The winner of the ninth annual Saba Idol competition was crowned at Scout’s Place restaurant in Windwardside on Friday night. The honours went to Alphonso Colmenares, in daily life the owner of Pop’s Place in Fort Bay harbour. Originally from Colombia, Colmenares was the 2011 Saba Idol’s first runner-up with his Spanish salsa and merengue songs. This year’s runner-up was Cory Junker, with only one point behind Colmenares’ 165. Junker, who hails from the United States, is the owner of Saba Coffee House and Café Luna roastery in The Bottom. Canadian Saba Comprehensive School teacher Mark Dodds was second runner-up. This year’s jury comprised former Saba Idol winner and barbershop owner from the Dominican Republic Johnny Mateo, Saba Divers and Scout’s Place owner Barbara Tooten from Germany and former Idol winner Irvine “Topo” Riley from Saba.
Colmenares convinced the jury and the crowd with his salsa and merengue songs and stage acting. He danced on stage together with former Saba Idol and dancer Micheline Hinse. Junker was a blast with his rendition of several rock-and-roll songs and his special performance of “I’m too sexy.” The scene was complete when his wife Kali Junker came on stage and ripped his shirt off in one move. The scene sparked a lot of excitement, especially with the women in the crowd, as the performer sported his muscles and tattoos on top of his vocal skills. Dodds’ Culture Club performance in a Boy George outfit proved no less fantastic.
Scout’s Place manager Wolfgang Tooten was the evening’s host, putting on a fun and entertaining show for the large crowd. He mentioned the continued support of the many local as well as St. Maarten businesses that patron the annual competition. The growing fame of Saba Idols brought together many locals and foreigners alike, and reportedly led to several former competitors and St. Maarten residents booking trips to Saba in conjunction with the Saba Idol finals. The support and growing popularity of the competition opens the way for ambitious “super-special plans” for next year’s 10th Saba Idol, said Tooten.