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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 20, 2024


April 16, 2002 – The V.I. Carnival Committee has announced the 10 finalists from two elimination tents held earlier this month who will vie for the 2002 calypso monarch crown on April 25 in Lionel Roberts Stadium.
Joining those 10 in the competition will be reigning king Sinclair DeSilva — "Whadablee" — who has held the title since 1999 and will be going for an unprecedented fourpeat.
Two former St. Croix calypso kings, Mighty Pat and King Kan Fu' Plentae, made the cut. So did perennial St. Thomas competitors Generic, Super T, the Incredible Shark, Waggy, Joey B and Reflector. Also in the line-up are Boss Man and Souljah.
Calypso season starts early as part of the V.I. Carnival activities. The elimination tents help thin the field of hopefuls, between 20 and 30 each year. Judges begin their work at the Sanctum of Wisdom and Fun, originated by the Carnival Committee's chair, Kenneth Blake, and its archivist, Glenn "Kwabena" Davis, in the days when they themselves were calypsonians.
"Elimination tents really started in the late 1970s," Davis said, noting that the one he and Blake founded is now run by Count Slim. "There was a time when you would have five tents at a time," Davis continued, "but the difference then from today was that the calypsonians used to buy into the tents. They would help promote it, help with the costumes and the sets. Some of the guys would sing backup for the other guys."
This year, contestants compete for a new car.
King Whadablee chose not to appear in the tents as a featured performer, as some past kings have done. But he said he was going to attend Strictly Local, the second elimination tent, to check out the competition.
DeSilva was among nearly 1,000 calypso fans who packed the ballroom at Palms Court Harborview last Friday night for the final tent.
Many of those present, like labor leader Luis "Tito" Morales, come year after year to hear the new compositions and catch up on the political quips, irreverent commentaries and clever plays on words which make up the fabric of the musical genre. "I thought it was funny — a little disrespectful, but funny," Morales said of Friday's show.

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