Hermese Ann Ambrose Sang her Way to the Top of the TSTT Talent Competition

TSTT Chairman Everald Snaggs presents the First Place prize to a beaming Hermese Ann Ambrose

Hermese Ann Ambrose stole the top spot at the TSTT Talent Competition on Saturday night, at the Centre of Excellence, with a pore raising rendition of The Commodores’, Jesus is Love.

Surely, no one envied the job of the judges who were asked to choose a winner from a talent packed competition that ranged from various genres of song, a monologue, a pan solo and a spoken word piece.

By the time Ambrose took the stage, the competition seemed to have already been in the hands of eventual second place finisher, Lesley Ann Gay of SOC/Service Operations, whose rendition of Nina Simone’s, Feeling Good brought the crowd to their feet for the first time on the night and begged for a repeat. Her powerful performance captivated the audience, completely changing the mood in the room as she dared to hit every note she attempted.

But even as the boisterous audience was still feeling good and dancing to Jill Scott’s, Its Love sang by Janine Caesar of RSB/Service Operations, who performed right before Ambrose, less than one verse into her performance, it was already clear that Ambrose had stolen the show. The Retail Sales/Mobile employee was obviously no stranger to competition as her performance adequately complemented her vocals and not only did she get the judges’ nod of approval, but the audience’s as well. By the time she was finished her delivery, the audience was on their feet and it took an extended amount of time to get them to quiet down again. It was no wonder that Ambrose also won the prize for Best Vocalist on the night.

Ambrose later confirmed that she is in fact no stranger to the stage, sharing that she comes from a musical family which started with her now late grandfather, Horace Reid who encouraged his family to get into music. Her mother, Irma Louison-Pinkerton is the choir director at her church, Wesleyan Holiness Church and the family has their own choir called Third Generation choir.

“I’ve been singing from conception, as I like to say,” Ambrose joked. “I’ve been involved in many other competitions and events including musical festival and scouting for talent.”

She expressed her excitement on having won the competition, admitting that it was a tough fight and she couldn’t tell which way the final decision would go based on the other contestants. “I was definitely elated about winning. I had no idea how the judges would have chosen because I considered each contestant excellent. It was a humbling experience and I am very grateful that I won.”

Ambrose also acknowledged her back-up singers, Gay and Ceasar, who, despite being contestants, were willing to do back up for her. “I want to thank my colleagues, Lesley-Ann and Janine Ceasar, I thought the fact that they sang back up for me was a very thoughtful gesture and I am very grateful to them. I must give kudos for that.”

Kyle Cowie followed Ambrose with an energetic performance of One Drop on the pan, but it was not enough to eclipse the damage that had already been done. Accompanied by dancers and his Payroll/Human Resources’ supporters, Cowie amped up the competition. He added to the already impressive entertainment and turned out to be another crowd favorite. He pulled out all the stops; even showing off a few dance moves himself and offering a slight remix to the popular Tarrus Riley hit.

Outside of the Ambrose/Gay battle though, the third spot would go to Carlton Louison of Corporate NW/Enterprise, who walked the audience into his performance of Phil Collins’, Against All Odds with a tale of infidelity and the subsequent begging for forgiveness from his wife after his office indiscretions. His delivery was as on point as his outfit was and enough to earn him third place. And if his name sounds vaguely familiar, he is in fact the son of Irma Louison- Pinkerton - Ambrose’s mother. The two made it a family affair and Ambrose also shared that her son and cousin placed second and first respectively in the karaoke competition that followed the talent show.

Louison was not the only one with tales of office indiscretions to share though, as Crystal Toussaint’s monologue titled ‘Riches to Rags’, proved to be good humor as she told a story about moving from being granted her heart’s desire while in a relationship with one of her managers at TSTT no less, before before being replaced, fired and ending up on the street. Her performance won her the award for Best Artistic Expression.

Lesley Ann Gay did herself proud copping second place at the TSTT Employee Talent Show and here she receives her prize from TSTT's Gerard Cooper


First Place: Hermese Ann Ambrose
Second Place: Lesley Ann Gay
Third Place: Carlton Louison

Best Vocalist: Hermese Ann Ambrose
Best Artistic Expression - Crystal Toussaint