Anderson “Mr. Blood” Armstrong of De Big Show Calypso tent is the winner of the 2018 Courtesy/ Mount Gay Pic-o-de-Crop competition.

New King crowned

Mr. Blood wins Pic-o-de-Crop competition

THERE is a new Pic-o-de-Crop King in Barbados.

A true representation that perseverance seldom fails is the story of Anderson “Mr. Blood” Armstrong. He received his just rewards on Friday night during the Courtesy/Mount Gay Pic-o-de-Crop Finals, held at the Kensington Oval, when he drove away a brand new, fully loaded Nissan X Trail, valued at $126 000, after being declared the winner.

Representing the Big Show Tent and hailed as one of the more consistent performers in Barbados, Mr. Blood made it to the finals of the competition on several occasions in the past and has won many other competitions in his career. When the results were announced just around 1:20 am, Mr. Blood came out on top with 104 value points for his winning songs “Sexual Harassment” and “Stars and Stripes”.

Blood’s presentations stayed away from the expected post- election analysis, which many performers touched on but which quickly became repetitive. Addressing the topical issue of sexual harassment in the workplace, Mr. Blood showed how it not only affects women, but also men. His second appearance on stage was even more impactful, not only lyrically but visually, as he addressed the fact that Barbadians must move away from acculturation and instead seek to preserve what is uniquely theirs culturally. With his back-up singers changing costumes from blue, white and red to aquamarine and gold; and the “living” Statue of Liberty being replaced to the Emancipation statue, Blood undoubtedly gave his all into his presentations, which did not go unnoticed by the judges at the Oval.

The only two ladies in the competition both made it to the top five. Donella of All Stars Calypso Tent placed second with 87 points with “Pray for the Children” and “We Can’t Change”, while Chrystal Cummins-Beckles of the Big Show received 74 value points and placed fourth with her presentation of “A Piece o de Rock” and “Rise Again”. Ironically, the latter presentation of Cummins-Beckles was noticeably similar to Donella’s “Pray for the Children”.
The consummate performer, Adrian “AC” Clarke placed third with 82. However this decision was not well received when it was announced at Kensington Oval, with many audibly expressing their displeasure with that decision. The Big Show contestant performed “De Post Mortem” in the first half, but in the second half his smooth and groovy “Soca You” brought the Oval to the life.

Colin Spencer, who came into the competition as a reserve, filled the position of Smokey Burke, who recent fell ill and has been hospitalised. His two solid performances, which landed him an impressive fifth with 70 points, were undoubtedly a tribute to Smokey, who was remembered several times by his calypso family during the competition.

Spencer left the audience in stitches and equally awestruck from his brutal honesty during his performance of “I Going Where the Money Is”. Bedecked in a bright red suit, Spencer unapologetically declared that he was switching sides from the “Dear Loving People” and planned to capitalise on some of the offerings promised by the new administration. In the second half he drew reference to the devastating impact of global conflicts with “Come Back Dear Father”.

Also giving solid performances on the night were Jude Clarke of the All Stars Tent with his energetic performance and strong vocals in his presentation of “Great Again”. In the second half he was equally impressive where he queried “How Wrong Things Get So Right”. For many, his tent-mate Structure was a strong contender with “Kaiso Ain’t Afraid” and “We Have to Work”.

iWeb of the Big Show who sought to defend his title failed to make it to the top five. He brought out his acting skills in “M.I.A” where he channelled the antics of former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, former Finance Minister Chris Sinckler and former Cabinet Minister Dr. David Estwick to the delight of the audience. He came back in the second half with an afrocentric performance of “Adara”.

It was no holds barred for Billboard who kept nothing back in the controversial “Sex Change”, which was generally well-received by the audience, while others looked on in horror. In the second half he showed his musical ability on the piano during the intro and vocal range in “Running Away” where he addressed the underlying reasons why some young girls are running away from home. Kid Site failed to win favour with his performance of “De Seat” and “We need a Leader” during the competition. (JH)

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