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Points should be made public

Ricky Jordan

Points should be made public

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WHY CREATE an unnecessary aura of mystery, with its attendant controversy, by not announcing the other five places in the MQI Banks Lime Pic-O-De-Crop finals last Saturday morning? It was an annoying end to an event that had its fair share of disappointment.
Added to that was MC Mac Fingall’s attitude when patrons voiced their disapproval at his statement that he was only naming the top five positions in this national calypso competition. Saying that was how it was being done and basically nothing could change that was insulting, to say the least.
This is the man who has been on Barbados’ airwaves talking about our slave mentality; yet he treats the Barbadian public like schoolchildren in detention, and not adults who had voluntarily paid to attend this show at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
The patrons deserved better, and in an age of information, better should be demanded.
Why would the points and places of five competitors in a ten-horse final be a mystery? Weren’t the judges finished compiling scores by 2:30 a.m. after the four-and-a-half-hour show? Was there contention over the scores, where no discussion should have been undertaken? Did the judges plan to change scores? What happened in that deliberation room?
I’m sure Chrystal Cummins-Beckles wouldn’t have minded being a Fly On De Wall while awaiting the results!
Surely the decision not to announce the last five positions could not have been an attempt to save anyone from public embarrassment. We have announced from tenth right up to first place in the Pic-O-De-Crop, causing those who placed last to be ridiculed for years afterwards.
And this year, as usual, all Junior Monarch positions were announced and no one cared about the children’s shame.
Those not announced last Saturday morning were Blood, Adonijah, Cummins-Beckles, De Announcer and Smokey Burke, all of whom, I’m sure, would rather know their points and placings than be guessing after the show.
While the sixth- to tenth-placed finalists are each awarded $5 000, that’s not the point. Each has different points, which the public needs to know.
After shifting the finalists from the creative expanse of Kensington to the confines of a sound-challenged Gymnasium – albeit because of an anticipated act of God in the form of Tropical Storm Ernesto – why cast this pall over the event?
And since the National Cultural Foundation has stopped, without warning, the publishing of points after each segment of the competition, will these mysterious points now be revealed?
Maybe I’m being overly concerned, but does “the sweetest summer festival” need some court wrangle, as occurred in 1993 when points were the main source of contention, and all the judges fired?
Happy Crop Over!
• Ricky Jordan is an Associate Editor of THE NATION.