Lyric Live crowns new champion of the stage

“Diamonds in a Ruff” wows the audience with high notes

Erick Johnson | 4/10/2014, 9 a.m.

It was the end of the road for Mailyn Cuadra.

The defending champion of Lyric Live was no match for “Diamonds in a Ruff”, a young, all-male group that took away the crown on a tough night for performers at the talent show in Overtown on Friday.

The quartet drew a thunderous standing ovation from the crowd after signing a heartfelt rendition of Boyz II Men’s "End of the Road."

The group includes Demetrious Sams, Gregory Sams, Markell Sams and Charles Coley.

They brought the crowd to their feet with impressive high notes at the historic Lyric Theatre. That performance was enough to oust two-time winner Cuadra from the throne she has held since the competition started after the renovated theatre reopened in February.

The group won $500 and chance to defend the title during the next show in May. After announced as the winners, the group gathered in a huddle for an emotional hug then thanked the audience for its support.

"Thanks to you all for all your support during this time," they said.

It was not a great night for Cuadra, the Kendall resident who dominated ‘Lyric Live’ with her impressive vocal range on popular ballads by Jennifer Holiday and Whitney Houston. On this night, she performed another Houston song, “I Have Nothing” and sounded flat at times and occasionally off key.

Despite her performance, Cuadra earned an invitation to compete in the year-end “Lyric Live All Stars” competition because she won the competition twice.

The evening was also tough for other performers, three of who were booed after failing to impress the usual tough crowds. One was booed but recovered while singing Oleta Adams' love ballad "Get Here."