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Fog takes over the stadium as Machel retains Groovy title
Powder is a staple among J’Ouvert bands. It was a key ingredient in The Fog which soca superstar Machel Montano created when he competed in the 21st edition of the Digicel International Groovy Soca Monarch and Play Whe International Power Soca Monarch at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain, on Friday.
Displaying his superstar status, Montano, C2k12 Soca Monarch champion, retained the Groovy title and tied with soca icon Austin Lyons (SuperBlue) in the Power category. Montano encouraged the massive audience to Float and Lyons celebrated Fantastic Friday.
Among those spotted enjoying the performance in the VVIP section were President George Maxwell Richards and his wife Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards and President-elect Justice Anthony Carmona and his wife, Reena. They were joined by chairman of Caribbean Prestige Foundation (CPF) William Munro. Presenters Marc Anthony and Wendell Constantine gave snapshots into the careers of these beloved cultural personalities.
Before Montano’s electrifying performance, traditional mas characters, bird men with orange beaks and canes, waltzed to the lacouray (‘ole talk’) of “Yuh Cyah Play Mas and Fraid Powder.” It was pure euphoria when Montano rushed onstage belting out, “We going and fog up the place/Is powder in your face.”
Onstage, two members of the supporting cast squirted powder on the bird men. Offstage, the audience needed no coaxing. As The Fog enveloped them, they dusted generous doses of powder on each other. Then the focus shifted to the immaculately frilly white Tan Tan/Saga Boy characters. In the background, a rhythm section kept the momentum. When the performance wound to a close, songwriter/drummer Kernal Roberts, son of the late grandmaster Aldwyn Roberts, exited the stage dripping sweat.
Iwer George came out to bubble
Among the other highlights in the Groovy competition were Iwer George’s Bubble. Relying on the free-style oratorical skills of Bobo Shanti, Prophet Benjamin, he impressed the judges and took second place. Not everyone was convinced, until a member of the audience joined him onstage and delivered a bit of extempo about George, “wanting to take all the money from Munro.”
Roy Cape All Stars lead singer Dexter “Blaxx” Stewart was a popular contender with Leh Go. He placed third. As the riveting performance unfolded, he introduced the audience to his daughter Harmony Stewart, nine, a student of Belmont Girls’ RC. Caught relaxing with him backstage before the results, she said, “I am proud of my daddy.”
Japanese visitor Angella Giustini interpreted Japanese for sultry superstar Destra Garcia. She invited Garcia to unleash her magic in Tokyo city. She said, “I want you to come right now.” Garcia morphed into a butterfly with tinges of pink. Asked about her visit to T&T, Giustini said, “I sing soca in Japan. I wanted to see it firsthand. I love the soca and the culture.”