Trini Revellers' Ted Eustace and Brian MacFarlane's king Gerard Weekes shared the title King of Carnival on Friday night in the finals of the National Carnival Bands' Association (NCBA)'s Kings and Queens of Carnival competition at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain.
They each amassed 438 points to share the spotlight and $250,000.
Weekes, who commanded the stage in a magnificent goldfish costume titled "Ai To Yujo No Yorokobi" (The Joy of Love and Friendship) found himself in a similar position last year—a tie-breaker separated him from Roland St George, giving St George the victory.
Weekes claimed there was a lack of transparency in the adjudication process.
"I am seeing a different type of system tonight. I'm disappointed that no tie-breaker was used in this year's finals. I am a competitor and in competition you get some strange results, but I am a little bit disturbed by the indifference with rules over the years," he said.
Weekes said there is also no consistency in the adjudication. "When I tied with St George last year, a tie-breaker made the difference. So how could you have two kings this year, when last year a different system was used? In the past few years, tie-breakers were used. There is a lack of transparency in the adjudication," Weekes said.
MacFarlane's king and queen were both favourites in Friday night's competition.
MacFarlane's queen, Charisse Bovell, for the second consecutive year, beat out nine other queens to take the Queen of Carnival 2013 title, with 429 points for her portrayal of "Rakuen No Yorokobi" (The Joy of Paradise).
Her costume was a bedazzling study of white, gold, silver and black.
A burst of fireworks and glitter punctuated Bovell's performance. She was speechless following the results.
She said her victory was overwhelming.
This year will be the final reign for MacFarlane's king and queen: last year he announced he was bowing out of competition. The bandleader also questioned last Friday night's adjudication process.
He said there should have been a split in prize money in last year's outcome as well.
"Last year they said that they needed to have a tie-breaker and we lost by one point. So how could we now tie again this year and no tie-breaker is being used? I am very confused. I want someone to explain.
"Last year, we should have gotten the prize money as well. There was one set of rules for last year, and another set for this year. Someone has to explain that to me," MacFarlane said.
Eustace's portrayal of "Moko in Flames", from the presentation Brazil, Brazil, was also a favourite from the get-go. The costume was an imposing, beautifully dressed moko jumbie in red, gold and white, accessorised with a towering hat which Eustace manoeuvred well.
Ronald Blaize's "De Agony of Human Bundage" earned him the third-place spot.
The sounds of whips and screams echoed throughout Blaize's portrayal. He carried his costume effortlessly as he danced to calypsonian Mighty Sparrow's "I'm a Slave".
He scored 421 points.
Liselle Frauenfelder's performance of "Danis Wantaim —The Dance of Reconcilliation" earned her second place in the Queen competition.
Patrons clapped their appreciation for her costume, which was an assembly of blue, orange, red and gold.
Dubbed Big Friday, the night's conditions were ideal for the parade of the Junior Kings and Queens and their senior counterparts.
Virtually all of the participants carried their costumes with effortless strides. Shortly after midnight, the kings and queens were crowned—but by this time, the majority of patrons had already left the venue.
The juniors showcased a beautiful array of creativity and captured the imagination of the judges in a tightly knit race.
Two points separated first and second places—Junior Queen Nekilah Thomas and Vaughnecia Mieres.
Thomas's portrayal of "Beauty of The Mang"—a gold and bronze mangrove interwoven with shrubs, the scarlet ibis and crabs, earned her 408 points to place first; while Mieres portrayed "Shape it Up", a glamourous study in red, yellow, orange and green, for 406 points.
In the Junior Kings category, Gyasi Philbert portrayed "Hyaraima — Amerindian Cacique" to capture the crown, with 428 points—ten points ahead of Yanik Holdip, who placed second with 418 points for his portrayal of "Ama Zulu – People of The Sky".
Kees Dieffenthaller and his band performed for the parade of the junior queens, while Bunji Garlin and his wife Fay-Ann Lyons-Alverez alongside the Asylum band performed during the kings' parade.
There was a tribute to costume designer, costume technologist, entrepreneur and masquerader Geraldo Vieira.
NCBA president David Lopez described Vieira as a great wire-bender and contributor to the art form.
MacFarlane also praised Vieira's contribution to culture, saying he brought mas from nothing to something spectacular.
Results: Kings and Queens of Carnival
Kings Finals (Seniors)
1 "Ai To Yujo No Yorokobi" (The Joy Of Love & Friendship), Gerard Weekes, 438
1 "Moko In Flames", Ted Eustace, 438
3 "De Agony of Human Bundage", Ronald Blaize, 421
4 "Kinyan - Rise of D Thunderbird", Glenn Turnbull, 409
5 "Rising of The Ancestors", Roland St George, 404
6 "Let There Be Light", Earl Thompson, 395
7 "Spirit of The Underworld", Marlon Rampersad, 389
8 "Ligahoo - Nightmare of The Planters", Jeremiah Raymond, 387
9 "Out of The Darkness", Earl Beckles, 379
10 "Creature of The Wonder Garden", Radcliffe Forester, 369
Queens Finals (Seniors)
1 "Rakuen No Yorokobi" (The Joy of Paradise), Charisse Bovell, 429
2 "Danis Wantaim - The Dance of Reconcilliation", Liselle Frauenfelder, 413
3 "From Darkness to Light", Kay Mason, 406
4 "Hera's Sacred Bird", Gloria Dallsingh, 390
5 "Symphony In G, The Heavenly Mix", Charmaine Enile, 384
6 "Lady of The Day", Cherry-Ann Patrice Valere, 382*
7 "Goddess of Light and Beauty", Laura Rampersad, 382*
8 "Aurora - A Luminous Phenomenium of Light and Beauty, Roxanne Omalo, 374
9 "Pte-San-Wi (Teesanwi) - Carrier of The Peace Pipe" Rose Marie Kuru-Jagessar, 371
10 "The Evolution of The Amazon Lady", Avernell Johnson, 357