Expect the finals of the Courtesy/Mount Gay Pic-O-De-Crop competition to be a close one with ten seasoned calypsonians on stage. The show which is slated for August 3 is not one to miss.
The ten finalists drew their positions Wednesday night at the Courtesy Garage Wildey headquarters with AC starting the show, followed by Billboard, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles, Smokey Burke, Mr Blood, Donella, iWeb, Kid Site, Structure and Jude Clarke.
Although Paul Billboard Murrell pulled the second slot, he was excited to make it to the finals for the first time. Known for the controversial social commentary Sex Change which has made waves during the season, Billboard told Barbados TODAY “I’m going to give it my best”.
Meanwhile, Jude Clarke who will be the last competitor was completely shocked by his selection.
“I came here with a particular number in mind so when I pulled the position I was surprised. I got here hoping that four would have been the number, but apparently it isn’t and I’m accepting it,” explained Clarke.
One of the two females in the finals, Crystal Cummins-Beckles said she was happy with third place and she will be bringing her best on finals night.
“I am looking to do what Crystal does best and that is to go out there and put on a show for the people, enjoy myself, meet the criteria and do my best,” said Cummins-Beckles who has made it to the Pic-O-De-Crop finals for the ninth time.
During the function, Minister of Culture, Creative Economy and Sports John King disclosed that the competitors will be receiving a performance fee of $2, 000.
He also revealed that in 2019, calypsonians will be able to record their music through the Cultural Industries Development Agency. “There will no excuses of people saying they haven’t heard the songs. It will depend solely on the tent managers and the calypsonians to get the material ready to suit from May 1,” revealed the Minister.
Minister King argued that the social commentary being produced was of the highest quality. However, the calypso monarch competition had taken a dive in popularity and the combined efforts of the private sector, artistes and Government were needed for its revival.
“Pic-O-De-Crop needs to go back to being the premiere competition not only in Barbados but across the Caribbean,” said King, adding that this would be possible through initiatives such as the CIDA.
The Minister of Creative of Economy suggested that big plans were in the works for 2019, saying “I expect we will develop a new culture, a culture of excellence in everything that we do, a culture of productivity, a culture of being able to give praise where praise is due especially to our own”.
Events Producer for the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) Aja also encouraged the ten finalists who will be vying to dethrone iWeb for the 2019/2019 Nissan X-Trail compliments Courtesy Garage, to be the beacons for the future of kaiso in Barbados and the Caribbean.
“We have seen a sort of waning in Pic-O-De-Crop over the years, [in] social commentary,” he mentioned, adding ”Our calypso is holding the fort for the survival of social commentary not only in Barbados but in the entire Caribbean”. (KK)