on a roll: Defending NLCB Chutney Soca Monarch KI poses outside the personalised bus of his band, JCM 3Veni, in the Marriott Courtyard carpark on Wednesday night. KI will be challenged by 16 other artistes in tonight's final at Skinner Park, San Fernando. —Photo: CURTIS CHASE

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17 vying for $1m chutney soca crown

By Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoom@trinidadexpress.com

Seventeen artistes will battle tonight for the $1 million Chutney Soca Monarch 2013 crown.

The battlefield of the grand final of the 2013 Lotto Plus Chutney Soca Monarch is at Skinner Park, San Fernando.

The final of the competition was held in Port of Spain last year.

Four women have made it to the final, including songstress Michelle Xavier, a first-time contender. She will perform her chutney song "Indian Man".

However, she is up again chutney legend Drupatee Ramgoonai who will sing last tonight.

And Dil-e-Nadan lead singer Raymond Ramnarine has returned to the competition after 13 years. Ramnarine said his mission is to raise the level of the chutney soca industry. He is hoping to win the crown with his single "I Ain't Marriding No More".

Reigning monarch Kris "KI" Persad also has his eyes set on the title with his song "Friends For The Night". Persad said he was excited about his performance.

And reggae artiste Prophet Benjamin has also made it into the final with his song "No Lokani". He said it was an accomplishment for him to make it to the final of a chutney soca competition.

Guyana's Chutney Soca Monarch Roger Hinds won his way into the final with his song "Roll It". Hinds automatically placed in the final of the local competition, when he won the Guyana title.

The event has been touted as the best production in the history of chutney soca competitions.

Bollywood playback singer Kunal Ganjawala will provide entertainment.

Kes the Band and calypsonian David Rudder are also expected to perform at tonight's show.

The finalists, in order

of appearance, are:

1. Hemlata Dindial

2. Adesh Samaroo

3. Michelle Xavier

4. Omadath Maraj

5. Rikki Jai

6. Roger Hinds (Guyana)

7. Raymond Ramnarine

8. Hunter and Junjeezy

9. Kris 'KI' Persad (defending champion)

10. Sally Sagram

11. Anil Bheem

12. Saleem Beharry

13. Veekash Sahadeo

14. Prophet Benjamin

15. Kenneth Supersad

16. Rick Ramoutar

17. Drupatee Ramgoonai

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