Macomere Fifi (Eulith Tara Woods) is on a roll and she doesn’t intend to stop anytime soon.
The reigning champion and holder of four titles is seeking to join Structure (Bryan Thornhill) and Beginner (Michael Moore) as the only five-time winners at the Organization of Calypso Performing Artists’ (OCPA) 32nd annual Calypso Monarch finals on Sunday afternoon.
Macomere Fifi had a dream debut, capturing the crown in 1998. However, it took her another decade to win the coveted prize.
Winner of three of the last four competitions, the talented performer is cognizant that she’s on the threshold of history.
“Winning a fifth title is something I have thought about, but I don’t look at it as joining Structure and Beginner,” she said. “For me, it’s about becoming the first woman to reach the landmark.”
Tracey Ann (1989 and 1990) and Lady Pearl (1992) are the only other females to capture the crown.
“They set the standard and I have raised the bar,” said Macomere Fifi, who started singing calypso music 15 years ago.
She is slated to appear eighth in the field of nine finalists.
“I think I have appeared in every slot, so it really doesn’t matter to me,” she said. “I have been in this competition for many years, so I know what to expect. Of course, I am a bit nervous when I step on stage because I know many eyes are looking at me and I am being judged. But once I get going, my focus is on my performance and doing the best I can.”
Macomere Fifi’s strongest challenge is expected to come from Structure, who is attempting to secure a record sixth title.
“I feel good and I am prepared and ready for the big day,” said the Kaiso Forum tent founder/manager who is in the number three slot. “I would rather come lower down the order because I like to hear a few songs before I perform. That’s where I am placed and I have to go out there and put on a show, which I will.”
He was the runner-up in his first competition in 2002 just a few months after migrating from Barbados.
Three-time winner Dennis James, who returned to the competition last year after a five-year hiatus, is confident of regaining the title. This is the third time he will be the first performer on stage.
“I won the competition the first occasion I was drawn to lead off and the next time I was sixth,” said James, who came to Canada from St. Lucia in 1972 and retired last year shortly after celebrating his 65th birthday. “Nobody likes to go first, but we can’t do anything about the draw.”
The other finalists are 1983 and 1985 champion Panman Pat (Pat McNeilly), Spivey (Newton Lewis), 1995 winner King Cosmos (Henry Gomez), Dynasty (Alfred Caton), Connector (Joel Davis) and 2009 winner Redman (Michael Thomas).
Trinidad & Tobago-born Sheldon Skeete, the 2012 British Calypso Monarch, will make a guest appearance at the OCPA final at the Chinese Cultural Centre, 5183 Sheppard Ave. E. in Scarborough.
Ossie Gurley and his nine-piece band will back up the singers while raconteur and entrepreneur, Itah Sadu, is the host of the show that starts at 4 p.m.
The price of admission is $40 in advance (plus service charge) and $45 at the door.