Sunday, July 25, 2010

DRAMA at Soca Royale!!!

Wow. Facebook and the streets are hot with the fiasco that was the inaugural Soca Royale contest today at Barbados' Bushy Park racing circuit.

What a strange and sorry (non) spectacle it turned out to be. What can we say about it?

Well, after her emphatic at-last win last year, 2010 turned out to be a very different year for TC.

She won at Bushy Park today, succesfully and strongly defending her Sweet Soca crown with a not very popular tune - Down the Road.

But she ended up the the big loser in the public's eyes after she didn't take the stage for the much-hyped Soca Royale clash between herself and the Party Monarch champion Blood (and congrats to him!)

The crowd was already against her from about half an hour earlier when she was announced as the winner of the Sweet Soca contest - booing loudly and harshly. Apparently 98.1 The One even had to cut their live programming for a while, is so people were getting on.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Islandista Top Chef's dream: opening Asian fusion restaurant in Bim

The dream is over for Barbadian Top Chef contestant Tamesha Warren.
At least her first dream of winning the $100 000 grand prize in Bravo's Top Chef.
Last night viewers saw her voted off by the judges and fellow chef-testants as her scallops with pickled rhubarb, cilantro, basil and long pepper in rhubarb jus was just too spicy for the diners - sounds like something Caribbean people would love though - seafood and plenty pepper!
However, Tamesha, who at 24, was the youngest contestant on this season's edition of the top-rated reality show, has another dream - opening her own restaurant in her native island.
Now that the show is over, the real action begins for the Deighton Griffith Secondary alumna as she is now free to make the media rounds and talk freely about the show, which is pre-taped and in one such interview with NBC New York, she revealed what she would have done with the big prize.
"If I had won the money, I would have put it aside to open up my own place in Barbados. I first wanted to travel to Asia because I'm in love with Asian food, but I'd like to do a Barbados fusion restaurant with Asian influences. I grew up there until I was 16. I try to go back every year since my grandmother who raised me still lives there. It would be formal dining. There’s a Japanese restaurant called Zen in one of our finest hotels [the Crane] and I was just surprised how many locals were there actually eating.
They're being exposed to cuisines from all over the world. That’s why I think my idea with fusion and Asian influence would be succesful. I don’t know if I want it to stand alone or be in a resort, either or would work.
Here's hoping that an angel investor takes notice of this islandista star and brings her back home to shine!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

UV Breakfast Party - Islandista Approved!

The crowd was pretty small but a really, really good lime was had by all this morning at the first UV Breakfast Party - it is definitely on our Islandista Approved list for Crop-Over 2010.

The pricey (BD$140!) all-inclusive party was held on the grounds of a big ole house Trevwin II in the suburb of Prior Park in St. James.

There was a cross-section of the usual suspects you will see at any kinda bougie Bajan party - promoters like Richard Haynes of Baje, Jennifer Dear of Allure Entertainment, party girls, UWI kids, Facebook 'celebs' and a few real celebs like Brian Lara.

Considering the crowd, we're willing to guess that a good number came in on the comp list but what the promoters may have lost in gate receipts for this first edition of the event, was made up for in vibes.

It started out a bit tame and social, as people ducked from the sun and munched on the regional breakfast nosh from Ackee Tree and Jago's, including some most tremendous bake and shark from the former that was frankly even better than what we've had in Trinidad. Seriously. The bake and shark pull long - alas, we only got our hands and teeth on one. :(

The quiet start was also because of the big gap between the party-starters, including the Prince, braving the sun at the front and the limers sheltering under the tent in the back. The promoters might want to consider more tents next time.

But eventually things loosened up and to use the hottest catchphrase of Crop-Over 2K10 - folks was out to all! The vibe was sweet and enhanced by the various artistes that passed through and touched the stage including Lorenzo and Bret Linton, Hypa Sounds, Zeek and the man with the best Foreday Morning jam, Bobo who 'Muddy' up the place with his big tune.

Already looking forward to next year's edition!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lest we forget ...

It's been six months since the horrific events of January 12th.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - JULY 12: Merismo Vital carries a bucket full of debris out of a destroyed house in the Fort National neighborhood on July 12, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Six months after an earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 people, many Haitians are struggling to rebuild their lives. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

It has been slow going. Only two per cent of the pledges made in March, when the memories were still fresh, have been fulfilled.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - JULY 12: Women gather water from a water station at the Corail-Cesselesse camp on July 12, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The camp was set up to house people who wanted to move from the much more crowded camp at the golf course in Petionville. Six months after an earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 people, many Haitians are struggling to rebuild their lives. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Shamefully (but sadly not unexpectedly) CARICOM is not amongst those donor countries that have fulfilled their pledge promises. Not a penny of the $8,097,166 promised has been paid out as yet, according to, the official site tracking the reconstruction efforts.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - JULY 12: A woman passes by the window of a shack with a view of the destroyed National Palace on July 12, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Six months after an earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 people, many Haitians are struggling to rebuild their lives. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

So, don't forget.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - JULY 12: Dump trucks crowd the streets in the Bel-Air on July 12, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Six months after an earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 people, many Haitians are struggling to rebuild their lives. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Don't forget that miles of roads are still blocked with rubble.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - JULY 12: A boy rides his bicycle past the entrance to the Santo 17 camp on July 12, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The planned camp was constructed to house people who wanted to move out of other, more crowded camps that arose in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Six months after an earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 people, many Haitians are struggling to rebuild their lives. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Don't forget that 1.5 million people are still homeless.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - JULY 12: Esther Paul teaches her students at a school in a tent put up by Plan International on July 12, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Six months after an earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 people, many Haitians are struggling to rebuild their lives. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

But also, don't forget that Haitians are some of the strongest people on the planet. And if any people can survive such a horrific event, it is the Western world's first black republic.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - JULY 12: Berthomy Aspilaire gives his son Douby, age 1, a bath outside their tent on Champs de Mars, directly across from the destroyed National Palace, on July 12, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Six months after an earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 people, many Haitians are struggling to rebuild their lives. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Ayiti leve. Ayiti kanpe.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - JULY 12: Bony Jeanbatise checks if the wall he is building is level on July 12, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Six months after an earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 people, many Haitians are struggling to rebuild their lives. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lala ties the knot!

42459, NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Saturday July 10 2010. Former MTV VJ LaLa Vasquez and her basketball beau Carmelo Anthony tie the knot as New York's Cipriani restaurant. Lala wore a Vera Wang wedding gown as she exchanged vows with Carmelo, who she has been engaged to since Christmas Day 2004. Their 3-year-old son Kiyan served as ring bearer. Photograph: JGM,

Congrats to boricua Lala Vazquez, the former MTV VJ who finally tied the knot with her long time honey, Denver Nuggets baller Carmelo Anthony!

The ceremony took place yesterday in New York City at the posh Ciprianis Restaurant with a host of sports and entertainment celebs in attendance.

The day was a lonnng time in coming - the two were engaged since 2004 and she gave birth to their son Kiyan in 2007 but finally, Lala was able to put all those eternal fiancee jokes to rest once and for all - and she looked ecstatic!

Afterwards, she tweeted:

Best night of my entire life. Thank u to all my family and friends who shared tonight with me. I love u. I'm on cloud 9 right now...

Awww... bless!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Crop-Over 2K10 trend - Foreday Morning bands!

The hottest thing for Crop-Over this year (besides Lil Rick's monster, ultra-bashy tune 'Guh Dung') seems to be Foreday Morning (aka Jouvert) bands.

(Photo credit: Island Fusion via Facebook)

Last Crop-Over, there were only five official Foreday Morning bands, plus the heaving mass of humans behind the two trucks from the HIV/AIDS Commission and Roberts Manufacturing.

But this year, official sources have said there are as many as FIFTEEN bands registered - three times as much!

Among the new Foreday Morning bands that have sprung up are Island Fusion, Green Lizards from Island Vibez, Bakshun from Oasys Entertainment and Muddslyde from Power X 4. Check out Bakshun's outfits under the cut.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Big fail, Shelly-Ann :(

Daaaaammnnnn Shelly!

It's not like we think you wilfully cheated - after all, the drug that showed up in your failed test from the Shanghai meet is neither performance-enhancing nor stimulant-masking.

But it's just not a good look, hon. You know well enough that there are x-amount of haters out there looking for a flaw in Jamaica and by extension, the Caribbean's recent sprint success. The Americans in particular bexxx that we have been routinely cutting dey tail in recent times and your slip up gives them their opportunity to pounce.

And taking your coach's painkillers that he had for his kidney stones? That is so not a good reason to have a black mark against your name.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Shelly-Ann Fraser not running from tough past

Apr 23, 2010; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Shelly Ann Fraser (JAM) at the USA vs. The World press conference at the Dunning Center. Photo via Newscom
AFP did a very moving article earlier this week about one of our favourite islandistas, Shelly-Ann Fraser.

The feature is all about Shelly's determination to be a role model, particularly in light of growing up in the gritty ghetto of Waterhouse, Kingston.

The piece deals very directly with the stark poverty Shelly was raised in:

Fraser has come a long way from the the drug-infested, crime-ridden Kingston slum of Waterhouse that she grew up in. At first Fraser's mother couldn't afford to even send her to school. The family had no money so they would often go to bed hungry.

One of her best friends died in childbirth at age 12 and she witnessed first hand the violence that plagued the Waterhouse district.

Raised by a single parent, Fraser's family lived off the trinkets and second hand goods that her street-vendor mother sold.

"She would come in sometimes from work and say she didn't make any money today so we couldn't buy anything," said Fraser.

The Wolmer's grad also shared her vision for Jamaica, and spoke of how women, like her own mother, are often hindered when teenaged pregnancy disrupts their education.

When the young girls in my country become pregnant and they don't have education they are stuck in the same situation as their parents. It is a cycle.
"It is bad, but a lot more can be done to try and teach people. It is hard when you can't afford to feed your children.
"You have to have a plan. You have to sit down and say this is what I want for myself and this is what I need to do to get there."
"Education needs to be the number one focus in our country.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Yendi to the (Miss) universe ... but some folks vex!

The succint headline in the Jamaica Observer said volumes: 'Yendi again'.

It was announcing that familiar face Yendi Phillips, the former Miss Jamaica World for 2007 (and Asafa Powell's girlfriend) had won Miss Jamaica Universe.

Hardly any surprise since everyone knew Yendi was on a level above the other chicks in the competition.

Of course, it was hardly any surprise either that some folks are not pleased.

There is a virtual cyber-storm of comments on Socia Lingua's congratulatory post on Facebook - 170 and counting, at time of this post.

Basically the jist of people's criticism is that Yendi, having already won Miss Jamaica World, should 'let other girls get a chance' at Miss Jamaica Universe and that it's not fair for her to have gone after both titles.

Now to this we say... would people have made all of this fuss if she didn't win either contest? In the pageant world, particularly in the Caribbean, you tend to get the same crop of chicks competing in several of the different competitions.

So a chick might be Miss (name Caribbean city here) one year and then the next year step up and compete in Miss Carnival/Festival/Carival. And then the next year compete in Miss World if she's doing better or Miss Caribbean Beach Beauty Tropical International if she's not (I made that one up).

Point is, competing in multiple pageants over the years is far from unusual. It just so happens that Yendi won the ones she entered. Moreover, if she had won two minor beauty contests (like Miss Caribbean Beach Beauty Tropical International), I doubt anyone would business. But she's good enough to have won the two big ones.

It is just it go. If she is the best, she just is and since there is no rule preventing her from entering the two contests, we don't quite see why people are so vex about it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Jourdan Dunn coming to a magazine near you!

The fashion world is buzzing about two upcoming photo spreads with islandista's favourite model (still!) the resilient Brit-yardie Jourdan Dunn.

The shoots would mark Jourdan's first magazine editorials since going on maternity leave last year to give birth to her son.

In true Jourdan style, she is doing it big for her magazine comeback - Vogue's September Issue (ye, it's a big enough deal to be capitalised) and i-D's fall 2010 issue. Both shoots were tweeted about, sending the fashion pack chattering.

Not one, but two editorials in top fashion mags for the all-important fall issues? Need we say more?

... We didn't think so!

Veronica Campbell-Brown sizzles at Prefontaine Classic!

EUGENE, OR - JULY 03: Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica wins the 100m race during the IAAF Diamond League Prefontaine Classic on July 3, 2010 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

One of Islandista's favourite sprinters - the lionhearted Veronica Campbell-Brown, sizzled in the Prefontaine Classic this weekend - in the 100 meters.

Though she's no slouch at the shortest distance, over the last few years, VCB has become better known for her 200 m ability than her 100 m running, as she won back to back Olympic golds in the 200. Not to mention that she did not even make the Jamaican women's team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics after a (then) shock fourth place finish in the trials.

We all know what happened from then - little Shelly-Ann Fraser seized her chance and ran and ran with it, nabbing 100m gold in the 2008 Olympics and 2009 World Champs and even eclipsing Jamaica's sprint queen VCB.

No wonder then, that VCB's victory today was so sweet for her - not only was it a world-leader for this year - 10.78 seconds but it was also her personal best, bettering the 10.85 she set five years ago. Oh and she beat two of the hottest chicks in the game while she was at it - Shelly-Ann herself and American Carmelita Jeter.

The usually stoic Ver was hugely emotional about her victory, saying:

"I am so excited. I have been waiting five-years for this day to faster than 10.85 and the day has finally come. I am so overwhelmed with joy right now.”
Congrats to Queen VCB!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Islandistas galore in July Russian Vogue!

Ohmigosh, it's a veritable flood of islandistas in Russian Vogue this month (do we see influential islandista Naomi's hand in this?) with four islandistas featured in a hot spread by Terry Tsiolis!

.And ... we ... LOVE IT!

Not just because it features four of the hottest islandistas in the game, including Jamaican superteens Shena and Sedene but the vibrancy and pure 'aaaattitude gal!' spirit of the spread just jumps out at you.

In the lead pic with Reina, Jeneil and Sedene in orange, I all but expect to hear Sedene hollering out 'raaaeeee! A wha do dem gyal deh!'

(Photo credits: Terry Tsiolis for Russian Vogue)

Zoe Saldana engaged and in Academy!

Big week for the flyest islandista in Hollywood- one Ms. Zoe Saldana - both personally and professionally.

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 13: (L-R) Actress Zoe Saldana and founder of, Keith Britton attend the launch party for My Fashion Database - - hosted by Zoe Saldana at SL on February 13, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for James Mannino Public Relations)

She was officially admitted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this week as a voting member annnd her engagement to long-time love Keith Britton was announced as well.

Lovely! Congrats to one of our favourite islandistas.

Naomi's bald? Shocked we are...

Soooo... one of the hot gossip topics this past week was something we here at Islandista pointed out two years ago - that supermodel islandista Naomi Campbell is well... going bald.

No other way to really put that delicately. Years of weave abuse have done for Naomi's hairline and it's been gone for a good while now. Just seems like the rest of the world only just realised how scary it was under Naomi's weaves when the Daily Mail buss this pic of her with a huge bald 'patch' on a photo shoot.

Model Naomi Campbell does a photo shoot at a gas station in the Meat Packing District on June 28, 2010 in New York City (photo by Daisy Carrington / Meet The Famous) Photo via Newscom

Of course, this does not come as a surprise to Islandista. We analysed it in our post 'Oh Naomi...' back in June 08, when another pretty shocking (at least to us) pic of Naomi's hairline surfaced (see below).