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Legends tops King and Queen prelims

By Terry Joseph
February 22, 2003

Legends queen
Alan Ward portrays "Fire in the Sky" from Legends' Bedazzled at the Queen's Park Savannah during the King and Queen of Carnival preliminaries on Thursday night.

Alana Ward and Curtis Eustace, both from Legends' Bedazzled, danced away with top honours, after a total of 66 portrayals bid at Thursday night's King and Queen of Carnival preliminaries for the 32 places available in the semifinal round.

Eustace, with four victories to his credit and Ward with two are both defending champions for the King and Queen of Carnival titles. By topping the standings at this year's preliminary round, they have secured wins in the north zone.

Playing "Fire in D' Sky", Ward raced ahead of four-time queen, Anra Bobb (whose first shared the throne in 1985 next to Eustace's father, Tedder).

Bobb's mas, "Angel of Light" also drew tremendous applause.

Eustace's "D' Sky is D' Limit" was a clear crowd favourite from first appearance, in a joust that produced a fine line of kings, most notably second placed Roland St George, the veteran mas dancer that night portraying "Schizo—The Agony of Xtasy", three-time champion Geraldo Vieira jnr's "Trouble in De Bamboo" and Dave Lakhan's three-headed "Blue Moon Visitor". Leroy Prieto's simple but effective "Tenuchin —The Mighty Ruler and Warrior" also created quite a stir.

Thursday night's show flowed smoothly and drew a surprisingly large audience, given the uncertainty triggered by litigation over who will run which aspects of mas, a battle that reached an interim truce mere hours before showtime.

The Grand Stand at the Queen's Park Savannah boasted several hundred patrons and the North Stand, although sparse, put in a much better showing for preliminary judging of festival royalty than in years previous.

Legends King
Defending champion Curtis Eustace portrays "D Sky is D Limit" from Legends' Bedazzled at the Queen’s Park Savannah during the King and Queen of Carnival preliminaries on Thursday night. Eustace together with Alana Ward received the most points in their respective categories.

National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) chairman Richard Afong was in convivial mood, reopening an already retired bar to offer refreshment to National Carnival Commission (NCC) deputy chairman Ainsworth Mohammed; the two toasting the festival after sitting on opposite sides of the court earlier in the day.

And it went well, causing no audible grumble, except for the universal murmur about the choice of "Summertime" as one of two songs in a short pan interlude performed albeit excellently by Mia Gormandy.

The main event showcased a smooth and swift parade of Carnival royalty, including the inevitable lesser attractions but greeted by ripples of applause where appropriate and stout ovation in response to superior presentations. Laughter came too, when a little bitch decided it was time for her entrance and officials found themselves at sea without a dog-handler.

She followed the second crossing of registered queens, staying on her legs throughout unlike Deborah Nandah ("The Black Widow") who was overcome when the whimsical savannah breeze suddenly intensified, sending her sprawling. Three of the ladies arrived late but were allowed to parade, slotted between the procession of kings.

The selected 16 queens will advance to the semi final on Friday 28 February, while the kings will do their next round on Tuesday next. Drawing for both events takes place at the NCBA office on Monday at 5 p.m.

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