“Fabulous.” That was the sentiment expressed by newly crowned 2020 King of Carnival Ted Eustace at Dimanche Gras held at Carnival City, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on Sunday night.

Wearing a cast on her hand, 2020 Queen of Carnival Roxanne Omalo, went on to “bring home the crown for Sangre Grande and Mayaro”.

The Kings and Queens competition was a highlight in the Dimanche Gras show which was produced by artistic director Davlin Thomas. Eustace’s portrayal was “Lords Of D’ Savannah”, featuring a colourful Pierrot Grenade flanked by two Midnight Robbers. Omalo’s was “Mother Of Dragons—Keeper Of Light”. The theme was “King Sailor Mas—Many Cultural Voyages, One People”. Among those present were Culture Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby—Dolly, National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters and CEO Colin Lucas, president National Carnival Bands Association Rosalind Gabriel and 2020 calypso monarch Terri Lyons, who rendered “Meghan, My Dear”.

Ravi Lakhan’s portrayal catches fire

Thomas, a talented playwright, and his team also had their share of drama when Ravi Lakhan’s portrayal “Diablo—Lord Of Conflict and Terror” caught fire. The audience breathed a collective sigh of relief when presenter Jemma Jordan reassured everyone, “The masquerader is okay.” It was a tense moment when the stage crew noticed something was amiss, and, a fireman with extinguisher in hand, arrived on the scene, and, began putting out the blaze on the dragon’s mouth. The wire was left exposed.

Later, Thomas said: “They are calling me an “obeah man.” But I am a praying man. Moments before, something just told me to tell the crew “make sure we have fire extinguishers nearby”. Lakhan finished in position number ten.

Eustace, Omalo victorious

Asked to share his sentiments, Eustace, who made use of technology, said: “I put in about $120,000 to put it on stage. I would like to see the prize increase. We ensured we worked together as a team. My brother (Curtis Eustace) was a live wire in helping me.”

He has won the crown three times.

Omalo added: “This is my last year. I have been doing this for ten years. I want to focus on bringing out a kiddies’ band in Mayaro. It is my way of giving back. I want to dedicate my win to my late mother Marian Omalo. She passed away about four years ago. She was always here supporting me. I would advise young people to never give up.”

On Lakhan’s setback, Omalo said: “When you go through that kind of preparation for about eight months, and, then something like that happens it really hurts. But he will get out of it.”

Showtime

The segments were “De Lime Before the Show”, followed by the opening presentation “Trinbago is a Sailor Mas”. The show opened with a performer carrying a conch shell, that appeared orange at times, and, even blowing on a conch shell. After the kings and queens, elements including “Presentation, Sailor Redemption” and “Celebration” followed. They were joined by a star-studded cast including 2020 Calypso Monarch Terri Lyons, Machel Montano, Nailah Blackman and Patrice Roberts. Veteran artistes including Mavis John and Drupatee (Ramgoonai) also thrilled the audience with their offerings. As patrons exited the Savannah, several people complimented Thomas on “a good show”.

Winners’ row

2020 Kings

1. Ted Eustace— “Lords Of De Savannah”

2. Joseph Lewis— “Zharvakko—The Voudun King Of Death”

3. Marlon Rampersad— “Cyrus The Great”

2020 Queens

1. Roxanne Omalo— “Mother Of Dragons—Keeper Of Light”

2. Sevel Nicholls— “The Power Of Love”

3. Kerina Badal—Shamaran— “Guardian of the Horned Serpent”

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