Lugars Water-bag Burst
As a writer of Calypso, I have taken my blows when Lugars "messed up" with "Talking in tongues" or last years "Ca eat Concrete" or even when Chris B mysteriously did not make it pass Quarters with "Violence." Those who have worked with me know I am my toughest critic and also extend the same to persons for whom I compose calypsos for. King Observer can attest to this and recently Lugars who I told this year 'this was it, too many of my good compositions are going down the drain....persons say that you scream , get carried away ...put on your shades if it works for you...' Obviously a calypsonian coming under such fire from his writer after having success with "Internet Children" would do well to listen, especially when you are not 'a People's King' like the Bobb.
Under my watchful eye and advice Lugars really gave it his best last weekend with "Tribute to Nurse." Minutes before going on stage I admonished him not to get carried away , and he put down the best performance of his life - no screaming, not a false note in rendition, strong presentation and diction and I have been told by even the most brutal critics that this is a great song. What else can a calypsonian do? Could it be that he was judged on last year's performance? If not, it would be interesting to find out what crime he has committed this time.
As I recall, the patrons at the Semis held their breath because as they knew that with such a composition only Lugars could destroy himself. He did not. The applause he received was deafening and to my mind a foregone conclusion that since he did not do a "Chris B" he would be in. But according to comedian Paul Keens Douglas "who tell me say dat?" The composer and calypsonian were to face another scathing disappointment. For the third time in a row one of the best Calypsos performed by the same singer is left out, and I dare say, this time it was no fault of his.
Meanwhile, I applaud Beno who obviously knows what disappointment is all about in Calypso, and also to the fourth female Calypso writer to come on the scene, Michele Henderson, for a well arranged composition, one with international appeal, notwithstanding the clichés of "peace". Beno's seriousness and professionalism this year is what every calypsonian should aspire to do because too many singers take composers intellectual property for granted and don't give of their best.
It is also wonderful to see Booplay who has one of the strongest and clearest voices in the art, back in the Finals after quite a few years. Meanwhile, the Wave really deserved his place as the most consistent new comer with his hard hitting socio-political commentary. Jay Dee, on the other hand, has a few areas to improve on in the construction and general delivery of his song, but I hasten to add that he has great writing potential.
Hunter was very powerful and as usual he rode on his clear voice to whip up emotions for children. This seems to be his platform as a calypsonian. He has written the most songs about children issues to light and he finds new angles and approaches to do so, time and time again.
Generally, the judges did a good job since all those who were strong on rendition, save for Daddy Chess, passed with flying colours. My suspicion is that a Shadow, Chalkdust or last year's TNT monarch Pink Panther could never win a crown in the context of Dominica's Calypso since rendition, particularly tonal qualities seem to weigh heavily on the judges score. While one cannot underestimate the brilliance of a singer on stage but Calypso is much more than this, hence, the very reason why NC won so many crowns.
Therefore in the Dominican context, it is becoming extremely difficult for the 'Man Himself" type of composition to make any inroads. I maintain one is born with a particular tone such as Black Diamond or Daryl Bobb or King Dice. So it's all about rendering this voice or tonal quality in the execution of a song in the correct key as Jean Claude of Kassav does so well in his raspy tone.
So, it may be that a lovely, pleasant 'Sisserou- voice of a Webb with his tonal quality, can mask a lyrically weak composition to the unsuspecting judge .I dare say, it happened to some members of the panel on DBS who put the voice of Daddy Chess in front of his actual composition and they labelled him the biggest casualty when Lugars clearly was!
Could it be that some of our judges pre- judge the shows? Was Lugars stereotyped as a guy who will get excited or forget his song and was judged on that premise? All I know is that his water-bag burst.....poof!