Diana Chapman- winner of Senior Calypso Competition
For years, the men have dominated the top spots of the Senior Calypso Competition, but 2017 was certainly one of change. In fact, the women dominated the competition this year, with Lindener Diana Chapman emerging as the Calypso queen with a solid piece called “Put your house in order.”
The event which is usually held at the Demerara Park saw 11 calypsonians vying for the title. But none managed to overshadow the poise and pizzazz of Chapman. She had the dance moves, the right amount of dancers, a costume that was attractive and colourful, a performance that reflected practice, the right amount of humility and confidence along with a powerful voice. After years of participation, the University student without a doubt was there to take the crown home once and for all. She also earned the top prize of $800, 000.
Coming in second place was Calypsonian Pearl Lewis also known by her stage name, Precious Pearl, with her song called “Old age is like a criminal.” The song which dared to stay away from the popular political topics highlighted the struggles of senior citizens in Guyana. It was not the best performance of the night, but the judges surely agreed that the message of her piece earned her the right to walk away with the second place cash prize of $600 000.
Although by experience, she could be considered the “baby” of the senior calypso bunch, Tshanna Cort demonstrated on Friday night that she has the voice, the looks and the finesse to be a formidable force in the contest. With her Burchmore Simon piece called “Where the Innocence Gone”, the Junior Calypso queen came in third place. The talented singer wooed the crowed with her song and delivered, to the surprise of many, an unforgettable performance. She earned her self the cash prize worth $400, 000.
There were other performers who remained on the political track as they have in previous years. And if the judge’s decision was anything to take a cue from, it appears that this approach has run a bit stale.
The Mighty Believer did not impress the judges enough and so landed in fourth place with his political rendition called “Give David some time.”
The massive crowd sang along with his rather sympathetic piece. The song explored the mess in which the country is in and sought to ask citizens to give President David Granger and his Government, time to fix it all.
However, for having one of the best performances of the night, he was awarded $200,000.
What was indeed a huge upset for some in the audience was the fact that their favourites, such as Manoel “King Perai” Ferriera and Lester “De Professor” Charles did not place.
King Perai’s song was called “Perai Justice”. The political piece was a humorous and catchy piece on the Perai bringing an end to various forms of corruption by officials in high office.
De Professor, a seasoned calypsonian who has won the senior calypso monarch several times, came out with much exuberance as he sang about the controversial issue involving a local pope and a sex tape. His song was called, “Wicked Philbert.”
Fans of the two calypsonians were disappointed and dissatisfied with the judges’ results and understandably, stormed out of the packed Demerara Park.
Other performers who delivered commendable performances included Lassel Duke, with ‘Deh give him a bruk up country’, Young Bill Rogers with ‘Ah Campaigning for President’, the Might Hunter with ‘Them boy seh’, Ras Marcus with ‘Ow Mr. Pope’, and Lady D with ‘King Liar”
All in all, the Calypso competition was filled with fun, excitement and brought a higher level of lyrical content and performance from some.
Calypso fanatics are already wound up about what 2018 has in store.