Seven-time Calypso Monarch, Findlay “Scholar” Jeffrey, remains on course to challenge defending monarch, King Ajamu for the title as he finished on top of the judges’ list in both the preliminary and semi-final rounds of the national calypso competition.
Despite an injury to his left ankle due to a fall, Scholar amassed a total of 503 points with his two renditions “Wings to fly” and “Take jab” during the semifinals held last Sunday at Victoria Park in Grenville St. Andrew.
Only 16 of the 18 calypsonians announced earlier by Spicemas Corporation to compete for a spot in the finals actually took to the stage.
Nelson Mapp known as “Mr. Razor” and Otis Celestine (Otis) did not participate due to hoarseness of the voice.
Placing second on 496 points was Brendon “Killa B” Mc Kie, the reigning Soca and Calypso Monarch from the sister isle of Carriacou, with performed “Dying and Living” and “Take a stand”.
In an interview with reporters following his performance, Killa B gave an insight into the motive behind his songs.
“It is all about things that has been happening in Carriacou”, he said, noting that “Dying and Living” is all about “greed and grudges (and persons) fighting against each other (for material things) and we all have to die and leave here anyway”.
According to the artiste, “we just need love, peace and unity”.
Killa B said that his second song deals with “the sexual assault and young girls being raped in Grenada by big men in Society”.
“I feel hurt – that is disrespectful to the young people coming up so I decided that I would put it into a song”, he said.
The judges awarded the third position to Kelly Clyne (Rootsman Kelly) who came second in last year’s Dimanche Gras final.
The calypsonian sang “Flowers before ah dead” and “A request to the King”.
Clyne told reporters that he was extremely satisfied with his performance this year.
“The crowd accepted the songs and how they reacted made me feel really happy tonight”, he said, adding that his first rendition is a tribute to one of his friends who recently passed away.
“That song is really dedicated to (a) brethren of mine who passed away earlier this year. He was a real stalwart in the community, very humble – he would have literally taken the shirt of his back to give to anybody and when he passed away, the amount of praises he got – the funeral was rammed packed and everybody had a good word to say about him at that time when he didn’t really need it. So that is what inspired me to write that song”, Clyne explained.
According to Rootsman Kelly, his other rendition, “A request to the King” is a call for “Ajamu to step aside because the only how that I (Kelly) could win is if Ajamu step down”.
He spoke of consulting with Ajamu, a close friend before writing the song.
“The lyrics of the song are paying a tribute to him (Ajamu) in a form. I wrote the song with a lot of respect, not to offend him, but I want to win as well so just step aside and give Rootsman a chance”, he said.
Veteran entertainer, Elimus Gilbert (Inspector), the holder of 11 national titles, placed fourth on Sunday night with 479 points after singing “Alan G misleading me” and “Dottish list”.
Inspector was followed by Sheldon Douglas in fifth position on 475 points, and Edison Francis (Teacher Eddie) in sixth place on 466 points.
Micah Joseph known as “Baracka” and Sean Niles (Sour Serpent) tied for the seventh position on 460 points.
Laura Richardson whose stage name is Laura Lisa was the only female artiste to make it into the finals as she took the eight position with 453 points.
Speaking to reporters after making her semi-final debut with her two songs, “Familiar face” and “This Carnival”, Laura Lisa was full of glee and excitement.
“I am excited and scared a bit”, she said, adding, “I have learnt a lot about being on stage looking at Ajamu and all the other artistes – it’s been wonderful”.
Allan Gaskin (Allan G) was named as the standby artiste on Dimanche Gras night as he mustered 452 points to take the 10th spot.
In an interview with THE NEW TODAY Monday, Political Leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nazim Burke, who attended the Calypso semifinals, commended the artistes on the quality of calypsos this year.
“I think the quality of the songs were quite good, several of the Calypsonians were quite creative in their presentations. I want to commend the artistes for their performances. I thought all in all it was a very good evening, it was nice to be there listening to some very good Grenadian music”, he said.
This year’s Dimanche Gras competition will take place on August 7, at the Grenada National Stadium at Queen’s Park in St George’s.