Ted Eustace, Weekes tie for King of Carnival
By Andre Bagoo Sunday, February 10 2013
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Gerard Weekes shows off his costume Ai To Yujo No Yorokobi(The Joy of Love and Friendship)" at the King off Carnival 2013 finals at the Queen's Park...
THE TIE in the Soca Monarch was not the only one announced early yesterday morning. There was a historic tie announced in the King of Carnival competition as well, between Ted Eustace and Gerard Weekes.
Yet as soon as it was announced, there were concerns that the tie was against the NCBA’s own rules, casting the result in doubt.
Eustace, son of mas legend Teddy Eustace (a three-time winner) and brother of Curtis Eustace (who holds the record for most wins after being crowned nine times) tied with Gerard Weekes. Eustace portrayed “Moko in Flames”, while Weekes carried, “The Joy of Love and Friendship”, the Mac Farlane Carnival King that had been tipped as a hot favourite after topping both the preliminaries and the semi-finals. The two men tied with 438 points. It was the first time in the competition’s history that a joint winner was announced, according to the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) president David Lopez.
But some said there has never been a tie announced in this competition because the rules make provisions to prevent first-place ties.
Masmen yesterday raised queries over whether the NCBA followed its rules which make provision for a tie-breaker. They noted there are normally seven judges scores used to come up with the total points for each competitor. Normally, the highest and lowest scores are eliminated. The rules stipulate that when two costumes tie for first place, the two excluded scores are returned to the mix to see who comes out on top.
This is what reportedly happened last year, when Weekes tied with Roland St George. A tie-breaker separated both by one point and St George was announced as winner with “Ralliez Vous A Mon Panache Blanc” (Weekes had portrayed “Malak Yahweh, The Praying Mantis”.) Weekes also lost out on the North King title to Wade Madray the year before, also because of a tie.
Weekes yesterday said after Carnival, he would query whether in fact the tie-break procedure was used this year. He also said even if the tie-break procedure was used and there was still a dead heat, the rules stipulate that the judges were then supposed to vote by way of secret ballot for the winner. He said the NCBA had not, up to yesterday afternoon, stated if these processes were adhered to.
“While I can lose out by querying this I am more concerned that the process was done properly and correctly,” he said. Eustace, however, said he would consult with his team before considering querying.
“I will discuss it with the team. But for now we are just happy with the decision and we will go forward with it,” Eustace said early on Saturday morning.
There were also questions of how the prize-money would be split. Lopez told reporters both competitors placed first and so the first place prize would be split evenly.
“It’s a tie. That’s the result that has come out. And there is one prize for first place which is $250,000 so we have got to split the money in two in my recollection,” he said. However, Eustace suggested that the first place prize and second place prize ($175,000) be added together and divided by two.
“It feels great to win,” Eustace said. “To win the first time I played is great.”
However, Eustace questioned whether holding the King of Carnival and Queen of Carnival finals on Friday, as opposed to Dimanche Gras worked. “We Eustaces we love tradition. We’d like the show to go back to Sunday. Carnival is tradition and we should follow tradition.” Despite it all, Weekes said he was happy to come out on top.
“I’m happy, I’m joyous,” he said. “It is a joyous time. It really is a marvel to be on top again.”
Weekes has seemed to have some bad luck in the competition in years past, missing out last year and having one favoured portrayal, “The Dragon Can’t Dance” collapse four years ago.