A new venue, a new show concept, a new Groovy Soca monarch. Ricky Joseph aka Ricky T was crowned the 2011 Groovy Soca Monarch in the wee hours of Friday morning. Performing his song “Indian Girl,” Ricky T beat a field of 15 performers to claim the title for the very first time, having already tasted victory before at the Power Soca Monarch, The Road March and the Caribbean Soca Monarch.
The Groovy Soca Monarch final was held together with the King and Queen of the bands competition, which is a new concept and was held on the grounds of the Duty Free Pointe Seraphine on Thursday July 14, from 9 pm.
The show kicked off on time with the preliminary judging of the King & Queen of the band costumes, before the costumes took the stage to display the creativity of the various carnival bands mas camps. In the end, Rituals carnival band which also dominated the Junior Carnival king and queen of the bands competition held last Sunday, made it a double at the adult event as well. From their portrayal of “Glory of the Ganges” Martin Dorville in a costume entitled “The Maharaja’s Temple” was adjudicated king of the bands beating out the crowd favourite Red Unlimited’s Francis Daniel into second place. Daniel portrayed “Red Dawn.” In third place in the King of the bands competition was St. Lucian Spirit with “The Bombing of Lady Nelson” displayed by Reginald St Juste.
Sharon Tanner who in a previous article with the STAR said she would like to win the queen of the band’s title this year for Rituals after coming close before, did just that. Portraying “Duwali: Light of the world”. Tanner topped the competition with former queen of the bands Zizi Pitcairn coming in second with “Land Slip” from Mas Action. Third was Toxik’s “White Magic” displayed by Natasha Dubois.
Following the King and Queen of the bands segment and a lengthy break, the Groovy segment got underway, but not before another long break due to a power outage on stage just as the first performer was introduced. But nothing seemed to have hampered his steam when Ambi got on stage as he was able to energize the crowd instantly. Ambi who made his debut in 2010 is having a great season along with Mongstar and their enjoyment on stage permeated the audience as they performed “Ma Mele’” and putting on a very good start to a competition which in between had some lull and down moments. This may have been due mainly to unfamiliarity of many of the songs and not for lack of effort by the artiste. Many of this year’s songs suffered from stifled airplay and the control that some DJ’s and DJ’s turn artiste now have over what gets played and what doesn’t during carnival. This was something some of the performers like Esteban and Blaze complained about during their performances, whilst others like Mantius, Ilah Man, TC Brown and last year’s monarch Alpha simply dropped out of the race ahead of Thursday’s event. Also down for the count was Superman HD due to poor health.
Standing out on the night of competition was Ricky T who sang his heart out before the audience with a great presentation complete with Indian girls in traditional Indian wear and the singer himself dressed in Indian wear and turban. It was a case of doing just enough and not too much.
Mongstar who was coming in with the most popular song “Glo-ko-ko,” more was expected from. And after a great video introduction and a warm crowd welcome, he was off with a bang. But towards the end dropped in the high he had created all season long. Another performer who did not sustain his performance was Gozilay with Kote’ Manmaw whilst Scady P commanded much appeal with his “Make it bubble” along with Buffy. Some of the names with unfamiliar songs who stood out with their performances were Esteban with “Wealthy”, Blaze “Love we bacchanal,” and Mubarak “Nice Time.”
Teddyson (TJ) John had the biggest and best production on the night coming on with his dancers and motorcycle crew for his song “Out and band.” He energized the crowd from the get go, even when giving the impression that his mic had faltered he was able to get the audience to sing the words of his song. But in the end the night belonged to Ricky T who has been having a controversial season taking the top spot with 402 points. In second was TJ with 375 points edging out Mongstar into third Place by just one point. Ambi came in third with 363 points.
Note to Readers: On Saturday night Ricky T snatched his Party Monarch title from DJ HP. Superman HD came in second and Teddyson John finished third.
On Sunday Minelle was crowned Calypso Queen, making history as the first female to have won the Calypso competition twice. Nintus Magre followed close behind in second place. They are both from the South Calypso Tent. Bingo from the Ambassadors Tent placed third.