This year, the road to the monarchy is wide open, especially given that the reigning King, Konris, has decided not to defend his title.
If one is to be guided by the results of the Semi-finals, held on Sunday, 15th December, at the Sugar Mas Village, (at the old treasury apron in Basseterre), all eyes must be directed at the top three performers, Jackie, Astro and Socrates.
While Socrates is the only former King in the Finals this year, (with five crowns under his belt), this cycle must also be the best chance for his fellow Sandy Pointer, Singing Jackie, who, (along with Kut), is the longest serving calypsonian on the roster this season. Jackie, who began her career as a Junior Calypsonian in 1973, has come close in previous years, but has never managed to score that much sought after victory. Instead, she has gotten only as far as First Runner-up. In some years, her fans have also claimed that she was robbed of the opportunity.
Coming out of Sunday’s Semis, Jackie was able to emerge as the top calypsonian, with 623 points, slightly ahead of regular finalists Astro (625) and Socrates (613). Though she trailed in third position in the first round on 313 points, Jackie came back in the second song to score 313 points, seven more than Astro with 306. Astro led the first round with 319 points.
Her fans are now hoping that the teacher calypsonian would invest some more time and effort in her overall performance, especially stage presentation, if she is to finally deliver the promise of a crown after 40 years in the arena. Her victory would be one for the record books, and a boost for female exponents of the art, as she would go down in history as the first female Senior Monarch winner.
It will not be easy however because Socrates has been known to pull off the impossible in previous years, though in others, he has also disappointed with on stage errors that have led to his demise.
Some calypso pundits are of the view too that if Astro could find the right balance on the final night and if he is able to enhance his theatrics for the stage presentation, he too could make history by becoming the first Nevisian born and resident to capture the title.
The greatest disappointment however is with Alamoulu. He, along with Socrates, led the pack coming out of the elimination, but apparently fell apart in the Semi finals with his second song, where he scored the lowest of the eight finalists.
In any case, it will take consistency of effort in the two rounds, from each of the eight calypsonians, to gain success when the big show is held later this month.
With Lord Kut back in the finals after many years, many supporters are looking forward to his entertaining presentations, come final night.
Results of Semi-finals:
Jackie 313 313 626
Astro 319 306 625
Socrates 328 285 613
Richie Buntin 312 285 597
Rudder 296 298 594
Lady Diva 311 281 592
Alamoulu 293 284 577
Lord Kut 272 305 577