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Contest Whittles Calypsonians Down to Seven Finalists

Dec. 16, 2007 — The Calypso Monarch eliminations were held Friday at Harborlights Night Club in Frederiksted and seven finalists were chosen to face the reigning Monarch, Samuel "The Mighty Pat" Ferdinand, in a battle to see who will wear the crown in the coming year.
The crowd came to hear political commentary, local gossip and social satire mixed in with a healthy dose of humor, and they were not disappointed. Calypsonians sang about everything from the governor, his cabinet, and the senators to their love of music and the beauty of St. Croix.
John "The Mighty John" Williams got the crown going with his rendition of "Believe It" where he admonished the crowd to take only what belongs to you. "What goes around comes around," he sand, and "if something is for you; it's for you." The song's veiled references pointed to corruption in the Virgin Islands. Williams, who studied writing and singing calypso for eight years under Camille "King Derby" Macedon, was crowned 2004 Calypso Monarch when he was just 18 years old.
The problem of domestic violence was the subject of Louis "Quiz" Richards song. In it he urged victims not to stay silent but to seek help. "Whether physical or emotional; abuse is abuse," he sang. Richards is the son of well-known calypsonian "King Obstinate."
Morris "King Generic" Benjamin said problems facing the V.I. may lead to an uprising in his song "Next Fire Burn." He said greedy and corrupt people are bankrupting the government and warned, "When all the milk in the cow done, that's when we will see the next fire burn."
Two artists who didn't pull punches or bother to hide double entendres were Kasaun "K-Force " Baptiste and Allan "King Herrin" Clarke. In his song "Dum Dee Dee Dum" Baptiste sang about the governor not being able to find a qualified education commissioner in the territory and selecting one from abroad who was "fired from five jobs." He had the crown roaring with laughter ending the verse with "he think the senate is Dum Dee Dee Dum."
Clarke arrived on stage with a pitchfork and a farmer's hat chastising the senators' recent legislative decisions, declaring, "The fork was invented to turn the soil but they using it on we the humans. Don't fork me up."
About 80 people attended the show. The artists were backed up by the Xpress Band, and Winston Nugent was the master of ceremonies.
Going on to the finals are:
— Kasaun "K Force" Baptiste
— Morris "King Generic" Benjamin
— Alan "King Herrin" Clarke
— Karen "Lady Mac" Mc Intosh
— Jose "The Mighty TNL" Navarro
— Louis "Quiz" Richards
— Alford Romney
In case any finalist cannot perform, two alternates were also chosen:
— Rupert Henry
— Elvis "Tumba" Liburd
Also competing were:
— Clement "General B" Chiverton
— Wellington "The Wrecka Man" Pelle
— Lariel "The Teacher" Romney
— John "The Mighty John" Williams

The final competition is at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008, at Island Center for the Performing Arts. The festival committee reminds the public that updated information can be found on their website at www.stxfestival.com
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