Fantastic Friday has come and gone and even though many don’t agree (I amongst them), the judges made their choice. My commentary is at the bottom.
Results are in! For the International Groovy Soca Monarch 2013: 4th: Ravi B 3rd: Blaxx 2nd: Iwer George 1st: Machel Montano
For the International Power Soca Monarch 2013: 1. Machel Montano and Superblue (tie) 3. Benjai 4. Destra
Machel Power Performance (video)
As I sat watching this from the comfort of my house, I appreciated the fact he is used music from the upcoming Man Of Steel trailer. Last year, he used music from “Tron Legacy”, and even wore the costume from the movie. I dont know if he is into comic books, but if I ever get to interview him, I’ll be sure to ask. Simply put, this performance consisted of A LOT of gimmicks, which is something he can do being that he is the reigning champ. The crowd response was good and when he started to “Float” like Superman, (p.s, Superman doesn’t float) is when I knew, he may have just beaten Super Blue/Supa Blue, regardless of what Supa did (however this did came to me after hearing the news of the tie *RT
@CoolyoNgeLEW “This is how Machel, could get robbed literally. He goes to jail and pays back 90% of his winnings to TNT”*).
Superblue Power Performance (video)
The King of Fantastic Friday made his return to the grand stage and, as you can see, he destroyed all expectations. One of the commentators said it best, and I’m paraphrasing, something along the lines of “he could have been like MJ and just stood there and the crowd could have gone crazy and performed for him until he was ready to start the show”. I don’t know the theme he had going in to this performance, if any, but being who he is, he didn’t need one. Yes, he is old, but his legacy is very clear as to what he brought to the genre of Soca. His absence has been clearly felt for some time and with this we can only hope he continues whenever possible to bring back the fond memories of the proverbial “Good Old Days” that so many know of. How the prize money is divided up, is beyond me. Personally, I think Super Blue won because his performance was more of culture vs Machel’s gimmicky performance that you would typically see in “North America” which Machel has done a lot of work to bring Soca to a new level in.
Destra Power Performance (video)
Another tweet I made was “You know, for an event as “prestigious” as
#Socamonarch you’d think there would be less mistakes…” I have watched countless videos of past Soca Monarch’s and every year it’s the same thing. The Director of the programme is HORRIBLE. For those who are about to/currently saying “Well why don’ t you go do it then if its so easy”, I WOULD LOVE TO. The highlight of Destra’s performance was her scaffolding wine which is great, BUT THEN THE CAMERA PULLS AWAY TO A LONG SHOT OF THE CROWD?!?! For the viewer at home, or elsewhere watching the video… it’s pretty annoying. Let’s be honest for a second. Destra IS a sex symbol for many in the caribbean/West Indian community. WHY THE HELL WOULD WE WANT TO SEE THE CROWD AT THAT MOMENT? Now aside from that, I think above all she was misplaced (even more so than Blaxx, but he too got robbed) and Benjai was apparently very drunk. His performance bombed, in my opinion. I was lacklustre to say the least. Nice costumes, but just horrible. Destra should have easily come third. Why she didn’t, I do not know.
I didn’t see the entire event. I tuned in from Blaxx’s performance for Groovy onward, and again, his performance was more culture and legacy. He brought his daughter on stage who was beating pan (How more Trini could you get?). Everyone thought he was going to win on my twitter timeline and, to be honest, that would have made the most sense. Machel’s performance was, again, very gimmicky. I’m sure from an audience stand point, I would have been more entertained actually being there than I have been while sitting at home watching these things. Which, in a way, is the fault of the show’s director. What s/he should have done was work with each artist to figure out a camera movement plan so as to deliver the best possible viewing experience for those watching from home. Its the same thing when watching a sporting event. 75% of the time it’s better to watch it at home or at a bar because you can get all the recaps and replays you miss by seeing it live due to phone calls, hot girls or what have you. Lastly, I think for 2014, there needs to be a CLEAR CUT judging scheme, so the artist can bring out more for their performance and the audience can “judge” for themselves. Destra said she wanted to bring more to the stage but the fire marshall denied her, for whatever reason, so her opening was bad during her power performance.
Here’s a list of all the (past) winners:
Trinidad/International Soca Monarch
1993 – Superblue – Bacchaanal Time
1994 – SuperBlue – Flag Party
1995 – Ronnie McIntosh – On The Road
1996 – Superblue – Bounce
1997 – Ronnie McIntosh – Ent + Superblue – Barbara (Tie)
1998 – Super Blue – Ato Party
1999 – Kurt Allen – Dus Dem
2000 – Super Blue – Pump Up
2001 – Mighty Shadow – Stranger
2002 – Bunji Garlin – We From de Ghetto + Iwer George – Gimme Ah Bligh (Tie)
2003 – Iwer George – Ah Home
2004 – Bunji Garlin – Warrior Cry
2005 – Bunji Garlin – Blaze de Fire
2006 – Shurwayne Winchester – Ah Can’t Wait
2007 – Iwer George – Fete After Fete
2008 – Bunji Garlin – Fiery
2009 – Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez – Meet Superblue (First female winner)
2010 – JW & Blaze – Palance 
2011 – Machel Montano – Advantage
2012 – Machel Montano – Pump Yuh Flag
2013 – Machel Montano – Float + Superblue – Fantastic Friday (Tie)
International Groovy Soca Monarch
2004 – Michelle Sylvester – Hone
2005 – Michelle Sylvester – Sleeping In Your Bed
2006 – Shurwayne Winchester – Don’t Stop
2007 – Biggie Irie – Nah Goin’ Home
2008 – Shurwayne Winchester – Carnival Please Stay
2009 – Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez – Heavy T Bumper
2010 – Shurwayne Winchester – Murdah
2011 – Kes The Band – Wotless
2012 – Machel Montano – Mr.Fete
2013 – Machel Montano – The Fog
THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!
– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW