Amala's View

Monday, July 16, 2007

Of second chances and first impressions

I am sure we have all heard the adage, 'you never get a second chance to make a first impression'. Surely some of us have even used it! Clearly it does not ring true for Jonathan St. Rose. Who is that? The newly crowned Caribbean Soca Monarch for 2007. More popularly known as Ninja Dan, he certainly rose to the challenge thrown out at him by the lyrics of his own song - 'RISE' and took it away.
Coming out of the St Lucia Power Soca Monarch in second place, he appeared determined to better his performance in the eyes of the public and the judges. By all accounts he succeeded.
The presentation was quite similar to the local competition but better executed and Ninja Dan actually performed the song with greater passion.
The second place in that competition went to Kakal from St Lucia and third to Ricky T also from St Lucia.
Grenada, Barbados, St Kitts, Guyana and Dominica also participated.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

White glove treatment

When the confetti settled and the smoke cleared the man with the white glove had them talking!

The Power Soca Monarch was held on Saturday July 7th, 2007 the historic 7.7.07. The Mindoo Phillip Park has NEVER seen such drama! In fact one of my production crew swore he was in another island further south!

The evening started out slowly as 20 persons tried to unseat the 2006 monarch - Alpha. The evening saw the return of Invader and Nicole David to the competition. Ricky T was the first of the heavyweights to hit the stage, he performed at #4 and set a pace with his ever popular Pressure Boom.
The second half saw some dramatic performances from Kakal who elevated his Blah Blah Blah track (no pun intended...I think!)by using an animated skit and a delivery that did not involve much deviation from actually singing the song. Nicole David sang her Roadblock song from atop a truck in the crowd, she took about 5 minutes to get to a position where the judges would see the performance, I am not sure why she was just silently waving during that 5 minute drive instead of hyping the crowd.
Alpha was not to be outdone and he was brought onstage in a cage that was hoisted by a crane. His Insane track borrowed from Machel's and he promised to pay back tomorrow! His outfit was similar to Count Dracula and the dancers had Hannibal masks or afros. There were pyrotechnics and confetti like crazy.
Ninja Dan performed Rise, a track that was in my opinion the best song in the competition and of course if this were Barbados, he would have received the Best Nation Building Song (well okay if it were calypso!) However Ninja has the perennial inability to shine in competition and while there was an elaborate presentation both on and off stage, he did not seem energetic and enthusiastic or to use the colloquialism, he wasn't hungry.
We should be reminded though that while the focus for most artistes seemed to be on having the best fireworks or most outrageous props, it is still a singing competition.
Like I started out by saying though, when all cleared, the man with the white glove emerged spotless. Callix 'Kakal' Xavier won the soca monarch. His track has been a favourite with the party going audience who had even been showing off the signal for it all through the season.
Ninja Dan was second and Ricky T third.
(By the way that photo was from the Opening of Carnival, I was too busy to take photos!)

Teddyson clears de road

Thursday, July 5th was the morning after the night before! On Wednesday night the CDF had successfully staged the first ever Groovy Soca Monarch. From a field of 20 competitors, three new persons came into winners row.

The show started at 8:30pm with DJ music and the competition got underway shortly after 9pm.

The presentations were tailored to suit the indoor venue at Gaiety on Rodney Bay and ranged from dancers to skits to indoor fireworks and balloons dropping.

Amidst all of that there was a song competition and many of the favourite tracks for the season were on stage.

In the end Teddyson John, who is not new to music, but new to the carnival scene was adjudged the winner with his Coming Down De Road Track. Marie Anne was second with Cheating and Black I finished third with Doh Play Me.

There is certainly a future for groovy soca in St Lucia Carnival and this first outing certainly says that we are off to a great start!