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YVA simply amazing

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Biko Kennedy and Danielle McCook, Youthlink Writers

"I can't believe it's already 2013 and we're staging our sixth YVAs! Six years of keeping it young, hot and hype!" were the words uttered by YVAs creator, CEO of An Elegant Affair, Karen Clarke, on Saturday, February 2, at the Youth View Awards (YVAs) ceremony. Undeniably one of the most-anticipated and talked-about events on the entertainment calendar, the YVAs didn't disappoint and sure enough left patrons yearning for more.

Props to the host

DJ Bambino came out in full force on Saturday night, exceeding everyone's expectations. Sure, he did play co-host with Rocsi Diaz in 2011, but as a solo act, he stood his ground, played favourites with numerous presenters and kept the energy flowing throughout the National Indoor Sports Centre. Clad in a black tuxedo - later changing into his second look for the night - Bambino made it clear that no celebrity was safe from his comedic onslaught. His laugh-out-loud, side-clenching comedic antics reminiscent of Kevin Hart at the 2011 BET Awards; poking fun at a few celebs inclusive of Bounty Killer Elephant Man, Shaggy and Sean Paul.

The night's highlights were the performances

Opening with a highly energised bacchanalian number, the night's performances swept everyone away. Cherine Anderson played umpire for team Haffi Come Back as Omi made it clear that he was the field commander, ensuring that his cheerleaders were well instructed. Voicemail guaranteed female patrons the opportunity to Clap it Up, while RDX encouraged all ladies present to Jump to a slew of their current hits. Who could forget Tifa, the night's biggest winner's performance, as she brought onstage the Jamaican Paralympics team. The audience held on to every note during the customary YVAs Bob Marley tribute, as 2006 Digicel Rising Stars winners One Third belted out an harmonised rendition of Bob Marley's 1980 hit single, Could You be Loved. While I-Octane's incited laughter as he performed his newest release, Gyal a Gimmi Bun, Christopher Martin seemed to want nothing more than to rally back to his Chill Spot. As expected, the highlight of the sixth staging proved to be the dance performances interspersed within the programme. From YVAs alums Shady Squad to 2012 On the Verge winners Dominant Team and our very own flash mob.

Overall

The night was well spent. Between Bambino, the winners, performances and hilarious commentary via patrons and the Youthlink team, the 2013 Youth View Awards had a little bit of everything to keep us talking and anticipating the next year's staging.

#YVAsFeedback

We caught up with a few artistes to hear their take on the night that was.

I-Octane [@Realioctane] - "I was only expecting one award tonight - if any at all - for Favourite Cultural Artiste of the Year but sharing the award for Celebrity Role Model of the Year with Usain Bolt is simply wow! I do my ever best to put out the necessary work and it has paid off. I certainly have to thank everyone who voted for me because without my fan base I'll be just another artisteƉSo once again #GiveThanks #siiiick."

Sizzla [@SizzlaKalonji] - "It's my first time at the YVAs and I'm very pleased with everything, especially the performances. I'm glad to see productions of this nature be supported this way. All praises to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, Jah Rastafari."

Cherine Anderson [@CherineAnderson] - "Well preparing for my performance really went pretty much as any other performance. Putting in crazy rehearsal times 'cause you really don't know what you may have to work with at the appointed time. So we wanted it to be fun, centred on the whole sports-day theme with [the] Super Bowl being tomorrow [February 3]. So it was really a celebration and I wanted to be the umpire (laughs). So it's team #hafficomeback all the way!"

Omi [@OMIMUSICONLINE] - "This being my first performance at the YVAs, you know I had to bring my 'A' game and certainly something different. Entering the stage with the marching band and cheerleaders escort was great, and to hear the audience singing along to my songs was truly amazing! It was such a special feeling to perform to my home crowd and 2013 will certainly be a great year and hopefully next year I might be nominated for a few awards #fingerscrossed."

Bounty Killer [@GrungGaadZillA] - "The production of the show was really put together well and entertaining and, as you saw, the crowd loved the performances. Might just have to show up next year again #Alliance."

Tifa [@tifamusic] - "Praises be to the Almighty first and foremost! And I definitely have to thank all who voted for me and persons who have and continue to support me and my career. #TeamTifa walked away with four awards this year and I wouldn't say it was expected nor was I lost for words, but hard work does pay off and without #TeamTifa I would be a nobody in the industry#justsaying."

Beenie Man [@KingBeenieMan] - "Trust me, YVAs giving BET and MTV awards a run for their money (chuckles). Being appreciated as an artiste is one thing but being appreciated as an artiste in your own country and seeing your fan base cheering you one is a totally different story. Best wishes go out to Karen [Clarke] and her team to keep up the good work with this event #zagga #cleanheart."

Sean Paul [@duttypaul] - "YVAs being an award show of its nature is a good look for the entertainment fraternity and we as artistes need to fully understand that our songs are impacting the world in major ways and we're looked upon as a source of inspiration - from our sound to our style ethics - so even though I received the award for Favourite Local International Artiste tonight we're all local and international artistes #rrrr"

DJ Bambino [@Bambinomusik] - "Well tonight went as expected; high-energy, good vibe and an overall fun-filled event. Hosting for a second year was great and the crowd just latched on to everything, so the experience wasn't just good ... it was great!"

DJ Kalkutta [@djkalkutta] - "Oh wow, there's nowhere as energetic and live as Jamaica. Truly a great experience here hanging out the greats like Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Sizzla and Sean Paul. Hey, watching Sean Paul watch stuff could be a sport, right (laughs)? #jamrock #boutthatlife." 

View Photo highlights here: http://youthlinkjamaica.com/gallery/yva-simply-amazing

For more scenes from the YVAs visit our 2013 YVAs album 'YL Social: Youth View Awards and After Party 2013' on Facebook www.fb.com/YouthlinkJamaica