Rickyshio Bertie three-peats: Princess Acquilla dethrones Lil BlossomPOSTED: 04/16/12 1:25 PM
St. Maarten – Acquilla “Princess Acquilla” Carty dethroned Denisia “Lil Blossom” Martimbor on Saturday night and brought the junior calypso crown home to Down Street. The new monarch said that she was shocked but happy with her victory.
Carty’s presentation of ‘All I want to do’ included a drama where she was the only student who remained focused in her classroom subsequently graduating with honors. The watchwords on the backboard nearby said ‘Focus, Education and Humble.’ These were the virtues Princess Acquilla sang would result in success. Her catchy piece evoked the crowd’s participation as they sang “all I really want to do is go to school and learn the rules …they don’t know, they don’t know the essence of education.” As one of the youngest competitors, Princess Acquilla’s win was met with crowd approval with many commenting on her strong vocals.
The judges awarded 2011 Junior Calypso Monarch Lil Blossom with the first runner up position. She also focused on the education theme. The teenager who recently travelled to Trinidad and Tobago to represent the island defended her crown with great stage presence, a dramatic piece and near perfect pitch.
“An education is a passport to your future endeavors…so you could play mature, do the wrong thing and hang with the wrong company…in the future you will have a life of misery,” were some of the lyrics of her calypso. Many people in the audience supported the former monarch by wearing promotional t-shirts.
The important role a father plays in the life of his son was demonstrated when Nicholio Bertie performed his piece. Dressed in a pajama and with an oversized stuff toy, Nicholio was assisted on stage by his father; veteran calypsonian Ricky ‘Da Phox’ Bertie. For his efforts he was awarded the second runner up position. Many parents commended the ‘Da Phox’ for instilling the importance of culture in his children. Bertie appears to have a bright future ahead of him and has promised to work on his showmanship.
Lil Blossom’s sister J’onesia ‘Sunshine’ Martimbor highlighted the rising cost of living in her piece called “De Money Shrinking.” Attired in a US dollar printed fabric complete with a head wrap Sunshine sang “The strength of the US dollar ain’t getting big at all…de dollar small.” Throughout her performance she littered the floor of the venue with fake dollar bills. Perhaps staying true to her stage name, Sunshine, was energetic and received the third runner up position.
Despite an energetic performance complete with St. Maarten Police Officers, Rumari ‘The Messenger’ Rogers failed to make “Peer Pressure” the winning calypso for 2012. His piece depicted how youths become involved in criminal activity when they give in to negative peer pressure.
“Peer pressure is a clear and present danger, turning angels into monsters.”
Even though he did not place, The Messenger’s final advice with the hundred of youths gathered for the event was, “If you fall into peer pressure then you can’t stand up for education.”
The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation called Saturday’s event at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel the first successful local show for the carnival season. Five junior calypsonians hailing from elementary to secondary schools delivered rhythmic social commentary.
“This is the future of calypso,” SCDF President Stuart Johnson said in March, adding that much more needs to be done to attract youngsters to the art form of calypso. All of the calypso will continue to receive airplay throughout the Carnival season with some of the artistes also selling CDs of their work.
Junior Road March
Rickyshio ‘The Royal Kid’ Bertie delivered a high energy performance to secure the title of Junior Road March King for the third time. He and the other competitors in this year’s competition braved a plethora of technical difficulties caused by the audio system to complete his rendition of “How they Gon Stop Me Now”.
Rickyshio remained focused and executed an almost flawless performance. From the start of his presentation, which included a role play of the medieval ‘Sword in the Stone’, Rickyshio as mystical King Arthur invited the audience at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel to clap, jump and gyrate with him in a runaway performance.
Rumari “The Messenger” Rogers started the show with a bang singing “Say Unity and Jump.” The young man transformed the atmosphere into a colorful, infectious revelry with old and young joining his carnival troupe.
Mr. Violenus had a difficult time belting out the night’s most catchy tune, “Jumping Jacks.” Several times during his performance he appeared distracted by the audio glitches. Even the judges complained that they were unable to hear the contestants properly owing to technical difficulties.
Judges for the event were Lady Grace, Z. Richardson and Lena Browne. They were on the lookout for originality, stage performance, lyrics, vocal ability among other areas. Fernando Clark colored the event, which was sponsored by UTS Chippie, with his comedic pieces as the master of ceremonies.