After what can be described as a mellow Party Monarch semi-finals, it was the Bashment Soca finals which fired up patrons gathered at Kensington Oval last Friday night for Fantastic Friday.
Scrilla opened the competition and his supporters came out in full force with bandanas, flags and t-shirts to cheer him on. As he was one of the top contenders for the night, there were chants of ‘Wood! Wood! Wood!’ –– a reference to the title of his 2017 hit –– before he stepped on to the stage.
The stage then became a construction site as the man with the wood graced the stage. Although Scrilla’s energy was fueled by the excitement and the encouragement of his fans, it was disappointing. He used the stage as a political platform to address issues such as financial instability and potholes that have directly affected him and Barbadians in general.
However, it was Stiffy’s entrance that whipped patrons up in a frenzy. Performing Tip and Ben Ova, the defending 2016 Bashment Soca King exuded confidence and reminded patrons why he held the title.
With a ‘bashy’ and fun-filled performance, he claimed this year’s crown as his again by boldly holding a number 1 on stage and reminding the other contestants of where they fell short much to the delight of his supporters who plugged in to all.
From start to finish, the jaws of patrons dropped or their eyes were opened in amazement as the defending monarch delivered a well executed and creative performance.
Representing the big girls in the crowd, Lady Essence’s execution of Fluffy Gal Anthem was highly anticipated. But the self-professed queen of bashment gave a subpar performance.
Her voice cracked, she became quickly out of breath and the energy levels of her dancers had noticeably depleted half way through the song. Although she closed the performance with one of her dancers outfitting her in a Queen’s robe to represent her coronation, Lady Essence’s bid spectacularly failed as the crown was meant for another.
Another veteran to the Bashment Soca stage was Coopa Dan accompanied by newcomer to the Crop Over arena Rhea. Singing their hit Bare Trouble, the duo re-created a scene from the movie Suicide Squad. The duo gave a lively and entertaining performance.
Bringing the stabs and the jucks to the Kensington Oval, the certified ‘Wukkist’, Stabby, had the antics but the crowd still was not hyped up. His muffled audio did not help either.
Meanwhile, first timer to the stage, Snap Brandy, infused much energy and excitement with his rendition of Ben Ova and Ride but he was quickly overshadowed by his back up dancers. Riding on to the stage on a motorbike, Snap Brandy’s grand entrance was quickly forgotten. All in the good name of competition, he also made some digs at Marzville during his performance, closing off by throwing a backpack that the artiste is known for into the crowd with his final dig.
Staying true to its concept, Pop Down by Hardware brought local comedians,Tre Melvin, Jah Reddis and Sherri Ann Norris, on stage for a humourous delivery. But it might have been the nerves of competition or the excitement that caused the producer Hardware to front his lyrics. He made a quick recovery but that did not stop the Wood supporters from booing the team as they made a jab at Scrilla.
The last performer of the night was Marzville who brought out all the stops by appearing on stage with a motorbike and ATV for Gas It Up. On stage with a gas litre in his hand, the man behind last year’s Bam Bim, seemed entirely too short for the party goers.
Altogether, the competition this year was extremely tight. However, the stand-out performance came from defending Bashment King, Stiffy Star Quality, who took home the grand prize of $50,000.