by Renwick Rose
As expected, the renowned international Soca superstar, Machel Montano, made a successful debut in the Trinidad and Tobago Calypso Monarch competition on Sunday night when he defeated a highly competitive field to take the coveted title. His stage experience added to his creative linking of Soca and Calypso in his presentation.
In what was widely regarded as one of the most competitive Calypso Monarch competitions ever, Montano held off the challenge from a varied field of 11 competitors. He managed to hold off the expected threat from Mical”Teja” Williams, who has been making all the waves for Carnival 2024. “Teja” won the Young Kings title and is in the lead for the Road March title with his highly popular DNA song. A win on Sunday night would have matched the triple of the legendary David Rudder in 1986.
However, as in the semi-finals, Machel proved too much for the field which included several former Monarchs.
Runner-up was former Monarch, Karen Asche with her very relevant, “Poverty is no excuse for crime”, while Roderick “Chuck” Gordon again proved his worth, making a call to the British king Charles in his “Charlsie” for reparations from slavery.
“Teja”, though not in the top three, cannot feel disgraced in finishing fourth in such a strong field, ahead of former Monarchs Helon Francis and Kurt Allen.
Saturday night’s big Panorama competition ended in a somewhat controversial tie for first place between traditional rivals, Trinidad All Stars and Renegades. All Stars seemed to have popular acclaim after a thrilling performance but the judges could not separate the two, with Exodus placing third.