The Soca Monarch competition lit up on Sunday evening with exuberating performances, trancing the crowd into a near seven-hour long party. The performances blended the gap between dusk and dawn, transferring attendees to J’ouvert. A theatrical performance from King Arthur that involved a featured appearance by his mother won him first place for a fifth consecutive year in the groovy soca competition. His song, ‘Mama’— a salute to all the mothers across Saint Lucia—charmed not only the crowd but also the judges. King Arthur managed to take first place with 415 points and second place followed closely behind with 398 points. Sedale’s performance of ‘Stick On You’ won him the silver medal, with Ezra D’Fun Machine coming in third for ‘Money Dance’.
The show, which started an hour late and had an unintentionally long intermission, kicked off the power soca half after midnight. And just around nearly three in the morning, the judges shared the results. Ricky T took home first place, with 402 points for his ‘Sha Leh Sho’. But the closest finish of the night went to the second and third place power soca winners. With 392 points, Ezra D’Fun Machine’s ‘Wine on Another Ma’, took home a second place award to accompany his third-place finish in groovy soca. Soca Psycho won the bronze by receiving a mere three points less for his song ‘Pitch Fork’.
The Soca Monarch competition was a precursor to Monday and Tuesday’s eclectic mix of costumes, dancing and vices for the Parade of the Bands—in Saint Lucia the pinnacle of the Carnival season. The rest of the month will see different towns and villages staging their own carnivals. Canaries Carnival is tomorrow, sunday July 22; Anse La Raye Carnival on Saturday 28th. Babonneau and Micoud Carnivals are both slated for Sunday 29th. Gros Islet will all but close out the season with their Parade of the Bands on Wednesday August 1!