The preliminary and semi-final rounds of the National Extempo competition came off on Monday evening with a very small field of contestants facing the judges at Kaiso House Calypso Tent at Green Corner (Park and St Vincent Streets) Port of Spain.
Eighteen from an original 23 singers came through the preliminary round to perform on topics like Permission to Wine, Skinner Park is the acid test, Fake Oil Scandal, TT First Woman President, The CJ Issue, Vicky Escape, Jail ent Nice, Trump is Trouble, We Sea Bridge Falling Down and The Minister Loves Culture. When the finalists were announced, big names like Contender, Lingo, Lady Africa and Abebele were left on the sidelines. Overall, the performances in the first round were appealing to the audience as the contestants went through their four verses of the chosen topic.
Brian London seemed to be stunned when he chose Women Like Too Much Toys.
He took some time to compose himself, so to speak, before delivering and he was well received.
Dion Diaz and Black Sage also delivered well with Anti-Gang Legislation and Jail ent Nice respectively.
Twelve contestants were chosen to go on to the semi-final round, where they were paired off against each other.
Brian London and Lady Syntax chose Send me a Friend Request, Short Pants and Lady Africa went with Plus Size is Best, Lingo and Contender worked with I Like it in a Box, Incredible Myron B and Dion Diaz did What is Life, Black Sage and Nyol Manswell did We Get a Female President (Manswell also chose that topic in the preliminary) while Wendell Goodridge and Abebele did Massive Has a Problem.
In the end the judges chose the best seven of the 12 to go on to the finals.
The finals will come off at Kaisocarama on February 8 at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain.
The following finalists will face reigning monarch Winston “Gypsy” Peters for the title: Nyol Manswell, Myron B, Lady Syntax, Black Sage, Dion Diaz, Short Pants and Brian London.