The 18 finalists of the 2019 Courtesy Pic-O-De-Crop Competition are rearing to dethrone reigning monarch Mr Blood and claim the grand prize of $100,000 cash or a 2019 Nissan X-Trail from Courtesy Garage.
The finalists selected their positions Wednesday evening at the Kensington Oval. Sammy Dello from Cave Shepherd All Stars Calypso Tent will be the show opener on August 2. He will be followed by the lone wolf from Straycats Calypso Tent, Sammy Jane, newcomer Faith, TC, Eric Lewis, defending monarch Mr Blood, Edwin Yearwood, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles, Sammy G, Jamal Slocombe, Adrian Clarke, Donella, Kid Site, Classic, Mistah Dale, Rameses and Jude Clarke.
Event producer Aja Andwele described this year’s social commentary competition as a “calypso war”. He suggested that because of the revamped one-song format, the standard and quality of the music has significantly improved.
“Everybody will be going out blazing, that is the difference with this show. From the time [the contestants] are introduced expect a high-intensity performance across the board. People are saying it is going to be a calypso war, that is what you are going to get,” said Andwele.
This year also marks the inclusion of a number of new faces to the competition such as Rameses, Faith (who is also in the finals of the Soca Monarch Competition), Jamal Slocombe and Teri. Though new to the Pic-O-De-Crop, the newcomers are seasoned performers as well.
Following this year’s lineup of contestants, Aja determined that the future of Barbadian calypso was in good hands and assured that patrons can expect a fierce battle at the Kensington Oval.
“The future of calypso in Barbados is safe. On one stage you will see the youth, people who [would have been] performing for over 12 years, people who have performed for six, people who have made Pic-O-De-Crop for the first time and people who have come out of the Junior Monarch competition like Teri and JSlo…
“The future looks safe and they are competing with seasoned competitors and you cannot pick a winner right now, you cannot say this person is going to win or that person is going to win because it is so strong,” he attested.
Newcomer, Teri, who is the youngest competitor and a former Junior Monarch said that she was “excited” and “ready to go”. She was confident in her song Up In Arms written by the Water Street Boyz and she had a supportive team consisting of Red Plastic Bag, Cheyne Jones and Antoine Brudda Daddy Williams behind her.
“It is about giving the best that you have and I know a lot of people will be looking and saying ‘she is a nobody’ but watch out because I am going to give a great show,” she stated.
Sammy G from the House of Soca also said she was not intimidated by the impressive line up of veteran and rising stars. The 22-year-old told Barbados TODAY she considered herself one of the “big dogs” now.
“I am not intimidated by the veterans because I consider myself as one of the 18 picked out of 95 calypsonians being judged because I am a big dog. Eighteen out of 95 is a really good feeling especially competing with so many calypsonians in the art form,” she indicated. (KK)