Members of The Experience Calypso Tent were the first out the blocks to face the 2016 Pic-O-De-Crop judges Wednesday night at Ball Park in Christ Church.
Eight of the tent members presented two social commentaries each, all in hopes of making it to the semi-finals of the competition.
De Ambassador was first up with The Life Song. He was in fine voice, but his offering was not lyrically strong. His second song You Got To Abstain was also not strong on lyrics. He addressed the need for persons to abstain.
With perhaps stronger material, De Ambassador could go far in years to come.
Apache was a joy to watch delivering two well-written social commentaries in Mr Forgetful and For The People. In the first song, Apache addressed a problem that has plagued him time and time again –– forgetting his lyrics on judging night. In the cleverly written piece, he also spoke about things that many Government members seem to have forgotten about.
A strong contender for a spot in the semis, both of his songs were well received by the audience.
Billboard too should make it to the July 18 show at the National Stadium. He was definitely the standout of the night with his two commentaries State Of De Art and Lick Dem. His witty but serious Lick Dem, presenting his views on corporal punishment, earned him an encore.
Complementing his self-penned and self-arranged song were his attire as an old man and a presentation that made his performance superb. State Of De Art was not far removed in quality and was also very well received.
Sammi Jane’s rendition of I Refuse was masterful, and a joy to listen too. Appearing quite comfortable delivering the song, her vocals were on point.
Her second song Bim Feelin was not as strong on lyrics as the first, and was not as well received by the audience.
De Blackeagle was clear in his self-written and Mike Sealy-arranged Condemnation and We Want To Live.
Vision also gave a good showing with his two pieces Barbados En Gem No More and My Home.
Also appearing before the judges was Njeri and King David.
Noticeably absent were last year’s finalist and semi-finalist Enobong and De Doctor, respectively.
Emcee Lyrical kept the standing-room-only crowd entertained throughout the night as he helped to create a relaxing atmosphere for patrons and performers.