dr rum

SXM \ HILVERSUM–Dr. Rum, the artiste name of St. Maarten rapper Jernaldo Thielman, and his partner April made it to the semi finals of the popular talent show The Voice of Holland. Their performance on Friday was a big success and they scored the highest amount of public votes.

Dr. Rum (24) and April (27) had the honour of being the opening act during Friday’s live show of The Voice of Holland on RTL with their two-minute version of the song “Billionaire,” originally of American recording artiste Travie McCoy, featuring Bruno Mars.

April sang the first part after which Dr. Rum made his entry being pushed onto the stage on a green sofa chair by two ladies. Dr. Rum, dressed in a funky US $100 bill suit, did his part dancing along with a set of professional dancers, and at one point even walked into the audience.

The duet got the audience, which included family and friends, crazy. People were clapping and dancing. The team leaders of the show got up from their chairs and swung along. April and Dr. Rum got a standing ovation from the audience. TV viewers at home loved them too because they got the highest number of public votes, cast via the app, sms or telephone.

Dutch rapper Ali B., April and Dr. Rum’s team leader, said in his live comments right after the performance that he was very proud. “This was so great. Really!” He complimented Dr. Rum for having grown over the different shows, since the first blind auditions. “Nobody at the time knew where this was going. But you have shown us that you are good. You bring a lot of happiness, not only here but also at home.”

Team leader Trijntje Oosterhuis said April and Dr. Rum radiated energy and positivism, the performance being natural, without the nervousness that many other talent show candidates displayed. “It instantly got 10 degrees warmer here,” she said.

April and Dr. Rum will go on to the semi finals, along with seven other candidates. During the semi finals this Friday four candidates will be sent home. Four candidates will go on to the finals the week after.

“It felt so amazing. I didn’t expect this. I am so grateful,” Dr. Rum told The Daily Herald on Sunday. “We worked really hard to get here. As I said before, any next performance has to be better than the one before,” he said.

About Friday’s performance, Dr. Rum said: “April was able to shine with her beautiful voice, and I could rap and dance. I was in my comfort zone. This is my thing. I truly enjoyed it, even more so than the previous performances.”

The past weeks have been like a roller coaster for the St. Maarten born rapper who moved to the Netherlands five years ago to study music and producing at the Albeda College in Rotterdam. “It has been crazy, a whole lot of emotions. People recognise me now in the supermarket and train. They want to take photos with me. People stare at you. It took me some time to get accustomed to it,” he said. The Voice of Holland is viewed by some 2.5 million people each week.

Dr. Rum and April, as well as the other candidates, have been training several days a week. “It is getting more intense now. What can I say, it is really a dedication.”And the next show? “I really don’t know. You can’t predict these things, but don’t forget that I won already by coming this far.” – The Daily Herald