Dennis Bowman, a finalist in the national calypso competition in Vincy Mas 2014, last Saturday morning captured the inaugural New York calypso crown from a field of 11 challengers amid much controversy.
Some elements of the audience at Café Omar, at the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Clarendon Road in Brooklyn, did not withhold their displeasure by booing when the top three spots were announced, by co-Master of Ceremony Hailes Castello, shortly after 3:00 a.m.
Franklyn “Supadex” Richards, who rendered “All Ah We Ah Vincy, and Brother Don, who sang “Bring Back Vincy to We,” placed second and third, respectively.
But Ainsley Primus – president of the Dynamite Calypso Tent, the lone Vincentian calypso tent in the United States, which organized the event – told Caribbean Life afterwards that the auditor apparently erred in tabulating the results.
Primus said while Bowman was the clear winner, with “Not Giving up,” based on the judges’ score, Richards and Brother Don should have placed lower down the order. The judges were Monty Constant, Samuel “Kala” Gordon and Cauldric Forbes.
Without disclosing the respective position of John Dougan (“Our Independence”) and Exposer (“Fight Back”), Primus said they should have placed higher in the competition, based on the judges’ tabulation. Except for Bowman, Richards and Brother Don, the position of the other artistes was not announced.
Primus said he was expected to meet this week with the judges and his executive in finalizing the results, but stated that Bowman will remain the undisputed winner of the inaugural event.
Nonetheless, Bowman, who earlier this year won Dynamite’s New Song Competition, said, shortly after competition, he was confident of victory.
“Excellent! Excellent!” he exclaimed when Caribbean Life asked him about his performance. “If you listen to the song lyrically, musically, the song is right up there.
“There was no doubt in my mind [that] the crown was mine,” he added. “The song is itself lyrically rich. When you come to presenting a song, you can count on Dennis Bowman to deliver that.”
The chorus in “Not Giving Up” goes: “Not me/Am not giving up on my country/Am not giving up on my home/I see foreigners come down here in disrepair/And make it their paradise/Which clearly tells me/That something about SVG have to be nice/So am not giving up on my country/Am not giving up on my home/No matter where I may roam/Not me.”
Dougan noted that “SVG Nice” and Exposure wanted to “Fight Back.”
Other contenders were: Striker (“We are Vincentian”); Fabulous T (“Happy Independence”); Wise Guy (“Happy Anniversary”); Jose Juan (“I Miss You”); Jakie (“Independence”); Groovy D (“What A World We Live In”); and John Cumbay (“Our Independence”).