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Aug 20, 2018

The Winners of the National Song Competition are Revealed

Over the weekend, on Saturday, the 2018 National Song Competition was held at the Santa Elena Sports Complex in the west. There were as many as twenty artists who competed in the junior and senior categories in national and carnival songs. After hours of patriotic and cultural performances and the bass of the bacchanal jams, the winners were announced. And as in many instances, the results are being questioned by musicians and artists in the music industry. Today, Communications and Marketing Officer of the National Institute of Culture, Neil Hall, sets the record straight. Here are the highlights and winners of the national song competition.


Neil Hall

Neil Hall, Communications & Marketing Officer, NICH

“We are very happy with the results. We had Houston Alvarez Junior winning for the Belize Song junior category. We had Cocono Boy winning for the Belize Song senior category and Ernestine taking top credit for the carnival song senior category.”


Duane Moody

“How many persons actually participated in this leg of the competition?”


Neil Hall

“We had three performers in the junior Belize song; one exhibition in the junior carnival song. We had six entries in the carnival song seniors and thirteen entries in the seniors Belize song. The judges were looking for a few things, namely: audience appeal, musical arrangement, vocal quality (of course it is a song competition), lyrical content (again song competition); your stage presence also got you quite a few point as well as cultural relevance.”


Duane Moody

“People well known in the music industry are upset about the results, claiming that favouritism was at play by the judges who they feel should not be connected to some of the performers. They are even talking about the amount of times a person wins the competition; that they need to make room for new talent and other talents. Could you talk to us about that, sir? Was there any hanky panky there?”


Neil Hall

“No there is no hanky panky happening at the National Song Competition. There is a rule that says if you win in your category for three times consecutively then you are through; you cannot come back to compete in that category. We have two very energetic, very well-known and high quality artists who have won more than once, actually more than three times each; however, when they win, it’s not consecutively. We have Cocono Boy who won once in the junior and then did two winnings in the senior, but lost on his third try. And then of course he didn’t fulfil the criteria of having three straight wins in your category so he’s still allowed to perform and compete. The same thing with Ernestine….Ernestine has come in first and second, and first and first and then not placed and then come back in first and she also fills in the category where she has not won three times consecutively in a row. No three-peat for Ernestine or Cocono Boy, so they by the rules that were set up many years ago are still allowed to compete. With regard to the comment about it being bias, I disagree.  If you really take the time and look at who has won in the past, you will see that people from everywhere have won. If you do take the time also and look at the performances and the presentations that have been done, you will see that some people do put a lot more into their presentation, some people do have a lot more stage performances, some people do have a lot more of the criteria that the judges are looking for. They do fulfil that a lot more than some others, especially when it comes to the actual performance and the vocal singing of the song.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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