‘De Professor’ is Calypso Monarch 2k9
- dethrones Young Bill Rogers
From the time he left the stage at Thirst Park on Saturday night, after a sterling opening performance, it was a foregone conclusion that Region Ten’s Lester Charles, whose singing name is De Professor, had taught the other performing Calypsonians at the 2k9 competition a lesson.
De Professor, with his catchy rendition of ‘Save de Land,’ dethroned the 2008 Calypso Monarch, Young Bill Rogers, who had to settle for second place out of a total of 12 finalists.
Rogers, however, had some consolation on the night, winning the HIV/AIDS Song Competition from a field of 10 finalists.
Sporadic showers which halted proceedings on two occasions did not, however, spoil a night of good clean calypso fun, although some of the renditions did not move the disciplined crowd which had gathered at the venue.
And in the absence of two of Guyana’s stalwart calypsonians, the Mighty Rebel and Winfield James, the title race was wide open for the taking, and De Professor took every advantage.
Not that his composition would have feared less, even with Rebel and James around.
The first artist to perform for the calypso segment, De Professor immediately had the fair sized crowd rocking with his imaginative rendition of some of the ills of the society.
Poking fun at bandits and both the Government and the opposition, he craftily won over the hearts of the audience, and it was clear that he had set the bar so high that his would have been a hard act to follow.
It did not take too long for this to be realized, since the next performer, international recording artist D’Ivan, failed to keep the momentum, although his rendition was of the usual high standard.
Sniper was next on stage, and his song, ‘Grow more food,’ was a popular theme for some of the other performers.
The experienced Mighty Canary, with his outrageous costume which significantly represented the red and white of Valentine’s Day, did not fare too badly with his song, ‘We’ll remember 2008’.
Lady Karen, with ‘Hear de cries of a Trinidadian,’ did little to stir the crowd, which included Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and his wife, as well as Minister of Culture Youth and Sports, Dr. Frank Anthony.
Her composition dealt with the perception that there is no match for Guyanese women when it comes to the desires of Caribbean men.
Mighty Roraima’s ‘Pressure Cooker’ was well put together, but, again, he suffered from the standard set by De Professor and also failed to ignite the crowd, which by now had become restless.
Dawn Edwards, a virtual newcomer on the calypso scene, did well with her ‘Carifesta X’, depicting the successful hosting of last year’s mega-event.
The Mighty Voter’s visual impairment did nothing to affect his performance of ‘Restore Law and Order.’
Dressed as a judge, complete with gravel, his song represented what many perceive as the breakdown of law in society.
After a number of years in the background, the veteran Bright Colours, with costume befitting his singing name, spiced up the tempo somewhat with his ‘For the good of children’, for which the judges awarded him third runner-up.
The Mighty Believer was next on stage with his prophetic, ‘What a man soweth, that shall he reap’.
It was a punchy rendition, which was cut short by a sharp shower which sent the judges and the rest of the audience running for shelter.
He was given another chance to captivate the audience, but by then the crowd had diminished somewhat.
It was then left up to two other veterans, Calypso Stella and last year’s monarch, Young Bill Rogers, to keep the remaining patrons interested.
Stella, with her ‘Agri is the key’, which brought her the second runner-up spot, only prolonged the anticipated arrival of Rogers with his ‘As king, ah defending we sweet country.’
His elaborate entrance, dressed as a king complete with guards, was well received by the audience.
As the patient audience waited for the announcement of the winner, everyone was convinced that the choice would not have been a difficult one, as they let the Master of Ceremonies, Hector Stoute, know when he enquired from them.
In the end, the judges, the panel of which was headed by Enrico Woolford, agreed with their choice.
Earlier in the night, a sharp shower caused some controversy when Kendingo was on stage during the HIV/ AIDS Competition.
In the middle of his performance, the shower sent patrons scurrying for cover, leaving the veteran calypsonian singing to empty chairs.
Kendingo tried to get the musicians to stop the track, but that was to no avail; and he walked off the stage in disgust.
He subsequently left the arena, probably feeling that he was cheated out of a top spot in that category.
In the end, when the Calypso Monarch was announced at around 02:00 hours, and with an encore performance by the champion, those who waited left satisfied, although this year’s competition would not go down as one of the best ever.