Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 21st 2013 Contents A36
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, December 21, 2013
Tisha Gittens receives her cheque for placing second
in the 2013 Digicel Rising Stars competition from
Digicel's Head of Marketing LoriAnn Glasgow.
PHOTO COURTESY DIGICEL
"I feel so blessed because the experience was noth-
ing short of a dream come true," she told the T&T
The former head girl at St Joseph Convent, St
Joseph, said part of the $150,000 prize money will
go towards her tertiary education as she plans to
study international relations at UWI St Augustine,
and the other part will be invested in her budding
Gittens placed second behind this year s winner
But even as the petite Cunupia native is celebrating
her achievement, looking back, she said she almost
did not make it into the competition.
"It was probably just my season because a lot of
things went wrong," said Gittens.
With a bold smile that displays evenly white teeth;
a soft spoken Gittens explained how forgetting her
national identification card at home almost cost her
"I only noticed it was missing when it was near
my turn to audition," she recalled.
She was eventually able to audition just mere min-
utes before the session ended.
"My mom had to leave San Fernando where the
audition took place to go home and get my ID card.
She made it back just minutes before the auditions
closed. It was really a close call," she said.
If that was not enough, Gittens who previously
entered the competition two years ago but was unsuc-
cessful, was told her audition was weak. She was
allowed a second chance which landed her among
the final 12 contestants.
"I sang two songs, Yolanda Adams Let Us Worship
Christ and Bonnie Raitt s Something To Talk About.
The latter is what really gave me the judges nod.
Looking back I can safely say the stars were truly
lined up for me," said Gittens.
Once her foot was in the door, she wasted no time
in marketing herself. She campaigned from her home
town to San Fernando, and also visited a few primary
and secondary schools to gain support from the pub-
"Because your success in the show relies solely on
public votes, you have to really sell yourself," said
Gittens described herself as the most inexperienced
performer in the competition, as many of her com-
petitors were seasoned performers. She said she really
had a difficult time in the early stages of the 12-week
"The very first two live shows I got some not so
good reviews from the judges. It was even said that
of the 12, I was the only one to continuously get
unfavourable reviews. I mean others got constructive
criticism too, but by far mine was more elaborate,"
She also had to deal with negative comments from
the public who would sometimes post distasteful
comments about her singing on the show s
Facebook page. This helped Gittens develop
a thick skin and instead of buckling she
took note and bucked up.
"I worked really hard vocally and on my
stage presence with the help of vocal coaches
Shelly-Ann Aqui and Vanessa Briggs. I also
took all the advice given by my mentor
Johnny Gonsalves who was also a judge. I
really wanted to improve my chances in the
competition and to also prove all the cynics
wrong," said Gittens.
Her hard work paid off as in the end Git-
tens made it to the top two in the compe-
"Each stage was different and challenging,
but I listened and learned and each time I
would come harder and stronger. I would
try to do something different with my voice,
costumes and my performances, even if it
meant including props. This really impressed
the judges and it felt good when they told
me they saw the vast improvements,"
At the end of the show, she said coming
second felt like first.
"I got exactly what I wanted which was
to be recognised in the local music industry
and the competition was the platform for
this. I was also happy for Ancil because we
both worked hard and he was like a big
brother to me throughout the entire com-
petition. He encouraged me many times,"
Asked what the entire experience taught
her, Gittens said she knows now never to
second guess herself as well as to make
what she has work for her.
"I did not really believe that much in
myself. I think now I am confident enough
to accomplish whatever I set my mind to.
I am no Mariah Carey or Celine Dion, I am
just Tisha Gittens....a girl who can sing.
And I want people to be able to look at me
and say because of what you did I am
inspired and encouraged," said Gittens.
Forgetting ID card almost cost losing audition
From Page A35
Links Archive December 20th 2013 December 22nd 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page