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Bad decision by judges, says John King

Ridiculous and a mockery of the calypso art form!

That’s how veteran calypsonian John King has dismissed the judge’s decision in this year’s Pic-O-De-Crop calypso final.

While making it clear that he had nothing personal against the eventual winner Ian Webster, King, who was a reserve competitor in Saturday night’s contest, was adamant that the judges got it wrong, and not for the first time.

“I am totally flabbergasted by this result,” King told Barbados TODAY immediately after the judges’ decision was announced early Sunday morning.

He pointed out that Webster utilised several borrowed lyrics from popular international songs in his first rendition of Karaoke, arguing that this should not have escaped the scrutiny of the calypso judges.

Ian Webster pleased the crowd with his Karaoke, despite some concerns about borrowed lyrics.

Ian Webster pleased the crowd with his Karaoke, despite some concerns about borrowed lyrics.

“ . . . There is no way under the sun that you are going to tell me, with all due respect to Ian Webster, my friend, I love him, but how can you judge a song that has so many other different songs coming in, as opposed to a man that has sprained his brain to come up with melodies and lyrics and [stuck] to a topic and whatever else, and tell me that that is better than something that somebody else started from scratch?

“I am sorry, I don’t buy into that,” said, a visibly upset King.

He acknowledged that there was nothing in the rule book to stop a calypsonian from borrowing lyrics, but was insistent that such behaviour should be reflected in the judges’ final scorecard.

“. . . how would you feel if I John King had to come on the scene to sing a song, and next thing you hear me singing a piece of [the American musical band] Earth Wind & Fire’s songs that everybody knows, and then you tell me that I win a calypso contest that is supposed to be an orginal song contest.

“We continue to make mock sport at art and creativity and the things that will put us in the limelight in terms of our own inventions. This is ridiculous,” King said.

The former monarch, who is retiring from calypso competitions, maintained that his comments were not born out of any bitterness or disrespect for Webster, but he was very adamant that “this is a ridiculous result”.

King, a performer in this year’s Big Show tent, watched the rain affected, five-hour presentation from the grounds of the Kensington Oval last night after he did not make the final ten. And based on the night’s performances, he said the crown should have been won by Adrian Clarke of Headliners “hands down”.

“There is no two ways [about this]. Good melodies, good performance, good songs. You cannot beat that. And original,” he said, adding that there was no reasonable explanation for the decision of the judges not to award Adrian Clarke the crown.

Adrian Clarke dealt with the All Stars exodus in his first song.

Adrian Clarke dealt with the All Stars exodus in his first song.

Therefore, he said, his longstanding argument that there needs to be more careful selection of calypso judges remains valid.

“These people that we pick to judge are they song writers? Answer no. Have they written anything of any repute that we can say, ‘well, people outside of Barbados, in the Caribbean, even next door in St Vincent recognise’? No. Are they entertainers? No. What right they got judging calypso?

“You got a panel full of people who does play church organ and all kind of nonesense. Sickening!

That was my position for years. It is a valid point.

“How do you arrive at the people that you are asking to judge calypso, cause this again is another travesty. It is worst than some of the things that happen in the past.”

King also took a swipe at Ronnie De Announcer Clarke for his two performances on the night, cautioning that “calypso had its own ethics, rules and regulations within which you work”.

De Announcer was very acid on the night.

De Announcer was very acid on the night.

“As soon as you start to get personal about calypsonians, other persons in the competition, I have a distinct problem with that. It is wrong!

He pointed out that while “Sparrow and [Lord] Melody, back in the 40s and the 50s and the 60s were at each other’s throat , and they did things, it was tasteful.

“This [local calypso] is becoming very distasteful. It is very low level. It is almost in my mind, gutter behaviour. And if this is what the people that are judging have a penchant for, then I am sorry, it says a lot about the society that we live in.”




20 Responses to Bad decision by judges, says John King

  1. Prince Nick
    Prince Nick August 3, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Karaoke song borrowed lyrics dough what else he expect

  2. Steve Crawford
    Steve Crawford August 3, 2014 at 9:37 am

    anytime it comes to judging, there’s money involved

  3. Annetta Paul
    Annetta Paul August 3, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Preach it John, you don’t mix words. Like it or hate it, originality should be one of the main elements when judging a song. Cooking up leftovers may taste good but it’s still…..STALE FOOD? I can understand how a Master of the art of Calypso like King would get irate when main components are ignore/discarded.

  4. Michelle Cheeseman
    Michelle Cheeseman August 3, 2014 at 10:24 am

    What is John King really bitter about? Seems he is constantly finding reasons to be in the news. John is suddenly an expert on how to win a crown but wasn’t able to achieve such annually. Seriously, go take a seat! Stupseeee

    • Raymond Jones
      Raymond Jones August 3, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Foolishness. Name one person who have ever won the crown “annually”. King have very valid and salient points, you give the crown for recycle garbage and then wonder why the standard so low.

    • Michelle Cheeseman
      Michelle Cheeseman August 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      I couldn’t care less who wins a crown. But why is he being critical of everything related to Crop Over recently?

  5. Shanny Livingmylifetothefullest Chandler
    Shanny Livingmylifetothefullest Chandler August 3, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Ian did a well great job and tje judging was fair.

  6. Pamalea Payne
    Pamalea Payne August 3, 2014 at 11:17 am

    And may the best man win. Wait. He. Won

  7. Mhizz Joan Moore
    Mhizz Joan Moore August 3, 2014 at 11:34 am

    To early fa dis shyte , go an cook Sunday dinner :p

  8. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock August 3, 2014 at 11:55 am

    John iam with you all the way

  9. Greitcha Smith
    Greitcha Smith August 3, 2014 at 11:56 am

    … You got a panel full of people who does play church organ and all kind of nonsense … very cutting King John, very cutting!

  10. Peter Marshall
    Peter Marshall August 3, 2014 at 11:56 am

    i AGREE John

  11. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce August 3, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Proud of you John! You tell them. John Jealous? For speaking out. Look Barbados got talented artist embrace it and for the love of God Judges if wanna got an ounce of Pride do the right thing!

  12. Rachael Marshall
    Rachael Marshall August 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Lisa Marshall Laura-Mae Gullin June Blackman

  13. Betty Lashley August 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    For me I have to agree with john king that AC should have won, also I didn’t like the behavior of the R.Clarke I was very disappointed to see how far he took his anger towards A C, blood and Miguel should have been hire in position other than that the show was nice.

  14. Betty Lashley August 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    I have to agree with john king that A C should have won last night also the behavior I didn’t like from Ronnie clarke i was disappointed to see how far he took his anger, I think blood and Miguel should be much hire other than that the show was nice.

  15. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock August 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    In a singing competition the winner went hoarse an got the prize John king voice also cracked in the Simi finals an he got left out double standards.

  16. Ryan Smith
    Ryan Smith August 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    speak up King! especially agree with the view concerning De Announcer

  17. Caswell Franklyn August 3, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Sour grapes

  18. David Hall August 5, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I love Ian Webster as a calypso artiste I think he is one of the greatest and will be for years to come; I however think that John Kings statements are very valid and need to be properly addressed.


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