathleen Jackman’s smooth contemporary vocals are a dignified addition to the StarQuest lineup. Having gotten past the first eliminations, the HR executive counts over 1,500 singing engagements on her extensive resume.

Sisqo sound-alike Lonney McField is the lone male competitor left to battle it out. The velvet-voiced Cingular Wireless employee already has an extensive list of accolades including production nods with local music minds La Familia. At 19, he is the youngest StarQuest competitor.

Rounding out the final six is Andrea Rivera – well known locally for her time performing with local band Heat. She counts her influences as Anita Baker, Marvin Gaye and Alicia Keys, among others. The singer has performed alongside such acts as Krosfyah, Imij & Co. and Latin performer Tito Nieves.

Hosted by local Radio Cayman newsanchor Jay Earhart and former Miss Cayman Nichelle Welcome, StarQuest airs each Thursday at 7pm on CITN. The show also streams to the Cable and Wireless website, where a special gallery has been set up with photos, bios and information on the event, now winding down to the conclusion of its first year.

A live segment will be aired on Thursday 17 March to cap off StarQuest 2004, followed by a wrap party at Club Chameleon. According to Cable and Wireless Events Coordinator and member of their three-person marketing team Julie Hutton – because of Ivan delays, the next show is just around the corner.

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