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Soca Monarch 2023, Delroy "Fireman" Hooper performs "Madness" during Soca Monarch at Victoria Park on July 8, 2023.
Soca Monarch 2023, Delroy “Fireman” Hooper performs “Madness” during Soca Monarch at Victoria Park on July 8, 2023.
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Delroy “Fireman” Hooper has proven that when he sang “I am the ruler of the land”, it was no idle boast.

And, on Saturday night, he demonstrated that it was “Madness” for the young ‘un to hope to dethrone him with the types of soca monarch presentations they put on at Victoria Park.

Fireman, singing “Madness”, defeated 14 other contenders to retain the crown and win the title for the 12th time.

Second place went to Kahm “Fligh” Haynes, who sang “Farmer”.

Third placed winner was Kemmy Christopher, a seasoned bard who has years of experience in the calypso and soca arena and was Road March champ 2022.

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Kemmy sang “Spirit of Carnival”.

Fourth place went to the trio group, Shorn “Shorn Beats” Nimblet, Kelvin “Double R” Wilson and Enrique Marshall who brought “Good Energy” to the venue.

The show was held in a year when many of the more popular names in the art form opted not to compete, with many of them demanding an increase in the prize money, which the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) says it cannot afford at this time. 

The CDC gave conflicting start time for the show, with one advertisement  saying 8 p.m. and another 9 p.m. — the traditional start time. 

However, the event began closer to 11 p.m., with a sprinkling of people in attendance, even compared to last year, when there was a marked reduction in patronage, compared to the pre-pandemic period.

This year, the CDC split the Ragga and Power soca element of the competition, with the ragga show held Friday night.

The main reason given was to reduce the length of the show, which had previously ended close to or after dawn.

However, Friday’s show also started late and ended around 2:40 a.m., and some patrons speculated on what would have happened had both elements of the show been held on the same night. 

Other patrons commented on why the CDC has slipped for far from the days when its events began promptly on time.

Some carnival lovers have said that the poor attendance for two consecutive years at what used to be the CDC’s flagship show should force carnival planners to examine why patrons appear to be no longer interested in attending the show even as some privately-organised, non-competitive soca shows appear to be bursting at the seams with patrons.