Congrats to Jody Kay for winning Digicel’s 12th Rising Stars Competition, but congrats also to Digicel for having a good season. It has been quite a while since Suga has followed a season of Rising Stars. I probably haven’t watched since the season when Brown Suga won. It had become boring and repetitive with less and less talent. But not this season! This season had a lot of talent, a more Professional feel to it, a good host (Terri-Karelle Reid), good judges including international ones, and good themes for the contestants to work with each week. What or who made the difference? Word has it that Sharon Burke is the lady responsible for taking over the show and making a positive impact.
Sharon Burke is CEO and President of Solid Agency responsible for booking artistes such as Shaggy, Tessanne Chin, Wayne Marshall, Tifa, Marfia Griffiths, QQ and more.
She was a promoter in the local entertainment business for years, managing events such as Fully Loaded, working with Reggae Sunsplash, being a co-producer for the Shaggy and Friends Show and the list goes on. So she is very involved in the industry with regards to Event Production and Artiste Management.
She has worked with International artists such as Rihanna, P Diddy, John Legend , Shakera, Chris brown and Mary J Blige. She therefore must have used her International contacts to help spice up Digicel Rising Stars this season. Very current and influential persons in the music and entertainment industry were brought onto the show as judges. They were also scoping for talent, probably hoping to discover another Rihanna as they have done before.
It was refreshing to see honest critiques but in a more dynamic way, highlighting where the contestants went wrong or right and how they could improve. I believe that vibe and quality critique became contagious as the competition went on, filtering to the other judges such as Conroy Wilson, Alaine and well we all know Anthony Miller.
So what’s in it for the winner? A lot of International opportunities will be created for Jody Kay, for instance, David Miller from New York will do an international campaign and will give her a Developmental Contract. There will be an album distribution deal and more. The money? She won a million dollars (Jamaican). Peanut money. So perhaps they can work on the prize money.
Sadly, Suga doesn’t think Jody Kay will go far with music. She is a lovely singer and was the most consistent throughout the competition, but runner up Marsha K who was a wild card entering the competition, improving tremendously towards the end, seemed more passionate about music in her future. She was the better performer in my opinion and showed she enjoyed performing as well. She won $600,000JMD. When asked before the announcement of the winner what they would do with the money, Jody Kay mentioned going to school, the spa and helping family. Marsha K on the other hand said she would ensure she puts some into her future for music.
I think the 3rd place winner, Anna Mariah was the most marketable contestant in terms of stage presence and sound. With time and more growth she could make it big. Unfortunately she was a late bloomer in the competition and was not consistent with good performances and song choices, preventing her from winning the majority of Jamaica’s votes. But win or lose, if you really want it, it is not the end of the road.
So wow, I am actually looking forward to the next season of Rising Stars! A bit less confetti next time though.
Last Saturday, Suga went to check out the early vibe at 100 to see if service and more would be better than a Friday night. Although I wanted to go for lunch time, I made it for dinner. I arrived at about 6:50pm.
My other half and I were pleasantly greeted by a waitress who we are familiar with from other bars, who seems to be doing more supervising now. We were seated in a comfortable area with some plush, colourful cushions. I loved the modern decor and lighting. Colours were mainly grey and white with splashes of colour and the staff looked neat in their uniforms. Music was not loud either. We were even asked if the volume was suitable for us.
Then suddenly, I was in First class on a plane. We were offered damp rags to wipe off our hands. They weren’t warm though, but definitely a nice touch. When we reached America, we were asked if we wanted lemon in our water. Keep it up 100, keep it up. It got even better, we got Complimentary Chips and salsa while we decided on what to order.
Our waitress was Cardia, who had a very sweet, humble personality. She was not sure of the costs and availability of everything off of her head but being new with such a large menu, she did well considering. She was also quick with following up on requests.
We didn’t order any Appetizers but they had Wings, Tuna stacks, Meatballs, Pita chips and dip and Quesadillas in the $750 to $1200JMD+tx range. Soups were also available for $400JMD+tx.
For a more Sports bar vibe, they had a variety of Flatbreads, Pizzas, Sandwiches and Burgers available mostly for $1200JMD, that went up to $2000JMD+tx.
For a proper dinner, there were Pastas ($1600-$2600JMD+tx), Chicken, Lamb, Beef, Salmon, Shrimp and Pork in the range of $1700 to $3200JMD+tx.
The Drinks menu had a wide range of choices as well. But the prices! $800+tx for a Blended drink and $1339+tx cue of V/X.
Service time and Quality of food? Quick service within 15 minutes. Supervision of staff was obvious. I ordered the Beef & Reef ($3200JMD+tx), a 6oz filet mignon and a skewer of grilled shrimp, served with a chimichurri sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and roasted veggies. My other half ordered the Beef au Poivre, an 8 oz filet mignon with a peppercorn sauce served with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted veggies ($2400JMD+tx). Neither of us felt like switching it up to test other items on their menu, so Beef all the way to check their consistency. There is lots of time to return. We both requested our Beef to be cooked medium rare. Mine was on point but my other half’s was slightly overcooked, obvious by the difference in colour and texture when cut. His White rum and tonic was a standard shot so tasted a bit weak. Good for him to know for the future. My Hummingbird was tasty with a twist. Wait, what’s a Hummingbird? Suga was introduced to the Hummingbird back in the day when TGIF was poppin with popular bartender, St. Aublyn the Kidd. When you don’t feel for the cliché Piña Colada or Strawberry Daiquiri, especially at all-inclusive resorts on the North Coast, it’s perfect. A Blended mix of mainly banana, vanilla ice cream, vodka and kahlúa or tia maria. Each bartender has their special touch. 100’s twist was a first, they added chocolate. Not bad at all. It was not overwhelming because I could still taste the banana.
The skewer of shrimp was not that impressive, it needed some flavour. Also, where was my Chimichurri sauce as described in the menu? It was MIA. Stush in the Bush needs to hook them up. That would have given my dish an excellent finishing touch. So, overall, similar to Rojó at Spanish Court’s serving size and price, aka ‘likkle bit’ and the meal assumes you had an appetizer, but lovely plating and presentation. The quality was good not great.
For a restaurant that is not within a hotel, is not fine dining and is more of a bar with a casino feet away, does it really need to be so fancy and expensive? Probably not. Especially if people would be consuming a lot of liquor and need some affordable, wholesome ‘grub’. For instance, Monte Carlo’s tasty burgers for $900JMD does a great job satisfying just that.
What’s going on for the rest of the new hit spot? – The Lounge, Gaming Lounge and Island Bet
Suga took a tour. The TV logistics of The Lounge was excellent. Great for sports and A/C for the hot times. There was also a screen that covered the whole side of one of the walls behind the bar, it was huge, bigger than the Projected screen at Cuddyz.
People seemed to be gambling casually in the Gaming Lounge. It wasn’t crowded. Probably not as popular yet. BUT I know what will be popular soon! ISLAND BET. Again, a familiar face. They got one of Just Bet’s competent employees, Marc-Anthony Pinnock who patiently took me through how Island Bet works. No paper or scratch pads. Purely Electronic. Print outs with the odds are not available as yet, but will be soon. Otherwise, the odds are available on the monitor they have there for customers, including a wider range of bets. Just Bet would have to have their employee take about 10 minutes to check the system online or just say it isn’t available as yet.
Here comes the best part. Island Bet will offer Live betting so you won’t be blocked by Just Bet who change their odds quite often. You will also be able to create an account, add money to it and BET ONLINE. How convenient! Ha! Of course there is an up side and down side to that, but wonderful when you don’t have to leave your house. Also, bets will be made in US dollars. But fret not, the payout is in the US equivalent as well. So if the dollar slides more than the day you bet, you get more money than expected if you win.
One monitor for logging in would not work for a crowd betting on the World Championships for example, but they are finetuning their logistics so that betting is not a hassle and there is time before the Olympics!
Suga senses an exciting Sports season ahead and will be returning.
Location 100 Hope Road. Kingston 6
Ph: 876.665-3BET (3238)
Facebook: 100 Hope Road
By: Gabrielle Williams
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