by Wade Gibbons
Perhaps the National Cultural Foundation should hold a judges competition where the best judges emerge and then are unleashed on the various competitions under the NCF’s umbrella. Then, and only then, they might understand the concept of “party music” and not foist the folly which thousands endured for what should have been really a Party Monarch Competition at Bushy Park, St. Philip yesterday.
Soka Kartel will scarcely ever win an easier Party Monarch title as there was little, if any competition, with which they had to contend. Indeed, there were some in the audience who basically stated that the competition started and ended with the last act – Blood and Mikey. For all emcee Mac Fingal’s sterling efforts, and attempts to encourage acceptance of mediocrity for the sake of nationalism, the Party Monarch Final in terms of competition quality was a fiasco.
The Sweet Soca competition that came before thankfully saved the day and fans appeared to have a wonderful lime despite the Party Monarch competition being a dud.
Fuhnominon, who started the show with Soca Army, was visually pleasing in terms of the dance choreography and colour which he and his “army” delivered, but musically his was just a notch better than garbled confusion.
Once again great dance choreography could not rescue Popiscle’s Party Animals. If you are supposedly singing party music and patrons are not dancing, paying some form of attention or at least fleetingly diverting their gaze away from their macaroni pie, beers and extra old rum, then you have a problem.
It might be a case of a series of lobotomies gone awry that led to judges placing D Slayah in the Party Monarch final with a song praising God titled Worldwide Praise.
One young man in the crowd was observed attempting to gyrate on the buttocks of a skimpily clad, buxom young woman — a response undoubtedly to the song’s fast pace nature. But he abruptly stopped, no doubt after realisation kicked in that gyrating on a ‘bumper’ didn’t quite mesh with the message of the song.
How on earth in a secular festival could a panel of judges determine that revellers, fuelled with all types of spirits, would want to ‘party’ to God’s word is beyond this writer. This was simply a case of judging ignorance on highly elevated stilts.
Jimmy Dan was impressive with his The Sound of Pan, while Trinelle worked her Full Circle quite competently, if unspectacularly.
Khiomal accredited himself well with De Recipe and worked hard for his 355 points that brought him fourth place and $10,000.
Then to the Party Monarch Final which was basically a case of Mikey and Blood competing with and against each other. Blood was dynamic with his Mo Fyah, utilising the stage well and ensuring that he was not lost among the dancers, confetti, fire eaters and other pyrotechnics that created quite a spectacle. He was good for 361 points, third place and a booty of $15 000.
Mikey continues to grow as an entertainer and had the crowd in raptures with his Ready Again. There were flags in the air, umbrellas in the air, rags in the air, feet in the air, hands in the air, fireworks in the air, screams in the air, all the atmosphere befitting a Party Monarch Final that suddenly rose from its comatose state. Mikey’s efforts resulted in 374 points and a $20,000 pay day.
Then Mikey and Blood in their Soka Kartel incarnation, gratefully performing last, took the occasion to fever pitch with Roll It. Theirs was a show within a show, a spectacular display that really ignored the fact they had little competition other than themselves — separated.
Pork chops were put aside, beer guzzling was temporarily suspended, male hands appeared to hold female waists that much tighter, frontal to rear fusions suddenly became even more adhesive, every eye seemed fixed on the stage and the crowd seemed like a colourful mass of humanity moving up and down and sideways in kinetic frenzy with silhouettes doubling the numbers.
This was party. For their superb effort that saw them gaining 416 points the duo took home a Kia Rio motorcar valued at $56,900, $10,000 in cash, $500 voucher for clothing, and a five-night “staycation” valued at $1,995.29 at Divi SouthWinds.