Our Readers' Opinions
August 7, 2012
Disappointed with Miss Carival pageant, Soca Monarch show

Tue, Aug 7. 2012

Editor: I went to the Victoria Park to attend one of the region’s prestigious pageants, but was very disappointed. My first disappointment came from the panel of judges. How can we have a local show and do not have one judge that is residing in St Vincent and the Grenadines, rather five imported judges from across the region? I applaud the CDC’s effort to be transparent and objective in the judging, but how can we put our local queen at such a disadvantage?{{more}}As Shaunelle McKenzie sang some years ago, ‘We dor like we’. This is evident when Ms Carice Glasgow spoke about the YES programme as a means to reduce unemployment, a concept that is foreign to these judges and would have placed her at a disadvantage in the scoring of these regional judges. Her talent also, which was localised, would not have had any serious impact on the said judges, because of their inability to identify with the criticisms of a Vincentian queen.

My disappointment was further compounded by the representation of our local translators and the injustice they gave to the Dominican Republic and Venezuelan contestants. Being bilingual myself, I was very disgusted by the efforts of the translators who did not convey the questions as asked to the contestants and in some instances, made the contestants give inappropriate answers. What are the CDC’s criteria for a translator, anyone who knows Spanish? Or anyone who speaks Spanish? This was an embarrassment to the country for an event that is listened to and viewed throughout the Caribbean, as if Vincentians cannot speak Spanish. I beg to add that there are many persons who were schooled in Cuba and Venezuela and have the ability to represent St Vincent well in translating. Moreso, there are certified translators in St Vincent and the Grenadines and the CDC must utilize these persons to save St Vincent and the Grenadines any further embarrassment.

My disappointment was transferred from the Friday to Saturday at the Soca Monarch show. I fail to believe that Fireman Hooper did not enter the show because the prize monies were not increased. While there is a cost to produce their music, is that their only motive for enterering the show, or the love for performing and the fans? If money is the only motive, I will suggest that Fireman Hooper and Skinny Fabulous stay out the soca monarch. CDC must not increase the prize monies from $21,000. Artistes must be cognisant of the prize monies and plan a presentation significantly less than what they will be rewarded if they win. I hope when the CDC increases the prize monies, we, as patrons, will be satisfied to pay an increased entrance fee. One of the artistes made comparison of the soca monarch prize value to Ms SVG’s prize. Can a queen enter Ms SVG more than once? Is the soca monarch as psychologically damaging as the Ms SVG?

If we are to examine the various components of both shows, then the artiste will not make such a statement. Shortly the calypsonians will ask for an increase on their prize monies. The soca monarch artistes need to count their blessings, as they are receiving prize monies of six month’s salary of an intern doctor at MCMH and have the honour of representing St Vincent in Trinidad’s soca monarch, all expenses paid by National Lotteries, Ministry of Tourism and other sponsoring agents.

While I agree that CDC normally outputs unnecessary monies, artistes must not engage in conspicuous consumerism when planning their theatrical presentations. In spite of it all, I want to wish Skinny Fabulous all the best in Trinidad and hope he represents the wickedest set of people on this earth to the best of his ability. What a shameful way to portray your own people live on the World Wide Web and we jumping and waving like if it is something good that was said about a God-fearing nation like St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Finally, when I look at the guest artistes for both shows, I think the CDC really mixed up their list. Zoelah, Fire Empress and Nadia Batson were really inappropriate for the Ms Carival show and instead should have been switched with the soca monarch guest artiste Becket, Winston Soso and P’tani Brah, who I thought took away the hype from the expectations of the soca monarch show, but would have been ideal for the reserved and mature audience at Ms Carival.

Mr CDC Chairman, when you are doing your post mortem, I want you to take these things into consideration so that Vincy Mas, the hottest carnival in the Caribbean can continue to be the major event on the calendar.