Mr. Val Henry, MyVueNews.com
Basseterre, St. Kitts, Sunday, 5th August 2018, (MyVueNews.com) –It is always said that when it comes to a calypso competition, the only performance that matters, is the one on the final night of the contest.
And that is exactly what Keith “Dis N’ Dat” Scarborough did on Saturday night, 4th August, to once again capture the crown in the Senior Calypso Monarch Competition for the 2018 Culturama celebrations in Nevis.
Dis N’ Dat dethroned the reigning king Hollywood, who unfortunately found no place in the final three positions after the judges’ decision was announced during the early hours of Sunday.
The key to Scarborough’s victory though, was his second song that he poured out with first class diction and presentation, and from the start to the end, kept the audience singing along. Had he not done so well in this second round, his fate would have been quite different.
Scarborough, who already had the distinction of having won the most titles of the contest, since the festival’s inauguration in 1974, amassed a total of 798 points to outdo his other opponents, including First Runner-up, King Astro, who totaled 732 points, just 16 points ahead of new comer, Sookie, on 716 points and gaining the Second Runner Up slot.
It was a competition though that was marred by legal challenges in the court, after Polo, one of the eventual finalists, took the Culturama Committee to court, arguing that he was disadvantaged in the earlier stages of the contest and was originally not included in the competition.
After a special hearing on Saturday, just hours before the start of the competition, the judge ruled that Polo along with others not previously in the line-up, should be added.
This meant that, for the first time, there were 13 calypsonians in the finals, making it one of the longest contests in 44 years and one fraught with problems, on and off, the stage.
The numerous instances of poor quality sound management, including the malfunctioning of the mic, all helped to damper the spirits of the thousands of calypso fans who turned out, unlike recent years, to support the art form.
It got so bad at one point that one calypsonian had to be allowed to sing over his first tune after the mic gave out on him on stage.
Also, because of the 13 strong line up of competitors, the show, which started very late, dragged on until well after 3:00am, Sunday.
But there were other highlights and good experiences amid all the challenges. Included in these, were superb performances from X Man and Charis D, who unfortunately did not win the favour of the judges.
Given the strong lyrical content of their songs and the splendor of their on-stage presentations, it was widely expected that a place in the top three was highly possible.
Astro, who made it to the First Runner Up position must be counting his blessings and season of good luck, given that, unlike years past when he delivered outstanding performances, this year was weak, especially in the delivery of his second song.
But calypso in Nevis has always been quite different to all other Caribbean states. Nevis is, for instance, the only place where a reigning king has never successfully defended his title, even in times when it was obvious that they had done more than required to repeat.
Astro and Dis N’ Dat can both attest to that.
And while this year, Hollywood was not deserving of a repeat, the judges perhaps had their own assessments that were at variance with many in the audience, looking at the same performances, but arriving at different conclusions.
As the contest enters its 45 edition in 2019, it is hoped that history will be made and that less surprising results would be realized.
The festival continued Sunday night with the Miss Culture Queen pageant, featuring four (4) contestants.