And then there were nine . . .
Four women make afinal calypso cut
After six hours of gruelling competition and just about an hour of deliberation last Friday night, the judges determined that Aziza, Adonijah, Adrian Clarke, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles, Colin Spencer, Donella, Ian Webster, Mr Blood and TC would be the ones to challenge reigning Pic-O-De-Crop Monarch Classic on July 30 at Kensington Oval.
And as they say, they judges’ decision is final.
For years, many have been calling for a calypso queen and this just might be the year for that. With the four female finalists all presenting quality songs, it is clear they are all going for the crown.
Aziza, the youngest of the lot and former junior queen, was definitely one of the crowd favourites on the night.
After being away from the stage for two years, she returned to deliver a flawless rendition of One People One Nation and Bring Back Respect. Aziza is definitely one to watch in the finals.
It was also very pleasing to see TC back in the Pic-O-De-Crop competition after her recent hiatus. A veteran in this arena, once all goes well on finals night, she will be hard to beat with her That Golden Age and Tek Wuh Yuh Get.
Donella, last year’s first runner up, is back this year and is no doubt looking to take the number one spot with De Vision and De Criteria but she will have to also overcome Chrystal Cummins-Beckles, who is also no stranger to the stage,.
Chrystal did struggle a bit vocally though on Friday night but as long as she deals with those issues, she too could be in the money, singing, That Is What Barbados Means to Me and Hall of Fame.
However, any woman who wants to wear the calypso crown will have to outmanoeuvre the men come finals night.
No doubt two-time monarch Ian Webster knows the winning formula. And this year he is singing all about Rights and showing appreciation for some of his peers in his very popular Big Up.
Adrian Clarke is another former monarch who is in it to win it and possesses a special vocal ability that always sets him apart from the pack. This year he has come with 49 Not Out and What Is A Politician but he will have to upstage Mr Blood who can match him pound for pound on performance if not vocal ability. Mr Blood will be singing Female Monarchy and How To Get Away with Murder.
The other two contenders are Colin Spencer, whose delivery was superb for No Trussing and Toilet Paper, and Adonijah, who was quite impressive in Bashment Commentary and Dat Is A Bajan.
Perhaps the only questionable decision arising out of the semis was the judges’ omission of newcomer Jamal Slocombe, but our hope is that he will use that disappointment to propel him even further next year.