Our Readers' Opinions
September 10, 2010
Most of CDC’s current judges need to take a rest

Fri, Sept 10, 2010

Editor: I am a Vincentian who once resided in New York, and as I sat here on this Labour Day Weekend, I reflected on aspects of Vincy Mas 2010 and decided to write this letter, which I had intended to submit one week after Carnival was over.{{more}}

I usually ensure I am at home for Vincy Mas annually, and I am always amazed by the bias and downright hypocrisy as promoted by Hot 97. The sentiments expressed on air have absolutely nothing to do with research, facts, educating people of the plain truth, but moreso about who you are and your relationship with the radio station. The following is just one example of this:

Hot 97 with the use of people like “Too Kool” and “Nose” took the judges to task when “Fireman” was announced as Ragga Soca King 2010. I am amazed that similar sentiments were not expressed by any of these two fanatics about the various issues of Skinny’s performance, why it is in my view, and the view of many, that he did not win Soca Monarch 2010 and Fireman was cheated.

I am aware that this year’s Soca Monarch Finals was going to be the most keenly contested show to date. Hot 97 favourite, Skinny, was attempting to secure his hattrick, while Fireman was attempting to regain his crown after winning six times previously. I, therefore, decided to look at this year’s show as though I were a judge. Let me hasten to add that I am neither a fan of Skinny nor Fireman; my favourite artiste did not place in this competition.

Please check the following facts which can be easily verified by (a) looking at unedited footage of the show and (b) the judging criteria.

1. Fireman sang his song with clarity and should score lots of points for rendition.

2. He should have also received more points than Skinny for melody, since his verse and chorus were played consistently, while Skinny’s music was like a DJ playing a loop while various things were being said and done on stage during his performance. (This also happened in Trinidad, hence he has never placed there, while Tallpree from Grenada did).

3. Fireman maintained his original melody while hitting Skinny with punch lines which evoked favourable crowd response. Skinny in the process of responding with punch lines to Fireman diverted to the use of melody of his Bajan song (Bumper in Trouble), thereby using two songs in his performance; this is illegal in competition.

4. The set up of Skinny’s props was like an intermission; he took the most time to get started. Separate and distinct from this, he also went over his actual performance time by 5 minutes. The judges were supposed to deduct points for each additional minute on stage.

5. I give Skinny due credit for coming up with such lavish presentation; his theatrics and fireworks on stage no doubt evoked great response from the crowd. Despite this, I would give him only 6 points in this category as the maximum allowed is only 10 points. I get the impression that most people believe that crowd response is 90 points. An artiste can score maximum points for crowd response and not win the competition, if they score poorly in the other categories. Radio stations ought to educate the public.

6. The reason for the allocation of only 6 points for crowd response as stated in item 5 above is that while the lyrics in Skinny’s song clearly say “Like a pack of Duracell….we charge up” his presentation on stage clearly displayed the charging number of “Energizer” bunnies, a competing brand. So if he was singing about KFC, would we expect to see Church’s Chicken on stage? Wake up, judges.

7. Many persons close to the judges’ platform were surprised when a foreign judge clearly displayed his bias for Skinny when he got up and danced during Skinny’s performance. While we accept all of this here, I know for sure that this type of nonsense will never be accepted in Barbados. This is like a Cricket umpire jumping in celebration and then giving the signal for six runs.

It is amazing that none of these points were raised on Hot 97. On the other hand, if Fireman had done one or even two of the above, we all would have heard them repeatedly.

I am convinced that some judges on reading this article and on reflection would feel badly that on the night of Soca Monarch they failed to examine properly what was being presented on stage.

I am, therefore, appealing to persons interested in the development of the art-form to volunteer to be trained to become judges so the CDC can have a wider pool of judges to choose from. Clearly, most of the current judges need to take a rest.

Vibert Kydd