|Machel takes Power Soca for fourth time |
By STEPHON NICHOLAS Sunday, March 2 2014
Defending champion Machel Montano continues to rewrite the soca history books, becoming the first person ever to win four straight Soca Monarch titles on Fantastic Friday at the International Soca Monarch finals. Putting in his work on the “Ministry of Road” to clinch the Play Whe Power Soca Monarch crown, Machel maintained his perfect record in that format since returning to the competition in 2011.
The popular artiste staved off strong efforts from Grenadian star Mr Killa and his “Rollie Pollies”, soca queen Destra Garcia (Mash Up) and veteran Neil “Iwer” George (Mama Oye) who all tied for second place.
Apart from these four artistes, though, spectators were heard complaining that this was one of the worst years ever in the Power category. Some of the other artistes found it difficult to stir the interest of a jam packed Hasely Crawford Stadium with thousands also seated in the stands. One person in the general admission area was overheard during the Power Monarch saying “$250 worth of nothing,” referring to the price of admission.
Soca king Montano, compared to previous editions, seemed to have gone with a less extravagant presentation in pursuit of the $2 million first prize as there were no flying stunts, harnesses or mind blowing props this time around.
Opening his performance with a video of a street protest with people chanting ‘we want M.O.R.’ Montano, dressed smartly in a yellow suit and black tie, quickly gave the people M.O.R. (Ministry of Road) while backed up by his always energetic gyrating female dancers and acrobatic hip hop dancers.
Montano had the crowd in a frenzy and made them “drop on the ground” while he mashed up the “road.” As his performance neared its climax, the 39-year-old soca star gave his version of the infamous Michael Jackson “lean” from his video “Smooth Criminal” while a road worker emerged after with a sledgehammer to mash up the “road” he had placed on stage.
Earlier, Grenadian star Hollis Mapp aka Mr Killa brought out the “ultimate Rollie Pollie” in an elaborate and entertaining performance but exceeded his time limit significantly which may have cost him the title. Starting with a skit set at the Piarco International Airport, Mr Killa was asked by a customs officer if he had anything to declare.