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London too good for Black Sage
It was a classic case of the student showing the teacher just how it should be done when Brian London convincingly thrashed his mentor, Black Sage (Phillip Murray), to win the 2014 Extempo Calypso Monarch title on Thursday. The final of the competition was held during Kaisorama 2014, The Night of Champions, staged by Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO), at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port-of-Spain.
Eight singers competed in the first round of the extempo contest, from which four advanced. They were Contender (Mark John), Lingo (Joseph Vautor La Placeliere), Black Sage and London. Defending two-year champion Lady Africa (Leslie Ann Bristow) failed to make the cut. From the four, London and Black Sage emerged as the two finalists, and each had to sing six verses in an “extempo war.”
Displaying maturity, poise and a very keen mind, London was the clear favourite, winning audience shouts of approval for delivering intelligent lyrics with clever rhyming in each verse. In the final stanza Black Sage conceded that he was outclassed on the occasion, but happy to see his protégé was developing into a very worthy competitor.
For his effort, London, who will also be going for the National Calypso Monarch title at the Queen’s park Savannah tomorrow, took home $150,000, while Black Sage collected $105,000. Lingo and Contender won $30,000 each for third and fourth places, and fifth to eighth placed contestants earned $15,000 each.
In the final of the Political Commentary category, Mista Shak (Selvon Noel) placed first with his hugely popular selection Bois. Second place went to Bunny B (Neville Browne) doing Milk, and London placed third with Call Dem Out. Kurt Allen, who will also be vying for the National Calypso Monarch title tomorrow night, took the Social Commentary category title with Sweet Sizzling Summer. In second place was Heather MacIntosh singing Nutten Eh Good, and third was Lesley Ann Ellis doing Blessed With Beauty.
Making guest appearances on the programme were Nadia Batson, Lord Nelson (Robert Nelson), Annise Hadeed, North West Laventille Cultural Movement and Explainer (Winston Henry). Musical accompaniment was provided by Kelly Green and Harmony and show hosts were Wendell Etienne and Omari Ashby.
1. Kurt Allen—Sweet Sizzling Summer
2. Heather McIntosh
—Nutten Eh Good
3. Leslie Ann Ellis—Blessed With Beauty
1. Mistah Shak—Bois
2. Bunny B—Milk
3. Brian London—Call Dem Out
1. Brian London
2. Black Sage