Dec. 17, 2005 – The Mighty Pat is inches away from regaining the St. Croix Festival calypso monarch crown, which was snatched away from him in 2004.
Samuel "Mighty Pat" Ferdinands strong showing in Friday's Calypso elimination contest placed him at the top of heap of the ten finalists chosen by the judges. The ten will face reigning Calypso King Morris "King Generic" Benjamin at the Calypso finals on Jan. 5 at the Island Center for the Performing Arts.
"Ive come to take back the crown," Ferdinand said in an interview after the show. "If someone takes something from me, I take it back."
Ferdinand, a multi calypso crown winner on St. Croix, St. Thomas and in other Caribbean countries, last held the St. Croix Festival Monarch crown in 2004, when it was captured by then 18-year-old John "Mighty John" Williams. The following year Ferdinand declined to compete for the title.
Taking advantage of the privileges awarded the reigning king; "King Generic" was seated among the audience, sizing up the competition. Generic said the show was good and the standards of the competitors were high, but he remains confident of his abilities to retain the crown.
"Im not worried; Ive got a lot of artillery," he said after the show.
The eliminations were held at Mala-Bu nightclub in Sunny Isles in front of a capacity crowd. As the beat of the music pumped through massive speakers set around the room, the audience swayed to the beat. The contenders received appreciative applause for their lyrics and performances.
During the three-hour show, 17 calypsonians touched on a variety of subjects including the war in Iraq, the federal governments response to Hurricane Katrina victims, sexual harassment and island unity.
But without a doubt the most popular subject, and the theme of a majority of the calypsonians performances, was local government corruption and the demeanor of local legislators, the governor and lieutenant governor. However it was two songs that celebrated the positive sides of life on St. Croix that got the attention of both the judges and the audience.
Joseph "Joey B" Browns rendition of "Caribbean Pearl" got the biggest reaction from the crowd as they waved, applauded and stood up in their seats.
"Come together, stop the hate and work together in unity," the St. Thomas born calypsonians implored.
"Mighty Pat" sang about his devotion to St. Croix in his song "I Love This Country," which had the audience singing along with the chorus.
Al Baptiste, Festival Monarch chairperson, estimated that about 500 people came out to see the show. Baptiste said Fridays show was the "best eliminations we ever had."
Wayne "Facts Man" Adams of St. Thomas came over to the Big Island to see the show. He agreed it was a good one.
"Im glad to see the tradition continuing, " he said. "It will continue to live on."
Judges were Roger Carrington, Audrey Browne, Calvin Whyte, Ray Clarke and Richard Lockhart. Joseph Brooks was an alternate judge. The contestants were judged on lyrics, melody, clarity, rendition and presentation
Here is the list of competitors and their rankings as a result of the eliminations:
1. Samuel "Mighty Pat" Ferdinand
2. Malushua "Lady Spice" Parker
3. Joseph "Joey B" Brown
4. Gemma "Gemma" Noel
5. Campbell " King Kan Fu Plentae" Barnes
6. Kasaun "K-Force" Baptiste
7. Karen "Lady Mac" McIntosh
8. Clement "General B" Chiverton
9. Elvis "Tumba" Liburd
10. Lariel "The Teacher" Gerard
Other singers included:
Louis "Quiz" Richards
Emanuel "Prince Emanuel" Henry
Stephen "Feel Free" Mariat
Peter "King Paul" Polius
Ann "Lady Ann" Sorhaindo
Allan "King Herring" Clarke
James P.G. "Monarch" Wakefield
Check back frequently to the Source for all your 2005-2006 St. Croix Festival highlights. See the complete schedule here.
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