(Trinidad Guardian) Soca legends Machel Montano and Austin “Super Blue” Lyons have been crowned this year’s Road March winners.
Their 2018 collaboration Soca Kingdom was played a total of 336 times at official Carnival judging points across T&T- more then twice as much as nearest competitor Neil “Iwer” George.
George’s Savannah was played a total of 140 times while Patrice Roberts’ Sweet For Days came in third with 112 plays. The competition was, however, the closest it has been in years when winners succeeded by much larger margins.
It also created history for Lyons, as he is now tied with legendary calypsonian Lord Kitchener (Aldwin Roberts), who won the competition a record 10 times before he died in 2000.
Lyons’ last win came in 2013 with Fantastic Friday, when he briefly put a damper on Montano’s recent dominance in the competition. Lyons tied with George in 2000 and won the title in 1995 and back to back titles between 1991 and 1993. His other titles came in 1980, 1981 and 1983, while his sobriquet was still “Blue Boy.”
Montano can still overtake both veterans, as this year’s victory took his tally to nine. He won the competition three years in a row between 2014 and 2016 and also in 2011 and 2012. In 2006, he won the title with Patrice Roberts for their collaboration Band of the Year and then by himself the following year with Jumbie. Montano’s first title came in 1997 with Big Truck.
Montano posted a photograph of the results issued by the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) on his Instagram account yesterday afternoon. At around 6 pm yesterday, the post had received over 16,000 likes and had attracted over 600 comments.
Contacted yesterday, a member of Montano’s management team, who asked to remain unidentified, said he was celebrating with friends “Down the Islands.”
“We would like to extend our congratulations to Super Blue too. I think he (Super Blue) contributed a lot to it. He shared his wisdom with Machel, who really took his advice and worked together to achieve this win,” the representative said.
She added: “We also want extend congratulations to Iwer and Patrice, who Machel really trained.”
The judging criteria for the competition has been the subject of criticism for several years. Under current rules, only T&T citizens registered with TUCO are allowed to compete and the song which receives the most plays at designated judging points and during specific judging times is declared the winner. The first song to be played by each truck at the judging point is awarded a point, with any subsequent songs being disregarded.