Arthur Allain’s singing challenge has taken Saint Lucia by storm. The social media challenge which was introduced by the five time Groovy Monarch last year is undoubtedly a great platform for local singers, and many persons embraced it immediately. This year, $10,000 in cash and prizes was up for grabs and that certainly made the offer more appealing!
Deshawn Danvy Augustin is the winner of this year’s Arthur Allain Challenge; he’s immensely talented and Deshawn, who hails from Vieux Fort, sets souls on fire every time he performs. (Check out our video on Facebook and Instagram.) Below, the 18-year-old tells us all about his latest victory and more.
You participated in the challenge both in 2018 and 2019. Tell us about your 2018 experience.
Last year, I took part in the challenge and was hopeful that I would make it to the final selection. However, I placed 10th overall. I was a bit disappointed, but because I always challenge myself to various opportunities, I knew that time would certainly present itself. Whilst browsing Facebook sometime in October, I realized that the challenge was back so I ensured that I submitted my video and I am happy I did, because today I am the 2019 KFC Arthur Allain Challenge winner.
Let’s talk about 2019. This year was arguably tougher as the process was different. The event was televised; finalists had to perform on stage, in front of an audience, and also received critique from judges; the voting system was changed as well. What was that like for you?
I am an entertainer (I dramatize, I sing, I dance and I have also taken part in two pageants). In addition, I have also worked in the entertainment department of a well-known establishment, so being on stage is my comfort zone, especially having performed in so many different competitions in the past. However, given the recording contract that comes with winning this competition, and the opportunities presented if I should win, I knew I had to do my best. But as soon as I stepped on stage, I was in my comfort zone; I had my family who came from Vieux-Fort to support me, and friends and well-wishers who believed in me; I knew I had to deliver- and I did. It was very nerve-wracking knowing that although I did my best on the night, the results could have gone any way, however.
You went up against some really talented individuals although you easily stood out. Did you feel the pressure to step up this year?
Whenever I perform, I give it my all, so being part of this competition and having such talented individuals going up against me, I knew I had to deliver. The pressure was definitely up this year; having to perform live and having judges critique your performance right after.
You always give your best on stage but you truly performed from the heart at the finale. Can you tell us a bit about your performance?
My biological mom passed away a few years ago. She always encouraged me to sing and was my biggest supporter. When she left us, it created an empty space, but I remembered what she always wanted for me and I made a promise to persevere and take every challenge head on. I thought that the song ‘Never Enough’ (from ‘The Greatest Showman’) spoke to my situation and the fact that I continue to excel in all what I put my mind to do, despite losing the most important person in my life.
What did you learn from the competition?
I learnt that Saint Lucia has a lot of talents and that creating an avenue for young persons like myself can really have a positive impact on the future of this country.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to thank the Almighty for the breath of life and for giving me my many talents. Special thanks to Arthur Allain for giving me and the other contestants this wonderful opportunity. Shout out to my family who continues to support me throughout all my endeavours – and they are many. To my friends, coworkers and well-wishers both here and abroad, a heartfelt thanks for all your support and encouragement throughout this process.