I am compelled to use this medium to express my extreme disappointment in Rule Number 13 of the recent Digicel Pirates Week Song Competition.
The advertisement promoting the song competition listed the prizes as 1st place $1,200 and 2nd place $800.
Nowhere next to the advertised prize listing was Rule Number 13 published, which states; ‘First place prize is C1$1,200 and second place prize is C1$800. If there is a tie for first place, second place is eliminated and its prize money is consolidated with the prize for the first place and the total shared between the tied contestants. If there is a tie for second place the second place prize is shared.’
This year’s competition boasted among others a veteran winner of past song contests as well as several seasoned professional adult musicians and vocalists who perform on island. Included in this distinguished list of local performers was my 12-year-old son, Giovanni, who not only competed but was later brought on stage and acknowledged as the second place winner.
Needless to say, there were no words to express my immense pride in him or my happiness for seeing his weeks of hard work yield such positive results. Then the organizers dropped the bomb…
Evidently there was a tie for first place so as stated in Rule Number 13; Giovanni would not receive any prize. How could this be? How could a rule such as number 13 ever have been considered, much less approved and especially by professional musicians such as Dave Martins and Clive Rosteing.
Talented youth of our Islands must be encouraged and rewarded particularly when they compete and judge’s decision have awarded a just and fair placement. The Pirates Week Committee, its corporate sponsors and particularly the organisers of the song competition should honour the advertised prizes. If this were the Olympics and there was a tie for first place there would have been two gold medals awarded and still they would have honoured their second place winner.
I understand the results of a conversation regarding Rule Number 13 with both Clive Rosteing and Dave Martins revealed that the reason for the rule was because in the event of a tie it was not fair to the first place winners to have to share CI$1,200 and then award the second place winner CI$800. I suppose revamping the prize money allocation was not a suggestion to be considered. In any event, I appreciate that whilst Rule Number 13 has unfairly stripped Giovanni of any prize whatsoever the organisers are certainly covered.
It is obvious that Giovanni did so well in fact that he was invited for a radio interview, in spite of his stripped title, to further promote and encourage other talented youth for the future.
Let me state emphatically that I certainly respect the rules of any competition however I now feel that in order for the repercussions of this decision to not negatively affect my son or any other young Caymanians interest in any future talent competitions rules such as this should never be implemented.
I call on the organisers to revisit and rectify this defunct rule 13 at the very earliest so as to justly recognise and compensate the second place winner. I speak for Giovanni as I feel if an adult were levelled this blow they would not be accepting so graciously such an injustice.
I welcome the public’s opinion as to how acceptable this is for their Pirates Week song competition and encourage the Pirates Week Committee and organisers to rectify this rule and compensate Giovanni rightfully.