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'The show will continue'

...with or without Machel

THE show must go on with or without Machel Montano.

This was stated yesterday by William Munro, president of Caribbean Prestige Foundation, producers of the International Soca Monarch competitions.

Montano, the defending champion of both the Power and Groovy Soca Monarch competitions, was on Monday found guilty on four assault charges and using obscene language.

Montano is scheduled to be sentenced for the crimes on January 17.

According to stipulations in the Soca Monarch competitions, the defending champion must defend his title.

Asked what would be the situation if Montano is unable to perform this duty due to his legal problems, Munro said:

"If the winner cannot perform, the show will continue. Just like the Miss Universe, when there is a problem with the winner, the other (second place) will take his place. Let us not look so dark," he said.

Munro said he hoped that something "soft" would happen to Montano when he faces sentencing next month.

"I would like to see him get community work with the youths and things like that because he is definitely a good ambassador," Munro said. "I can tell you as a celebrity when you get in position in the limelight people really... I cannot say what happened there and then (with Montano), but I am just telling you there are problems, even when you are walking the streets there are problems."

Munro referred to deceased pop star Michael Jackson, pointing out that he had to cover the heads of his children from the media to prove his point.

"I do hope and wish him well and do hope something palatable will come from it," Munro said.

—Joel Julien

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