PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Feb 22, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Calypso Association (TUCO), apparently bowing to a threat of legal action by a disgruntled calypsonian has removed the St. Vincent-born singer Lornette “Fya Empress” Nedd Reid from the Calypso Monarch finals scheduled for the Queen’s Park Oval on Sunday night.
Attorney Gerald Ramdeen said that his client, Lynette “Lady Gypsy” Steele will now participate in the finals as Trinidad and Tobago celebrates the annual Carnival celebrations.
Ramdeen had earlier sent a pre-action protocol letter to TUCO, giving it 24 hours to respond and which could have led to an injunction being sought in the High Court preventing Nedd Reid from performing in the finals.
In the pre-action protocol letter, Ramdeen had called for the immediate disqualification of Nedd Reid, who he argued did not fit the nationality criteria to perform at the competition.
“The nationality criteria for a competition such as the National Calypso Monarch Competition is a requirement that is grounded in logic and reasonableness having regard to the status and nationalistic persona of the person holding that title,” Ramdeen said, adding the “rules of the competition could not have been made to be honoured in breach”.
Steele, who contested the semi-finals last Saturday, placed 16th with a total of 389 points and Ramdeen, in his letter to TUCO, said Steele secured the same score as Anthony “All Rounder” Hendrickson who placed 15th.
Ramdeen said there was no explanation from TUCO as to how All Rounder – with the same score – ranked above Lady Gypsy who placed 16th.
This is not the first time that Nedd Reid has competed here, reaching as far as the semi-finals in previous TUCO administered competitions.
Media reports said that she had also won a calypso queen competition.
Steele, the sister of former culture minister, Winston “Gypsy” Peters, who is also a finalist in the competition, will face six former calypso monarchs in the Dimanche Gras finals.
According to the line-up, the six former monarchs are Winston “Cro Cro” Rawling, former culture minister, Winton ’Gypsy’ Peters, Dr. Hollis Liverpool (Chalkdust), Kurt Allen, Karene Asche and Chucky.
Allen’s tune “Forking Up Meh Corn Tree” is a double-entendre political commentary, while Chalkdust’s tune “Learn From Arithmetic” addressed the issue of child marriage.
Cro Cro in his tune, “Final Send-Off,” paid tribute to the late former prime minister Patrick Manning who died last year.
The other finalists are Queen Victoria, Terri Lyons, Sasha Ann Moses, Rondell Donowa, Miguella Simon , Lady Adanna, Heather McIntosh and All Rounder.