JENSEN LA VENDE
Every true king seeks to conquer as many lands as possible, and three-time International Soca Monarch, Aaron “Voice” St Louis is no different as he hopes to dethrone Calypso King Dr Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool in tonight’s Dimanche Gras.
Speaking with Sunday Newsday as he awaited results of Friday night’s soca competition, St Louis, 24, said he was going home to prepare himself for his sixth place performance tonight.
St Louis said he was not planning any celebrations as he wanted to be rested. He will perform Year for Love with which he won his third soca crown. With a strained voice, St Louis said he was grateful for all his support.
During his performance, at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, St Louis took a jab at his closest competitor for the night, Dexter “Blaxx” Stewart saying, “17 years Blaxx ain’t win, this year I will make it 18” much to the enjoyment of the crowd who he had singing each word of his chorus.
After he was announced the winner, swarmed by supporters backstage, he said: “I am so happy right now” adding that he will know come next year if he will defend his crown.
Stewart, who sourced the help of former professional body builder Auldrick Lewis for his song Hulk, took no jabs during his performance. He came, wearing a black suit with blue tie on, he sang, much to the enjoyment of the crowd who responded the most to him but he did not conquer. When his camp was contacted, Sunday Newsday was told he was asleep as he had other commitments that night and more from yesterday evening into this morning.
Wearing a suit in the colours of the flag, third placed contestant Orlando Octave riled the crowd up with his freestyle verses. With moko jumbies and bele dancers supporting him, Octave stuck to his time, sang and left.
His crowd response was not as great as the first and second place, but compared to the others, Octave’s crowd response was a god among men.
While St Louis was the winner of the night, Trevor Turner who uses his surname as his stage name, got his own victory. Placing fourth, with his contribution Champion his publicists Adanna Asson, said he was elated to place fourth. Turner went 2.57 minutes over his allotted six minutes time due to mishaps with his props forcing him to improvise.
Asson said Turner’s first entrance into the Soca Monarch finals was enough of a victory for him. He too got into word sparring telling St Louis that he was no more a champion and Stewart was no longer a hulk man which sent the crowd into a frenzy.
He ended his set with David Rudder crowning him, it seemed as a sign of him not winning as the prop crown fell apart as it was being placed on his head.
The competition was scheduled to begin at 8 pm at the greens but started two and a half hours later. The hours prior to M1 kicking off the show with his Ups and Downs may have been symbolic as the reasons given for the late start was “technical difficulties”. After the ups and downs were ironed out, the crowd, small compared to years where contestants flew or set themselves on fire, emerged out of no where, flocking to the front of the stage.
Flag crews, D Curtain Crew, Trini Bomb Squad and Two Face Crew seeped into the crowd and while not as energetic as in years gone by brought their own allure to the competition.
Outside of the late start, the show ran smoothly with most of the patrons who spoke with Sunday Newsday saying they were not surprised about the outcome although many said they “would ah like to see Blaxx win”.