Thirty-six artistes have been selected for the semi-final of the Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) competition.
Some 65 entrants had registered for the 26th edition of the competition by the January 15 closing date with 13 of those coming from Canada, the US and Guyana. Screening was done on January 16.
The semi-final round will be pre-recorded and packaged into two segments and will be aired on January 30 and 31 through the official media partners, CNC3, Sangeet106.1 and through various social media pages which includes Facebook and YouTube, said a media release from CSM.
The event will be pre-recorded at an indoor venue. A "text 2 vote" element is being reintroduced in 2021 to make the event more interactive and more exciting for viewers from across the globe, the organisers said.
CSM said the pre-packaging of the show and it being open only to an online audience present many opportunities that were never before possible.
"Over the years, Carnival’s biggest audience has now become the online audience, and this presents opportunities for TT and the Caribbean artistes to showcase our culture to the world. These artistes will be our cultural ambassadors that will fly our flag for the next year," CSM said in the release.
"We must congratulate all artistes, producers, musicians, songwriters, video producers, and dancers for the efforts that have been made during this very trying time not only in TT, or the Caribbean, but the world at large. Agents in Guyana, Canada and the USA have also done an amazing job in getting their artistes on board and registered, as this will make this year’s event more global and more encompassing for the chutney soca industry."
A spectacular TV production is being planned with the mission to improve presentation of the show and make it a better TV product, fashioning it along a similar format as the TV shows such as America's Got Talent and The Voice, CSM said.
However, sponsorship remains the biggest challenge this year for CSM, but it said it remains confident that it will be able to achieve its goals for the event.
"We are still presently in talks with our annual sponsors the NLCB and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism that have been very supportive over the last 20 years of this event. Producers are also looking at setting up a link for people to be able to donate to the event if they wish to do so. It must be reiterated however, that the event will remain free to the viewing public. The option to donate will be voluntary," CSM said.
The final of the CSM will also be pre-recorded and packaged and will be aired on Carnival Saturday, February 13.
Following are the names of the 36 semi-finalists:
Canada: Joel Davis – Connector, Navin Yankaran and Keith Bishop.
New York: Damian Sookram and Prince JP.
Guyana: Vanita Willie, Vicadi Singh and Tony Cuttz.
TT : Saleem Beharry,
Daddy Chinee – Ricardo Melville, Rasika Dindial, Riz & Theatrics, Surendra Ramoutar, Derrick Seales, Nigel Gobin, Russel Mohammed, Rajesh Sylvester, Prince Navin Prabhoo, Krishna Ramdass, Sangeeta Harrypersad, Amit Sagram, Anthony Batson, Neeshad Sultan, Dr Tunes – Kess Ramroop, Mr Nice Vibes, Jairam Dindial, Veejai Ramkissoon, Reshma Ramlal, Shiva Lakhan, Nisha Ramsook, Adesh Samaroo, Edward Ramdass, Cherish Ragoonanan, Dubraj Persad, Kenneth Supersad and Avinash Sookraj.