20 progress to TelCell’s Breakthrough finals October 1

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Winners of the TelCell Breakthrough round of auditions pose for a group shot with judges and organizers following a grueling session at the Cultural Center on Backstreet all day Saturday. (Photo by Edgardo Lynch); Missing from Photo: Keeshaun Hodge and Kirk Vital.

PHILIPSBURG – Twenty of St. Maarten’s top talented youth danced, rapped, sang and performed their way through to the finals of TelCell’s Breakthrough auditions at the Cultural Center, on Backstreet, Saturday, August 13.

Organizers say the acts started shortly after 8:00am and continued throughout the day until 2:30pm with some “mind-blowing” performances along the way.

“Just when you think you’ve seen the peak of St. Maarten’s youth talent, then someone comes to the stage and they just blow everyone away,” said co-organizer Angel Richardson of TelCell. She said judges had their work cut out sorting through many acts, and came up with the following list of performers they would like to see competing for the coveted title of TelCell Breakthrough Winner 2016 at the Casino Royale Theater later in October.

The finalists are: Jermain Roberts, Sue-An Agol, Alfred Thomas, Jason Brice, Diandra Marlin, Johanna Honare, Ashley Matser, Quinton Cornelius, Hika Huges, Kevin Lambert, Aesha Gibson, Armani Hughes, Sjoerd Scot, George Woodley, Keeshaun Hodge, Leo Alexander, Rhojel Samuels, Jeanille Gibs, Kirt Vital, Jasmin Eijgermans, and Andy Pascals.

Organizers also announced a “Producer’s Pick” award for 2016 to Tyreke Arrindell for singing.

According to Berteaux “Mr Rude” Fleming of Xtratight Entertainment, who is also co-organizer of the Telcell Breakthrough event, it’s obvious that the word is out there about St. Maarten’s most popular youth talent show, based on how prepared the young talents were this year.

The acts, going forward, will be in the categories of Instruments, Urban dance, Vocals, Rapping, Dance Technique and Rare talents (which includes a fire dancer and comedy theater).

“Many of the performances were very polished. It was clear some of the performers worked hard to making a first and lasting impression with our distinct panel of judges,” said Fleming.

His sentiments were seconded by co-organizer Richardson, who thanked Judges Shanda Brown, Connis Vanterpool, Brainpower (from Amsterdam), Shawn J. and Nkosazana for doing an “outstanding” job.

“I also want to thank the sponsors of the event, and also the awesome team of supporters and volunteers, who have once again made a fantastic contribution, prior to, during and at the end of the auditions Saturday,” continued Richardson.

She said the audition winners are all very excited about moving on to October 1, for the staging of the finals, noting that the organizers and their team will be stepping up another notch to ensure the event is once again a runaway success.