Family Outing: Chutney Soca singer Artie Butkoon, her fiance, Michael Basdeo, and their one-year old daughter, Arietta, at Divali Nagar celebrations in Chaguanas last October. Photo - Innis Francis

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Text-voting system unfair

Ex-finalist blanks Chutney Soca Monarch show

By Innis Francis innis.francis@trinidadexpress.com

Former finalist in the Chutney Soca Monarch competition Artie Butkoon is staying out of this year’s competition because she believes the judging structure is unfair.

The singer gave birth to a baby girl a year ago. And since that time, Butkoon has said she would stay away from the competition because she objected to the use of text voting as a means of adjudicating a winner.

She said it was unfair to an artiste who invested heavily in preparing for the competition, but then failed to place because the result was largely dependent on text voting.

Butkoon said: “How can an artiste know how they are being judged? How can they know the areas to improve the next time around?

“The system is a form of favouritism. Your friends are voting based on knowing you. And if you are an older artiste, you are better known to the public. It puts the new and upcoming artistes at a disadvantage.”

The competition is hosted by Southex Event Management Company Ltd. Chief executive George Singh indicated he was not sure what the judging criteria would be like this year. 

Singh said: “We are not quite sure as yet. Some of the rules have changed this year. We are just working through some of those details now.”

Butkoon, of Sangre Grande, said she is building her career in a direction more pleasing to her. She said she was out of the competition two years consecutively and this has given her the opportunity to focus on crossing new barriers.

Her 2012 hit, “Mousie Break Away”, earned her fifth place in the competition, with 2,578 votes. 

She said this year she recorded two songs—“In De Centre” and “Say You Leaving”. 

Butkoon, who has spent her time away raising her baby, said her interest now lies in entering the soca arena and doing collaborations  with other artistes.

She said she still sings with the band Brand Tech Melobugz and is looking forward to Chutney Brass in February at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre.

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