The NLCB PanoGrama comes at a time, yet again, when the covid19 pandemic has shut much of the arts and entertainment sector. The virtual pan competition – the brainchild of Tobagonian pannist Nevin Roach – was born out of the need to provide some form of entertainment during the early ravages of the pandemic last year.
This year it is back and bigger, with its title sponsor being the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB). Its preliminary round took place from May 7-9. A media release said, the preliminary round came to an end on Mother’s Day, May 9, "after the last ten competitors pulled out all the stops to ensure their spot in semi-finals.
"There were 30 local, regional and international pannists pushing for a spot in the semis. There will be 20 competitors in the semi-finals. It added that the talent was so exceptional during the preliminaries that the results showed some pannists were only four points apart. More than 6,000 people globally streamed the virtual event on PanoGrama's social media pages. "The three-night segment featured ten pannists each night whose performances were nothing short of outstanding, covering genres such as reggae, soca, gospel and R&B," the release said. The participating pannists came from TT, Barbados, St Lucia, France, Canada, UK, Antigua and Barbuda, US Virgin Islands, the US, Guyana and Grenada.
In the release Roach said the preliminaries were a success and he was happy everyone enjoyed the production.
"After announcing the results, Roach encouraged the contestants to bring their A-game for the semi-finals," the release said.Defending champion Earl Brooks Jr did not, however, end up with the top points after the preliminaries. Instead, France's Mathieu Borgne walked away with 89, with Brooks Jr in second place with 87.6 points and TT's Shaquille Forbes in third with 85.4 points.
"The eliminated pannists will not leave the competition empty-handed as each participant took home a pair of pan sticks from the Mallet Man, " the release added.The NLCB PanoGrama semi-finals will take place on May 13 at 8 pm and will stream live on all of its social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
Here are the pannists moving on to the semi-final round:Mathieu Borgne (France) – 89 ptsEarl Brooks Jr (TT) – 87.6 ptsShaquille Forbes (TT) – 85.4 ptsCarlon Lyons (TT) – 85 ptsDejean Cain (TT) – 83.8 ptsTyeesha Alexander (TT) – 83.8 ptsDeja Cain (TT) – 83 ptsLeroi Simmonds (US Virgin Islands) – 82.4 ptsJamel Cadette (TT) – 81.4 ptsAndre Forde (Barbados) – 80.8 ptsDetroy Dey (Guyana) – 80.4 ptsHanif Goodridge (TT) – 80.2 ptsDouglas Dallaway (England) – 79.8 ptsCharlton Alfonso (TT) – 79.4 ptsKion Robinson (TT) – 78.8 ptsDavid Yundi (US) – 78.4 ptsMegan-Leigh Langton-Attang (TT) – 77 ptsKeishaun Julien (TT) - 76.4 ptsMikiel Smith (Grenada) – 75.6 ptsKevhani Greenaway (Antigua and Barbuda) – 75 pts