His victory this time around however was neither controversial nor surprising. Since the release of his songs for the festival, fans were early in their praise for his powerful competition pieces, especially the crown-winning one that he performed in the first round, chastising the federal government of St. Kitts and Nevis for not giving Nevis its fair share of the millions of dollars thought to be in the funds of the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, (SIDF).
Everyone knew however that despite the pre-competition hype Binghi would have had to deliver outstanding performances on the actual night of the contest. He did not disappoint. For many fans, the night truly belonged to the king and the lone female competitor, Lady Conscious, who had a remarkable baptism to the calypso arena.
The rookie calypsonian appeared comfortable and confident and wowed the large and usually critical audience many of whom expressed great disappointment when her name was not called in the top three winners. Fans belted out claims of “cheat” and other expressions of disgust with the decision of the judges.
There is no doubt that Lady Conscious was superb in both appearances and recognizing that it is consistency of performance that truly matters in any competition, this young lady who is also a former First Runner in both the Miss Culture Queen Pageant and National Carnival Queen Pageant (2012), made sure that she had the material for the two rounds of calypso.
Her disappointment was very obvious as she stood on stage, first hearing the MC announce Astro as Second Runner-up then Dis N Dat for First Runner-up. These were the possible places that fans too were predicting she would fill. When the MC prepared to name the winner, her facial expression was still hopeful, thinking perhaps that she may had done the impossible, but unfortunately instead of her name being announced, it was that of Binghi, therefore leaving no space for her in the list of top honours.
This was the first time a female appeared in the Calypso Finals in approximately 25 years.
Other finalists were Nutsy, Pupa Wheeler, Baker, and Hollywood.
The expected guest appearance of King Meeko did not disappoint. Dressed elegantly as usual but this time in a cream suit with red inner shirt, the master performer took to the stage to defend his honour.
The crowd warmed to his presentation of the popular hit tune, “Sing to win”
In it, he sang about why the other calypsonians are afraid of his abilities and how they do not want him to compete. The words were very timely as the whole of Nevis was aware that due to ill-health he failed to participate in the Semi-finals and therefore was ruled out as a finalist for Saturday night. His voice was not as powerful and it was obvious that he was still suffering from the problems associated with his throat infection. As best as he could however and with the full understanding of his fans, Meeko still managed to stir up ‘trouble’ as he pounded his calypso rivals, especially Astro and Binghi whom he blamed for the decision taken by the Culturama Committee not to provide him with the “wild card’ into the finals, as he and his doctor had requested.
This would have been the first time, had he been accepted as a finalists, that he would have been competing in about four years after deciding to “stay out” over various personal reasons and concerns with the former Committee responsible for the Culturama festival.
One thing was certain, Meeko remains a powerful force and well-loved calypsonian on the island.
The events for Culturama continue Sunday night with the Miss Culture Pageant then on Monday with j’ouvert and the Miss Caribbean Culture Pageant.