No love for Kei Kei - Nasty comments force contestant out of Rising Stars
Imagine being told that your inclusion in a competition is purely for comic relief. It is almost like being the 'Iron Dawg' in the Contender Boxing series, or worse yet Rankin Pumpkin, the Japanese 'Samurai Warrior', who nearly won the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall competition a year ago.
Well, Daniell 'Kei Kei' Shelton felt people viewed her in a similar manner, and despite being convinced that she is a talented vocalist, the Portland-born singer decided to withdraw from Season 15 of the Digicel Rising Stars competition.
This is a first in the history of the competition, as she is the first contestant to withdraw from the show.
Kei Kei said that she has been subjected to the venomous, nasty and disgusting comments from people who disapprove of her singing, and so she has decided to walk away.
"You have some people, they are just really outright disrespectful and disgusting. Not because somebody makes a couple mistakes means they don't have the talent. If I didn't have the talent, I wouldn't even make the first round of the judges in the audition," Kei Kei said.
Despite making it to the top 10 of the talent show, Kei Kei has been a nervous wreck on stage, and her woes have not been helped by the fact that her off-key singing is being televised live on TVJ.
"It comes with a lot of pressure. You are on TV, so everybody knows you now. So if you make one single mistake, or two or three or four, everybody is going to be on you," a disappointed Kei Kei said.
"Sometimes you can't walk on the road in peace. It has been difficult. I even had somebody pass my gate once and said: 'Yuh caah sing, yuh need to come off Rising Star'."
The 19-year-old aspiring artiste said that the nasty comments have been numerous, but the one that hurt the most is one that likened her to Rankin Pumpkin.
"Everything they said was very hurtful," said Kei Kei before pointing to the Rankin Pumpkin comparison, in which it was said she is a publicity stunt for people to watch the show.
"I was very hurt by that one," said Kei Kei.
Having pulled out of the competition, Kei Kei has apologised to her voters for not continuing with the show.
"I want to do better and give the voters better value for their money. I can't do that at this point in time. And while I appreciate all the support I've received so far, I would feel worse if I went on to let down my voters and my home community," she said.
Kei Kei, who says she always wanted to become a biochemist, says she wants do what is necessary to get into that field and excel.
"When you are in the lab, you don't have people bothering you about things, and being a bio-technician, I will basically be the person who will be overseeing everybody's health."
However, she has made it clear that Jamaica has not seen the last of her.
"I am not giving up on music. Music is something that I was born with. I have always had the talent, and I am going to always sing no matter what anybody is saying. Whether I am on or off key, I know everybody has to go through this in life. I remember the world used to say Rihanna cannot sing and that she can't compare to singers like BeyoncÈ. Look at her now, everybody now saying she is the greatest. People will talk and then change their mouths in coming years," said Kei Kei.
The young artiste said that she intends to fix her stage fright and undergo vocal training in a bid to ensure that she is able to rise from the ash.