It could be anyone's crown
Saturday promises to be a blast since, for a long time, Calypso is not constrained by the dominance of Dice in the Finals. For quite a while it had always been King Dice's crown to lose; now, it's a crown to be won as, I think, this year he has become just one of the Calypso mortals; not unstoppable.
Whether you are a Dice fan or not, one would have to agree this is his most vulnerable year ever and so Webb and Karessah, who, after many years in the business, have produced their best material of their career in "Nice Boy" and "Hook in a Minor" respectively. In fact "Hook in a Minor" must be rated as one of the Dominica's Calypso classics of all time and so could well have the easiest job if "Second Round" can provide adequate support.
Still, Webb with the best arranged Calypso and another classic will be poised, having placed on every occasion for the past five years; he will be hoping that, finally, he will wear that crown.
Bobb, a calypsonian who has placed in the top four for several years in succession, and Mas Camp's only representative (apart from the defending monarch) in this year's Finals would be thinking that his self-appointed "People's King", is now closer to reality.
But is it? For it's not going to be easy because rendition is not so much a factor this time as most of the finalists are renown singers i.e. Web, Janae, Stephan, Tasha, Chess, King Dice, and Jenius. Jaydee's vocal quality has certainly moved up a few notches and Karessah, whom I rate as Dominica's most complete calypsonian, has unique delivery qualities and antics that no one can ignore on a Calypso stage.
Janae and Tasha, the two female representatives, would have to be rated as the pinnacle of Dominican female Calypso ; Janae a dominant feature in the Junior Monarch competitions has won this title and at the time of writing is making her third defense of the female monarch title.
Meanwhile, her Sisserou Singers counterpart, who is the only female to have won the Calypso Monarch title, is one of the lead singers with the Swinging Stars band and would know for sure, that there will be no "free lunch" on Saturday.
Still, it would not be surprising if they compete fiercely or obtain top honors, as would Daddy Chess. His first "Calypso Formula" worked well, but are the ingredients in the right proportions for round two?
The writer for Jenius's "Dubai Delegation" a hard, popular, commentary on the monarchy will know too well that one song cannot do the trick, while Stephan's "Dominica Love" can easily be over-turned if he does not maintain.
Vocal aptitude, as I mentioned, is not really a factor because this line up of finalist features the best singers ever in Dominica Calypso history. It's a clear message to where the artform is going. Hence anyone coming in would have to match up with the Nashelle, Beno or De Healers, all youthful fantastic singers who did not find favour with the judges.
Speaking of the Judges there was consistency in both the quarters and the semis as all the top places maintained their top nine presence even with different judges - another first in Dominica's history.
The point is, whoever wins the completion cannot do so on one song, as fans tend to believe from time to time. I have heard statements about the crown could be on by either this or that person. Well, I beg to defer; they all have a chance; however, I tend to believe that those who can present the best compositions which will only be formally judged at the Finals and perform the best, stand the best chance, not any fancy theatrics.