A 24-year-old virtual unknown won the Calypso Monarch competition in Trinidad on Sunday night dethroning nine time winner, Dr. Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool, who placed last in the competition that formed part of the highlight of the 2018 Carnival celebrations.
Helon Francis won the crown with his tune “Changes”, a social commentary about Trinidad and Tobago’s need for introspection and revolution of thought to address corruption and crime.
His victory completely overshadowed Aaron “The Voice” St Louis, the winner of the International Soca Monarch on Saturday night, who had been the crowd favourite to win the Calypso Monarch. St. Louis placed second with his tune “Year For Love” in which he warned murders that “fire go burn you” while Rondell Donawa placed third with her tune “De Problem”.
Former calypso monarch, Duane O’Connor, who was only allowed to enter the competition one hour after a High Court judge ruled in his lawsuit against the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO), placed seventh.
Justice Ricky Rahim ruled in favour of O’Connor, the 2012 winner, after he claimed that points had been deleted from him when he sang his tune “ No Front Page’ during the semi-finals.
Chalkdust was among six former monarchs in the finals where 17 singers were seeking honours. He received 393 points for his song “In the Latrine” with former monarchs Michael “Sugar Aloes” Osouna with his tune Finally” that paid homage to the late singer Kitchener, coming 15th, eight points behind former monarch Sandra “singing Sandra De Vignes.
Meanwhile, BpTT Renegades ended a 21 year drought when it won the Panorma competition on Saturday night playingSt. Loui’s tune “Year for Love”.
The band from “behind the bridge” in Port of Spain won ahead of Skiffle, and third-place Desperadoes.
The defending champions, Massy Trinidad All Stars came in fourth.
The celebrations continue Monday with the parade of the bands Law enforcement authorities have mounted a major security strategy amid reports that some people were seeking to disrupt the festival through criminal activities.
Police have so far detained eight people for questioning.