Written by Dr. Charles Warner Posted On: Saturday, 14 January 2012
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It was (and remains) very obvious that no Calypso, no Calypsonian could be critical of Dr. Douglas and the Labour government and emerge as a winner.
It was a design to weed out as much/many as possible. As to conspiracy some may say that there was no conspiracy to give Konris the crown but there was a conspiracy to DENY OTHER PERSON(S).
Since the coming of Labour to power there is strong evidence of politics influencing calypso results. Dr. Douglas has said that HE will not ban any calypso. He did not say it is NOT his business to ban any calypso. In any event the statement is moot and swallowed only by the naďve because there are stations other than ZIZ.
DIS AND DAT made a public statement on the night of the Calypso Finals. He said that he met the Prime Minister at the Prime Minister’s Gala, that Dr. Douglas told him that he could not have been allowed to sing “GODSON” and be allowed to win.
In 2002, DIS AND DAT was selected by the judges but disappeared from the list that was allowed to advance for the following stage. DIS AND DAT did NOT even reach WARNER PARK. Only a hypocrite could say that there is no political interference in calypso.
Apart from politics there are other factors; a negativity to and dismissive attitude to FIRST TIMERS, A FAILURE TO LISTEN TO AND CRITIQUE LYRICS, AND CERTAIN PERSONS ARE MUST PICKS. Apparently only the judges understood the criteria.
There is a tendency to judge calypso bottom-up, i.e., performance seems to determine what is given for music and lyrics. Apparently calypso is being judged in the manner that Dance Hall is. Elephant man would be on the stage going on bad with an abundance of energy but no one cares about his lyrics. It appears that many judges seem not to have a broad exposure to calypso and some calypsonians are allowed to slip in parts of other people’s work and get away or go unpunished.
The female crown seems to be the domain of the “BIG” female contenders .g., JACKIE, ANASTASIA, etc. Anastasia apparently learnt that she could not sing “A FEEL IT” and be a winner. The passing criticism of the opposition would not have palliated the scathing criticism of the Labour establishment.
Lady Diva’s problems were many; a newcomer with songs said to be written by Socrates, “ROCK THE BOAT” criticizes Labour and she might not have been confident enough to sing the song over which she slipped in the SEMIS. Her “ROCK THE BOAT” was superbly composed and very well sung/performed with sweet and majestic voice variations. DIVA ended at the bottom of the pile of winners; in other places she would have won the crown.
Exactly, WHAT IS GROOVY supposed to mean? IT is supposed to mean, DANCY, COOL, ROMANTIC, etc – NOT WILD AND “JUMP UP”. Frankly a POWER-TYPE song (NOT SOCA) was the “GROOVY” category. SHAKKI has always been seen as the SOCA QUEEN while ALI DEE was a newcomer from Nevis. KONRIS did not place and one is left to wonder what the judges wanted from him as a “GROOVY”
tune. ALI DEE was the “GROOVIEST” of them all but apparently FIXATIONS AND BIAS RULE THE DAY. Based on the reasons for holding the “SOCA” competition the CRITERIA should include “REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL APPEAL.”
It would be unfair and indecent to accuse either PRINCE AU BROWN(E) or KING THROWBACK of being part of any conspiracy. In his “40 YEARS OF MAS” AU
BROWN(E) sings of “Judges making BACCANAL”. THROWBACK spoke of “REPETITION” but made no mention of CONTRADICTION or CONTRADICTORY Lyrics. In calypso judging NOTHING BEATS A GOOD EAR, i.e., A KEEN LISTENER.
This is the second time that Konris has emerged over BIG LICE by a MASSIVE AND SURPRISINGLY LARGE MARGIN. In both cases KONRIS sung lines that were contradictory to THEME OR PLEA but the judges did not hear or DID NOT CARE TO HEAR. It is more unacceptable when contradictions are repeated.
WHY CAN’T WE BE OF OUR OWN IDENTITY? WHY CAN’T WE BE A UNITED STATES OF THE CARIBBEAN?
KONRIS sung these lines in the form of a plea. We were told that the Caribbean is like “OIL AND WATER” i.e. NOT OR DO NOT MIX – A FAILURE TO UNITE. It therefore asks, how can requests which are contradictory be requested or pleaded? Of course they can be if they vital connection is made, i.e., inserting YET OR BUT.
CALPYSO is about EXPRESSION and English cannot be discarded. If these two consecutive lines were linked by YET OR BUT the King would have been clear and right but unless missed neither YET nor BUT was heard. Small or those words might be, one or the other omitted creates a contradictory desire.
Repetition would have aggravated the problems that same repetition should have alerted the judges. Contradictions of these are not to be taken lightly in the judging of calypso.
The audience and judges were introduced to the fact or concept that OIL AND WATER DO NOT MIX, THAT THE CARIBEAN IS LIKE OIL AND WATER. If there is a plea for unity then an adequate, acceptable and similar comparison should be made in the call for unity. WE ARE LIKE OIL AND WATER BUT NEED TO BE LIKE SALT AND WATER (which incidentally surrounds us), which both mix and bond/bind. Similar expressions or parameters are to be employed when difference or likeness are compared or examined.
Eliminating “Highest” and “LOWEST” scores is a well-known statistical tool or exercise, as done in ICE SKATING. However, there are some people around here who believe that they are smarter than everybody else. By practically DOUBLING the number of judges the statistical value of the method was made totally USELESS. Up to the finals only five judges were employed, i.e., five judges for over 60 singers but nine (9) for just eight calypsonians.
With so many judges no single judge should be given all the categories to score. In this method too, NO consideration is given to the ORDER OR SIZE of the “HIGHEST” “OR” “LOWEST” scores. If a competitor’s highest score is 55 “he dog dead.” The competitor with four (4) judges of the nine (9) giving him/her BIG SCORES will lose one (1) but has many more.
Both BIG LICE AND KONRIS thought it best to go at each other at the end of their first song. It is left to wonder how the judges viewed this and scored them, especially since the king was less impactful than BIG LICE and had to be far from subtle by claiming that BIG LICE was “BEGGING OR LOOKING POINTS”. Was the king doing the same thing? Applying those two lines again to the last verse was not fittingly appropriate.
While the king can be found guilty of contradiction, BIG LICE was consistent throughout with suitable lyrics and a superb delivery. Contrary to what some people think TWENTY-TWENTY is a brilliant calypso. Konris asked or poked some pertinent questions about our use of resources and leadership. However, had another calypsonian, e.g., BIG LICE pose those questions or concerns, it might have been deemed political.
It is a sad commentary on the performance of Dr. Douglas and Labour that so many calypsos were critical of the government. As the leader and his government perform more and poorly the number of songs are increasing year by year. An effort was clearly or to weed out much of the criticism. Rudder had to be punished (as a first timer) and for his mordant lyrics, relating to Dr. Douglas.
Until DIS AND DAT’S statement is refuted and dismissed as malicious or he be asked to apologise, it will substantiate the claim that there is political interference by and on behalf of Labour. It is very shameful that persons who should recuse themselves from the panel of judges remained. Did
THROWBACK say that he did not know or did not meet the other judges? The judges should be introduced prior to the show to decide if he/she is comfortable to sit with one or more of the other judges.