SATURDAY, AUGUST 4: Team Soca is this winner of this year’s Soca vs Reggae after overwhelming applause from the crowd.
Hundreds of patrons were packed inside what organisers have called “The Alcove” dancing to both reggae and soca for the 7th annual event last night.
It started at 8:30pm with DJ Rusty G doing an early warm up for the crowd.
MC Vejay Steede kicked this off at 11pm with YGS starting with a round of old school reggae much to the crowd’s delight.
But team soca followed with steady mix of older soca including “Jam Bermuda” and “Dollar Wine” causing the crowd to erupt.
They also had a message to the crowd from Premier Paula Cox.
Each round was 15 minutes except the performance round.
YGS battled Trini Boy and D’Nice for the first two rounds and it seemed the teams were pretty equal throughout except for the reggae team needing to insult performers and the DJs.
The party turned up a few notches when reggae artist Wayne Marshall hit the stage and performed his songs along with covers from other artists.
He had the crowd following his every move and team reggae looked for a few minutes like they were going to win.
He performed “Overcome”, “Good Love” along with the covers.
Shal Marshall followed the performance with a kind of energy that only soca artists have.
He had the crowd waving rags, blowing whistles and jumping up and down.
When he performed is hit “Police”, the crowd went wild.
But it was when he performed “Palance” that it was pretty clear team soca would walk away with the win.
Poison Dart, the overseas reggae DJ, and D’General, Bermuda’s top soca DJ, performed the final two rounds.
There was a mix of new and old music from both teams.
On the final round of soca, dancers took over the stage and a full party ensued.
Moments later, the event’s Steede took to the crowd to determine a winner.
It was clear by the overwhelming noise that team soca had won after losing for the past two years.
Even though the crowd picked the winner, there were four judges who were supposed to decide the winner.
Speaking on the decision to let the crowd choose, Steede said the event is set up like a prizefight theme with himself serving as the referee.
“In the past we have had champions crowned by unanimous judges’ decision (2008 and 2009), split judges’ decision (2010), disqualification (2011) and TKO (2007).
“Now we clearly cannot have a knock out winner because no one is going to walk up and punch a deejay’s lights out.”
He continued: “Friday night’s TKO decision was made based on an overwhelming crowd mandate when they were asked to make noise for who they though won the bout.
“A couple judges were aggrieved because they probably had reggae winning on their cards.
“What they may have forgotten is that the referee is always the head judge in a prize fight, and once the referee ‘calls the fight’ for whatever reason, the judges’ cards become irrelevant.
“This year’s contest was a great one.
“The crowd was in great spirits throughout, everyone enjoyed the offerings from al the deejays, the live acts were outstanding, and the event actually got a bit better.
“It was a brilliant night all around, and, as one of the (non-aggrieved) judges said to me after the show: Stevie Wonder could have seen who won.”
Overall, the event was well organised and well executed.
Well done to Barmuvinjam.