Betty B, a seasoned entertainer but a newcomer to the soca genre, is to hit the stage first for the Soca Monarch Semifinals.
The 34 semi-finalists of the reformatted competition drew their order of appearance on the Kensington Oval stage at the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) West Terrace, St Michael headquarters.
Best known as a jazz vocalist, Betty B changes her tune on July 5 at the Oval with her soca single, Nah Holding Back.
Betty is to be followed by Brian Bumba Payne (Tell Me When Yuh Coming), Ray Dainja (Ain’t Missing Me), Faith (All Night), Jus D (So What), Shaquille (Darlin’), GQ (I Got Life), Skung Yung (So Happy), Sanctuary (I Pledge), Jamal Slocombe (Alive), Mighty Grynner (Security), Sugahrhe (Sugah), Lizzie Jay (Infeteuated), Biggie Irie (Magic), Marvay (Summer), Bo Bo (From De Heart), Adrian AC Clarke (Ah Like It), Yannick Hooper (Woman), Grateful Co (Do Thing), Mike Thompson (Ah Fed Up), Brett Linton (We’re Alive), Peach Bless (Good Vybez), Hotta Flames (Thanks for Life), Queen T (Keep Up), TC (Music), Mistah Dale (Millions), Marzville (Owe Me), Walkes (Champions of Colour), Leadpipe (Sometime), B Moore Specific (Soca Explosion), Mr Blood (Calories), Shanta Prince (Drip), and Rene King (Wish List). Former monarch Natahlee (Why We Live) will close the competition.
Betty B, who had originally drawn the 14th position, exchanged with Biggie Irie to go on stage first.
She said: “Being my first time in competition, I know there will be a lot of nerves so why not go first, get it over with and at the same time set the bar high for everybody else who is coming.”
The entertainer told Barbados TODAY that her entry into competition was ‘a fluke’.
She revealed: “I met up with Mr Blood and he asked about doing a soca tune and I said sure. I just went to the studio and here I am today.”
Fellow freshman to the soca stage, Lizzie Jay, said she was pleased with her 13th slot, as it would give her time to physically and mentally prepare herself.
She said: “It gives me time to warm up with the competition and really see what is going on. The atmosphere and I can just pace myself and get the energy from my fellow competitors.”
After a couple of years away from competition, Brett Linton has returned, drawing the 21st spot. He said he was going to put his best foot forward.
“I am going to bring my A game especially for the semi-finals,” he said. “I am going to go out there sing the song, try to connect with the people and hope the people and the judges enjoy the song. Whatever happens happens.”