During the wee hours of Sunday morning, amidst heavy rainfall at Guaracara Park, Imran "GI" Beharry was crowned the 2020 Chutney Soca Monarch after thrilling a massive audience with his hit, Anna Anna - Squeeze Meh Banana.
The singer mixed spicy chutney soca with ribald double entendre as he sang about a female market vendor selling bananas and customers eyeing the bananas. GI sang about a girl named Anna, who would not stop squeezing the bananas.
Accompanied by Carnival characters Tan Tan and Saga Boy, GI came on stage at 2.30 am dressed in a yellow outfit with an army of performers filling the stage. Choreography was done by Brian Mungroo and portrayed by the Nanayak dance company.
The results, which were announced at 5 am, saw GI declared the winner after amassing 403 points. He beat defending champion Nishard Mayroo who had to settle for third place. He also beat former monarch KI who placed fourth. An emotional GI said his struggle in life is real and was his motivator.
"I lost my father when I was three years and from a young age, I found comfort in music and song." This win, he said, is a dream come true as he has been competing in the finals for five years. He thanked his wife Natasha for believing in him as well as his mother Ann Marie Beharry, for support him in his music career.
GI said he intends to use this title to promote the chutney soca artform to the world. "The journey now starts and I want to take my music abroad and make a statement the likes of which were never seen before. GI moved one step up from the 2019 finals when despite winning the people's choice award, he had to settle for second place.
At the 2019 finals, after the results were announced, GI vowed to take the title in 2020. "Mission accomplished," he gushed. Vikash Sahadeo placed second with his song Lonely which garnered 400 points.
Nishard Mayroo's Celebration was well received by the audience but only got him third. Show promoter George Singh said the transition from the traditional venue of Skinner Park (which is under renovation) to Guaracara Park was a smooth one.
"We have hosted yet another very successful Carnival event in the Chutney Soca Monarch finals which thankfully was incident free. We actually managed to get a larger crowd than in the previous years," Singh said as he thanked supporters for coming out despite the inclement weather to attend the finals.
(Place, Performer, Song, Pts)
1st Imran "GI" Beharry, Anna, Anna, 403pts
2nd Veekash Sahadeo, Lonely, 400pts
3rd Nishard Mayrhoo, Celebration, 399pts
4th Ki Persad, One Thing, 377pts
5th Dubraj Persad, Gunga Gana, 375pts
6th Veejai Ramkissoon, Barah Song, 373pts
7th Anthony Batson, Sally, 357pts
8th Riz & Theatrics, Cunumunu, 350pts
9th Amit Sagram, Chaatiya, 347pts
10th Adesh Samaroo, I ain't dotish, 339pts