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Newcomers take crowns in Sando
San Fernando crowned three monarchs at the pre-Dimanche Gras show at Skinner Park on Wednesday night. Young attorney Rondell Donawa was crowned the South Calypso Monarch, while newcomer Zoharia Maharaj and seasoned masquerader Leroy Prieto were crowned Queen and King of the Bands.
These were the first wins for Donawa and Maharaj, who jumped in jubilation as MCs Damien Melville and Annette Lessey announced the winners. For Prieto, it was his seventh win. Donawa, a former San Fernando Junior Calypso monarch, beat defending San Fernando Calypso Monarch Selvon Noel (Mistah Shak) and ten others.
He was not disgraced as he had the audience loving his double-entendre hit, As-phalt. Victoria Cooper was third with her political commentary, D Betrayal, which touched on the “Calcutta” statement made during the Tobago House of Assembly election campaign last month.
Maharaj dethroned Gloria Dallsingh to win the Queen of the Band Competition. Prieto’s win was also a victory for a new Carnival band, Legall and Friends, which he represented. The three monarchs held hands as they lifted their trophies before patrons who stood under umbrellas as rain poured heavily during the latter period of the show.
Donawa, who turned 26 last month, rocked the audience with his social commentary, My Vision, which dealt with the issues of crime, drugs and morality. “It feels really great. I’m a bit surprise but I have worked really hard this season,” Donawa said in an interview after the show.
Earlier, in the Queen of the Bands Competition, patrons fell in love with the delight of a costume presented by Maharaj who swirled and pranced around in her portrayal of Drinks Galore. Designed by Keith Mc Lean, the 23-foot-tall presentation reflected the band’s 2013 presentation, Drink to Dat, by displaying tempting glasses of a margarita, a lime martini and a fruit hurricane cocktail, embellished with umbrellas, coconuts, limes and cherries.
Second place went to Laura Rampersad of Ivan Kalicharan’s Mas Band with her portrayal of Goddess of Light and Beauty. Rampersad’s mother-in-law, Gloria Dallsingh, had to settle for third with Hera’s Sacred Bird, a costume of gold, red and green peacock feathers. In the Kings competition, Prieto showed simplicity and a vibrant performance was key to winning the competition.
Depicting King Chakra from Legal and Friends’ presentation Gems of the Chakra, Prieto worked his winged-muscle-man costume like a true masman, making it almost lifelike. After the show, Prieto said his victory was long overdue and he now felt like a legend.
Second was Marlon Rampersad of Ivan Kalicharan’s mas band, as the Darkness of Hades, when he paraded in his mother Gloria Dallsingh’s design, Spirit of the Underworld. Fernando Marchan, last year’s winner, rounded off the top three with Owen C Hinds Foundation’s portrayal of Pterois, the Predator Lion Fish.