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15 Heading for Montserrat’s Calypso Semi-Finals

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Judges made quick work of bringing the four-hour long calypso eliminations show to pick 15 finalists to a swift conclusion, thanks to the homegrown judging software Talypso.
32 calypsonians competed on Saturday night to make the cut in the first show held in the festival village for the season.
A few singers forgot some of their lines, others sang off key but it was a fun night of music and witty lyrics as seven women and 25 men sang for the audience in the park and watching via a FREE live stream, courtesy of the Montserrat Arts Council.

Making her calypso debut was teacher Maxcine Osborne with Man’s Quest for Success. She was the only newbie in this year’s competition but handled herself well. Returning after long absences were Black Pearl, Jaguar and GT. Storm, who broke her left leg on Friday, sat while she delivered a warning in We in Trouble.

Several of the entries, as always, are more suited for the soca arena and we will probably be seeing them in the soca monarch competition later this month. Other entries chronicled this year’s general elections. Cupid’s 2 Hundred Million to Spend offered ideas on how the government should use the money, Showtime said Turn the Money Over (to the people). Ambassador of Israel aka Straffy said Shuffle the Deck, Chipsa sang Sheriff MCAP, Cruza said Don Done, Red Ride said I Hate it When I’m Right, while Lord Caesar sang the tongue twister Exes Sexes Exes.

More songs with an election focus were GT’s Pretty Baba and Kulcha Don’s Political Trickery.

Results are tabulated using Talypso, a homegrown software built by Rovika. Talypso is a web-based software created to provide instantaneous updates once scores are entered. Talypso, which is a merger of the words tallying and calypso, was created by former Chairman of the Calypso Sub-Committee Dennison Daley and his business partner Manish Valechha. Talypso allows the judges to enter scores directly into an iPad, which immediately updates the programme and at any moment you can see who is in the lead. Judges, however, are unable to see what fellow judges enter.

The show, which began about 30 minutes late ended around 1:30AM after the semi-finalists were announced. One surprise, was the absence of former calypso king Tabu from the top 15.

The 15 semi-finalists in no particular order are Herman “Cupid” Francis, Baptiste “Baptiste” Wallace, Henry “Jaguar” Sweeney, Nyota “Black Pearl” Mulcare, Stevil “De Rod” Rodney, Steve “Iceman” Weekes, Kemona “Kemona” Albert, Silvina “Khandie” Malone, Reinford “Kulcha Don” Gibbons, Shane “Lord Caesar” Caesar, Maggie “Maggie D” Destouche, Kevin “Nattie” Farrell, Davon “Rakatang” Williams, Edwin “Red Ride” Martin, and Vickie “Storm” Locker.

Calypso Semi-Finals are slated for Saturday, December 21, 2019.

You can watch Saturday’s show here…