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Russel Mohammed and Trisha from the Khalnayak Dance Academy give their all on stage

A delayed-live broadcast of International Chutney Soca Monarch will be aired across several platforms and media stations this weekend.

The semi-final leg of the competition was held on Wednesday at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (South NAPA).

This year’s show includes a Text to Vote element powered by Bmobile which will form part of the official judges’ points instead of a separate People’s Choice award. Votes from around the globe will account for up to 20 per cent of the performers’ final points and will open from 6 am today and continue until Tuesday.

This year, the show features an unprecedented number of global entries, with eight of the 36 semi-finalists coming from non-T&T territories.

Founder of the competition, George Singh, said the Prime Minister’s decision to cancel Carnival created an opportunity to bring something new to the table.

“Over the past few years, when we have been looking at the online audiences for many Carnival shows, we have noticed an exponential increase relative to audiences that physically attend the shows. Creating an online-centric show was something that we had been considering for some time, and this was the time and opportunity to do it,” he explained.

He added, “There was another reason behind wanting to pursue a new format too.

“This year, we appointed representatives in New York, Toronto and Guyana—to bring artistes in these territories on board. Instead of having to travel, this year the registrants would have submitted their performances for screening and once selected, they would have performed and recorded their selection according to our guidelines and sent to us for inclusion in the show.”

The Semi-Final leg of the competition will air on YouTube Live; the official Chutney Soca Monarch Facebook Page, CNC3 TV and Sangeet Radio 106.1 FM.

Viewers can vote locally using the unique text codes for artistes identified during the show. Replays of the show will remain on the social media pages and YouTube channel as well.

T&T fans can vote by texting their artiste’s three-digit code to 64726 and international fans can text their artiste’s code to 1 868 798 0141. Individuals can vote as many times as they like, for any performer they like.

Each local text costs $2. Each international text costs $3.