By Demion McTair. Updated 3:52 a.m., Wednesday, July 8, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Feature: Shena Collis and Chewalee Johnson tied for first place in the inaugural virtual calypso monarch held on Sunday (July 5).
For Collis, she was excited for the win, saying it was her first in a competition outside of athletics. For Johnson, who won the National Ragga Soca Monarch in 2016, he was also very happy and humbled by the win.
Both artistes shared their thoughts in an exclusive interview with One News SVG on July 7, on wearing the title together and sharing the prize money of EC$5,000 which was split equally between them.
For Collis, the lone female in the competition, she said “I won’t have mind getting it alone but as two young persons, it is better to eat a food than nothing at all”.
For Johnson, he said “the tie: everyone likes to win by themselves but I was actually happy for Shena more than I was happy for myself, which is strange”.
He added that he “always told Shena she has the ability to win on the big stage and she just has to have that belief and confidence in herself. So, I was just happy that she made a stride in winner her first calypso competition and I expect her to someday win in Victoria Park as well,” referring to the national competition.
I intend to win on the big stage stage as well but It’s something about her, I see something in her that I don’t know if she’s seen it herself. So, I was just happy to see her get the victory.
As for the historic competition itself, both Collis and Johnson praised the initiative, which was the only performance opportunity of its kind, due to Vincy Mas 2020 and other events being cancelled in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms. Collis said “It may not be a major competition but it’s a step for me it’s a huge step. I’m motivated to do better in bigger competitions. This is a huge success for me, a major success because its my first win, so it would only motivate me for the bigger competitions”.
Using a soccer analogy, Mr. Johnson said a cup is a cup, a win is a win.
“At the end of the day, granted we didn’t see the best of the best out of SVG, all the best enter the competition, the various categories, I think more so in Calypso there were more veterans than in the other two categories, but at the end of the day, it was a competition of the best and persons competed, persons won, persons lost” – Johnson said.
On the songs, Collis sang “Quashegunny”, a humorous and historical piece she hoped wouldn’t be controversial due to the double entendre meanings that could be drawn from the song, while Johnson sang Mas Debating, a commentary about the debates surrounding carnival competitions.
Both artistes praised the organizers of the event, saying the production was of a high standard.