By Brushell Blackman
Twenty-five year old Diana Chapman reigned over a field of 11 and was crowned senior calypso monarch in a highly competitive competition at Thirst Park, Friday night.
The Second Year University of Guyana Communications student said she did not see the win coming but her years of dedication and hard work has finally propelled her to the top.
Performing before a very large crowd the Lindener knew she had to be almost perfect with her performance because the six competitors that went before her set the bar extremely high.
The Bonny Alves produced rendition ‘Put your house in order’ had flare and style, The sweet tone of her voice complimented the lyrics beautifully, as she delved into topical issues in Guyana today.
It was clear that Chapman had put a lot of effort into her presentation because she danced like a pro and the two back-up dancers that assisted her gave more creativity to the performance.
The lively crowd was engrossed throughout the performance as the former Junior Calypso monarch danced as she sang much to their delight.
Chapman was gracious in victory and lauded the other competitors for ensuring one of the best calypso finals in years. For those that stormed out in disbelief when she was crowned, Chapman said the judges’ decision was final. Apart from the monarchy Chapman also won $800,000.
Pearl Lewis was second and if there was any surprise of the night this was it. Performing under the stage name Precious Pearl, her song ‘Old age is like a criminal’ missed the mark at times and this caused the crowd to be distracted.
But the veteran calypsonian was resolute and the actress that helped her deliver the message of the song may have saved the evening. The rendition dealt with the many issues associated with old age and how senior citizens had to find innovative ways to tackle them.
In the end Lewis scored 387 points eclipsing, the Junior Calypso Monarch Tshanna Cort by one point. She won trophies and a monetary prize of $600,000.
Tshanna Cort entered this competition on the back of her triumph at the Junior Calypso Finals and she came third with 386 points. Her song was titled ‘Where the innocence gone’ and as usual she gave a very good account of herself.
But it was evident Cort was in the big league and it was tough because her fellow competitors were pulling out the stops to land the coveted crown. The Burchmore Simon production was well received by the massive crowd that waited patiently for the show that started one hour late.
There can be no doubt about Cort’s ability to sing but she could have focused a bit more on the presentation of the song which was a bit bland. The two times Junior Calypso Monarch won $400,000.
Kenroy Fraser, the Mighty Believer was fourth with 384 and his song was ‘Give David some time’. It must be said that this song was one of the best of the night, and the presentation was exquisite.
No wonder it was only three points that separated the second, third and fourth competitors. It was this rendition that had the crowd really involved as they sang along in agreement that the populace should give the current President David Granger some more time to sort out the country’s affairs.
Added to the popularity of the song Fraser had four bodyguards that stood at the four corners of the stage much to the amusement of the crowd and it was clear that he was feeding off the crowd and was having a good time. In the end it was no surprise that he placed fourth and won $200,000.
At the end of the competition it was clear that the guards have changed since none of the popular performers placed. The 2016 Senior Calypso Monarch Lester Charles, the Professor, did not place and so did a number of other seasoned calypsonians.
The other performers were Lassel Duke, the Mighty Duke with ‘Deh give him a bruk up country’, Manoel Ferriera, (Perai) with ‘Perai Justice, Roger Hinds, Young Bill Rogers, ‘Ah Campaigning for President’, Wendell Walcott, Might Hunter, ‘Them boy say’, John Marcus, (Ras Marcus) ‘Ow Mr. Pope’, Dawn Edwards, (Lady D), ‘King Liar and Lester Charles, (The professor) with ‘Wicked Philbert’.
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