PODC Finalists ready for battle
With Crop Over’s biggest competition –– the Pic-O-De-Crop Finals –– a mere two weeks away, the nine competitors going forward to meet reigning monarch Ian Webster have been named. They will face the judges at Kensington Oval –– and perhaps brave the weather too –– on Saturday, August 1, to see who earns the right to the 2015 calypso crown.
But before they reach the Finals stage, much work will have been done by the calypsonians, each perfecting their two offerings.
Yesterday, the ten finalists drew for their positions at the MQI showroom in Wildey, Christ Church. The list, in order of appearance, is Hee Haw, Adrian Clarke, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles, Biggie Irie, Ian Webster, Enobong, Adonijah, Donella, Classic and Colin Spencer.
Bajan Vibes met after the draw with some of the artistes, who spoke on just how preparations were going for them.
Hee Haw, who will be the first out of the blocks, said No. 1 was not his ideal number, but he was yet excited and would bring his A game.
“When I came here, I wanted to choose something between three and eight. I guess I have to go with it; and I’m going to be ready for it.
“You will hear some changes to both of my songs. So far, I have a few ideas,” he said, adding that it was a blessing to be back in the Finals, after not making it since 2009.
Adrian Clarke, no stranger to the Finals stage, and appearing at No. 2, told Bajan Vibes admitted that performing so early was not ideal, but he would do what he knew he had to.
“I’m singing early, so I have to hit the ground running hard. I’m going all out for Pic-O-De-Crop this year. It would be great to [go] one step better than last year,” Clarke said.
He added, however, that he had much work to do going into the Finals, especially since he would be bringing an entirely new song.
“I must admit I’m concentrating a lot on Pic-O-De-Crop. I’ve made some changes lyrically and song-wise . . . . I will be rewriting certain things. My main concern is being able to retain the songs. But If I don’t remember something, I never stop singing.
“I’m changing Not Studying Uranus. It will not have the same impact with my fellow calypsonian Announcer not being in the Finals. If he was, it would be one heck of a showdown . . . .
“I have two other choices. I won’t say what they are right now, and I will choose the one that best suits the occasion,”
Chrystal Cummins-Beckles, Clarke’s tent mate also, said initially she wanted to change from No. 3, but decided to stick with what she had pulled.
“. . . This voice in my head spoke to me and said, ‘No, keep it’. I have never changed numbers since I have been in competition. I didn’t see why I should start now.
“Not really making any changes to my songs. I think my songs are lyrically strong; and it’s about rendition, doing your best on the actual night. My presentations will come together eventually.
“Right now I’m just taking a break from my heavy weekend with the Juniors.”
Biggie Irie, at No. 4 after making a switch with Classic, who now holds No. 9, maintains he is ready for the competition. He told Bajan Vibes he would not be making any changes to his songs.
“I got this far with Sweet Type Ah Way and Singing Competition; so I think the judges put me there because they like what I did. For me to change now, I don’t think would be a good idea for me,” he said.
And responding to the critics who don’t believe he should be in the competition with a “sweet soca song”, Biggie said they needed to understand that music was evolving.
“. . . If you are not going to change, you will be left behind. I welcome those types of songs in the competition. I’m sorry that we don’t have more. Maybe next year we will have more.”
And Classic is heading to Kensington looking to win.
“I will be making one or two changes lyrically, and may brush up the endings musically; but I will be coming in fighting mode –– pulling out all the stops.
“At Finals you have to pelt some licks. This is my ninth time in the Finals.
“I’m looking to win. I think I have very good chance; I just have to go out there and focus and give a good polished performance, and the rest will work itself out.”