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Power Soca Monarch rigged?

Power Soca Monarch rigged?

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Just days before the 2013 Power Soca Monarch competition, allegations have been made that the contest might be rigged.{{more}}

In an exclusive interview with SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, James “Jamesy P” Morgan, who opted out of the competition earlier this week, says he believes that the results have already been decided.

Morgan claims that the Carnival Development Corporation has acted in an unprofessional manner, giving certain artistes an unfair advantage in the show, scheduled for tomorrow night.

The former member of the Vincy Soca Dans indicated that some performers were allowed to change their order of appearance in the show, while three top acts were given more money than the others, for appearance fees, contrary to what is stipulated in their contracts.

“When everybody picked for soca monarch “Steady Gan” pulled number one, “Syxx” pull number two, “Johnny Rebel” pull number three, “Royal” pull number four, “Jamesy P” pull number five, “Lively” pull number six, “Maddzart” pull number seven, “Lil Pain” got the un-seeded number eight, “Empress” got number nine, “Hance” get number ten, “Dover” picked two numbers, and 11 was for “Fireman” and “Shaunelle” was number 15 right?” the internationally acclaimed performer stated.

“Alex (Barnwell) picked number 12 for “Skinny” over the phone, because Skinny have first preference. I think Skinny was travelling, so they couldn’t get a hold of him…. Tamisha got number 13, Problem Child got number 14…..

“Now I hear the order come over TV, and guess what? Fireman is performing at number 15. That tells me something.

“Now in the contract, clause number 11 say whatever number is picked, an artist has to perform at that number.

“What kinda cook up business is that?”

Morgan, who rose to international fame with his song “Nookie” in 2005, said that his grievance does not send there.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that he has been reliably informed that three artistes received an advance payment of up to $5,000 in appearance fees, instead of contracted $2,000.

Artistes, he said, are usually given $1,000 up front, with the remainder paid at a later date.

“So if you have in the contract that every artist in the Power Soca Monarch getting $2,000 for appearance fee, why is it that you giving artistes more money than the rest?

“They are basically saying we are favouring you to go out and have a better show than the rest of the artistes, because we giving you more money to start with. So if you could buy $5,000 worth of props, do that, those others will be only be able to buy $1,000 worth of props. So he could get 50 dancers and you could get five.

“So that’s a disadvantage, which means you have heavily favoured one or the other. So if that is the case, you done fix what you have to fix.

“So I’m saying why am I gonna spend my money, when they not levelling the playing field?”

SEARCHLIGHT spoke to Chief Executive Officer of the CDC Ashford Wood, who denied one allegation, but admitted to another.

The CEO said that although it is written in the contract that artistes have to perform at the position they pick, some have, in the past, been allowed to switch places with others, as long as it was consented to by both parties.

“That is not something new,” Wood said.

“Over the years you pick a position, we don’t influence it, you do it and we say okay. The artistes are told that.”

When asked if this could be seen as being unfair, Wood said that it could be, but the precedence had been set over the years.

“It happens in all aspects of the competition,” he noted.

Wood however vehemently denied Morgan’s claim that money had been unevenly distributed to the artistes.

“All artistes received the same amount of money, we don’t discriminate.

“Artistes get an appearance fee, and what we do, we give the artist half of that once they want it, because some man rich, to assist in their preparation and of course afterwards they get the balance.”

The CEO said that he had been in contact with Morgan this week, and Morgan had expressed verbally and in an email, that he was not ready for the big night.

“Jamesy P is just trying to be mischievous.

“Jamesy P called and he said he is opting out because he did not have enough time to prepare, he spoke to me and it is spelt out in the email he sent to us.

“His second request was to appear as a guest act, to which we told him we already put the programme together and we can’t make the accommodation, but we however wished him the best as we go forward, and I guess that would have aggrieved him,” Wood said.

Morgan, who appeared in the soca monarch show in 2011 and in 2000, with “Dalpin,” acknowledged that he did indeed write the CDC “a nice letter”, because he did not want to create animosity with Vincy Mas’s governing body.

He said however, that he does not expect the CDC to tell the truth, but he will.

“This playing field is just not level. They wouldn’t tell the public that, because the public will be outraged.

“But I will keep my respect. I don’t care who want to say what about me, I will keep my respect.”

Replaced in the show by “Shaney Hypez”, Morgan told SEARCHLIGHT that he had been looking forward to performing, and giving Vincentians a performance that they would not have forgotten.

“I had a big act for Victoria Park that wudda wowed Victoria Park, nobody ever see in Vincy, but guess what, all yo go miss it, because the playing field is not level.

“I can’t go in soca monarch, take out my money, and bring my act from all the way out Arizona desert to do what I doing, and give Vincentians a good show, and have fair judgment.

I just opened a store, and before I take my money and dash it way in that (soca monarch) I rather take my money and invest in my store.

“The thing cook,” he asserted.

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