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Focus on the 'Big Yard'
Posted By: News
Date: Sunday, 22 February 2004, at 8:37 a.m.
The many Carnival fetes and preparations for tomorrow morning's Jour Ouvert start to the national two-day Festival notwithstanding the focus tonight will be on the Big Yard and who will be crowned the 2004 Calypso Monarch at the Dimanche Gras show at the Queen's Park Savannah, and this year's King as well as Queen of Carnival. Strong contenders for the honour of King of Carnival are Geraldo Vieira Junior, who placed first in the semi-finals on Tuesday at the Queen's Park Savannah, with his masterpiece of technology, "Alladin's Last Ride," a feature of which is a snapping bird; Curtis Eustace and his "Drums of Freedom," and Roland St George and his golden genie "Bling Bling Lamassu - The Wishmaster."
The question tickling the minds of Calypso aficianados is: Will reigning Monarch, Singing Sandra, be able to retain her title or will the new sovereign be this year's Young King, Brian London, who forged ahead of the semi-finalists, including four former Calypso Monarchs - Chalkdust, Luta, Shadow and Sugar Aloes - to make him a surprise pretender to the Throne? Can London, who was clearly energised by the Skinner Park crowd two Saturdays ago as he sang "Win Back We Nation" and "We Free," be able to strike the same chord, or will one of the former Monarchs turn the proverbial table on him? Or will the new crowned Head of Calypso come from such formidable pretenders to the Calypso Throne as Pan Kaiso champion, The Orginal de Fosto Himself, Ras Kommanda, Heather MacIntosh, Kizzy Ruiz, Protector or Skatie?
Shadow, who holds the distinction of having been the last Calypso Monarch of the 20th century has two strong tunes in "Hornerman" and "Cocoyea," while Chalkdust's needed reminder to the Region's politicians, "One Caribbean" and his "Lal Rumshop" may yet win for him the coveted Monarchy for a sixth occasion. Not chosen for the finals, nor even to compete in the semi-finals was controversial Calypsonian, Cro Cro, whose abrasive song "Facing Reality" had been clearly inappropriate. And while the reason for his non selection has never been made known formally, yet to have chosen him to compete in tonight's competition for the prestigious title of Calypso Monarch of Trinidad and Tobago, would have sent all the wrong signals. Meanwhile, two former Calypso Monarchs, The Mighty Sparrow, Calypso King of the World, and Calypso Rose, whose winning of the crown forced thepredecessor to the National Carnival Commission to change the name of the award from Calypso King, will be honoured in special tribute at tonight's Dimanche Gras show. In turn, former Calypso legend, David Rudder, will co-host the Dimanche Gras show with television show host, Allyson Hennessy, the first time that a former Calypso Monarch will be doing so. Now it is on to the Big Yard and who will be the monarchs crowned tonight.
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