Mishap: Keston Benthum, in his costume, “Adoni Father of Love and Life”, falls on stage during the semi-final round of the Kings of Carnival competition at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on Tuesday evening. —Photos: MICHEAL BRUCE

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King takes a tumble

By Michael Mondezie

Keston Benthum literally stumbled into the spotlight to grab all the attention at the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) Kings and Queens semi-finals on Tuesday night at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain.
Benthum, the last of 20 kings to display on the Big Yard stage, left the packed Savannah Grand Stand gasping in horror when his 20-foot-high tree-like costume came crashing down on him as he attempted to exit the stage.
The panicked house announcer called for nearby first responders to assist the masman from under the 120-pound costume entitled “Adoni Father of Love and Life”.
Thankfully, the king, from the debutant band Mas Passion, emerged with little more than a bruised ego following the three-minute ordeal. He did not make the cut for tomorrow’s final.
However, in a strange twist, bandleader Gerard Weekes told the Express in an interview he never authorised this costume to be the king for his band.
“A strap in the costume was rubbing against something and it snapped and I lost balance. That was one of the main supports and I lost my footing and fell,” explained Benthum following the incident.
Wade Madray had no such problems as he added a few surprises to his giant scorpion costume, “Quars Al Sahraa—Desert Sting”, to extend his lead on the chasing pack.
The entire scorpion glowed red when the house lights were switched off, earning rousing applause from the audience. He then brought the costume to edge of the stage and clawed at the judges again, to the delight of the crowd.
Brothers Curtis and Ted Eustace qualified for tomorrow’s final in the second and third spots, respectively. Curtis, a former Carnival king, impressed with his dark portrayal of “Zanzikil—Lord of Chaos” from the band Show Time Trinidad.
Reigning King of Carnival Ted Eustace from the band Paparazzi, meanwhile, had the audience skanking to Bob Marley’s timeless classic, “Jammin’”, when he danced on stage with his cannabis-influenced costume that featured two oversized irie monkeys in rasta hats and gold chains dancing between two leaves from the illegal plant.
Earlier, Gloria Dallsingh danced away with a huge lead in the Queens category after her Ivan Kalicharan-designed portrayal, “We Beat Pan Music”, was awarded 428 points by the judges. It was a huge jump for the south-based masquerader, who could only manage a 13th-spot finish in the preliminary round. Her semi-final score was 22 points more than second place Ravenon Atherton’s “High Noon on the Comanchero Sacred Grounds”.
Preliminary round leader Tamika George fell to ninth spot, going into the final as her portrayal, “Refraction: A Phenomenon of Light”, was awarded 23 points less this time around, when compared to her preliminary round score of 411 points.
The final ten in both categories will again start from ground zero come tomorrow night at the Savannah.
It is anyone’s title for the taking on a night where theatrics, pyrotechnics and a few surprises can be expected.

How they finished:
Kings:
1. Wade Madray – Legacy Mas – “Quars Al Sahraa – Desert Sting” – 436;
2. Curtis Eustace – Show Time Trinidad – “Zanzikil – Lord of Chaos” – 430;
3. Ted Eustace – Paparazzi Carnival – “Monkey Know What Tree To Climb” – 425;
4. Ravi Lakhan – Antourage – “Nagin Saphera – The Serpent Charmer” – 416;
5. Ronald Blaize – Legacy – “De Tornado” – 410;
6. Glenn Dave Lakhan – Good Hope Associates “After Earth” – 398;
7. Zinool Mohammed – “Madiba (The Heart of a Warrior)” – 397;
8. Fareid Carvalho – Carvalho Productions – What Lies Beneath”– 396;
9. Earl Backles – Dream Team Carnival – “Scorpion King” – 389;
10. Clyde Bascombe – “Poseidon Comin’” – 388.

Queens:
1. Gloria Dallsingh – Ivan Kalicharan – “We Beat Pan Music” – 428;
2. Raevon Atherton – Paparazzi – “High Noon On The Comanchero Sacred Grounds” – 406;
3. Denesha Jennings – Jennings & Associates – “Indeera (Mother of India)” – 404;
4. Kay Mason – Festival of Colours – “Burrokeet Woman” – 395;
5. Laura Rampersad – Ivan Kalicharan – “African Drum Dancer” – 394;
6. Alendra Bailey – D’ Midas T&T – “Warrior of Fire: Rise of The Mystic Phoenix” – 393;
7. Peola Marchan – Trini Revellers –“Zamara, Mirage of the Oasis” – 392;
8. Cherry-Ann Patrice Valere – Good Hope Associates – “The Unusual Beauty” – 385;
9. Tamika George – R Bailey & Associates – “Refraction: A Phenomenon of Light” – 383;
10. Tracell Frederick – Colourz Fuh So – “Hera – Bonds of Unity” – 382.
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