KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Reigning Soca Monarch Delroy “Fireman” Hooper will not defend his crown later today – Saturday – the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) announced hours before the show.
According to CDC Chief Executive Officer, Ashford Wood, Fireman has requested to appear as a guest artiste during the show, traditionally the best attended of all CDC shows.
The CDC said Island Network Inc., Fireman’s management company, informed it by letter on Friday that Fireman would not take part in the competitive aspect of the Soca Monarch Show.
“However, the CDC has agreed to a request made by Fireman for the opportunity to appear on this year’s Soca Monarch as a guest artiste,” Wood said in a statement.
“The … CDC remains confident that the Soca Monarch competition will maintain its very high standard and that the competitive aspect of the 2012 show will be heightened as a result,” the statement further said.
(Vote for your favourite artiste at the end of this post)
The artiste said on his Facebook page Friday that “this decision was made after long and hard consideration.
“I hate to disappoint my fans but will give you more information following a press release. THANK YOUU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT……..LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!” he said in a post on the social networking website.
Fireman decided to opt out of the competition notwithstanding the efforts of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves who last week encouraged him and Gamal “Skinny Fabulous” Doyle to compete.
Both Fireman and Skinny have dominated the soca monarch competition over the past few years, with the crown alternating between them.
Skinny was second last year and he and Fireman threatened to boycott the show this year, citing insufficient appearance fees.
Gonsalves, during a press briefing on Monday, said he met Fireman and his manager and spoke to Skinny on the phone and had spoken to him previously when Skinny dropped by his official residence.
“I am so happy that they have come forward. … So all’s well that ends well and I am glad to see that they are going to be performing,” Gonsalves said.
The news of Fireman’s non-competition comes in the wake of similar information that Hance John would not be competing, having been ordered by his doctor to rest his voice.
John, who placed fourth in the Ragga Soca competition last week Friday, was scheduled to perform “Mash Up Fete”, but developed laryngitis.
The artistes scheduled to perform in the competition and their songs are:
- Lornette “Fya Empress’ Nedd – “Rum Please”
- Shaunelle Mc Kenzie – “Carry On”
- Gamal ‘Skinny Fabulous’doyle – “Monster”
- Aurella ‘Queen B’ Beache – “Love It Bad”
- Antonius’ Baddy’ Simmons – “Road Calling”
- Raeon ‘Madzart’ Primus – “Haunted”
- Zoelah Boyde – “Cyah Move Meh”
- Glenroy ‘Homey’ Delpesche “Stampize”
- Justin Arrindell – “Rag Invasion”
- Bernard ‘Mentalis’ John – “Bend Down And Wuk Up”
- Godwin ‘Gao’ Billy – “Soca Teacher”
- Eddison ‘Lively’mc Dowall – “Mother Country”
- Cornelius ‘Poorsah’ Williams – “Wrong Hole”
- Tamisha Nichols – “Break Away”
- Roland ‘Pressure’ Peters – “Clear De Road”
- Travis ‘Wizskid’ Launch – “Hard Wuk”