This year’s contest was said to have pulled perhaps the biggest crowd ever, for the annual contest that is now in its 15th year. One of the biggest attractions was the defending monarch, King Konris of St. Kitts, who last year became the first calypsonian to successfully defend the title and “Two-Peat”. Many had gone to the Landsome Bowl to witness what they hoped would have been a historic “Three Peat”, but that was not to be.
When the announcement of winners came at 3:00am, (Sunday morning), Anguilla’s reigning monarch, Dr. Splinter, was adjudged the new Leeward Islands Calypso King for 2011, defeating the King Konris who had to settle for the First Runner Up position while Antigua’s representative, De Bear, copped the Second Runner Up slot.
Singing in the #2 position, Konris released for the first time a song entitled, Oil and Water, but to most observers, it was not able to create the impact that is usually associated with the Kittitian entertainer, when it comes to competition. It was a song about Caribbean unity, integration and the poor treatment of some states, such as Trinidad, when it comes to assistance to other sister Caribbean countries. Though not weak in lyrical content, Konris was somewhat, “flat” in his overall delivery.
Though he was more stinging in the second round of the competition with his very popular “Unstoppable Force”, it was not enough to block the power of Anguilla’s Dr. Splinter.
According to some comments from spectators after the results were in, Konris perhaps was very fortunate to have placed that high in the top three, because there were those who strongly believed that Antigua’s De Bear should have occupied the First Runner position or even king.
De Bear’s supporters had a similar reaction in 2010 when Konris blew the entire field of competitors across the Caribbean Sea, on his way to creating history as the first “back-to-back” king.
This time around however, they had legitimate cause to be disappointed. De Bear was among the top three, (along with Pungwa and Dr. Splinter), after his First Round rendition of “How I Long”, but it was his second song, “Melle for Sale” that brought the audience alive as he outlined some of the latest political and other gossip in Anguilla. De Bear is a former two times Calypso King of Montserrat (where he was born), a former Leeward Islands King (2007) and is the current calypso monarch of Antigua.
However, The biggest disappointment coming out of the competition on Saturday night was that of St. Kitts & Nevis’ reigning calypso king, Pungwa, who although he was the most powerful and dynamic in the first round, something seemed to have gone dreadfully wrong by Round Two.
He was riding high on his superb performance in the first round, but it is reported that just before entering the stage for the second song, he was disturbed by some unfriendly comments that are alleged to have come from the MC. A few years ago, Pungwa was caught up in some legal problems surrounding a robbery and sources have indicated that he was reminded of those issues, just before going on stage, by his detractor.
Visibly upset, Pungwa was only able to make it through the second verse and chorus before forgetting his lines, (bussing), and destroying his quest for crown. This caused quite a stir in the crowd leaving the many Kittitian fans in shock.
Had this unfortunate incident not occurred, there is no doubt that Pungwa would have emerged winner of this sub-regional competition and would have followed in the footsteps of Ayatollah, Socrates and Konris.
Since the contest was launched back in 1997, St. Kitts has won on 4 occasions, St. Maarten 1, Antigua 4 and Anguilla seven.
Other territories participating on Saturday night were Montserrat, (Cupid); British Virgin Islands (Luther B);United States Virgin Islands (King Kung Fu Plen-tae);Nevis, (Hollywood);and St. Maarten (Kaiso Brat).