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Text to choose your Chutney Monarch
With all the excitement surrounding the $2,000,000 up for grabs at the 16th annual Chutney Soca Monarch competition this weekend, it’s easy to forget that this year’s winner will not be chosen by a stereotypical panel of judges. Instead, the 2011 Chutney Soca Monarch will be selected totally by the will of the people and the fans of the genre. Official telecommunications provider of the 2011 Chutney Soca Monarch contest, Blink/bmobile has worked with Southex President, George Singh to streamline the voting process. This technologically-advanced mechanism has placed the power to choose the winner squarely in the hands of the viewing public. “Bmobile has sponsored this event for the past six years,” explained TSTT’s Marketing Analyst, Michael Christopher, “because we believe that the genre has great potential to penetrate new markets beyond the Caribbean Diaspora and over the last three years in particular, we have seen where the exponents of the art form have done just that.
Two years ago, Mr Singh of Southex approached us to revolutionise the voting process because there was an uneasy feeling about having a typical judging panel choosing the winner, so we brought in the technology and made the competition completely fair and impartial to all finalists.” Between the last two contests in 2009 and 2010, almost 200,000 text votes were received from fans here and abroad resulting in two brand new monarchs in the form of the oldest and youngest monarchs to date, Kenneth Salick and Ravi Bissambhar respectively. This year, an additional voting component has been introduced in the form of on-line voting via the official Web site: www.chutneysocamonarch.com.
“Blink Broadband is providing the platform and the speed necessary to stream this event live on the Web site,” said Christopher, “in addition to regulating the on-line voting.
Now we have capped the voting from all three sources to ensure that no spamming or unfair advantage can be given to any of the competitors. Only a maximum of ten votes can be sent and received from any one handset, whether local and international and only vote can be cast per ISP address, so it is really up to the contestants to get as many fans as possible involved in the process and sway them into voting for them in order to win.” Voting for the 2011 Chutney Soca Monarch opens at 7 pm on Saturday night and will close at 2 am on Sunday morning. Bmobile customers must text the code for their favourite artistes to 7622, international subscribers in North America and Canada must text the code to 78247 and anyone can vote at least once from their computers from anywhere in the world via www.chutneysocamonarch.com.
The grand-prize is scheduled to be presented to the winner at 2.30 am, so the independent voting aggregation agency, imedia Caribbean Ltd will have roughly24 minutes to compile the results and declare the winner. “There will still be a commentary panel on hand as part of the event,” Christopher advised, “but we want the people to be aware that they are directly responsible for whoever wins this competition. Bmobile, Blink Broadband, imedia Caribbean and of course, Southex Ltd have placed the power in your hands.” The 2011 Chutney Soca Monarch Finals takes place this Saturday night at Skinner Park in San Fernando and will be shown live on CTV, as well on www.chutneysocamonarch.com. With a grand first prize of two million dollars at stake, Blink Broadband is also giving away $10,000 to the biggest crew to attend the event in orange—their official colour. Fifteen artistes have qualified for the grand finals and each has been given a special code specific to them. Fans and supporters must text this code to SOCA, in order to help their favourite artistes win the grand prize.
The 15 finalists and their unique individual codes are listed as follows:
1 Ravi B – RAV
2 ANIL Bheem – BMR
3 Terry Gajraj – TGA
4 Soca Elvis – MSA
5 O’Neil Bhajman—OBH
7 KI Persad—KI
8 Rick Ramoutar—RIR
9 Kenneth Supersad—KSU
12 Sally .maroo—SAM
14 Rikki Jai—JAI
15 “Artie” Butkoon—VBU
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