Popsicle right Pic
WHAT CAN BE SO exciting about a competition where the thoroughbreds failed to step up their game and got edged out by an old donkey called Cornwell?
Friday night’s Pic-O-De-Crop Finals was not a “donkey derby” as Gabby would have called it, but Popsicle, a first-timer to this competition, outrode all the thoroughbreds including Gabby himself to win the 2011 monarchy at Kensington Oval.
I congratulate Popsicle, whose clever double entendre, great rendition, catchy chorus and overall refreshing package made him a convincing winner with Don’t Sell Cornwell and I Would Pick A Fair.
Since Red Plastic Bag’s last victory, I have truly not felt such a buzz on a finals night. Here were patrons standing and swaying, waving ballons and singing along to nearly every word of David Popsicle Hall, Barbados’ newest kaiso sensation. The atmosphere was electric!
And while patrons may have been carried along, superficially, by his amusing antics and lyrical humour, let’s not miss some of the messages, particularly related to his donkey Cornwell; such as the obvious recessionary woes coupled with rising gas prices that make driving vehicles a challenge today, the advice not to prostitute oneself in the face of hardship, the lesson in making ends meet, and even the endearing relationship between a man and his faithful pet.
Some would argue about whether songs about someone’s ass and the “picking of a fair” could be the best ambassadorial tools for local calypso; but the fact remains that on the night in question Popsicle was better than the rest. Furthermore, thoroughbreds Kid Site and Adrian Clarke fell down: the former missing his cue in Aint Saying A Word and Clarke struggling to fit an abundance of words into his lines in We Need An Answer.
Both performances addressing Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s “silence” were disastrous, so much so that nether artiste was able to make amends in the second half.
As for defending king Gabby, how did he place second? If Gabby wants to, he can render Sesame Street’s theme song with nigh-operatic finesse; so full marks for the rendition of Obama Kill Osama and Tribute To Tassa would not be surprising. But the lyrics and melody in Obama were trite, while the other song’s melody merely did its job of setting a sombre mood. Neither was outstanding.
Furthermore, while there are no criteria for “judgement” to rule on the inappropriateness of his morbid re-enactment of Tassa’s funeral, the humanity in most observers would have caused them to disapprove. Even so, if Gabberts was so cut up by his colleague’s death, he could have joined forces with his Big Show folk to stage a tribute show and give all the proceeds to Tassa’s son.
The tribute had no place in the competition.
Gabby’s high placing, in my view, indirectly robbed Adonijah and TC.
TC rendered her songs flawlessly, creating tremendous nostalgia with her past compositions in the well-structured Sing Them Again, and then showing her great vocal range in I Am Sorry. She should have placed fourth.
Adonijah, while weakening his Barbados By Two by removing some biting lyrics about “salsa does win de crown” and the local justice system, did enough with convincing arguments in both songs – offering excellent melodies too – to deserve second spot.
Gabby, therefore, deserved sixth place.
There’s not much to say about seventh-placed De Announcer except that his preambles were too long, and that the intro featuring Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler actually weakened the credibility of the song’s “cuts”.
Blood was the lone thoroughbred to lift his game, with strong and confident renditions of Stand Up and The Tongue.
Regarding the other three finalists, I must say “I told you so”. The three I had left out of my nine to meet Gabby, and who should not have been in Friday’s finals, finished eighth, ninth and tenth – for various reasons.
Eighth-placed Site missed his cue in Aint Saying A Word; young Christal Cummins-Beckles made a noticeable effort to phrase in her naturally Bajan way and her melodies were interesting but her rendition was nothing to shout about; and Khiomal, despite all of his antics, had two basically weak songs.
Long live king Popsicle!