2019 Junior Calypso judging sparks controversy

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By Makeida Antonio

Veteran calypsonians are among thousands of social media users who are questioning why artiste Hope “Empress” Serrant was not crowned the 2019 Junior Calypso Monarch when the competition final climaxed on Sunday.

This year was the first time Empress entered the 13-19 age category and many regarded her performance of her song “Stand Up” to be exceptional. However, social media users expressed disbelief and disappointment when her name was not announced in the winner’s circle.

Calypsonian Richie Francis was the writer for “Stand Up”. He said that immediately after the conclusion of Sunday night’s show, he was informed that there were concerns about the song’s originality. He believed this was supposedly the cause for Empress’s “disqualification”, and said it came as a “complete shock”.

“Yes, I have done a lot of research because I know where this thing stems from. I had Kid Vicious, two-time reigning Junior Monarch ages 13-19. The public or no one knew that I had Empress and she’s a soca queen or darling so now transfer over from Soca Monarch into the calypso artform. No one knew I had Empress this year,” Francis said yesterday on the OBSERVER AMprogramme.

Reports have been circulating in the public sphere that the song in question has been rendered in the past by Queen “Singing Althea” Williams, a veteran female calypsonian and a former monarch. 

Williams took to her personal Facebook page to ask the judges of that competition for evidence, in a status that was liked and shared dozens of times.

Read more in today’s newspaper

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