Management of Calypso Bards Tent is seeking legal redress in what is believed to be discrepancies in the judging of two members of the tent at last Sunday’s semi-final round of the National Calypso Competition.
Elwyn “Black Wizard” McQuilkin who leads the tent told The New Today Newspaper on Tuesday they are hoping that the court could grant them an injunction to declare the competition null and void.
“As far as we’re concerned, our men were not judged because their names were not on the score sheet,” Wizard said.
One of the affected Calypsonians, Edison “Teacher Eddie” Francis who spoke to this newspaper said that after collecting his score sheet from the Spicemas Corporation (SMC) at their office within the National Stadium at Queen’s Park on Monday, he noticed that something was definitely wrong.
According to “Teacher Eddie”, Judge Number Seven had the name Nashanda “Shanda” Charles who sang after him as the person who sang “Sing U Song For Urself” which was his second song in the competition.
“The official document from the judge says ‘Nashanda Charles,’ that is not me,” he said.
Teacher Eddie disclosed that the judge gave the song a score of 74.
The order of appearance at the semi-final for artistes from Calypso Bards Calypso Tent was Scholar followed by Signal, Gun, Allan G, Teacher Eddie and Shanda.
Teacher Eddie said that as soon as he noticed the discrepancy with his score sheet he immediately pointed out the blunder to Andy Chichester, an official of Spicemas who then looked at Shanda’s score sheet to see if it bore his name.
“Nashanda had all her seven sheets in the package named “Nashanda” so there was not a mix up in (the score sheet of) Nashanda,” he added.
The New Today Newspaper was told that after the scores are collated on competition night, they are passed over to the Judges’ attaché who will then have it verified before the result is announced to the public.
According to the affected Calypsonian, Spicemas officials are saying it was a genuine mistake that was made but Teacher Eddie who has been in the calypso business for 38 years described the judges as incompetent.
The veteran Calypsonian believes there is a possibility that the discrepancies that happened to the artistes from Calypso Bards were willfully done.
“It (the discrepancy) did not happen to any other tent, it happened to Calypso Bards,” he remarked.
Calypso Bards is branded as a tent that is littered with singers who are opposed to the governing New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
Its Leader, Black Wizard, is an Assistant General Secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“The court could declare the competition null and void,” he remarked.
THE NEW TODAY understands that a similar discrepancy happened to Allan G, another member of Calypso Bards.
Speaking to this newspaper on Monday, Allan G said he discovered that Judge Number Seven had the name as “Edison Teacher Eddie Francis,” associated with the song, “Pan Fight”, one of his two renditions on competition night.
He believes he was sabotaged as Teacher Eddie sang after him.
“Teacher Eddie name was never called in the semi-final until he came on stage – there was no announcement of Teacher Eddie so how you could mark me for him?” a stunned Allan G asked.
I was never judged. I have no sheet to show the world that I was judged… the score I have doesn’t belong to me, and it doesn’t belong to Eddie neither because Eddie didn’t sing a song called Pan Fight,” he said
It was reported that Judge Number Seven gave a score of 72 points to “Pan Fight.”
Allan G said his dilemma began from the preliminary stage of the calypso competition when the carbon copy of his score sheet from the preliminary could not be found and was only able to obtain a copy when Chichester made a photocopy from the original copy.
Allan G who placed third out of 160 Calypsonians from the preliminary stage, said he is puzzled over the scores he obtained from both the preliminary and the semi-final.
Allan G scored 764 points along with Inspector, and both Calypsonians were named as standby Artistes for the final to take place on Dimanche Gras night on August 9.
The Calypsonian believes the judging was influenced by politics, adding that it was a sinister move by some persons to make sure that Ajamu retains the crown.
He pointed out that seven of the judges used in the competition are from St. David’s.
“What they realise is that my two songs are the only songs that could beat Ajamu because they want to give Ajamu back the crown, and they realise if you get rid of Allan G with those two songs it is easy door open,” he said.
Allan G believes he was sabotaged and it was not a mistake as the same judge had the correct name on the score sheet for his first song, “The River.”
“It is a sabotage because they realise Allan G is the only Calypsonian that is a threat to the King, to the crown. It is an insult.
Allan G is adamant that he wants the court to ask SMC to present him with his score for “Pan Fight,” from Judge Number Seven.
The affected Calypsonian believes it is critical for people wanting to become calypso judges to be engaged in a one-year course than just a one-off workshop and then allowed to judge calypso competitions.
“They (the judges) have no qualification in the art, no qualification. You do a workshop for three hours and you’re a judge to judge me,” he said.
According to Allan G, it is because of bad judging over the years he decided to pull out of competition in 1995.
In that year he came third in the preliminary but did not make the final.
The New Today Newspaper was reliably informed that the SMC met in an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the matter of the controversial score sheets.
Calypso Bards tent has recruited the services of female attorney Claudette Joseph who will write SMC asking for the two affected Calypsonians to be among the finalists for the Calypso competition.
SMC was given 24 hours to reply to Joseph’s letter, failing which an injunction would be filed to have the Calypso show stopped.