And then there were 10!
Grange announces finalists in Festival Song contest
Olivia “Babsy” Grange

AFTER extending the deadline for entries for a further week, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange has announced the top 10 finalists in this year’s staging of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition.

“We will remember that initially the panel selected three songs, which was not a sufficient number for a competition. After that we decided to reopen entries and we received 209 new entries during the course of a week. After reviewing all the entries the panel has selected 10 finalists,” said Grange in a release on Friday evening.

The finalists are: I’m A Proud Jamaican by Magic; Nuh Weh Nice Like Yard by Sacaj; Diamond Jubilee by Orkid Carol Panton and Gladstone Wright; Jamaica Sweet Again by Dez I Boyd; Jamaica Nice Again by Inspiyah; Defend Jamaica by Nitty Kutchie; Out Of Many by Nazzleman, Oneil Scott, and Christopher Tyrell; Sixty (Anniversary Time) by One1; Rock To Da Beat by Intrestt; and Bring Back The Love by Stamp.

In the release Grange said she was “pleased” with the response to the reopening of entries.

“We have never received so many entries in one week,” she said.

The minister said the songs are being mastered and the recordings will be released soon. She has called on broadcasters “to play the songs so that the public will get to know them and be able to choose their favourite for Jamaica 60”.

The ministry, through the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, is making arrangements to put the finalists on social media and on global music-streaming platforms.

The winning song will be selected following two televised shows on July 14 and 28. The song will be selected by a combination of judges’ scores, and telephone voting by members of the public.

There’s a prize of $3 million for the winning song, to be shared among the producer, the writer and the singer.

Only a few weeks ago the minister had announced the cancellation of the competition because of “a lack of quality in entries”. The decision was, however, reversed after a discussion among Cabinet ministers.

Last year’s winner was dancehall artiste Stacious.

BY KEDIESHA PERRY Observer writer

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