Many new faces have joined this year’s Junior Monarch Competition as the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) rolls out its new format.
The 36 semifinalists, who were selected from public and private, primary and secondary schools across the island, were announced today.
The reformed school competition features 12 individuals in each category – ages six to ten, 11 to 14 and 15 to 18. Despite the abundance of new faces, several past junior calypsonians have returned to contend for the crown.
The likes of Asher Dynamo Murrell (Lester Vaughn), Don-Ross Mr Personality Oliver (Lester Vaughn), Yahandje (Alleyne), Raanan Hackett (Harrison College), Faith Miracle Murrell (Community College), and Kymorhi De Overcomer Trotman (Community College) will be going against reigning monarch Brown Star for the top prize in the 15 to 18 category.
Also competing in the 15 to 18 age group are Keressa Chase (The Lodge School), Ashe’ (Ellerslie), Thierry Taylor-Shepherd (St Leonard’s Boys), Shontae Shonny B Barnett (Princess Margaret), Dondria A@-lee-aah Forde (Christ Church Foundation), and Demiko 3D Newton (Foundation).
The reserves for the 15 to 18 category are Keionai KeKe Boo Walker from Combermere and Tyra Diaz Bannister of Ellerslie.
Also returning to the Junior Monarch Competition in the 11 to 14 years category is Casey KCB Jemmott-Boyce (Deacons Primary), Kiara Mhizz Khibaba Carrington (Lester Vaughn), Joshua Joshua B Blackman (Alleyne), Kari-Anne Jus Kari Holdford-Sam (Blackman and Gollop), Kiara Star Diamond King (Combermere), and the reserve, Keimani Master Kei Deane of Foundation.
The new contestants are Kiah Tanya Star Shurland (Coleridge and Parry), Shontae Alleyne-Clarke (Combermere), Deyonte Yonte Brathwaite, Xavier Xavi Mascoll and Danesha Danekia Davis of Hilda Skeene Primary, Jeremy Mighty Jerry Boyce (St George Primary) and Jade Soca Gem Cole (Vauxhall Primary).
In the ages six to ten category, Kenaz Mighty Bit Bit Soriyah is the sole Junior Monarch veteran. He will be representing the St Paul’s Primary School.
The other contestants joining the stage for the first time are Charles F Broome Memorial Primary’s Jayden Inniss and Leandre’ Headley-Clarke, Kelicia Dazzle Grimes (Hilda Skeene), Hadiya Lady H DaSilva, Kimmara Kimmie T Tull-Williams and Resha Re re Springer of Hindsbury Primary, Jahzara “Lil Jazz” Inniss (St Catherine’s Primary School), Shyla Seale (St George Primary), Soriyah Blackman (St Paul’s Primary), and Kadarius King K Allen and Yackym Yack Yack Clarke (Vauxhall Primary).
The reserve for the six to ten age group is Sephon Lil Stathis Sealy from the St Lawrence Primary School.
Contestants in the Scotiabank-sponsored event will be competing for Best Sweet Soca, Best Bashment Soca, Best Power Soca, and Best Junior Monarch Road March.
The finals are to be held on July 20 at the Wildey Gymnasium.