The 2017 Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation TUCO/First Citizens Junior Calypso Monarch is Shervonne Rodney.
Rodney, a pupil of Arima Central Government Secondary School got the nod from the judges and earned her spot in the winner’s circle with her song “Misconception”. Dressed in teal-coloured pants, white top and a white jacket, Rodney commanded the stage from the onset at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, yesterday. Beating 15 other competitors including defending Junior Calypso Monarch, Sharissa Camejo, Rodney not only walked away with the coveted title but a cash prize of $25,000 and a trip to Barbados to be a guest at its Junior Monarch finals.
Shortly after the results were revealed, a slightly out-of-breath Rodney said, “I am so overwhelmed. After my performance people were saying I had won but I still had my doubts. I just wanted to wait and see. Right now I am so happy!”
Rodney admitted that preparation for the competition was difficult having to juggle her studies and her mother’s initial reluctance for her to compete this year.
She said, “This is my last year at the Junior competition, and to have won this now is amazing.”
Rodney said she stood firm by her decision to compete this year, despite her mother’s misgivings with the timing not being “right”.
“Brian London wrote the song for me. This is the second time he has written for me. I understood the song and I truly connected with it. I have been singing since the age of five. For years the songs that I have sung went with my life.”
“There will be some days that you win and days that you don’t. There will be times you will feel like giving up but don’t stop going after your dreams. I even wanted to stop this year but I insisted that I sing this song and I persevered,” she said.
Camejo, a crowd favourite, placed second with her song, “Progress Again”. Camejo was first greeted by her brother, Sergio, the 2017 National Schools Soca Monarch who gave her a big hug and congratulated her. She said, “I feel so happy, I came in the top three. Today, Shervonne was better than me.”
Camejo said the competition was good and though there were obstacles regarding preparation for the finals, she believes she had accomplished the task she had set out to do.
Her father Enrico said, “I feel very proud. Every competition you have to go up against the best. I wanted my daughter to win, it would have been great to get the trilogy but God had it this way. The level of competition was very good this year. I felt my daughter’s song was lyrically strong but the level of performance by all the competitors was amazing. It was very high-quality and everybody had to bring their A-game.”
Camejo, of Holy Name Convent, Port of Spain, walked away with a trophy and $20,000 in cash.
Third place went to Deslie Julien from St Mary’s College with his song “The Writers of Tomorrow” while fourth place went to Caryn Mc Carthy from Arima Central Secondary with her song, “Just a Name”.
Julien received a trophy and a cash prize of $15,000 while Mc Carthy received a trophy and a cash prize of $5,000.