WINNER: National Calypso Monarch 2013 Pink Panther (Eric Taylor) performs at the final of the competition at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on Thursday night. He earned $1 million with his winning songs "Travel Woes" and "Crying in the Chapel". —Photo: Micheal Bruce

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Panther is new kaiso Monarch

By Gary Cardinez

Pink Panther (Eric Taylor) joined an elite group of calypsonians who are millionaires when he won his first National Calypso Monarch title on Thursday night.

Pink Panther defeated 11 of his colleagues, including defending monarch Duane O'Connor, at the competition held at the Queen's Park Savannah.

Celebrating 30 years in the business and singing in position five, Pink Panther seemed a favourite as the Grand Stand audience applauded when he was announced. When he finished his rendition of "Travel Woes" he again received thunderous applause.

In the second round, Pink Panther performed "Crying in the Chapel", a song that looked at deaths which have occurred among the cultural fraternity during the Carnival period over the years.

His lyrics listed names of deceased calypsonians such as the "Grandmaster" Lord Kitchener, who founded the Kalypso Revue Tent of which Panther is a cast member as well as Power, Penguin, and pan pioneer Bertie Marshall.

Pink Panther's prop was a funeral service complete with a coffin, wreath, hearse and choir. This song also received hearty applause.

Sugar Aloes (Michael Osuna), leader of the Kalypso Revue tent, commented yesterday that with Panther's victory he felt vindicated following what happened to him at the semi-finals at Skinner Park, San Fernando, last Saturday when he was pelted with toilet paper and roti during his performance.

"I sacrificed myself for the tent and we end up taking home the monarch," he said.

In second position was 2010 calypso monarch Kurt Allen, aka "The Last Badjohn of Calypso", with his rendition of "Political Sin-Phony" and "Black Stalin Say".

In the latter song he uncannily mimicked the five-time monarch. The melodies from Black Stalin's former hits "Better Days are Coming" and "Bun Dem" were also used. Dressed in an outfit identical to Allen's, Black Stalin joined him on stage at the end of his song.

Heather MacIntosh overcame some technical difficulties at the beginning of her first song, "The Old Man's Lament", to perform very creditably. She performed "Invisible" in the second round and placed third.

National Independence Calypso Monarch Roderick "Mr Chucky" Gordon came in fourth with his rendition of "Bear with Me" and "The New Addiction". He was followed by former monarch Karene Asche with her performance of "Meh Pardna Ship" and "Eat ah Food".

Coming in sixth was Eunice Peters with a very good delivery of "None of the Above" and "Keshorn D Javelin Champion".

Defending monarch Duane O'Connor came in seventh with his rendition of "Building a Wall" and "Seeking Sparrow's Advice".

For this song, the Mighty Sparrow came on stage in a stretched limousine to the loudest applause for the night. Sparrow greeted O'Connor and passed on some words of advice to him before they both left the stage.

Alana Sinnette-Khan came in eighth with "Pathological"and "No Moral Authority", Chalkdust ninth with "The Prodigal Son" and "Virginia's Alzheimer", Kizzie Ruiz tenth with "T and T Forever" and "In the Age of Blog".

Marvellous Marva and Victoria Cooper came in 11th and 12th respectively with "Woman's Contribution to Trinidad and Tobago/Come Back to What" and "Club 34/D Betrayal".

The show was seven hours long and most members of the audience were gone by the time the results were announced yesterday morning.

Lutalo Masimba, president of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO), which organised the event, said he was pleased with the manner in which the event had been conducted.

National Calypso Monarch placings: 1. Eric "Pink Panther" Taylor - "Travel Woes", "Crying In The Chapel" 2. Kurt Allen - "Political Sin-Phony", "Black Stalin Say" 3. Heather MacIntosh - The Old Man's Lament", "Invisible" 4. Roderick "Mr Chucky" Gordon - "Bear With Me" "The New Addiction" 5. Karene Asche - "Meh Pardna Ship", "Eat Ah Food" 6. Eunice Peters - "None Of The Above", "Keshorn D Javelin Champion" 7. Duane O'Connor - "Building A Wall", "Seeking Sparrow's Advice" 8. Alana Sinnette-Khan - "No Moral Authority", "Pathological" 9. Dr Hollis "Chalkdust" Liverpool - "Prodigal Son", "Virginia's Alzheimer" 10. Kizzie Ruiz - "In The Age Of Blog", "T And T Forever" 11. Marva "Marvellous Marva" Joseph - "Come Back To What", "Woman's Contribution To Trinidad And Tobago" 12. Victoria "Queen Victoria" Cooper - "D Betrayal", "Club 34"

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