The Dimanche Gras Show Was Boring | How do we fix it?

Damn dat show was boring! Oh no not my Dimanche Gras... Oh no say is is not so! Yes that was the situation at home and on the WWW. I was taking in the stream here in New York and was not only bored but very upset. I was not alone because almost everyone in the chat box that I used to stay awake felt the same... damn the show was boring!

Look everyone knows that that show was not the Soca Monarch and the spectacle and excitement of the Soca Monarch experience is not easy to duplicate. However, the Dimanche Gras was once the main event of Carnival. I remember as a young person growing up in Trinidad that we all sat in the living room glued to our television sets to watch the King and Queen of Carnival parade on the stage and listen to the best calypsonians compete for the Crown. Those were the 'good ole days' - so What happened?

Well the Soca Monarch Competition grew and became a monster to start with and it has become the show of the season with the Catch phrase of "Fantastic Friday" as the premiere date for the weekend activities. At least this year the Panorama competition appeared to have been better organized but still needs to be streamlined. 

The Dimanche Gras show needs the proverbial 'shot in the arm' to breath some life into that once 'grand event'. Now I was not interested in the King and Queen of the bands.. that too had its problems. There was a report of Government Minster interfering with the flow of the show resulting is the cancellation of back stage judging. This segment is very important for the costume builders. This is where points are awarded for the craft ingenuity of the designer. Unfortunately this did not take place - protocol? What the hell is that?!?

Then there was the question of What is considered a float and what is a costume. Some have said that the rule states that a costume could have two wheels and had to be carried (carried being the important word here) by the King or Queen respectively. Unfortunately some of the so called costumes had four wheels and were pulled or pushed from inside instead of being carried... they have some rules to iron out and a proper judging protocol put in place. Then there is the flow of the masqueraders - a good stage manager will keep the show moving on and staying on schedule.

The calypso competition is the main event for many and for me it is the reason I lost my night's rest knowing I had to go to work in the morning. It felt great staying up and and 'liming with friends even if it was online. So what is the main gripe as a listener, as someone watching the show from afar. OK let me see if I can point out the areas that offended me.

First of the stage lighting is extremely poor. I don't think they realize how important good lightening is for these events. One cannot simply depend on fixed lightening. There has to be spotlights and people focusing the lights on the contestants - this is very important.

Next up we have the calypsonians and the performances. I really think that the Semi Finals held at Skinner's Park was official competition. The performances put on by these people felt like guest appearances and nothing like a competition. Maybe it was the Internet feed but to tell you the truth the semi final show was electric while the Dimanche Gras show was dead and boring. If this competition was based on one song then there would have been tension and the competitors would have had to be at their best to take the title. Not everyone has a good second song and this proved to be a big setback for some of the singers. Added to this the second song just dragged on and on and made the event even more boring. 

This situation here is another peeve - the broadcast media. The Internet video feed was four contestants behind the WACK Radio 901 FM feed. I don't understand this and it soured the show with many people giving ball by ball play of the performances that we were anticipating via the video feed - Choops!

So what do I think should be done? Have a Champions Concert!
Here goes... Sunday night should be the night of Champions. A show where the winners of each competition should be displayed for the entire world to see. The King and Queen of the bands should be judged on a different night. Maybe, just maybe the Skinner' Park show should be the place the Calypso Monarch is judged with the winner of that show, the winners of the Soca Monarch competitions, the winners of the Chutney Soca Monarch, the National Chutney Soca Monarch and the winning steel band (small, medium and large) could be brought into the Savannah on Sunday night for a grand display of our talent for the entire world to see. There won't be any competition just a display or our wonderful talents. Adjust the price of the tickets to ensure that the people will attend the show. This show should be organized to finish around 1:00 am to allow people to move on to other parties/fetes or they could organize it in such a manner that the Savannah should have a grand party until King J'ouvert officially gives the street to the masqueraders!

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