Four Faceoff in 242Untapped Finale For Record Deal and $5,000
(Nassau, The Bahamas)… Davian Chase, Shatoya Smith, Shanique Thurston and Malikah Pinder will learn which one of them will win the coveted record deal with Elevation Records, a music video taping and $5,000 in cash and prizes when 242Untapped concludes its search for the next Bahamian gospel star this weekend. Produced and hosted by Vincent ‘V-Mac’ McDonald, the show will air on Cable 12 on Saturday, immediately after the evening news. This debut season’s past episodes are currently playing on www.242Untapped.com
Judged by singer/worship minister Nadene Moss, pastor/producer Christopher Roberts and I’m Gonna Wait singer Jonathon Farrington, the contest has been called a Bahamian version of Sunday’s Best.
“It was a long and tedious process but we are finally here and getting ready to give someone the opportunity of a lifetime,” said executive producer, creator and host Vincent ‘V-Mac’ McDonald. “We took auditions to Grand Bahama and held them in New Providence at Mario’s Bowling Alley. We had some talented singers and we also had some who had the heart but needed to step it up for the competition.”
The finalists range in age from 17 to 32 and according to V-Mac, there is already an interest for next year’s competition. He revealed season two will have some international attachment to it.
“I am not able to say what is happening just yet but we’ve already gotten interest with a major brand in the gospel industry and we are excited about that,” he said. “Anyone who watched the episodes which are still online will know that this country is a talent pool and those of us who are in a position to assist and offer our expertise need to guide up and comers because when one of us breaks, we get the world’s attention to the rest of us to see who the next big thing from our region and country will be.”
Will the winner be petite powerhouse Malikah Pinder who was afraid of asking her parents in Eleuthera to enter because they told her education is far more important than music? Or will it be emotional Androsian Shatoya Smith who persevered vocally despite her pregnancy? Perhaps it will be Church of God of Prophecy’s Davian Chase, who literally is the last man standing or Shanique Thurston, whose father and husband are pastors.
“I auditioned because I believe that singing is what I was born to do and for the past 15 years, I have been doing just that,” says Davian Chase. “Singing is something I really enjoy. From a child I have been in love with microphones, the stage and the applause, but God had to show me that singing was more than just having a good voice and being applauded, it was about ministry. That is why I auditioned.”
“I had always struggled with low self esteem,” Malikah Pinder confessed. “I was probably one of the last people to discover that I had singing potential. I was always my own worst enemy. So being in the top number was something that definitely caused me to realize my potential. In addition to all of this, being in the competition made me come to a greater awareness of God’s love for me and the purpose that He has for me. The morning of the auditions was the worst – I was so sick, I didn’t know how I was going to sing. But just for those few minutes that I had to go in and sing before the judges, I seemed to be in perfect health. That is purpose! I thought I wouldn’t be able to perform well enough to make it through, but God stepped in and worked a miracle!”
“You know, I was one of the last people in the line to audition,” says Shanique Thurston. “I was amazed to see the amount of young people in the line and I was amazed at the amount of talent we have in this country. I was like ‘God this has to be a set up’. You know, they say iron sharpens iron and each singer sharpened the other singer because each week it got harder because everyone was coming back bigger and better than before. Thank God for my mom because she helped me get through it to this point.”
“I knew nothing of the show but I always prayed to God to make a way for me to use the gift He has given me to magnify His name and to have some kind of an impact on people,” Shatoya Smith said. “A friend called me the last day to enter the competition and she said, ‘Toya , there is this gospel show and you need to enter now, and today is the deadline’. So in my mind I said this is an answered prayer. It’s never been about the prize for me – it’s just being awarded the opportunity to sing.”
By Arthia Nixon, The Ambassador Agency for Elevation Records