July 11, 2008
Princess Monique grabs calypso crown

When she did not make it into the Semi-Finals of last year’s competition, Monique “Princess Monique” Hector took it personally – so this year she was determined to erase that memory.{{more}}

She did.

Princess Monique is the 2008 calypso monarch, beating out the other 10 competitors in last Sunday’s calypso finals at the Dimanche Gras show at Victoria Park.

Princess Monique, who sings with the Graduates calypso tent, was widely tipped to cop her third title, after winning in 2003 and 2004, and told SEARCHLIGHT that she was determined to rebound from last year’s snub by the judges in fine style.

“I had no doubt that I was going to win. After I wasn’t in the semi finals last year, I brought everything this year,” she told SEARCHIGHT shortly after being crowned by the 2008 Miss SVG and Miss Carival, Ronique Delimore.

With her two numbers, “Who’s laughing now” and “Beyond party lines”, Princess Monique had the audience, and obviously the judges, eating out of her hands. But it was “Who’s laughing now”, a song that promotes the virtues of farming in the midst of the worldwide food shortage, that has what it takes to transcend this year’s competition and get airplay long after Vincy Mas 2008 is forgotten.

Princess Monique adds this title and the EC$22,000 to the Trinidad and Tobago 2008 Calypso Queen title and the TT$100,000 (EC$50,000) that she won in January this year.

She told SEARCHLIGHT that she is looking forward to the rest of the year, having already been booked to do shows in Trinidad, New York and other venues.

Crowd favourite, Errol “De Man Age” Rose, came in second with “I ain’t selling out” and “The man is me friend”, and 2002 monarch Elvis “Abijah” Abbey finished third. His second song, “Jumbie Police”, was especially well received by the audience. His other song was “Chatoyer Pickney”.

Last year’s monarch, Kenneth “Vibrating Scakes” Alleyne, was especially disappointing, doing very little in his effort to retain his crown.

His songs, “Housewife Economics” and “Obama” had potential, but during his first rendition, he seemed confused, under-prepared, and at times seemed to be mumbling his way through his performance.

The other finalists were Glenroy “Sulle” Caesar who placed fourth, Robert “Patches” Knights, Earl “Exposer” Isles, Michael “Black Messenger” John, Dennis Bowman, Carlos “Rejector” Providence and Grantley “Ipa” Constance.