Gypsy (Winston Peters) won his ninth National Extempo Monarch title during Kaisorama 2016—The Night of Champions staged by Trinbago Unified Calysonians Organisation (TUCO) at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on Thursday night.
In a keenly contested final with his closest rival and defending champion Lingo (Joseph Vatour La Placeliere) that highlighted their knowledge of words, quick thinking and wit to create rhyming sentences, Gypsy convinced the judges that he was superior on the occasion and was rewarded with the $250,000 first prize. For his effort Lingo won $150,000.
Eight participants contested the first round. They were Brian London, Dion Diaz, Lingo, Lady Africa (Leslie Ann Bristow), Myron B (Myron Bruce), Abebele (Neil Baptiste), Black Sage (Phillip Murray) and Gypsy. Their topics included Smart Woman; Is Not A Horn, Is A Helping Hand; A Deputy Essential; Cyar Make Love On Empty Belly; Marriage Advice; and Fighting For ISIS, among others.
The four selected and paired to advance to the second round were Lingo/Myron B, and Gypsy/Black Sage. Their topics were Who Does Lie Better, Man or Woman; and No More Night Mas, respectively. Black Sage and Myron B were eliminated, but earned the third and fourth prizes, together valued at $125,000. Contestants placing fifth to eighth won $20,000 each.
In the Categories Competition, Karene Asche won the social commentary segment and $50,000 prize for her showcase of Bring Back De Love. Placing second and winning $30,000 was Brian London with We Trinidad, while third place and the $20,000 prize went to Helon Francis doing Paradise.
Duane O’Connor was adjudged winner of the political commentary category for his offering titled Modern Nursery Rhymes. Cro Cro (Weston Rawlins) placed second with Advice To The Boss, and Chuck Gordon (Roderick Gordon) was third singing Fixing Time. Prizes in both categories were the same. A 15-member panel judged contestants in the areas of lyrics, music, and presentation.
The programme was staged in tribute to Trinidad Bill (Paul Trotman), a Carnival renaissance man whose multiple contributions to the arts in Trinidad and Tobago have had a significant impact on the creative landscape.
Making guest appearances on the playbill were Natasha Wilson, reigning Calypso Monarch of Barbados William Waithe (Classic), legendary panman Ken “Professor” Philmore, North West Laventille Cultural Movement, Calypso Rose (McCartha Lewis) and David Rudder.
Musical accompaniment was provided by Kelly Green and Harmony, and show host duties were shared by Wendell Etienne and Omari Ashby.