POND ISLAND:--- It was a night to remember at the Theatre Royale, Maho, Saturday, where judges announced the 2014 TelCell Breakthrough Talent Search winners in true Hollywood style.
The winners and runners-up in the four categories were:
Winner: New Generation Status (GNS STM)
Runner up: Brandon Potmis
Winner: Arias -4
Runner up: Sinatra Bauld
Winner: Serenity Martinus
Runner up: Rumari Rogers
Winner: Tristan Defoe
Runner up: Deveny Elferink
The winners will now begin a one year dream program in which they will be granted celebrity status, assisting TelCell and the TelEm Group in various promotions, while further honing their own artistic talents.
They will also collaborate on a recording contract and will act as mentors and role models for St. Maarten's youth.
It all came down to the final announcements Saturday, after a nerve-wracking contest in which 13 talented youth took to the stage in four different categories.
The elated winners were each called to the stage to thunderous applause from a very appreciative audience, adding to the magic and fun of the night.
Immediately the winners were known, there followed a wave of SMS messages, e-mailed photos and social media messages congratulating the winners and also praising TelCell and the organizers of the Breakthough event for a very professional and well done job.
"Big-Up's for St. Maarten's talented youth" stated one tweet, while a Facebook follower of the show urged the organizers to commit themselves to shows of this quality for another, "10 Years!"
"I want to congratulate TelEm Group staff, Angel Richardson and her team, along with Bertaux "Mr. Rude" Fleming of Xtratight Entertainment for another outstanding job on behalf of St. Maarten's Youth," said Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) TelEm Group, Mr. Brian Mingo.
Mr. Mingo said he expected a great turnout and some super acts on the night, but what transpired went way beyond his expectations.
"The crowd was really supportive and family-oriented. It was great to see this kind of togetherness and spirit of competition on St. Maarten and I am personally proud that TelCell and TelEm Group is associated with something so positive for our youth and exposure of our youth talent," said Mr. Mingo.
He said the company will ensure that, like last year's TelCell Breakthrough winners, the new team will have every bit as much exposure and much more, so that they can live their dreams of what life as a top celebrity and performer can be.
Organizers, Angel Richardson and Bertaux "Mr. Rude" Fleming both congratulated the winners and all the contestants who took part in the talent search Saturday.
"Unfortunately there has to be a winner, but again, in our view all the contestants performing on the night worked hard and are all winners to us," said "Mr. Rude" who is also looking forward to sharing studio time with the youngsters to fulfill the recording contract deal.
"We want to thank the judges for doing a great and difficult job, the Mcee on the night Peter Gittens and co-mc Shanna Vasilda, all the volunteers, including David Evans, and most of all, the members of the public who sent SMS messages and who came ready to support and cheer for their favorite performer," said Angel.
She said the prize for the most popular performer, by SMS votes was Sha-Neisha Gijsbertha with 362 votes.
Meantime a much-edited version of the TelCell Breakthrough 2014 show is being prepared for members of the public who were unable to attend Saturday's show. A date for the airing and broadcast of this show will be announced at a later date.
TELEM Press Release