Jensen La Vende
None of this year’s Carnival-related competitions will be counted as part of the official records, according to chairman of the National Carnival Commission (NCC) Winston Peters, though he said promoters were free to host any of them.
“There is no Carnival 2021 so the NCC won’t recognise any winner for any event,” he said last Saturday when asked about The Monarch (the new name of the International Soca Monarch contest).
The Monarch is one of three Carnival events that will now be held virtually.
On Tuesday, the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO) announced that there will be a virtual road march with a $100,000 bounty for whoever captures the title.
Southex CEO George Singh announced last year that the Chutney Soca Monarch contest will be held virtually as well.
Creative director of the International Soca Monarch contest Simon Baptiste told Newsday the Soca Monarch contest will be renamed The Monarch and will still be open to non-nationals who must meet one simple criterion: they have to be in TT to perform.
Would-be contestants will have a week to submit their songs to intlsocamonarch.com or internationalsocamonarch.com.
Entries open on Friday and run for the week ending January 29. On February 1 the ten finalists will be announced.
Baptiste said, “The finals will be held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) on February 12. It will be a two-hour-long show with both live and pre-recorded performances.”
What will be different this year, he said, “is that we will be working along with the finalists to put on their best presentation, like how it is done on The Voice and America Got’s Talent.”
The judging will be done by a mixture of votes and empanelled judges. The full breakdown will be further explained on Friday along with the prize money.
Baptiste was tight-lipped about this year’s cash prize, but promised there will be one, though not on the scale of the million-dollar first prize for power soca or the $500,000 groovy top prize of previous years. Baptiste also added that there will not be two separate winners but one overall winner. As usual, this year’s winner will also be an automatic finalist in the competition next year.