Front Page
July 13, 2012
Skinny Fabulous takes the Soca Monarch title for the fourth time

Gamal ‘Skinny Fabulous’ Doyle is the Soca Monarch of St Vincent and the Grenadines for a fourth time.{{more}}

Minus the extravagant props and Hollywood type presentations as seen in previous years, the 135-pound soca star delivered a simple, yet monstrous performance, which allowed him to take the title that he lost last year to seven-time Soca Monarch champ,Delroy ‘Fireman’ Hooper.

Perhaps because of the absence of Fireman, the show, held last Saturday at the Victoria Park, failed to attract as gigantic a crowd as previous years when both Doyle and Fireman were performing.

As an introduction to his performance of ‘Monster’, a video was shown on large screen at the Victoria Park, showing Doyle as a patient on a bed at the Accident and Emergency Department at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. While doctors turned their backs on Doyle, a seemingly crazy woman entered the room and injected him with something that apparently transformed him into a monster. With this transformation, Doyle and other patients at the hospital ran onto the main road and made their way to the Park, where he repeatedly chanted “Open the gate, open the gate..”. Within a matter of seconds, Doyle and his crew ran onto the stage, dressed in hospital gowns. This sent the crowd wild, as he jumped straight into his performance.

While on stage, Doyle said: “I couldn’t dare to disappoint my fans by staying out of this competition. Furthermore, I have respect for the components of carnival…big up all de Fireman fans, sad he isn’t here…,” Doyle said.

After he was announced winner, Doyle told SEARCHLIGHT, “It is a good vibe that I won again. That competition always gives me a good feeling. I tried my best not to do the usual big props, so I made an effort to keep a performance driven kinda concept as opposed to a theatric one,” Doyle explained.

Doyle revealed that this year’s presentation is the most economical one that he has ever done. He said that he wanted to prove a point and noted that he always listens to what people have to say on the ground.

“The last three times that I won, one of the criticisms was that I always come up with big money presentations; so I wanted to make it simple and to make a point that when we ask for the raise in prize money, it is not because it is costing more to put on a good production…My choice to do a grand production is my choice. It is not because it is a necessary tool. I just wanted to prove you can spend a little money and still see the title. That has nothing to do with the fact that the prize money should be raised,” Doyle noted.

Fya Empresss, who was already riding the wave of carnival success, bumped her way into second place with her big hit, “Rum Please”. Depicting scenes from the movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, with Jack Sparrow’s rum scene, the Empress made a grand entrance on a ship, lifted on to the stage by a group of deckhands.

With a performance worthy of an encore, Fya Empress lit up the stage from the moment she began her performance. With larger than life Sunset rum bottles on stage, the crowd kept chanting “Pass me ah drink ah yo rum, ah drink ah yo rum…”.

As usual, Shaunelle McKenzie gave a good account of herself and rounded off the top three with her song, “Carry on”. Antonious ‘Baddy’ Simmons came in at the fourth position, with his song “Road Calling”.

First timer, Bernard ‘Mentalist’ John got the show underway with his song ‘Bend down and Wuk’. With a B plus performance, John’s song was well received by the crowd.

More conservatively dressed than in recent times, Aurella ‘Queen B’ Beache, who said during the performance of her song “Love it bad”, that “Me ain’t come to win, but just collect me money from CDC”, actually did more talking than singing on stage. After a while, Beache seemed to have become a promoter for the other artistes, while singing snippets of their songs.

Another young talent, Ryan “Royall” Abraham managed get a few flags waving and a few people gyrating to his song “No Pity.” Travis ‘Whiz Kid’ Lynch, with his song “Hard Wuk”, showed the crowd that he is ready for the big arena with an okay showing.

As if it were a badly directed movie script, Godfrey Dublin went nowhere fast with his performance, as the crowd seemed restless while he was on stage.

Last year’s Road March king, Godwin ‘Gao’ Billy must have been confused when he sang his song “Soca Teacher”. Gao came out fully clad in a karate outfit, ready to teach persons his craft.

The only thing Roland ‘Pressure’ Peters did with his song ‘Clear de Road’ was to make way for Skinny Fabulous, who got persons in the stands on their feet and the crowd in a frenzy when he took the stage to perform Monster.

After his win and crowning by Miss SVG 2012 Carice Glasgow, Doyle who stood with Fya Empress and Shaunelle Mckenzie next to him, congratulated both women.

“I want to congratulate Fya Empress for winning the Ragga Soca Monarch. For the very first time tonight, we have two females on stage in the top three; put something in the air right now… Tomorrow ah know you (Fya Empress) have the calypso thing. Do yo thing. Big up Shaunelle for doing she thing from way back in the calypso days…,” Doyle said.

Doyle told SEARCHLIGHT that despite his win, he is happy to see that females are stepping up. “Normally, women have it a little tough, but this year was different and it does good for women..,” he added.

Along with the EC$21,000 prize money, Doyle also won two round trip plane tickets to any Caribbean destination that LIAT flies to.

However, his win will not grant him automatic entry into the 2013 International Soca Monarch Competition in Trinidad. He will now have to go through the semi-final competition in an attempt to make it to the finals.

The other competitors were: Raeon ‘Madzart’ Primus – “Haunted”, Zoelah Boyde – “Cyah move Meh”, Glenroy ‘Homey’ Delpesche – “Stampize”, Eddison ‘Lively’ Mc Dowall – “Mother Country”, Cornelius ‘Poorsah’ Williams – “Wrong Hole”, and Tamisha Nichols – “Break Away”.

Alston ‘Becket’ Cyrus, Winston Soso and other non-competing artistes set the pace for the show; the competitive part of the event never commenced until about 10:35 p.m.(KW)