De Bear benefits from new judging system

St. John’s Antigua- A new judging system seemed to have played a part in the recent victory of Keithroy “De Bear” Morson who copped the title of Leeward Island Calypso Monarch in Anguilla on Saturday.

After controversy over the judging of the contest in 2011, the organisers of the annual competition utilised three judges from outside the Leeward Islands – Steve Hyacinth of Dominica, Vincentian Victor Peters and Vincent Rivers of Trinidad and Tobago. Garson Kelsick and Kenneth Hodge were the two Anguillan judges.

Last year, Morson complained that there was an all-Anguillan panel of judges and emcee whom he believed exhibited favouritism towards their countryman, The Mighty Splinter.

The calypso veteran won the panel’s vote of approval with his songs Time to Take Your Place and Back to Basics. Besides winning the crown, the artiste walked away with $10,000.

St Kitts’ Konris Maynard placed second, and third place went to newcomer Shereena “Singing Shea Shea” Richardson of Anguilla. Other competitors were from Montserrat, St Maarten and the US Virgin Islands.

Speaking to another medium, Morson said it was a tough competition and he was indeed happy the organisers decided to bring in outside judges.

Morson, who also runs a calypso school in Montserrat, plans to tour the UK and the US before heading back to Montserrat to assist with the junior calypso show as part of the 50th anniversary of the Montserrat Festival in December.