Thousands of people across Jamaica came out in support of their favorite contestants at the Jamaica Gospel Song Finals hosted by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) at the National Arena, St. Andrew on Sunday evening August 5, 2018.
It was an evening of gospel music, with better known classics and new songs performed by the ten finalists. They were: Lawayne Thomas; Lloyd Reece; Crystal Chambers; Travis-Dean Allen; Adeouluwa Adeoye; Joelle Notice; Kenrick Lynch; Shaundre Cowan; Daynea Deacon-Jones and Dwight Fearri.
In the end it was one of the crowd favourites, Daynea Deacon-Jones, who won the approval of the judges and was handed the trophy by Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.
The emcee for the night was Markland “Action” Edwards, who held the crowd and kept them in suspense up to the revelation of the 2018 Jamaica Gospel Song winner.
Each contestant was given the opportunity to wow the crowd and the judges by performing two songs, one of their own and the other taken from existing Gospel songs.
Based on the reaction of the audience, their favorites were Daynea Deacon-Jones, Dwight Fearri, Joelle Notice and Adeoluwa Adeoye.
Winner Daynea Deacon-Jones, is the holder of a BA in history education from the University of the West Indies (Mona) and is employed as a history teacher at Campion College, St Andrew.
Both of Jones’ appearance on the stage gave the audience pleasure and comfort.
The management team of JCDC quickly redecorated the stage and changed the set as each contestant performed.
The winner was selected based on creativity, usage of stage, diction, performance, tonality among other, which equates to a total of 50%.
Earlier, in the week the contestants had joined with the judges to cover other areas of the marking scheme to determine the winner at the grand finals.
The crowd was held throughout the competition with soothing and compelling gospel music. Many showed their appreciation by joining in, rocking to the beat and getting to their feet to express themselves.
Earlier, in the day numerous persons engaged themselves at the Independence Village, a cultural exhibition displaying Jamaican culture and craft, which commenced on August 1, at noon. That ends August 6, 2018. Many of those patrons at the Village stayed over and waited on the Gospel competition to see the winner.
There were performances from the outgoing champion, the 2017 winner, Shaughna- Lee Steele, who had the crowd captivated by her beautiful voice. Also performing was Prodigal Son who delighted the crowd with his hit songs such as ‘God again’, and ‘Hold on me’.