Myron Bruce captured his first National Extempo Monarch title and dethroned 10-time winner and two-time defending monarch Winston “Gypsy” Peters at Kaisorama 2018, presented by the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) at the Grandstand, Queen' Park Savannah, Port of Spain.
Thursday's event, billed “The Night of Champions” was missing some of its regulars, such as 2012 and 2013 winner Leslie Ann Bristow (Lady Africa) and multiple winner Joseph Vautor La-Placeliere (Lingo), who both failed to make the final eight. However, Bruce seized the opportunity to improve on his runner-up finish to Lingo in 2015, his best showing prior.
Known for his humourous offerings in the calypso and soca parang arenas, Bruce, who goes by the sobriquet 'The Incredible Myron B', crooned his way out of the first two rounds to set up a showdown with the undisputed king of Extempo, Gypsy, who he had faced earlier in the second round. And when the hammer felled, It was Myron B who won the hearts of the audience as well as the judges, amassing 444 points to Gypsy's 441.
It was a case of the student schooling the teacher as Myron B, right, openly challenges two-time defending monarch Winston "Gypsy" Peters during their kingly clash at the National Extempo Monarch finals of Kaisorama 2018. -Photo: Stephen Doobay
Gracious in defeat, Gypsy engaged his successor in a final round 'war with words' when the result was announced, belting out:
“It is always nice to see, when my protégé winning me,
That's the way we want it to be, so we could pass the mantle constantly
I alone don't want to be the king, I want them young people to win something
And that is alright, I want you to know
The good hands we have the Extempo."
And as is customary, it solicited a response form Myron B
"Gypsy you talking but try and hush you tail
Everybody realise tonight you did fail
You ent give me nothing partner, so stop talking
Everybody inside here know that I win
So stop talking 'bout you passing the crown
Don't even lead the people wrong
You see the crown that you had, don't try and fake it
Tonight I work hard, beat you, and take it."
The friendly banter continued a bit longer with Gypsy telling Myron B he was only complimenting him on how good he performed, and adding that he doesn't care when a young fella beat him fair and square. And then took the opportunity to take a parting shot with, “You win the crown but don't feel in pain, Cause next year I coming for you again.”
Three-time Extempo Monarch Phillip "Black Sage" Murray, right, delivers his stanza during his second round clash with Elysia Ray (Lady Syntax) at Kaisorama 2018. -Photo: Stephen Doobay.
Among those appearing on the night were triple monarch Phillip Murray (Black Sage), 2014 monarch Brian London, Llewellyn Mac Intosh (Short Pants), Dion Diza, Nyol Manswell and Elysia Ray (Lady Syntax). Black Sage and Lady Syntax dueled each other in the second round but both failed to progress to the final.
With the political and social commentary calypso categories removed from the show, patrons were treated to a trip down memory lane by four veterans.
Brown Boy started the ball rolling with two humourous pieces, “Cat Race” and “Crazy Doctor”, and Explainer did a medley that was topped off with his 1981 hit “Lorraine.”
Not to be outdone, crowd favourite Baron rolled back the years with “Say Say” and “Sweet Soca Man”, while the lovable Lord Nelson brought the curtain down with “La La” and “Mih Lover.”