Machel, Mical Teja qualify for Calypso Fiesta

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Soca superstar Machel Montano who is returning to his calypso roots this year with his song, Soul of Calypso. – File photo

KING of Soca Machel Montano has qualified for the semifinals of the 2024 Calypso Monarch competition.

In December, Montano announced he would not take part in this year’s Carnival as he was completing his master’s degree in Carnival arts at UTT.

Montano is among the 40 calypsonians who qualified for the semifinals at Calypso Fiesta at Skinner Park, San Fernando, on February 3.

The Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation announced the list of semi-finalists on Sunday.

On December 10, while receiving the keys to the city of San Fernando, Montano told fans he would not play an active role in Carnival 2024 because he was doing his master’s.

“This is my second year, I am writing my thesis. This is my final year. The work is very heavy,”

He has performed live only once for the season, at the Divas Calypso Cabaret at the Little Carib Theatre last Thursday.

Montano already has ten Road March and seven Soca Monarch titles and may soon add Calypso Monarch to his list of achievements.

His song, Soul of Calypso, is arguably one of the most popular going into the semi-finals, with more than 120,000 views on Youtube.

Another popular song in the competition belongs to Mical Teja (Williams). His DNA has become a staple at many of the fetes this season.

The  semi-finalists also include several former title-holders such as Karene Asche, Kurt Allen, Roderick “Chucky” Gordon, Terri Lyons and current independent Senator Helon Francis.

Chairman of the National Carnival Commission (NCC) Winston “Gypsy” Peters is also on the list.

In 2001, Peters defended his participation in the competition.“NCC does not hold any competition whatsoever. NCC is a facilitator, and whether I am inside the competition or outside of that competition, the facilitation remains the same.”How does that become a conflict of interest for me? I am a performer.”

There are also some notable omissions from the list , such as Michael “Sugar Aloes” Osouna and Weston “Cro Cro” Rawlins.

Nine-time calypso monarch Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool was also not named after he announced he would not participatie this year because of his wife’s death. Ruth Liverpool died of a heart attack on January 12 after a six-year battle with ovarian cancer.

Calypso Monarch semi-finalists

Aaron Duncan

Aaron Sinette

Alana Sinette-Khan

Alex Gift

Brian London

Caston Cupid

Crystal Charles

Eric James

Ezequiel Yorke

Garth St Clair

Giselle Frasier-Washington

Hammond Bruce

Heaven Charles

Helon Francis

Karene Asche

Keith Watson

Kerine Williams-Figaro

Kurt Allen

Machel Montano

Mark Eastman

Mical Williams

Michelle Henry

Myron Bruce

Nakasa Thatcher-Roberts

Nicole Thomas

Naomi Sinnette

Phillip Murray

Richard Raj-Kumar

Rivaldo London

Roderick Gordon

Romel Lezama

Sean Singh

Selvon Noel

Shamika Denoon

Stacey Sobers-Abraham

Stephen Marcelle

Terri Lyons

Victoria Cooper-Rahim

Wendy Garrick-Thomas

Winston Peters

RESERVE

Arnold Jordan