Supadex cries foul

Second place winner of the New York Vincy Independence Calypso Competition John Dougan.
Photo by Nelson A. King

A week after announcing the results of the inaugural New York Vincy Independence Calypso Competition, the Brooklyn-based Dynamite Calypso Tent has reversed the winners of the first and second runners-up positions.

“It is now official! Dynamite Independence Competition that was held at Café Omar on Oct. 24 now have (has) the final results,” said the tent on its Facebook page early Sunday morning, revealing that Dennis Bowman, who was initially announced as the winner, remains in first place with 242 points. But second place went to John Dougan, with 240 points, and third position to Exposer, with 232 points.

“Sorry for the earlier mix-up, and again thanking (thanks to) everyone who came out to celebrate with us and wishing SVG (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) a happy 35th Independence,” the statement added. “Next year, we will be bigger and better.”

The reversal, therefore, means that Franklyn “Supadex” Richards and Brother Don, who were declared first and second runners-up, respectively, on Nov. 24, clearly, did not place in the top three.

Ainsley Primus, president of the Dynamite Calypso Tent, told Caribbean Life, in an exclusive interview, that 12 members to the tent – including some of the calypsonians who competed in the inaugural event – met last Saturday night and unanimously agreed to the reversal.

He confirmed the latest results on Facebook and added that Jakie had placed fourth, with 228 points; Supadex fifth, with 224; and Brother Don sixth, with 219 points.

Primus said members were showed the judges’ score sheets, supposedly with the accurate tally, and that the auditor, Ulric Tyrell, his compatriot, had erred in tabulating the scores.

But Primus said Tyrell, Supadex, Brother Don and judges Monty Constance and Samuel “Kala” Gordon were absent from the meeting. He said Constance, who was vacationing in New York, has since returned home.

“I take all the blame for all that happened,” said Primus, adding, however: “I don’t take things on myself unless I consult with my members.

“I try my best to do things the right and honest way. Honesty is the best policy for me,” he continued. “If that’s the way the judges scored it (competition), it’s best for me.

“I feel bad for Supadex and Brother Don,” Primus said. “It’s my responsibility to clear the air, because I don’t want people to say we’re cheating.”

When the initial results were announced by co-Master of Ceremonies Hailes Castello, Brother Don stormed out of the venue and, therefore, was not present to accept his trophy.

Additionally, some patrons booed when the top three positions were announced, patently voicing their vehement objection to the results.

When contacted, Tyrell offered “no comment” on the issue.

But Judge Cauldric Forbes, said: “It is what it is on the score sheet. It’s just that the auditor presented wrong information to the MCs (the other MC was Bennett Straker).

“And in the end, Dynamite Calypso Tent fixed the problem and gave the prizes to the actual winners,” he added.

Judge Gordon also claimed that the procedure Tyrell used “wasn’t the correct one.”

“He was supposed to take the score sheet from us and add it up,” he told Caribbean Life. “In tabulating the results, he made a mistake.”

As the controversy brews, Supadex has cried foul, expressing outrage with the reversal of the public announcement.

“Clarity and transparency were clearly absent (as well as) a lack of protocol and professionalism,” Supadex told Caribbean Life. “The problem with the results of the show stems from the president having chosen someone to be the auditor, without letting the rest of the calypso tent know about it.

“Adding to that, protocol wasn’t followed,” he added. “The judges were supposed to judge and tally the results, and the auditor was supposed to double-check the results.

“What happened next depends on who you speak to because, up to this point, no one has spoken to the auditor (except Caribbean Life), who is being blamed for all this mix-up,” he continued. “The person, who was chosen to be the auditor, wasn’t announced at the show, wasn’t notified to the tent/calypsonians, and the only persons who knew about this were the judges and the president.”

Besides Jakie, Supadex, Brother Don, Bowman, Dougan and Exposer, other contenders in the historic event were: Striker, Fabulous T, Wise Guy, Jose Juan, Groovy D and John Cumbay.

Franklyn “Supadex” Richards.
Photo by Nelson A. King

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