Happy Valentine’s Day. It’s that day of the year devoted to love. It’s that day when regardless of what’s hot in local couture, red and white clothing will be seen left, right and centre, hither, thither and yon. Red roses and other flower arrangements will sell as well as chocolates and perfume. Restaurants, with their special dinner menus are expecting a good crowd too.

Love is in the air and love is everywhere – even at the 2015 Carib Soca Monarch competition tonight at the National Park. Soca lovers will crowd into the park to enjoy a good night.

20140215boxBut we’re guessing that the one place where there will be no love lost is on stage where 14 competitors will be vying with each other to take the crown from 2014 Monarch Kwasi ‘Ace’ Edmondson.

Everyone has their favourites. Who’s yours? This year multiple winner Adrian Dutchin is back to see if he still has it. Does he? He will be competing against his X2 singing mate Jumo Primo, also a former winner, who is also looking to take back the monarchy. But is this Jumo’s year?

Then there are the longstanding bridesmaids like Orlando ‘Bonesman’ Johashen, Levar Gittens and Melissa ‘Vanilla’ Roberts who surely must be thinking that after all these years of going at it, this is probably their time.

We also cannot forget to mention the relatively new Ernesta Nelson, who has an amazing voice better suited to singing ballads and wasted on Soca songs; and the excited, excitable Jonathan ‘Lil Red’ King, a descendant from Soca royalty, so to speak, who came very close to winning last year. So close was he—in terms of sound and performance—that many were saying he was robbed. But maybe that’s just us Guyanese you know, we love to find a controversy, if only to make it a talking point for the week.

Say what? Someone here was just stating that since it’s Valentine’s, it’s an auspicious day for Lil Red. What were we just saying about talking points?

But seriously, there are a few performers who are definitely in the running and a few others who shouldn’t even bother to show up.

We haven’t seen any of the performances, but even if we had, we know that’s all changing for tonight when all the big guns will be rolled out. However, based on the sounds we have heard, we have in the running for the Monarchy, in no particular order: Vanilla, Ace, Jumo and Lil Red.

Others who sound good are Adrian, Ernesta, Levar, George ‘Chiney’ Abrams and Timika Nicholson.

We’re waiting for the others to surprise us tonight, maybe they will. Not the “Ebola” song though; try as we might we just can’t come to terms with that one. Bonesman, you might have been better off trying to wrap a tune around chikungunya.

But hey, we’re no experts, we’re just a couple of Soca junkies chatting and putting our thoughts together and waiting to see how it all pans out.

Performers’ entry on stage and their performances have been getting wilder each year. This year is going to be no exception as they will each try to outdo the other.

The beauty in this is that the fans–those Soca lovers who would have given up a romantic evening—will no doubt be in for a treat. Costumes will be on fleek, back up dancers and supporters will be off the chains. Possibly there will be some pyrotechnics, smoke, performers arriving on stage from above, below, coming through the crowd even. No, we don’t know for sure. We’re guessing that performers and directors have been working very hard to outdo each other and now the plans they came up with must be as closely guarded as Fort Knox.

Well we have Valentine’s dinner plans, but we also love Soca. So guess what? We will be hitting the National Park after dinner. The Soca show will serve as the entertainment, dessert and wash down. Look for us in our red and white!

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