Helon Francis is new Calypso Monarch. And the defending champion, Chalkdust, placed 17th and last, signaling maybe the time has come for the nine-time Monarch to hang up his boots and ride off into the sunset.
What the results show is that the four veterans – Singing Sandra, Sugar Aloes, Skatie, and Chalkdust, took the last four placings in the finals. It shows that the young brigade has arrived, and maybe the veterans need to take a side. It also shows that the time for venomous calypsoes are a thing of the past.
Skatie sang “Cut Back” so he cut back on his song , singing only three verses. Chalkdust paid tribute to Max Richards, but he never did justice to the late President. Aloes, still reeling from the effects of singing for the former Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar in 2012, paid tribute to Lord Kitchener, and Singing Sandra came back with the same melody and lyrics of years gone by.
Francis, singing “Change” before the judges and Savannah audience, edged Soca Monarch winner, Aaron “Voice” St Louis, who placed second with his song, “Year For Love”, the same song that won him his third Soca Monarch in a row on Saturday morning.
Policeman Duanne O’Connor, who was not selected for the finals, was allowed to enter the competition via a ruling of the High Court at 6 pm Sunday. He placed seventh with his “No Front Page”.
O’Connor had challenged his omission from the finals after the score sheet showed that one of the judges had changed the points he had initially allocated.
Delivering an oral judgment at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, High Court Judge Ricky Rahim ruled in favour of O’Connor in his lawsuit against the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (Tuco).
Under Rahim’s order Tuco was instructed to allow O’Connor, who won the competition in 2012, to perform his song “No Front Page” in position 17 after Chalkdust.
In a brief telephone interview after the decision was handed down, O’Connor said he felt happy after a week of legal wrangling with Tuco.
“After all the pressure I have been through this week, I feel elated and so happy.”
He said he was disappointed with Tuco as it repeatedly refused to accede to his requests resolve the dispute without having to go to court.
In his lawsuit, O’Connor challenged a judge’s decision to change his score for melody, from 28 to 25, during last Saturday’s Calypso Fiesta semifinals at Skinner Park in San Fernando.
O’Connor claimed that the change was unjustified as melody is constant and does not change during the song.
He alleged that the three point change resulted in him narrowly missing out on the finals.
O’Connor initially challenged the decision with Tuco’s Adjudicating Review Committee, which dismissed his claim last week.
The committee also stated that there was no express rule preventing judges from changing scores provided the error was acknowledged and corrected on the score sheet as done in O’Connor’s claim.
O’Connor’s lawyers sent a pre-action protocol letter to Tuco on Wednesday indicating the committee was wrong as the rules required it to summon the judge to explain the error when it was queried by their client.
While O’Connor’s lawyers acknowledged that he could have appealed the decision with Tuco’s general council but such a process was impractical due to time.
Meanwhile, Roxanne Omalo won the Queen of Carnival competition with “Mistress of the Eternally Damned”, while Earl Thompson was adjudged the King of Carnival with “Death and the Maiden”.
The full results are as follows:
17th Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool
QUEEN OF CARNIVAL
2nd Gloria Dallsingh – “Gem of the Ocean
KING OF CARNIVAL
HELON FRANCIS, CENTRE, WITH HIS SUPPORTERS
Roxanne Omalo – “Lilith, Mistress of the Eternally Damned”
Earl Thompson – “Death and the Maiden”