Veteran calypsonian, Edwin Yearwood, will lead the pack at this year’s Pic-O-De Crop finals, to be held at Kensington Oval on Saturday, August 5, beginning at 8 p.m.
The finalists drew for their positions earlier Wednesday at the Mount Gay Visitors Centre and for the most part, were happy with their positions and excited to be in the competition.
Edwin, from De Big Show calypso tent, is back after a more than 20-year absence and will be trying to dethrone reigning monarch Aziza, who will be performing at position number nine.
Aziza said today that she felt good and was more than ready to defend her crown. “I’m working really hard to prepare myself. I feel that I can do it again. There’s no pressure. I’m focusing on myself. Expect massive things from me come finals night,” she said.
However, Aziza can expect some stiff competition as the other competitors are coming hard.
Chrystal Cummins-Beckles told Bajan Vibes she was ready to get on stage and have fun. “Being in the finals, I feel fantastic. I just want to go out there and have fun and give the audience and the judges a great show and stick within the criteria and do what I need to do,” she said.
“I pulled number two, this is the highest ever I have pulled, but I intend to just go do Chrystal. I don’t like the stress that finals bring, in terms of pulling numbers and so on. But everything happens for a reason. The Lord knows best,” Cummins-Beckles added.
Sir Ruel said that he too was glad to be in the finals and was pleased with his number. “Any number is good for me. It doesn’t really matter. Come to the show and see some surprises, just expect a great show from me. I’m feeling a little pressure because people expect me to go out there and do well,” he said.
Veteran campaigner, Smokey Burke, said for him, a number was a number and he intended to go out and do his best. “Unless you are able to exchange the number that you pull, you are stuck with it so you have to find a way to make it work for you. I pulled number one in the semifinals so I think that worked for me. Expect Smokey Burke on the big day,” he said.
Former monarch Classic expressed delight to be in his 11th final and said he was expecting a very keenly contested competition. “I’m happy so far. I’m glad about the response to my songs and I’m encouraged by the support from the public so far and I’m grateful to be in the finals another time. I’m glad that Edwin is back in competition. He’s a good person and a great artiste,”
Classic said although there was pressure, he was still looking forward to a good show. “There’s always pressure, but I try to take it in stride and just let the things unfold and prepare prepare prepare. But it’s always pressure because it’s a competition and you want to do your best but I don’t let it overwhelm me,” he added.
Another former monarch, A.C, said he was pleased to be in the finals and expected a great show. “Another year, another finals. I’m going to go out there and try to do much better than I did the last couple of times but I’m just going to go out there and have fun. The audience can expect the usual from me. I’m going to go out there and do my best and sing. I just enjoy singing so I enjoy that, no matter what happens I’m going to have fun,” he said.
A.C went on: “There’s no pressure. I’ve been doing this too long to have pressure. Obviously I would have concerns but nothing that would make me lose sleep or get an anxiety attack. I was never that kind of person so I don’t think I’m going to start now.”
The full line up in order of appearance is as follows:
1. Edwin Yearwood (De Big Show)
2. Chrystal Cummins-Beckles (De Big Show)
3. A.C (De Big Show)
4. Observer (House of Soca)
5. Sir Ruel (House of Soca)
6. Donella (All Stars)
7. Classic (De Big Show)
8. Colin Spencer (All Stars)
9. Aziza (All Stars)
10. Smokey Burke (Super Gladiators)
11. iWeb (De Big Show)