IN THE end, they just could not move the Kings from their throne!
Musical duo Neval Chatelal and Nishard Mayhroo successfully defended their crown on Saturday at the 2019 Chutney Soca Monarch finals, turning back a large and talented field of performers at Skinner Park in San Fernando.
The announcement of Chatelal and Mayhroo's victory was cheered on by the large crowd as they garnered 335 points for their song "Fyah of Change", beating Imran "GI" Beharry into second place. Beharry was accompanied on stage by Jamaica's dancehall sensation Beenie Man.
The 24th edition of the Chutney Soca Monarch had as its theme this year, "Fire and Ice" and for their winning performance, Chatelal and Mayhroo employed back up performers all with lighted batons.
The night clearly belonged to the defending champs who were backed by the Shiv Shakti Dance Company. “From we heart and soul Chutney Soca to the world,” the two sang.
Southex Promotions CEO George Singh yesterday declared that the finals were a resounding success and he lauded the police for keeping the peace and reported that there were no untoward incidence during the eight-hour long show.
"We want people to feel safe and to come out and enjoy this Carnival event in the San Fernando,” Singh said. This year's final saw 20 competitors who performed before the judges in a bid to win the crown from Chatelal and Mayhroo. But it was not to be.
When the results were announced at 4 am yesterday, Chatelal and Mayrhoo were both jumping for joy. “We continue to bring great music, positives vibes and an overall great presentation for the people of this country,” Mayhroo said.
“After winning in 2018 we toured extensively and we want to use this platform this year to project powerful vibes,” he added. "The mission on the Chutney Soca Monarch stage is to do music that can unite us and push us forward in life,” Chatelal said.
"The entire world is looking on at us, everyone's eyes is on our culture. We have to make sure we have something positive to put out there, so that Chutney Soca music could be elevated,” Mayroo said. This was Mayhroo's sixth year in the finals and Chatelal's third final.
Placing a distant second with 321 points was GI who sang "Divorce" and with the help of Beenie Man, got the crowd pumped. But he could not sway the judges. Third place went to Vikash Sahadeo and KI with 221 points. Omardath Maharaj, a former champion, placed fifth with "Nobody Doh Care", while nine-times winner Samrak "Rikki Jai" Jaimungal placed sixth with the song, "Remedy."
Hemlatha Dindial and comedian Kenneth Supersad tied for seventh with "Hurricane" and "Saltfish", respectively. Kerron Tyron Williams (Wakkaman) sang "Obeah" for eighth position while Andy Singh rounded off the top ten placings with "She Had Ah Man."
This year, former Chutney Soca monarch Ravi "Ravi B" Bissambhar opted out of the competition although he and his band Karma performed on Saturday as guest artistes. “I am concentrating on developing my own brand of music through Karma,” Ravi B later told Newsday.