Their names did not roll easily off the tongue when pundits were weighing in, but Quinn Quinn P Prescott and Charice Honesty Walrond turned out to be the true heavyweights of the Scotiabank Junior Calypso Monarch Competition at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex last Saturday night.
As if proving by example that the minorities in society are equally capable of achieving as anyone else, Quinn P and Honesty both brushed aside seven competitors to emerge winners of the eight-to-12 and 13-to-18 categories respectively.
Their victory was also a proud one for Chrystal Cummins-Beckles who wrote and arranged both songs.
Quinn P was in fine voice and gave a commanding performance of Living With HIV, which spoke about discrimination and marginalization of those living with or affected by HIV.
It was obvious that Quinn P had lifted her game, and the effort brought her the sweet taste of victory in her final year in the younger category.
She beat defending monarch Jazz Jazz-Z Gittens into second place. On a night when many thought My Granny, which paid tribute to his paternal grandmother Vivian, could not cut it, Jazz-Z added a touch of class by enlisting his older brother and former Junior Monarch Myles Myles-Z Gittens to play a solo piece on the violin.
Asher Dynamo Murrel, who came to the stage on a skateboard, was dynamic as usual and the audience loved it. His My X was good enough to land him third place.
Crowd favourite Kymorhi Mighty KT Trotman’s Poverty helped him to fourth. Mighty KT got one of the biggest responses across categories of the night. He was rich in enthusiasm and gave an overall solid performance, but did a poor job of being consistently in key.
The Junior Monarch audience is usually very astute, and was in form once again. Even though they had their favourites for the top three places in the 13-18 category, they stepped outside of that to make what turned out to be the right analysis.
When the bottom four names, which included defending monarch Mandisa, were given and the top four remained on stage, parts of the gym were abuzz, with people theorizing that if Quinn P “could slip through”, Honesty could too. And right they were.
Honesty was accompanied by wheelchair-user Nikolai Clarke and three other members of the disabled community who took a turn on backing vocals.
She got an important and convincing message across in Respect de Disable. In doing so, she bested second-placed Aziza Aziza Clarke, who had advanced to the Pic-O-De-Crop finals less than 24 hours before, and several of the more seasoned juniors.
Aziza was in good voice for Guardians of Calypso, for which other “guardians” in former monarchs Myles-Z, Tiffany G, AC and Sir Ruel joined her on stage.
Another favourite, Samantha Sammy G Greaves, took third spot with Successful Sammy while the sweet-singing Chad De MC Montplasir came fourth with Uplift the Youth of Society.
Apart from the various spectacles brought by the 16 finalists, a picture that will be indelibly etched on the minds was Aziza and Honesty clinging to each other in a warm hug until the announcement that would separate them was made.