Former resident vying to be top ‘Mon’ in contest

Duane Hicks

FORT FRANCES—Tyler Bell, a former resident of Fort Frances, is competing in a radio contest in Kingston, Ont. to win a trip to Jamaica—and needs his hometown to support him by voting online.
At the beginning of September, FM96 Kingston put out a call for contestants to write in and sign up for its “Jamaica Mon” contest.
The lucky 50 contestants who were selected have to wear a “Jamaican Tam with dreads” for 50 days and not get caught with it off.
This means the only time the “Jamaica Mons” can take off this hat is in the bathroom, or else they run the risk of getting “busted.”
Each week, the “Jamaica Mons” rally for votes, with the two people garnering the least amount getting booted out of the running.
This is the final weekend to vote, with Bell having come in fourth place this past week.
There are only 20 “Jamaica Mons” left.
To vote, people can sign up on and become a VIP member. You’ll have to give an e-mail address and some other information.
They then can vote for Bell, who is Jamaica Mon #19, starting today (Oct. 29).
Voting ends Monday at 8 a.m. (EST), with the remaining contestants to find out at the final party Nov. 6 who the grand prize winner is.
The grand prize is $5,000 and a trip for two to Jamaica.
Bell, who is attending St. Lawrence College in Kingston along with fellow Fort Frances native Carleigh Pawlikowski, said Thursday that he has been wearing the hat and fake dreadlocks faithfully 24 hours a day for nearly 50 days—and finally will get to take them off Saturday.
“I’ve worn it everywhere I go, sleeping with it,” he noted.
“The only place I am allowed to have it off is in my bathroom at home—that’s it. Then it has to go right back on my head,” he explained.
Bell stressed the contest is serious business, and that FM96 has been checking up on contestants trying to “bust them” without their tam and dreads.
But he’s been sticking to the rules.
In fact, the public can check out his blog on to read about his experiences wearing the tam and dreads at weddings, going through airport security, and more.
“It’s funny because I’ve always had long hair, and some people believe the dreads are my real hair,” Bell chuckled.
“It’s been an interesting experiment. It’s been fun, though,” he added.
“In a way, I think I am going miss wearing them.”
Bell said he’d love to win the grand prize, pointing out the $5,000 would cover his college tuition for a year.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)