It was a surprise on Dimanche Gras night when the coveted 2017 national calypso monarch title was awarded to Rootsman Kelly in a show that was held at the National Sporting stadium at Queen’s Park, St. George’s.
The Rootsman from St. David has finished in the last two years in the runners-up position.
Many calypso enthusiasts were stunned when the panel of judges, comprised of many persons from St. David’s announced that he had dethroned the defending monarch, Scholar who finished as 1st runner up.
It was the first national monarch title for Rootsman who won the Junior Calypso competitions in 1982 and 1983.
He also became the first Calypsonian from St. David to take the top spot on Dimanche Gras night.
Singing in position number seven, Rootsman Kelly delivered his two songs, “A cry for help” in the first round and “Weapons of mass destruction” in the second round of the competition to amass 849 points.
Speaking to reporters after the crown was placed on his head, the new monarch said it was a long wait for him to capture the crown.
“I feel real humbled because I consider myself as the people’s spokesperson, a representative of the poor, a representative of the down trodden, a representative of the Rastafari community. You know the journey was long and hard,” he said.
According to the Rootsman, the technical difficulty he experienced in the first round of competition did not deter him from putting his all into the second performance.
“…The MPC and the drums playing two different tempos at the same time, that sort of throw me off but then after the first half, I decided to go back to the drawing board, go in my corner and see how hard I could come, because I know them songs are very strong songs and a little hiccup wouldn’t throw me off too much…” he remarked.
Rootsman stated the leader of his tent, the decorated former national monarch winner, Edson “Ajamu” Mitchell gave him some good advice for the second round of the competition.
“…He (Ajamu) said to me, “Rootsman, forget the first round, let’s concentrate on the second round because them songs are strong enough. Let’s concentrate on the second round and you can take it home and he (Ajamu) has always been a great motivator to me…” he told reporters.
Rootsman Kelly believes that greater things lie ahead for him in the future.
He said: “Well, the journey now starts because the direction I see Calypso going I will like to make an about turn for Calypso in Grenada. I think we need people who will turn away from only the political commentaries and will address social issues, like I often do and I think that’s one of the things that set me apart from any other artiste”.
Defending monarch Scholar who took the second position finished on 832 points with his songs “Magician” and “Lift me up”.
THE NEW TODAY newspaper contacted Scholar on Tuesday to get his reaction to the results and he was very brief with his comment.
“It is what it is, I don’t care”.
The 3rd position in the competition went to Sean “Sour Serpent” Niles with 822 points with his song “Real Stakeholders” and “Too young to pound” while the 4th place was occupied by Sheldon Douglas (818 point) with his renditions of “Don’t Cross Trump” and “Come and See”.
The 5th place winner was Brendon “Killa B” Mckie gaining 809 points with his selections “Family” and “1 cent can’t change”, while the 6th position was taken by Jermaine “Super Star” Simon, who gained 797 points with her songs “Break the Silence” and “Say a Prayer”.
In 7th was Micah “Baracka” Joseph who ended on the night with 795 points from songs “Dungeon” and “Youthman and in the 8th position was Edison “Teacher Eddie” Francis (794 points) with his selections, “Forget to remember” and “I can’t live in hope”.
The 9th place went to Laura “Laura Lisa” Richardson, who gained 791 points with her songs “A cry for help” and “Judge me” and there was a tie for the 10th position as Jason “Big J” Joseph with his songs “No cents” and “Watch Dog” and Stansie “Campus” Matthew with his songs “Just tell them” and Kaiou” both amassed a total of 779 points.