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BARBADOS - music

Friday 08, August-2003 by YVETTE BEST

Li'l RickWHAT will they think of next? That was the question that popped into my head as I looked on in awe with the other 25 000 or so at the Party Monarch Finals as Li'l Rick made his grand entrance paragliding into the Calypso Bowl.

I will not add my voice to the debate on whether the paragliding bore any relevance to Li’l Rick’s Mash Up And Buy Back or exactly what was mashed up and or bought back, but it was truly an amazing sight to behold.

Prior to July 27 this year Barbadians would have seen artistes working with cranes, helicopters, “spacecraft”, and using the Tarzan slide on a pulley. Some have even come through the bottom of the stage; or have been raised to the heavens. But Li’l Rick’s latest trick has been the most daring so far.

Seems like the props are becoming both increasingly dangerous and expensive as artistes try to out-do each other and create a lasting impression on fans. What’s more, that extra mile to keep the competitive edge is taking artistes longer to get into their act.

Presentation accounts for the least number of points in all the competitions, and with an appearance fee of around $1 500, it is a financial risk, and for the not so popular artiste a probable loss.

It is less strain on the pockets of the bigger names investing large sums of money with the almost certain chance of recovering it in winnings.

Li’l Rick’s daring entrance brought something else into focus, though.

I would not wish to question the abilities of expert paraglider Paul Nugent, but what would have happened if the wind had changed direction and sent both of them the opposite way?

Would the show have been halted until whenever they landed, and band cued for the judging to begin?

As far as I’m aware, there is no time limit in the competition rules for introductory presentations. Expedition of the process seems, therefore, to have been left up to common sense. Or was it another “convention?”

The situation with Mr Impact and the potential fallout are still fresh on the mind and the producers would be well served to be proactive from now on.

Now that Li’l Rick has upped the bar, the National Cultural Foundation and the other stakeholders might want to look at including a time limit for those grand entrances in the rules, with the accompanying penalties.

Congratulations to Judy Cumberbatch, Grantley Hurley, Chrisohn Thandeka Eli, Shelley Baby Doll Cummins, two-time double crown winner Li’l Rick, Red Plastic Bag, Gwyneth Squires, the inaugural People’s Monarch Timmy and all the winners in Crop-Over 2003. Here’s hoping next year will be just as rewarding.

I feel it necessary to publicly commend my colleagues in the media whose contribution and importance to the festival often goes unsung.

Compliments of Nation News


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