27 January 2013

Nigeria: End of the Road for Nigerian Idol Hopefuls

A series of disappointing performances leading to some harsh words from the judges' table saw some high-flying audience favourites in the second round of the top 30 of the current Nigerian Idols contest come crashing down to earth.

After a stellar group performance of Bill Wither's 'Lean on me', that saw many individuals shine, the second round of 10 failed to sparkle, and even the easygoing judges Yinka Davies and Jeffrey Daniel joined guest judge Naeto C in criticising the lack lustre performances that took place.

Immaculate Victoria, was the first on the chopping block, performing 'Blame it on the Boogie' by The Jackson 5. "You lacked connection with the audience," said Jeffery, as he told the young contestant off. Unfortunately, Kemi's performance of Usher's 'There Goes my Baby', followed in the same vein, failing to impress the judges. Mr Richie's take on Bruno Mars' 'Lazy Song' failed to pass with the tough judges as well, and a bewildered Yinka had to tell the contestants to "calm down" backstage.

The two strongest performance of the evening came from two unlikely sources. The bespectacled, Dani Angus-nicknamed "the accountant" by Jeffrey-tried a diva song choice, and it worked! His choice of Mariah Carey's 'We Belong Together', was surprising, however, Dani was able to eke out a few words of praise from the high table. Moses Adigwe gave the strongest performance of the night, tackling Amy Winehouse's 'Back to Black' and pulling it off with grace. The judges agreed: his performance signalled that the competition was back in business. "What you have done today is what we have been looking for all night. The Nigerian Idol material is back!" said Jeffrey Daniels.

Overall, it was not a very good night in Idolville. Was it nerves or overconfidence that struck the contestants? Are some favourites leaving Idols at this early stage? And what does it mean for the final 10 vying for their own coveted space?

Afrobeat Legend and new judge Femi Kuti, international performing artist Jeffery Daniel from 80's disco/dance group Shalamar, and Nigeria's soul diva Yinka Davies are the judges this season, with suave host Ill Rymz bringing us the highs and the lows throughout the competition. Guest judge Naeto C will be on the show while Kuti completes his US tour throughout the month of January.

The Idol grand prize is worth $100,000, and the lucky winner will get: 7.5 million naira in cash, a recording contract also worth 7.5 million naira, and a brand new SUV. Runner-ups will receive prizes worth a combined total of 10 million naira.

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