In central Trinidad, covered in tangled vines, towering trees and green vegetation as far as the eye can see, one can find the evidence of a once thriving cocoa, coffee and citrus industry.
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Major changes for national Chutney Soca Monarch 2012
Major changes will be implemented at the 2012 Chutney Soca Monarch. New rules and regulations, exciting new elements, and a new theme, will all make up what is carded to be the biggest ever Chutney Soca Monarch in the history of the competition. The competition has also become one of the Big Four events in T&T Carnival—the others being the International Soca Monarch, the Dimanche Gras and the Panorama Finals. The event is being rbranded and will have a new look in 2012.
2012 theme—Chutney Soca Monarch
The Chutney Soca Monarch remains one of the most colourful productions in Carnival, and next year will be no different, as the theme of the event reflects an embracing of the Caribbean spirit, Caribbean music and Caribbean people, with a theme One Caribbean, One music, One People. The producers of the competition have decided to move the event to Port-of-Spain. Discussions are ongoing with the National Carnival Commission with the intention of hosting the event at the Queens Park Savannah. The event will also be moved one week closer to Carnival, with a tentative date of February 11 for the the grand final.
New rules and features
Two new rules will be introduced to the competition in 2012. Artistes will not be allowed to use film melodies in their songs, an issue that has plagued the competition over the last few years. Only songs that have 100 per cent original melodies and lyrics will be allowed to compete, and there will also be a screening of the music to ensure that lyrics and topics are positive. A number of new features will be added to the event. A major international act will be included in the programme, and the event will also have an international co-host. The opening of the show will feature several Caribbean countries.
Three artistes from Guyana will be taken directly to the grand final of the competition through a special screening process that will see eliminations gradually come down to the three selected Guyanese artistes. Two judges from Guyana will also sit on the judging panel for the grand final in case the technologies fail on the night. The show will be broadcast live via satellite to Guyana and featured on a major TV network in Guyana. The event, which is judged by 100 per cent text votes, will also give the Guyana public the opportunity to participate at this level, as arrangements are also being put in place for the people of Guyana to be able to vote via text voting through a local network. By 2013, it is expected that a Guyana Leg of the Chutney Soca Monarch competition will take place in Georgetown.
In addition to Guyanese nationals being allowed to vote through a local network, online voting will take place as the event will be streamed over the Internet to a live viewing public. Text voting will also take place, as in years gone by, in the USA, Canada and of course T&T.
Other Carnival events
Southex will start a Junior Chutney Soca Monarch that will crown a young 2012 champion. The event will feature one grand show that will showcase the talents of those artistes below the age of 18. Chutney on D Sutton, one of the most successful events in 2011 will once again be a feature on the calendar of events. Girlz Gon White, held at the Space Car Park over the last three years, will also find a new home in 2012, as the event has outgrown the present venue.