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TRINIDAD carnival 2007
by ANDREA KING in TRINIDAD Compliments of the Barbados Nation News
IT WAS YOUTH VERSUS EXPERIENCE in Sunday night's Dimanche Gras calypso monarch finals at the Jean Pierre Complex, but experience won in the form of the diminutive Cro Cro, who now has four titles and the TT$500 000 first prize.
Known for his biting social commentary, his performance of the comical Nobody Ain't Go Know was a radical departure, but proved to hit just the right note with the judges and the audience. He was the only contestant to raise roaring reaction from the sparse audience, as he appeared onstage with bags upon bags of luggage filled with things people gave him to take to New York.
It was all these packages, including an old bicycle and various local foods, that made him declare he was not telling anyone when he was leaving or coming back from a trip to the United States.
He set himself apart from his competitors with his presentation which included the clever use of his backing vocalists as part of the force, which paraded on the stage through the courts of the stadium accompanied by a drum corp.
Third place went to youngster Devon Seales, whose One Song was an encompassing commentary on the single chance to make an impression. It was also a critique of the decision by producers of the contest, the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation, to allow the performance of only one song.
Pre-show favourites Chalkdust, who already has seven titles, and Singing Sandra, who has two, placed fifth and 11th respectively.
Another favourite was National Calypso Queen Maria Bhola, whose I Love You comments on former PNM minister Larry Achong's alleged mouthing of an obscenity during a town hall meeting to discuss the smelter plant in Chatam, extreme south Trinidad, in the parish of St Patrick. She eventually placed fourth in this her debut.
Also in the contest were Duane O'Cconnor, placing sixth; Skatie in seventh place; daughter of Shortpants, Heather McIntosh, ninth; former winner, Shadow, 10th; Mr Caesar, 12th; Crazy and Brother Valentino tied in 13th place; and Black Sage placed 15th.
The attendance at the calypso finals, moved from the "big yard" for the first time since 1993, was a fraction of the usual crowd, and did not exceed 4 000 patrons. Last year's monarch Luta did not defend his title.
The event, directed by Norvan Fullerton, who expressed the desire that its audience would realise they were witnessing "the greatest show on earth", opened with a brief fireworks display and parade of traditonal Carnival characters like the bats, blue devils played by the Paramin Blue Devils, the fancy sailor portrayed by the National Dance Association, and the Dame Lorraine. There was also a performance by last year's Road March and Soca Monarch king, Shurwayne Winchester. The police band of Trinidad and Tobago accompanied the contestants.
The king and queen of the bands contest was also staged during Dimanche Gras. The ten kings and queens of the bands represented both traditonal and futuristic costume construction, as the designers used state-of-the-art lighting, pyrotechnics, hydraulics and a variety of feathers, masks and shining fabric to create true works of art.
Emerging as King Of The Band was Curtis Eustace portraying D Wrath Of Tutankhamen, while Peola Marchan won Queen Of The Band wearing The Incandescence Of Beatrice Love Has Brought.
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