Terri Lyons is the Calypso Monarch!
The soca princess secured the crown, becoming only the fifth woman to win the title, and walk away with the $700,000 first prize.
But history was also created, as Lyons along with Karene Asche and Heather McIntosh became the first women to sweep the top three spots of the coveted competition.
After her win, Lyons said she almost did not enter the competition this year, and thanked her team, including her songwriter Maria Bhola for their support.
Lyons was a fan favourite throughout the show and secured the loudest sustained applause of the night after her performance of “Meagan My Dear” her second song of the night.
In a show where eight of the 12 finalists were former Calypso Monarchs themselves, Lyon’s win is all the sweeter.
Last year’s defending monarch Ronaldo London ended up at the bottom of the results list.
Brian London was the first to wake up the crowd with his song “Boo, Shame on You”.
Karene Asche, who came second was another fan favourite, and “The Mighty Chalkdust” also named Hollis Liverpool were strong contenders for the affections of their audience.
Lyons who has made her name in soca has been creating a buzz in the Calypso arena.
But asked if yesterday’s win means that she is saying goodbye to the genre, she said “I can’t choose.” Already a much sought-after background singer, Lyons has been performing throughout the season with Kes the Band. Their duet “Throw Back Ting” has been getting airplay.
She said more needs to be done to revive interest in calypso as an art form.
But despite the talent, the stands were almost empty for the entire night. Guest artiste Scrunter also called Irwin Johnson paused in between songs to lament that at one point there would be no space in front the stage, because of the large number of people coming out to see calypso.
Lyon’s agreed, she said more needs to be done to promote calypso since it birthed soca. She called for calypso to be performed not just in concerts, but on the streets of Port-of-Spain throughout the year. “We need to bring new minds within the marketing. I know that Tuco has a page and stuff, but it needs to be more in people’s face, especially the youths,” she said.
The calypso monarch competition ran smoothly but still managed to end well after 1 am Friday.
Performance sets were built and then broken down in record time. Performances, for the most part, flowed as they should.
Defending champion Ronaldo London appeared to end his second selection suddenly, and social media didn’t appreciate what some referred to as the “racist” undertones in “Welcome to Chinatown” by Sonia Francis; “Singing Sonia.” The calypsonian wore “geisha” make-up and sang with an affected accent.