(Trinidad Guardian) Duane O’Connor is the 2012 National Calypso Monarch. The reigning 2012 Young King Calypso Monarch won the title and $1 million first prize with his two selections The Hunt Is On and Long Live Calypso at the final of the Calypso Monarch Competition staged as an element of the Dimanche Gras show at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on Sunday night.
O’Connor won the judges’ favour, and seemingly unanimous crowd approval, in dethroning defending monarch Karene Asche, who placed third, and relegating four former monarchs—Chalkdust (Dr Hollis Liverpool), Cro Cro (Weston Rawlins), Sugar Aloes (Michael Osuna) and Singing Sandra (Sandra DesVignes-Millington)—to places 6th, 12th, 7th and 10th, respectively.
Second place went to another former monarch Kurt Allen for his selections It Is Alleged and Long Live Calypso, while the consistent Devon Seales copped fourth position with One Is One and Snapshots.
Choosing the Crime Watch-inspired selection The Hunt Is On for the first round, O’Connor solidified his hunt for victory with a performance unmatched by any other competitor. He punctuated the song’s chorus line that says “is Gibbs job he want” by having host of Crime Watch Ian Alleyne come on stage in the guise of the Commissioner of Police and utter his now famous catch phrase “tonight is wetting, wetting…”.
O’Connor, aged 33 years, is no stranger to the calypso art form. His list of credits are many, and include winner of Stars of Tomorrow in 1994 and 1999, seven-time Stars of Tomorrow Awardee, two-time Stars of Gold Awardee, eight-time Young Kings finalist, five-time National Calypso Monarch semi-finalist, five-time Unattached Calypso Monarch finalist, and winner of the Emancipation Calypso Monarch title in 2003. In addition to holding the Young King Calypso Monarch title, he is also the reigning Tuco North Zone Calypso Monarch and winner of the 2012 Social Commentary category.
1. Duane O’Connor: The Hunt is On; Long Live Calypso
2. Kurt Allen: Long Live Calypso; When Will It End
3. Karene Asche: Against All Odds; You Will Win The Battle But
4. Devon Seale: One Is One; Snapshots
5. Heather Mac Intosh: The Adjective; One Gone
6. Dr Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool: Shame Mr Shak; How’s Dat
7. Michael “Sugar Aloes” Osuna: Doh Force Meh Hand; Chinese Kidnapping
8. Dexter “Stinger” Parsons: My Reason For Being Here; Advice In Song
9. Brian London: Not Brian; Doh Complain – Come Plain
10. Sandra “Singing Sandra” Des Vignes-Millington: On Turning 50; Why I Sing
11. Lesley Ann Ellis: Street Justice; Mothers and Others
12. Weston “Cro Cro” Rawlins: Say Something; Release Them