Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Talented Youth: Sir Sanford Fleming's First Annual "Fleming Idol" Competition

Babies are cute and kids are precocious, but teenagers are often dismissed or thought of as trouble-makers. June 5th's Fleming Idol competition at Sir Sanford Fleming Academy showed us all that if you get teenagers engaged in activities they enjoy, you will be more than pleased by their skills.

The First Annual Fleming Idol Talent Competition was produced and promoted by Canadian Reggae Music Award-winner, Jannett Scott (a.k.a Lady Luscious), who also works at the school. More than 20 teens took part in the competition which was divided into several categories: Singing, Drama, Rap, Dancing and Music (instrumental/vocal).

CONGRATULATIONS to Fleming Idol Winner, RAELENE BAILEY(Baby Jill Scott as we judges called her).


  1. Amber Ing-Ducreay (Winner, Music (instrumental/vocal)
  2. Deniqua Gerson-Dixon (Winner, Drama n/a CIUT interview)
  3. Deshaya Luong-Rose (singer)
  4. John Chikezie (singer)
  5. Kevin Graham (Winner, Dance)
  6. Michael Rose (singer)
  7. Phillip Prince Jr. a.k.a “Hazzard” (Winner, Rap)
  8. Raelene Bailey (Fleming Idol winner, plus Winner, Singing)
  9. Sean Ing-Ducreay (drums)
  10. Tamara Williams (singer, n/a CIUT interview)

As one of the 5 judges on the panel, I can honestly tell you that we were all impressed by the confidence of all who took the stage, and by the supportive nature of the audience (every contestant was enthusiastically encouraged by their peers).

Carrie Mullings from Rebel Vibez (from sister station CHRY 105.5 FM) hosted the event. On the judging panel with me were Jamaias DaCosta (from CIUT's Vibe Collective),Tanya Mullings (Reggae singer/Co-host Rebel Vibez), Mike Edgell (Global Television), and Ras Jockey. Farley Flex (Canadian Idol/Plasma Corporation) made a special appearance to give the Idols a motivational speech and pep talk before the show.

On June 13th, I had the pleasure of having 8 of the Top Ten Fleming Idols in the studio at CIUT. It was a crowded in the attic of 91 St. George Street, but everyone was cooperative and in high spirits for their live radio debut. Vocalists had a change to take the mic and show off their skills (even the Top 5 Dance category winner did a spontaneous rap), while non-vocal participants were given the opportunity to tell listeners about the process of putting their performance pieces together.

Fleming Idol was held in memory of Scott's daughter Aleisha Ashley and her best friend Monique McKnight. The two young women were killed a few years ago, when the taxi they were in was hit by a stolen car being driven by another teen (who also died). Jannett's song "See You Later My Friend" was sung by all the performers at the beginning of the talent show in memory of the two women.

Assisting Jannett with the youth-empowering event were Sir Sanford Fleming Academy's Principal, Arnold Witt who also showed off his singing chops, and Vice-Principal, Reiko Fuentes. Many hard-working, behind-the-scenes students and volunteers also participated in making the event a great success.

Yes, Jannett, I will be back next year.

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