EIGHTEEN calypSonians; 18 songs. But as the curtain came down on the first half of the Banks/Lime Pic-O-De-Crop contest at the National Stadium last night, there was not a clear idea of who would be going through to the finals slated for next weekend.There were the usual flashes of genius. For the most part, however, it was just an occasion when the appreciative crowd seemed willing to give everybody a good welcome and applause. If there were bright spots that illuminated the evening, they came from Colin Spencer’s excellent delivery of Lyrical Master Number Two and the performance of former junior monarch young Malika.Spot onSpencer’s treatment of Lyrical Master, a cheeky commentary on reigning king RPB who is known for his writing skills, was spot on. I am seeking to change my image in the kaiso tent, so I done sing about politicians and the Government. For this 2010 Crop-Over I expect to be called clever. . . . . we don’t follow the news or we have bad memories and depend on calypsonians to give us a refreshers’ course annually, went a verse of Spencer. His deliberate repetitive style was unrushed and he used the stage effectively without need to jump about.Blood, who opened the show, was shouting a bit. Interestingly, his number Not My Son is one of the better songs for the season. It is relevant as it captures the naiveté of many parents who are unwilling to accept the shortcomings of their sons. But Blood seemed to be biting his words and had difficulty sustaining his endings.Crystal suffered the same fate in Crystal Ball. She rushed over her words and some of them were missed in the process.Malika, who came in at No. 15 with Bajan Dream, was a total package filled with confidence. Good singer and excellent arrangement.They tell me what you put your mind to achieve, but it’s only a dream, you have to be asleep to believe. It was ironic that Kidsite sang about Change De Name. There was no doubt that Kidsite should take a bit of his own advice. That kind of dubstyle rhymes in the name of calypso has outlived its effectiveness.Same mouldClassic was also cut in the same mould of the past with I Don’t Tink He.Dre’s treatment of Entrepreneur, a commentary on the informal trading sector, was interesting. Good singer, but Dre seemed scared and ran flat at some times.Gabby appealed to the emotions of the audience with Haiti, but there was not the intensity for which he is known.John King’s Jackassonian lamented the poor perceived treatment that seems to be the lot of all calypsonians. But while delivered in the inimitable King style it was just the same old theme of the plight of the calypsonian.Sheldon Hope was in good form with Hope, a song that speaks to his hope for change in the island.Adrian Clarke showed his class, not only as a singer but an entertainer, in Crowd Response Done in the traditional kasio call and response style. Not even the rain could stop him from bringing the crowd to their feet.Other contestants were TC with Out Of Control, Ishaika doing Tourism Plea, Jah Stone with Federation Children, Sir Ruel with Earthquake, Shaki- K with Help Me, Tassa doing Old People, and Sammi Jane with 20/20.