Baje ‘miracle’ win for Tarique O’neal-Griffith

Twenty-two-year-old St John resident Tarique O’neal-Griffith was the deserved winner of Baje To The World Season 2 which ended on Saturday night in the historic Golden Square Freedom Park in Bridgetown, St Michael.

In addition to the large cash prize of $20 000, he landed the opportunity to tour and sing with Trinidad’s soca couple Fay-Ann Lyons and Bunji Garlin after besting the other eight contestants, including second place Shontae Alleyne-Clarke and Dianne Jemmott, who placed third.

O’neal-Griffith’s performance of the 2015 award winning Sam Smith song Writing On The Wall from the James Bond movie Spectre in the first half, was superb and gained him not one, but two standing ovations. In the second half, where all nine contestants had to sing soca, his choice of Don Trent’s 2015 popular song When Tomorrow Comes suited him and sealed the deal.

After dozens of photos and congratulatory greetings, he told the media he felt “amazing” and despite the “few doubts” he had, “miracles do happen”. O’neal-Griffith also said he did what he had to clinch the title.

The employee of the City of Bridgetown Cooperative Credit Union expressed gratitude to the company for sponsoring and supporting him, as well as other supporters and stated he was “so proud of himself”.

O’neal-Griffith, a former student of St Leonard’s Boys’ Secondary School, has competed in the Richard Stoute Teen Talent contest and NIFCA. In 2019, he and Renetta Haynes-Layne were the St John Parish Ambassadors. They placed third.

The finale ended a six-month journey for the contestants that saw them going through various challenges, attending developmental workshops and being mentored by seasoned artistes. The show is initiative of the Community Development Department in the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment. (GBM)

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