After having to go to court to be reinstated as a finalist in the Trinidad and Tobago Calypso Monarch competition, Lornette âFya Empressâ Nedd-Reid placed 15th out of a total of 17 calypsonians, with a total of 370 points.
Last Tuesday, the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organization (TUCO) received a pre-action protocol letter from attorneys representing calypsonian Lynette âLady Gypsyâ Steele, stating that Nedd-Reid was not supposed to have taken part in the competition because of her nationality.
Nedd-Reid is a Vincentian by birth, but is married to a Trinidadian. She is currently undergoing the process of becoming a nationalized Trinidadian.
The drama came as Steele narrowly missed out on a place in the finals after placing 16th in the semis and being listed as the first reserve. One of the ways of getting into the finals was to have Nedd-Reid blocked.
TUCO agreed with Steele and gave her Nedd-Reidâs place, but the Vincentian, with the aid of attorney Keith Scotland, took TUCO to court and as a result was allowed back into the competition.
The bacchanal between Nedd-Reid and Steele saw TUCO upping the number of finalists from 15 to 17 and a follower of the art form in Trinidad said that the fact that both Anthony âAll Rounderâ Hendrickson and Steele had scored the same number of points during the semis, but one was included, while the other was relegated to âstand-byâ was ridiculous.
âTUCO erred in its decision making processâ, said the follower.
In response, public relations officer (PRO) of TUCO Steve âRas Kommandaâ Pascal told the Trinidad Guardian on Sunday that they will consider amending the rules to open next yearâs Calypso Monarch competition to non-nationals.
Pascal said they will consider transforming the event into an international calypso monarch, while revisiting the rules in light of things like the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and its guidelines for regional integration.
âSo, it may be good for the art form, because maybe we might see the stands being filled if we have an international calypso monarch,â Pascal said to the Guardian, while admitting that TUCO may have made an error in not verifying Nedd-Reidâs nationality and in allowing her to compete over several years before the issue was raised last week.
He said that the incident can possibly open the door for Trinidadians to compete in St Vincent and the Grenadinesâ National Calypso Competition.
Sundayâs competition was eventually won by Dr Hollis âChalkdustâ Liverpool with 439 points. He took home TT$700,000. In second place was former Calypso Monarch Karene Asche with 423 points. She got TT$400,000. In third place was Heather Mac Intosh. She took home TT$200,000.
Terri Lyons was fourth with 415 points. She got TT$75,000.
The other results are, in order, Rondell Donawa, Devon Seales, Roderick âChuckyâ Gordon, Victoria âQueen Victoriaâ Cooper, Lynette âLady Gypsyâ Steele, Anthony âAll Rounderâ Hendrickson, Weston âCro Croâ Rawlins, Winstonâ Gypsyâ Peters, Kurt Allen, Sasha Ann Moses, Lornette âFya Empressâ Nedd-Reid, Miguella Simon and Marsha âLady Adannaâ Clifton.
Steele beat Nedd-Reid by 30 points in the finals.