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There was change at the top of the calypso pyramid last night as 24-year-old Helon Francis was crowned the 2018 Calypso Monarch with “Changes”—a powerful social commentary about Trinidad and Tobago’s need for introspection and revolution of thought to address corruption and crime in the two-island republic.
Much of the pre-Dimanche Gras final hype focused on the entrance of now three-time International Soca Monarch Aaron “Voice” St Louis, who was attempting to become the first bard to win a soca and calypso title in the same season since David Rudder in 1986.
Photo: Helon Francis delivers “Changes” during the Calypso Monarch final at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on 11 February 2018.
Francis, 24, sang his way to his maiden Calypso Monarch crown.
The 25-year-old Voice was expected to face his fiercest challenge from veteran calypsonians like Sandra “Singing Sandra” Des Vignes, Kurt “The Last Bardjohn of Calypso” Allen and reigning champion Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool.
In the end, it was Francis who blindsided him at the Queen’s Park Savannah as judges gave the new monarch 442 points for his thought-provoking rendition and silken presentation.
Voice was second, scoring 433 points for his positive “Year for Love” while Rondell Donawa, singing “De Problem,” was a surprise third with 427 points.
Performing in 17th position, former Calypso Monarch Duane O’ Connor finished a creditable seventh with “Front Page.” The 2012 Monarch was a late addition to the Finals line-up, a court having determined at the eleventh hour that he should be included after he protested that his Melody score had been unfairly changed in Saturday’s semifinals.
Photo: Aaron “Voice” St Louis performs “Year for Love” at the Calypso Monarch final in the Queen’s Park Savannah, POS on 11 February 2018.
Voice finished second.
The full list of placings is as follows:
1.Helon Francis (Changes) 442 points,
2.Aaron “Voice” St Louis (Year for Love) 433 points,
3.Rondell Donawa (De Problem) 427 points,
4.Michael “Protector” Legerton (We could do better than that) 421 points,
5.Myron “Myron B” Bruce (The Great Nation) and Joanne “Tigress” Rowley (Rowley to Rowley) 419 points,
7.Duane O’Connor (Front page) 415 points,
8.Dexter “Stinger” Parsons (Chinese Tuition) and Karene Asche (Song of Inspiration) 413 points,
10.Kurt “The Last Bardjohn of Calypso” Allen (Circle Square Science) 408 points,
11.Alana “Lady Watchman” Sinnette (Deadbeat) 404 points,
12.Selvon “Mistah Shak” Noel (Rebellion) 400 points,
13.Stacy Sobers (Calypso City) 399 points,
14.Sandra “Singing Sandra” Des Vignes (Power in Song) 397 points,
15.Michael “Sugar Aloes” Osouna (Finally) 389 points,
16.Carlos “Skatie” James (Ah Cutback),
17.Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool (Eulogy) 393 points.