The crowd was not the usual for a calypso semis but for those who made it despite the COVID 19 pandemic they were able to release some stress, laugh, and have a drink as the 30 calypsonians had their say amidst the controversial decision by the judge to exclude Lady S from the 15 selected for the finals.
In the end, the decision of the judges which is always final produced three women for the first-ever virtual calypso finals slated for February 13, 2021, at the Old Mill Cultural Center in Canefield.
The semifinal which was held under the protocols of the COVID-19 guidelines was also held at the same venue and saw 30 competitors taking part in the event.
The three women are Tasha P, Abiyah, and Nachael. Back in the competition is Jerry Lloyd “Oracle” who impressed with his song “help me.”
The veterans also in the finals are King Karassah, Observer, 2020 calypso monarch Jaydee, Checko, Bobb, Logurz, Hunter, Dice, and Checker.
The rest of the lineup is Sour-Sour with his popular number “Hit man” and Gaiel “Trinity” Registe with “open Borders.”
Meantime, Narrin Murphy Treasurer of the Dominica Calypso Association (DCA) says that despite a few hitches, the live stream virtual was “satisfactory.”
“We are still fine tuning the actual numbers, and notwithstanding temporary glitches with the net it was satisfactory and we are looking to beef things up for the finals…it’s a noble effort by the DCA and people need to appreciate that and help us along the way,” he said.
He called on patrons to not let their guards down and say that the DCA was adhering strictly to the COVID-19 protocols put in place for the event by the Ministry of Health and the COVID 19 team in Dominica.
“We are a responsible organization and will do what we have to do in a professional manner for the safe guard of all. We want to also thank our many sponsors working with us and is calling on those who are still thinking of coming onboard to do so now,” he stated.
Murphy labeled the virtual show as “a bold initiative” by the DCA with the objective at minimum to break even.
He took issue with some persons who decided to use their FaceBook account to re-broadcast the streaming of the show thus undermining the efforts of the DCA. “This is unfair and you are not helping us and the art form. We need people to support our cause to keep the art form alive.
We could have canceled the calypso event but we know that calypso is therapy and so decided to try something so please help us, support us as we trying to make it happen, it’s not business as usual,” he said.
Meantime, calypso fans are questioning the ommission of Lady S from the 15 named for the finals. With a song entitled “Mark of De Beast” she used the opportunity to compare the judging to the mark of the beast and asked that the judges do much better.
“It is a travesty to not have Lady S in the top three places on the list of those selected for the finals. The judges got it wrong and there should be something done to ensure that she is in the line-up for the finals,” Calypso commentator Duncan Stowe who was on the panel along with Edgar Hunter and veteran former calypso judge Ossie Lewis on DBS radio stated.
Lewis and Hunter also echoed the same sentiments and asked how on earth did the judges not have her in the top three that night. “She has been treated unfairly, I am shocked and disappointed,” Lewis said.