On Friday peformance ,Montano was stylish but surprisingly simple with his rendition of “Ministry of Road (MOR)” to take the crown for Power Soca Monarch 2014. There were no suspension cables, excessive pyrotechnics or elaborate costuming like his previous Fantastic Friday stage shows.
The three-time monarch leapt up from a rising lift onto centre stage and held a Superman pose, à la Michael Jackson’s legendary entrance for the Dangerous Tour. Together with his dancers and a “piece- of-road prop”, he immediately set about putting the packed stadium to serious work, en route to his fourth title.
The soca faithful, however, did see the humour in Montano’s somewhat clumsy attempt at a “Smooth Criminal” lean as he attempted to capture another of the King of Pop’s iconic poses. Standing on his “piece-of-road prop”, Montano had a stagehand lay flat and hold his legs as he tipped forward.
“Yeah, there were a few ‘Michael’ references in there; call it a tribute,” Montano said following the performance.
“I think we kept it simple because we didn’t think we needed to do too much than to go out there and put on our performance. We felt our song was strong enough to do that.”
It was enough to stave off strong challenges from the Queen of Bakanal, Destra Garcia (“Mash Up”); Grenadian Mr Kill@, Hollice Mapp (“Rolly Polly”); and Iwer, Neil George (“Mama Oye”), in what proved to be a very tight score sheet. They finished in a record three-way second-place tie.
Co-defending Power monarch SuperBlue (Austin Lyons) received a lukewarm response for his entry “Carnival Yo-Yo”.
He failed to recreate the intensity he achieved with last year’s nostalgic return and failed to secure a top-four spot.
Montano, meanwhile, now turns his attention on the road race. His “Ministry of Road (MOR)” is a strong contender for the Road March title.
“I feel very strong about (the Road March). The song represents the voice of the masquerader and I’m singing it from the heart. I was one of those people standing up outside the (Port of Spain General) hospital for four hours last year. This year, we have so many stages—the Savannah, Socadrome; I think it will help get rid of the congestion,” he said.