Poor judging of calypso competition

Dear Editor,

I am a culture lover, especially of the arts, drama and calypso. Since the ’70s I have always supported these kinds of events whenever and wherever they are hosted.

Over the years I’ve learned that all kinds of people make up an audience; there are some who don’t know when to laugh and others who don’t know when to stop laughing. In drama especially a serious role being played can draw laughter from some of the audience when it really shouldn’t and basically many of them are not on par with what is really going on.

I am always happy whenever the adult calypso competition is hosted in Bartica, and Saturday, 7th Feb, was no different. In a state of excitement and anxiety myself and a few relatives along with two teenage overseas relatives couldn’t wait for night to come to attend this event.

I compliment all the contestants for their genuine effort to please on the stage; it was a good contest, only that in my assessment political songs were brought forward from last year’s competition. It was the same old nonsense, even if laughter was heard, There was nothing new being offered, and when the decision finally came from the panel of judges it was laced with injustice.

There were a few messages that could have made a difference by not only reducing the high number of political songs that were sent to the final but also bringing a refreshing breeze to the final leg of the competition. This would have made the competition less boring for the audience, and save them from having to listen to the same thing over and over about the government; for me it was just too much.

There were also two really sore issues, and I felt that these matters should be highlighted and if possible fixed by the Minister of Culture and the designated officials.

(1) Calypso has managed to remain pure for most of the years; it is the only art form one can take one’s children to and not be afraid of vulgar content or smutty lyrics. But one rendition was pure smut and belonged in the gutter. I felt so embarrassed for my two young visiting relatives; they were also shocked and embarrassed. Of course the ability to invoke laughter made it okay for the judges and some warped minds in the audience.

(2) The Junior Monarch was sent to the final although clearly he was no match for some of the songs that were eliminated.

The judges should be reprimanded; the general public are being denied the pleasure of listening to the winning song every year. One of the daily write-ups on the competition a weak, lame excuse was given for the elimination of the songs that differed, and there was a false cry of too many political songs. They are the ones who keep setting the stage for this every year; isn’t there a wild card system to bring back songs that had the quality to compete? Even if, as the judges claim, the contestants who were eliminated ‘messed up’ big time, in all fairness there were no major glitches. In summary the judges are the ones who are encouraging the political pile-up of songs in the final, and this must be stopped. Only a certain number of political songs must be sent to the final, so other good songs can be given a fighting chance to compete. Not everyone in the audience is politically deranged.


Yours faithfully,
BV Thom

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