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Change at the top! Helon Francis crowned 2018 Calypso Monarch; Voice finishes second

There was change at the top of the calypso pyramid last night as 24-year-old Helon Francis was crowned the 2018 Calypso Monarch with “Changes”—a powerful social commentary about Trinidad and Tobago’s need for introspection and revolution of thought to address corruption and crime in the two-island republic.

Much of the pre-Dimanche Gras final hype focused on the entrance of now three-time International Soca Monarch Aaron “Voice” St Louis, who was attempting to become the first bard to win a soca and calypso title in the same season since David Rudder in 1986.

Photo: Helon Francis delivers “Changes” during the Calypso Monarch final at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on 11 February 2018.
Francis, 24, sang his way to his maiden Calypso Monarch crown.
(Copyright Wired868)

The 25-year-old Voice was expected to face his fiercest challenge from veteran calypsonians like Sandra “Singing Sandra” Des Vignes, Kurt “The Last Bardjohn of Calypso” Allen and reigning champion Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool.

In the end, it was Francis who blindsided him at the Queen’s Park Savannah as judges gave the new monarch 442 points for his thought-provoking rendition and silken presentation.

Voice was second, scoring 433 points for his positive “Year for Love” while Rondell Donawa, singing “De Problem,” was a surprise third with 427 points.

Performing in 17th position, former Calypso Monarch Duane O’ Connor finished a creditable seventh with “Front Page.” The 2012 Monarch was a late addition to the Finals line-up, a court having determined at the eleventh hour that he should be included after he protested that his Melody score had been unfairly changed in Saturday’s semifinals.

Photo: Aaron “Voice” St Louis performs “Year for Love” at the Calypso Monarch final in the Queen’s Park Savannah, POS on 11 February 2018.
Voice finished second.
(Copyright Wired868)

The full list of placings (points scored in brackets) is as follows:

1.Helon Francis (Changes) (442),

2.Aaron “Voice” St Louis (Year for Love) (433)

3.Rondell Donawa (De Problem) (427)

4.Michael “Protector” Legerton (We could do better than that) (421)

5.Myron “Myron B” Bruce (The Great Nation) and Joanne “Tigress” Rowley (Rowley to Rowley) (419),

7.Duane O’Connor (Front page) (415)

8.Dexter “Stinger” Parsons (Chinese Tuition) and Karene Asche (Song of Inspiration) (413)

10.Kurt “The Last Bardjohn of Calypso” Allen (Circle Square Science) (408)

11.Alana “Lady Watchman” Sinnette (Deadbeat) (404),

12.Selvon “Mistah Shak” Noel (Rebellion) (400)

13.Stacy Sobers (Calypso City) (399)

14.Sandra “Singing Sandra” Des Vignes (Power in Song) (397)

15.Michael “Sugar Aloes” Osouna (Finally) (389)

16. Carlos “Skatie” James (Ah Cutback) (387)

17.Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool (Eulogy) (385)

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  1. I was actually hoping for Voice to win the Road March.

  2. Michael Mondezie (Trinidad Express):
    “Helon Francis, a recent graduate of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) Fine Arts programme, stopped all comers with a soulful call for new thinking, leadership and action amongst nationals in his jazzy ‘Change’…
    “The self-penned and produced Francis, meanwhile, who finished second two years ago in what was his first attempt at the competition, said he plans to craft not just title-contending but long-lasting calypsoes in the years to come…
    ‘I always work hard at my music but I had classes at UTT to worry about. I’ve now gotten the opportunity to sit and craft my music the way I would actually like to craft it. To me this is just the beginning of what I would like to do. God spare life.'”

  3. Congratulations tight. Show.

    Great performance

  4. We know his time was coming. Congrats to him