Moments after being named national Extempo Champion for the second straight year, and for the third time overall, Brian London and beaten finalist Winston ‘Gypsy’ Peters both bemoaned the lack of diverse topics in the competition.
The topics generally stuck to local events and trends, with one of the topics; ‘It’s not a horn, it’ s a helping hand’ being completely recycled from last year’s competition.
“Coronavirus? Serious not a topic? Trump impeachment? Serious not a topic? And those are international things. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kobe Bryant, serious not a topic? These are things that are trending internationally and it shows if we sing those things,” said London, “ When I get topics that just related to here and here and here alone, you not really testing my intellectual capacity to see if I’m reading. If I understand world issues.”
Gypsy added, “I would like to see some of the topics be more intellectual. Some of the topics be more challenging in terms of the intellectuality of the whole thing. Not just these bland topics.”
London dedicated his win to Leroy Calliste, the Black Stalin, whom he visited before coming to the competition.
“I dedicating this to Black Man because for me right at this moment unless moments like these come up where we talk about Black Stalin, it’s like he’s a forgotten man dred,” said London.
He also said he would aim to win the Calypso Monarch for him as well.
“Most times when I talking to him and I talking Kaiso he does cry, I know the tears is because he not seeing himself here again and wish he could, may not be competing but just wish he could be on stage doing what he does.”
London made his way to the final after beating another former Extempo champ Black Sage as the duo took turns sharing barbs through the topic “Spanish Take Over Town”.
Sage attempted to belittle London’s inability to connect with the Venezuelan women and took a dig at his preferences, but London easily rebuffed while winning the crowd by stating he was good with his Trini food and Trini woman wine.
Gypsy also took on a former champion, as he traded barbs with Lingo on the topic “Leak in Party Boat”
The round quickly went political as Lingo waded into Gypsy’s tenure as a Minister under the People’s Partnership. Gypsy countered well to get a massive ovation as he announced he had jumped ship to the PNM.
In the final, the political tactic was revisited, by London when he threw the first jab at Gypsy’s position as National Carnival Commission Chairman.
Repurposing the Mighty Spoiler’s “Magistrate Try Himself”, London asked his opponent if he would be paying himself for the competition with NCC’s money.
Gypsy shot back stating the event was hosted by TUCO and insisted the crown would not be going to Fyzabad, but his hometown Mayaro.
This set up London’s closing shot, as he quipped a lot of money disappeared under the Partnership and it may have gone to Mayaro before delivering the final sting suggesting Gypsy was lucky the PNM took him back.