They came. They Saw. They Conquered. Team Overcome secured the top prize of over $1 million dollars in cash and prizes and the bragging rights for winning the long-awaited Season 16 Charles Chocolates Dancin’ Dynamites 2020/2021 grand finale on Saturday.
The journey began for the Dynamites in January 2020 with the usual launch of the season. But everything since, has been anything but customary. Due to the pandemic, the Competition was paused to ensure the safety of the competitors and stakeholders. As the organisers geared up for the live grand finale, news came of Tropical Storm Elsa threatening Jamaica. As the trajectory for the system fluctuated, the production team was busy adjusting plans to accommodate a successful staging of the event, and that they did.
Fearless, the four finalists Team Overcome, A1 Family, Strike Team, and Team Ovadose, were ready to put their best foot forward for their chance to lift the winning trophy. The evening officially kicked off with each team’s opening performances that rocked the Excelsior Community College auditorium with high energy, and exhilarating screams from supporters who were present to witness the showdown.
When the dust cleared for the evening, and all the votes were counted, Team Overcome, which is comprised of three members – Marcel Pitter (21), Renardo Peart (26) and Paul McDermott (13), who all hail from May Pen, Clarendon emerged the winner of the Charles Chocolates Dancin’ Dynamites 2020/2021 grand finale. In an interview, the team’s leader, Marcel Pitter said the journey to the championship had many challenges.
But for the group, overcoming the setbacks from the team and then COVID-19 is a part of what makes them special. “Even when the Competition was postponed, we stayed together and pushed each other by practicing daily and entering competitions on Instagram. We never doubted ourselves and knew from the beginning that we were going to win so we would campaign daily up in the communities in May Pen until about 7pm and then practice until about 1am,” he stated.
Pitter, who entered the Competition before, but was not successful, shared that the support of the community, family and friends went a long way in making his team’s victory a reality. “The community is proud of us and they always motivated us even when we were practicing because they were happy that we were representing them so well,” he added.
Roxanne Brown, Brand Manager of Charles Chocolates, the title sponsor of the Competition for over 11 years, said she is proud to be on board to lead the sponsorship and to assist with the development of Jamaica’s youth. “Jamaica is built on talent. We stand out in every sphere of life thanks to our tenacious spirit and the passion we bring to everything we do,” she said. “We have some very talented young people in our country and we are happy that Charles Chocolates has been assisting them in their personal growth through the expression of dance and healthy competition.”
While viewers at home and in the audience made one last effort to give their favourite team the most votes, Laalee and Yaksta took the stage with engaging performances that had everyone singing along and dancing up a storm. Good timing, too, as the Charles Chocolates team had a surprise treat for those who braved the weather to attend the grand finale – complimentary samples of their new vertical-design tablet bar.
When all the votes were tallied, Team Overcome copped the grand prize and a host of other awards that exceeded $1 million; Strike Team placed 2nd and received $400,000; A1 Family received the 3rd place prize of $200,000; and Team Ovadose walked away with the 4th place prize of $50,000. Strike Team also won this year’s People’s Choice award, taking home a $20,000 cash prize from Charles Chocolates for bringing their best performance every week of the competition.
Charles Chocolates also presented an Outstanding Dynamite Award of $15,000 to Tommy Lee Dixon for being a driving force who carries the spirit of the Competition wherever he goes. Dixon was a member of City Dancers, the team that won the Charles Chocolates Dancin’ Dynamites Competition in 2017. He has appeared in music videos with Ky-Mani Marley, Stefflon Don, Lil Mama, and Shane O. He built his skills by using his prizes from the Competition, including a scholarship to the Edna Manley School of Dance, and now he performs in over ten hotels as leader of Jam Dynamites.
Commenting after the successful staging of the grand finale, Brown said the past year has seen unprecedented challenges but she is pleased with the end results. “Our event sponsors and partners are the best. They were not deterred by the pandemic and we just want to express our deepest gratitude as we look forward to working with them for even more explosive Charles Chocolates Dancin’ Dynamites competitions.”
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