Local Vibes
July 13, 2012
Fireman a no-show at the 2012 Soca Monarch final

Patrons who attended last Saturday’s Soca Monarch final at the Victoria Park were dealt a double dose of disappointment after crowd favourite Delroy ‘Fireman’ Hooper, who was billed to be a guest artiste at the event, was a no-show.{{more}}

With all the controversy surrounding his non-entry into the competitive part of the Soca Monarch, partygoers kept asking the question – ‘Where is Fireman Hooper?’

Chief Executive Officer of the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) Ashford Wood, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, said that no reason was given why the seven time Soca Monarch did not appear at the show.

“We have not been in contact with Fireman at all and the reason given by the manager for him not to participate in the competition was that he wasn’t mentally prepared for the event. His manager indicated to us that although he wasn’t competing, he wanted to make an appearance, basically for his fans and we agreed to it. We weren’t given any reasons why he did not appear. We had indicated to him that he would be welcome and he did not appear and we never got a reason…No reason was given,” Wood indicated.

Wood told SEARCHLIGHT that they expected Hooper to appear up until the day of the show.

“We expected Fireman to close the show with Problem Child…,” Wood indicated.

Meanwhile, Herick Horne, Manager of Island Network Inc., said that Fireman Hooper was not in “the frame of mind,” so they “just left it alone”.

Horne said it was always an option for Fireman to make a guest appearance at the show, despite not taking part competitively. Horne made it clear that communication was made about a day or two before the event that Fireman would not make a guest appearance. “I call Mr Wood and I told him. He ask me to put it in writing. I told him, Mr Wood, this is my busy time, I am on the road and when I get a chance I will put it in writing. We had a million and one things going on that weekend. If I never write to them to say I’m going to be a guest artiste, I don’t see why I should write to you to say I’m not going to be a guest artiste,” Horne added.

He said after having a discussion with the Prime Minister about entry into the competition, it was very difficult to source everything they would have needed for the Soca Monarch competition.

“We didn’t want to do something at a standard that we are not accustomed to. So, we said as a team, we would leave it alone. We informed the relevant personnel that we would leave it alone that we would not take part in the competitive aspect of the Soca Monarch,” Horne explained.

He said things were just not coming together and they didn’t want to do something sub-standard, which he said would not do justice to them or to their fans.

However, he assured fans that they could expect the best from the group and Fireman next year. “Next year we will be entertaining you with more sounds, same energy. Whether we are going to be competing, yes or no, it is still up in the air. We still haven’t decided,” Horne indicated.

A few weeks ago, Fireman and Gamal “Skinny Fabulous” Doyle raised concerns about the prize money and appearance fees for the show. The two said they were uncertain about their participation in the show; Doyle was the only one who eventually entered.(KW)