New champions were crowned in both Senior and Junior Calypso Monarch categories when the Couva Carnival Committee staged its calypso finals at the Couva Car Park on Saturday night.
Helon Francis and N'Jala Duncan-Regis, who are both enjoying excellent seasons in 2013, captured the Senior and Junior Couva Calypso Monarch crowns, respectively.
The Cascade-based Francis, who placed second in the social commentary segment of the national calypso competition during last week, was a clear winner in Couva with his superb rendition of "Tainted Legacy". An elated Francis, who entered the senior ranks this year, said hard work paid off in the end. He receives an enhanced first prize of $7,000, thanks to a donation of $1,000 from Professional Inspection Services Ltd.
Francis scored 262 points for his victory, beating out defending monarch, Rondell Donawa, who placed second (256 points) with "My Vision". One point behind in third place was Rudolph Ramdeen, who was the crowd favourite with "Long Time Children".
Duncan-Regis, who has been a hit at competitions throughout Trinidad, gave a stirring rendition of "Record My Song" to win the judges' nod for the junior title with 257 points. She edged out 2011 junior monarch Aaron Duncan, who sang "Aim High", by one point. Tying for third place were Aneka Collin with "What I Want To Be" and reserve Sherisse Collymore, singing "Games We Play", both scoring 253 points.
Defending junior champion Jeromy Rodriguez did not perform in the final since he was carded to make a guest appearance at the Soca Monarch at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Fantastic Friday night.
Wilton "Flex" Griffith, MC and coordinator of the show, said the competitions in both categories were of a very high standard since several of the calypsonians had performed with distinction in other arenas.
Full results of the Couva
Calypso Monarch Finals:
1. Helon Francis – Tainted Legacy (262)
2. Rondell Donawa – My Vision (256)
3. Rudolph Ramdeen – Long Time Children (253)
4. Marion Pamponette – The Last Days (252)
5. Malika Ballantyne – Target 365 (250)
Victoria Cooper – De Betrayal (250)
7. Joanne Forster – More Than An Oil Drum (249)
Terry Marcelle - Thank You, Keshorn (249)
9. Moricia Cagan – Evolution of Soca (248)
10. Vernon Bereaux – They Never Thought (245)
11. Robert Deen – Massa Day Done (242)
12. Tiniel Cooper – Quality Investment (240)
1. N'Jala Duncan Regis – Record My Song (257)
2. Aaron Duncan – Aim High (256)
3. Aneka Collin - What I Want To Be (253)
4. Sherisse Collymore – Games We Play (253)
5. Kevan Calliste – Grandpa's Advice (251)
6. Jerod Michael Griffith – Our Children, One Future (248)
7. Shurlan Matos – This Is Something (246)
8. Caleb Hinds – To Be Alive (243)
9. Joshua Hinds - Ah Must Play De Pan (240)