2K7 in review
Larry Achong would have given Miss Bhola the crown.
The judges should be made to account for their decisions.
How did Cro Cro end up in the finals?
I am inclined to agree with the Commissioner of Police that
this years Carnival celebrations were safer than in
previous years in the context of violent acts by the criminal
Within recent years the media have been inundated with reports
of murders, stabbings and other violent behaviour perpetuated
against masqueraders, revellers and spectators whose only
crime was taking in the Greatest Show on Earth.
Thank God this year, despite what the critics might say, Commissioner
Pauls men and women did an excellent job in containing
the nefarious activities of the criminals whose only credo
is to inflict the worst kind of physical and mental punishment
on hapless citizens.
I havent forgotten the good work performed by the soldiers
whose presence also contributed to keeping the bad boysand
That is the kind of work I and the rest of the law-abiding
community would like to seeand deserveall year
Come on, Mr Paul, if you could do such a wonderful job two
days of the year and with such commendable results, you can
do it the rest of the year. Start cracking the whip, sir!
My other positive feature of this Carnival was the almost
surreptitious return of what decent people would consider
authentic mas, which went out the window some years ago for
the bikini-type costumes.
This development was so dramatic that it won for Brian MacFarlane
the coveted Band of the Year title with his marvelous presentation
of IndiaThe Story of Boyie.
I just could not believe my eyes. Seeing for the first time
in many years womenand menportraying enchanting
characters without half their bodies exposed was a delightful
And didnt they look gorgeous! Especially those dancing
the burokeets. In fact the entire band was so resplendent
it reminded me of my appeal last year to the bandleaders to
go back to the traditional mas and forget those women
who feel that it is not Carnival if they are not allowed to
gyrate up and down the place half naked.
An unfortunate development which began some years ago was
continued this year: the almost total lack of mas after 6
pm on Carnival Monday.
Downtown Port-of-Spain and St James were like ghost towns
with not a single mas band or music band in sight. Something
must be done to entice masqueraders to stay on the streets
at least up to midnight Monday.
There are many other bad things about this years
mas but space does not permit me to go further.
The most distasteful aspect of this years celebrations
was the judging of the Calypso Monarch competition.
Like many other people, I really thought that the days when
judges could so blatantly select winners who are not deserving
of their win were long gone.
But I was rudely jolted on the night of Dimanche Gras when
the judgeswho are they?delivered a fatal blow
to the calypso art form.
How could they in their right senses select Cro Cro as the
I am not talking about the so far unsubstantiated charge levelled
by three calypsonians about Cro Cros number being an
old one. That is not my beef.
My contention, and I am sure it is also that of the silent
majority, is how come he whipped Shadow and newcomer to the
Big Yard Maria Bhola?
In fact, the question that should be asked even though it
is purely academic is: how come he even made it to the finals?
Shadow and Bhola far out-performed Cro Cro in three categoriespresentation,
lyrics and melody.
Cro Cro delivered a very bland topic with very bland lyrics,
unlike the other two, who both delivered unforgettable performances.
I am really feeling it for Miss Bhola, who I believe got the
unkindest cut. Her performance was truly that of a seasoned
performer even though it was her very first outing with the
big guns in calypsodom.
One would have never guessed that it was her debut in the
Big Yard, so exhilarating and professional was
her performance on Sunday night.
I do hope that Miss Bhola, who did her own make-up and costuming,
does not allow that piece of obvious injustice to shake her
confidence in her ability and potential.
That was one of the most memorable performances ever seen
at a Dimanche Gras and to be treated that way by people you
put trust is indeed a bitter pill to swallow.
Knowing Larry Achong as I do, I am sure he too enjoyed the
parody even though the joke was on him. He would have given
her the crown.
Because of the grave injustice meted out to Shadow and Bhola,
it is time that judges be made to account for their decisions.
They should be made to release the scoresheets as a matter
of course. And if only out fairness to those they are adjudicating
on, the judges should do like their counterparts in the Music
Festival and point out the weaknesses of the bards so that
they could take corrective measures.
In the meantime, Miss Bhola, be strong and remember: We