The winner of the 2018 International Soca Monarch title was a foregone conclusion to many, however Aaron St Louis aka Voice left nothing to chance at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on Friday, delivering a crowd-pleasing performance to capture his third consecutive crown.
Appearing in the penultimate slot, position 11, the two-time defending monarch graced the stage in a red suit with gold trimmings and gold shoes, and began with an opening dialogue:
“It is my duty as a son of this nation to keep this fire burning, this fire that started long ago.
“A fire passed down from generation to generation. This fire burn not to destroy but to restore.
“For too long I've falling victim to wicked people and their evil intentions. It is time that we take back our country from the hands of the greedy, and get back to a place of peace, unity, love.
“Join me, lift your hands, lift your voices, tell them wicket people, fire bun dem, fire bun dem man.”
In delivering a smooth performance the San Juan crooner also took a dig at some of his peers who were not there, as well as some of those who were, during a freestyle session.
“I see Iwer gone, Patrice went right behind, I don't understand
“Even Shal Marshall run, well for sure this thing is mine because Blaxx don't stand a chance
“If is fire they want, fire I bring, run tell Voice is the king, they ain't no badman.”
Blaxx, who had to settle for second, gave a good performance but it was not as energetic as he's accustomed to delivering. Clad in a green suit to go with the theme of his song “Hulk”, he got a roar of approval from the audience when a huge Hulk-like figure, dressed in a white vest and purple three-quarter pants, burst through a screen and ripped off the vest while flexing his muscular frame.
Meanwhile, third place finisher Orlando Octave attempted to turn Voice's theme 'Year for Love' against him, telling the crowd that the singer said this is the year for love but this is really the year for 'love you so', in his delivery of “Love You So”.
Trevon Turner was a creditable fourth with “Champions” in his first appearance at the event.
Voice took home the top prize of $300,000, while Blaxx and Octave received $200,000 and $150,000, respectively.
Turner and the other finalists, Aaron Duncan, Ambi (Ambroise Joseph), Farmer Nappy (Darryl Henry), Jadel (Jardine Legere), M1 (Sherwyn Jeremiah), Marzville (Omar McQuilkin), Rome (Jerome Precilla), and Asten Isaac in company with Rikki Jai and Yankee Boy, walked away with $50,000 each.
1. Voice (Aaron St Louis) - "Year for Love"
2. Blaxx (Dexter Stewart) - "Hulk"
3. Orlando Octave - "Love You So"