Several veteran soca artistes will be notably missing from this year’s International Soca Monarch finals.

Among those who missed out on a place in the finals following Sunday’s marathon semifinals at Queen’s Park Savannah, where 70 people competed, are Denise “Saucy Wow” Belfon and former repeat winners Neil “Iwer” George and Austin “SuperBlue” Lyons.

Responding to the news last night, George said his elimination from the competition was an “opportunity to raise his game” for next year.

“If you look at the history of Soca Monarch I have made the most finals. This is a chance for the youths to sing,” George said.

The 17 finalists will compete on Fantastic Friday, February 5, against reigning monarch Olatunji “Ola” Yearwood and two National Lottery Control Board (NLCB) wildcards who will be selected by a public vote from a four-member shortlist of artists who barely missed out on securing a spot in the final.

The four wildcard contestants are Kernal Roberts, Peter Ram, M1, aka Mennace, and Jaiga.

Two artists have been selected to compete for the Carib Breakout Artiste of the Year—Jadel and Salty. Both artists will perform at the finals with public voting for the artistes beginning last night and ending at 6 pm on February 5.

The winner will receive $100,000, which is being sponsored by Honda City and radio station Slam 100.5 FM.

International Soca Monarch finalists

​1. Voice
2. Third Bass
3. Preedy
4. 5 Star Akil
5. Hypasounds
6. Farmer Nappy
7. Lyrikal
8. Blaxx
9. Cloud 5
10. Sekon Sta
11. Patrice Roberts
12. Ricardo Drue
13. Pternsky
14. Rikki Jai
15. Shurwayne Winchester
16. Shal Marshall
17. Teddyson John

Defending Monarch-Olatunji “Ola” Yearwood

NLCB Wildcard contestants

1. Kernal Roberts
2. Peter Ram
3. M1 aka Mennace
4. Jaiga

Carib Breakout Artiste of the Year

1. Jadel
2. Salty