She was seven months pregnant. No less. But Antigua-based Guyanese, Tomeka Thomas did not let this hinder her stage performance as she set the Mackenzie Sports Club alight to secure her spot in the finals of the 2010 Soca Monarch competition in Linden on Saturday.
She moved and she grooved and gyrated and jumped. There were cries of anxiety because of her condition but nonetheless she turned out to be the night’s favourite sending the crowd wild with her piece titled ‘Balloon’. It was apparently a ladies night and judging from the crowd’s response, the second in line was mother of five, Beverly ‘Little B’ Williams whose piece, “Back Wine Time” was dubbed as the new name for ‘back ball’. While sporting costumes was not common among the contestants on Saturday night, Little B’s colourful halter top and tiny, black “popcorn pants” suited her performance eminently well.
The night was highly favourable for most of the female performers but the crowd failed to find any flavour in reigning Road March queen Melissa ‘Vanilla’ Roberts. She was the last to take the stage and despite her dazzling, golden flouncy short skirt and matching bustier her ‘High’ failed to lift the crowd.
Not many of the male competitors hit it off with the crowd though Orlando ‘Bonesman’ Johashen had everyone on their feet when he took to the stage doing his piece ‘Is We Own’. The first competitor Atiola ‘Attie’ Peters performed ‘Leave me alone’ and the crowd left him alone. Patrons had high expectations of the lone Lindener, Jermaine “Cyclone” Bailey but despite his valiant effort to get the crowd moving with his song “Celebration time” almost everyone in the audience took their seats and were quiet as mice.
The semi-final of the competition was well attended by Lindeners and persons from across Guyana. Popular entertainers Jomo and Chow Pow amused the crowd with comedy and a Soca medley before the first contestant took to the stage.
The twelve who participated in the semi-finals were Barbara ‘Lady Barbara’ Nedd performing “I Want a man”; Jackie Hanover performing “Festival Time”; Simeon Sam performing “Love Over Hate”; Bailey performing “Celebration Time”; Thomas performing “Balloon”; Peters performing “Leave Me Alone”; Pierre Da Silva performing “Mad! Mad! Mad!”; Williams performing “Back Wine Time”; Roberts performing “High”; Wilbur ‘B52’ Levans performing “Carrying On”, Johashen performing “Is We Own” and Tiele “Tele Cruz” Thorne doing “Material Things”.
Only nine of the twelve competitors have made it to the finals and eliminated are Peters, Bailey and Sam. This years’ contest saw three overseas-based Guyanese performers: Peters, who resides in Barba-dos; Da Silva living in Jamaica; and Thorne based in Trinidad and Tobago.
Bringing the curtains down on the Saturday show which was dubbed by most as “a very good show” was Linden’s own, Malika Boyd –the winner of the GT&T’s 2009 jingle and song competition. After the show all twelve of the competitors along with Jomo and Chow Pow kept the party spirit alive at popular Linden night spot, the Library Club.