Joint Road March 2018 winner, Haxey
Joint Road March 2018 winner, Haxey

The wheels are in motion for the hosting of yet another virtual Calypso competition season.

2021 saw the Dominica Calypso Association (DCA) executing the first-ever virtual event after discussion among members that a show needs to be held for the public, despite the COVID-19 situation.

This time around the country's COVID crisis is worse active cases being in the hundreds during December. And while no one knows what the situation will look like in February 2022, the DCA is taking steps to ensure the country's Calypso appetite is whetted and eventually satisfied.

There will be a few modifications to the 2021 format for the upcoming competition, chief among them being the elimination round carded for 22nd January. The previous season saw calypsonians submitting recorded songs which were judged behind closed doors by a select panel of judges.

Public Relations Officer, PRO, of the DCA, Emanuel 'Haxey' Salamt told The Sun, this time around the Calypso eliminations will be streamed live.

"We are just trying to garner interest by having the eliminations streamed. The eliminations show is a favourite of a lot of our patrons. They have communicated that wish to us, they want their eliminations. Also, it is an opportunity for the lesser-known participants to have their moments of fame."

Finance plays a huge part in how the upcoming Calypso season will function. To date, there are no quarterfinals round, and 15 calypsonians from the eliminations will meet the 2021 finalists in the semi-finals round, scheduled for 12th February.

"It's merely a question of economics," Haxey pointed out, "if you can get us a sponsor to guarantee payment of the participants' fees we will surely have quarterfinals. Last year we did not have a performed eliminations; this year it's an improvement. One step at a time."

The financial constraint on the format of the Calypso competition does not stop there. The 2022 season will be a one-song season as obtained in 2021.

"Let me explain; it is quite difficult for calypsonians to record and put out even the one song so much less for two. So last year we were successful in getting arrangements and concessions from studios and producers and we are forever grateful to them for that," he said.

The economic situation has led the DCA to absorb the cost of registration for the calypsonians who want to participate in the 2022 competition.

"The registration fee is usually fifty dollars. The Dominica Calypso Association will bear the cost of the registration fee. At least we can do this much for our members," Haxey said.

Apart from the financial aspect involved in pulling off this feat, Haxey says the fluidity of the COVID situation also poses a problem for the Association.

"We are more rushed this year. We also have very little information about the protocols and those protocols that will affect us from whoever is responsible for that. It means that though we are planning ahead, as we should, certain situations and plans may have to change."

The DCA PRO emphasized the unpredictable nature of the situation could lead to further changes along the way. Salamat touted the fact that calypsonians have always been resilient during the pandemic and will do whatever needs to be done to make the show work.

He further noted the DCA executive and membership are fully committed to staging the 2022 virtual Calypso competition.

"Life is what it is, we are not in normal times. We have to roll with the waves, sometimes swim against the current or swim with the flow of the current," he stated, "besides, we have not much say in the matter, it's either have it virtual or not have a show."

Daryl 'De Bobb' Bobb is the reigning Virtual Calypso Monarch while Jude 'Jaydee' Delauney, who won the crown in 2020 is the reigning Calypso Monarch.

The grand Calypso finals will take place on Saturday 26th February. The deadline for registration for next year's competition is 08th January.

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