‘Royale’ Rumble at Bushy Park
It feels just like the ‘good old days’ of the East Coast Soca Bowl today at the Soca Royale contest at Bushy Park.
The tents are back, dotting the hills above the racing track.
Edwin Yearwood is also back, after a five year hiatus from the contest he “chrissened” back in 1995.
And of course, he and Li’l Rick continued their years-old rivalry of elaborate presentations, arriving in a helicopter and a box suspended from a giant crane respectively.
As if enlivened by each other’s presence and their proximity right next to each other in the line up, the two kings of the party went all out with the theatrics for their performances.
Li’l Rick took some jabs at his former associates at Starcom Network, with an opening skit that parodied certain managers at the station and the whole decision to terminate his contract and popular Saturday show. He also threw some competitive picong into his tune Carry On, which the crowd loved. However, it may not have been enough to mask the fact that Carry On is far from the strongest song he’s ever brought to the big stage.
Edwin’s dramatic arrival in a helicopter was vintage East Coast Edwin as patrons peered all about, wondering where he would be coming from. His departure was just as dramatic – exiting in a rally car that whirled in donuts and got more screams from the crowd than he during the whole course of his fairly popular tune ‘Chrissening’.
Despite their best efforts though, both Edwin and Li’l Rick may be hard pressed to beat Blood’s party starter Foot on Fire which had the whole crowd joyously hopping and literally shaking a leg to its infectious beat. Out of all of the ten performances, this one had the most spontaneous response and should have scooped up its full quota of points for the crowd response category.
In fact, Blood may be hard pressed to beat even himself considering that he also entered the competition with Mikey under the Soca Kartel banner, singing Whole Place Mash Up.
Newcomers Queen T and Popsicle did well with very different presentations for their respective songs Eric Jerome Dickey and Wiggle and Dip. Queen T was energetic and lively with straight up dancing and tremendous wiggling and dipping while Popsicle got laughs with a simple but hilarious skit that saw him berating his girl Simone, who was glued to the work of famous novelist.
TC did not defend with nearly as much vigour in the second half as she did in the first and barely got any response at all for her tune In The Road.
Ras Iley and Khiomal rounded out the ten finalists. (AL-F)