Minutes after being crowned San Fernando Queen and King of Carnival for the second consecutive year, Gloria Dallsingh and her son Marlon Rampersad were already anticipating a hat trick in 2016.The Night of the Sando Monarchs at Skinner Park on Wednesday also saw Malaika Ballantyne, the daughter of veteran calypsonian Gregory "GB" Ballantyne, take the Calypso Monarch while newcomer Kyle "KC" Cowie was crowned Soca Monarch.
The show kicked off on shaky ground, however, as after starting an hour late there was also a false start in the Queen category because the DJ could not find the requested music to accompany the first contestant on stage.But after this was sorted out the show went fairly smoothly with some surprises, humorous and vibrant performances and stage antics.
Outshining the nine other queens to get the judge's nod for first place, Dallsingh paraded on stage in the ninth position in a glittering blue and silver costume Ocean Waves, from Ivan Kallicharan's Carnival presentation "Bazodee," to thunderous applause.Dallsingh knocked Joan Mohammed, who portrayed Secret T&T - A celebration of Trinbago Beauty and Life, from the Fireworks Promotion band, into second place.
The parade of the queens was followed by the Calypso Monarch segment in which the women secured the top four positions. With the exception of three of the nine contestants, the songs centered around controversies and scandals involving Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar's administration in stinging lyrical bashings.
Ballantyne, a frontline singer with soca band Image and Company, came on stage with no antics but impressed the judges with her confident performance of Political Freedom. Last year's winner, attorney Rondell Donawa, also a councillor with the San Fernando City Corporation, did not take part in the competition.It was around 10.25 pm when the Carnival Kings took to the stage.
Prancing effortlessly across the stage with his shimmering red costume Wildfire, also from Kallicharan's Carnival presentation Bazodee, Rampersad vigorously defended his crown, pushing Lionel Jagessar Jr, who portrayed Siyo-Tamka-The Travels of Chief Pontiac, into second place.The final, but most exciting competition– the Soca Monarch– kicked off with a dramatic entrance by Clint "Baby Blue" Davis, who was taken onstage in a manlift.
Davis, who tries to mimic veteran Super Blue's performances, climbed on the scaffolding and ran into the crowd as he performed Baby Blue in the Party. However, Cowie was not to be outdone as he belted out an energetic performance of Gimme Space to take the crown from last year's winner Wayne "Impulse" Modeste, who sang Military State.
Marlon Rampersad made a bold declaration as he hugged his mother Gloria Dallsingh onstage after they were named Queen and King of San Fernando Carnival."Two in a row next year is the hattrick and we taking it home again." he said.Dallsingh, who together with her son and daughter-in-law designed both costumes, was also confident of securing a third straight title, but said their main focus now was the National King and Queen competition.
Dallsingh placed first in the national semifinals while her son tied for fourth place.
Marlon Rampersad - Wildfire, 422 points
Lionel Jagessar Jr - Siyo-Tamka -The Travels of Chief Pontiac, 407 points
Collin Mills - Pand by Storm, 393 points
Gloria Dallsingh - Ocean Wave, 416 points
Joan Mohammed - Secret T&T - A celebration of Trinbago Beauty & Life, 375 points
Kerina Badal - Thalassa-She Who Dwells in the River, 369 points
Malaika Ballantyne - Political Freedom, 421 points
Joanne Foster - King Birdie, 409 points
Tamika Darius- Finally, 407 points
Kyle Kowie - Gimme Space, 381 points
Crystal Mitcham - Champion winner, 368
Lynette Steele - Wet Socks, 367 points