JW and Blaze won the International Soca Monarch title on Friday night at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and are now ooking forward to winning the Road March title. Ancil Isaac Jr.—also known as “Blaze”—and Jason Williams, known for years in the entertainment circuit as “JW” won the title of the 2010 Power Soca Monarch, defeating 2009 champion, Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez who came second in the competition. As part of their winnings, the pair walked away with $630,000, considerably less than the $1 million awarded last year.
Speaking to reporters after celebrating on stage with their supporters when the results were announced, the duo expressed disbelief that they were the winners. They were quick to express their sincerest gratitude to the fans that supported their song, “Palance.” JW said, “We have won the hearts of the people and I am very grateful. I think the people took “Palance” to the next level. It was a fantastic victory and what made it even more fantastic was that it was a victory for the people because when the results were announced, there was not a sad face in the whole venue, everybody was happy, it was pure celebration.”
The top four performers “each had the crowd eating out their hands, despite the overwhelming support for JW and Blaze.” Lyons-Alvarez, who won in second place, was received by chants of “Fay Ann” by the crowd. Dressed in a black body-suit airbrushed in silver with silver and black attachments, “the former queen looked like a strong female warrior staring out at the frenzied crowd.” She was a strong competitor with her rendition of “True Lies.” Shal Marshal and Screws, who placed third, had the crowd moving with their performance of “Police,” during which they created a mock soca courtroom presided over by her honor, Judge Denise “Saucy Wow” Belfon as part of a special edition of “Law and Order: Soca Victims Unit.” Grenadian soca star, Wilt Cambridge, better known as Tallpree, came in fourth and was the best of the regional performances. Tallpree came on stage in an all white suit, following a re-creation of a J’ouvert morning scene with masqueraders smeared with black paint looking on as Jab Jabs cracked their whips at each other.
JW and Blaze did not opt for a dramatic or elaborate performance but rather chose to keep the focus on their song. “We did not want to take away from exactly what we wanted to bring forward which was our performance, our energy, our chemistry on stage and we kept it wholesome, we kept it fun just like our music video,” JW said. Blaze added, “At the end of the day, we let the song speak for itself, the song has a voice and you have to let it speak for itself.” Aside from the Soca Monarch win, JW expressed optimism that the song will be remembered for much more. “I think Palance is part of the social and cultural fabric. That word is going to stay with us forever, so we give thanks for that.”
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