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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Jan. 2, 2004 – In his first time vying for the Crucian Festival Calypso Monarch title, 18-year-old "Mighty John" Williams scored a massive upset Thursday night before a capacity crowd at Paul E. Joseph Stadium.
In an exhibition filled with stinging political satire, biting social commentary, hard-core party music and a sprinkle of vulgarity, 10 finalists went round for round in a lyrical calypso fight to the finish. When the battle was over, Samuel "Mighty Pat" Ferdinand surrendered his crown of years past to become first runner up, and Campbell "King Kan Fu Plentae" Barnes captured the second runner-up position.
The judges also honored Barnes for "Most Humorous" calypso, Ferdinand for "Best Social Commentary,"and Allan "King Herring" Clarke for being "Most Improved."
Also competing were Kasaun "K-force" Baptiste, Morris "King Generic" Benjamin, Clement "General B" Chiverton, "Prince Emanuel" Henry, Patricia "Pepper Pat" Morris and Gemma Noel. The competitors were judged on presentation, rendition, originality, lyrics and clarity.
Williams despite his youth and novice status brought to the competition a decade of experience. Competing in calypso competitions from 8 years of age under the tutelage of Camille "King Derby" Macedon, he got his feet wet in the PeeWee division, went on to win the Intermediate division, and captured the Junior Calypso King crown a record three times.
"I wanted to compete with the big boys," Williams said a few days before the festival's adult competition. On Thursday night, he showed himself a force to be reckoned with.
Favorite topics for the calypsonians this time were the sagging economy, government corruption and casino gambling. For his first selection, sporting a sparkling silver suit, Williams sang in "Things Bad" about the government's fiscal woes and the resulting suffering of residents. But maybe things aren't so bad, he observed, 'cause people are still buying new cars and shopping in expensive shops.
Ferdinand, dressed in a "haz-mat" protective suit, reflected on the high incidence of cancer in the territory. In his song "Pollution" he wondered if the oil refinery located on the south shore of St. Croix was the cause.
Barnes, in red lingerie and knee-high white boots, had the crowd roaring with laughter as he complained of what he portrayed as favoritism shown to multi-year calypso crown winner "Mighty Pat" by the Crucian Festival Committee and others in the Virgin Islands. He sang that the committee, the governor and even the calypso competition backup band, XPress, "all for King Pat."
Rain interrupted the show several times, forcing people to run for cover or huddle under umbrellas. The show was sponsored by Mickey's Construction and Toyota of St. Croix. The Calypso Show Committee is chaired by Al Baptiste Sr.

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