“Are you all packed and ready? Because you are all going home” Judge Audu Maikori says to contestants in room 4….after a long pause he adds “But not today”.
The joy and tears that filled the room afterwards knew no bounds. Contestants have been busy singing in duos and trios for two days, and to hear that they were leaving was the last thing on their mind. But then, 50 hopefuls had to leave. One contestant that caught a lot of attention is Jennifer Ijeoma Ekenma, (contestant 1251) from Enugu. She left Enugu weeks back with hope, toasting and drinking with friends who were almost sure that she will return home with the grand prize. All hopes were dashed when Jeffery Daniel announced that everyone in her room was leaving. However, Mr. Maikori had stated earlier “The fact that you are evicted doesn’t make it the end of the world; we’d still meet at BET or the Grammy’s”. Checking the reason for the various evictions, contestants forgot their lines against Jeffery Daniel’s initial insistence that forgetting your lines could lead to eviction while others didn’t perform as impressively as the others.
Two contestants who the judges couldn’t help but give thumbs up were contestants 2123 – Ajumoke and Toni who have before now released singles in the Nigerian market. Viewers were quite shocked to see Ajumoke – member of Diamonds band (Winners of 2008 Star Quest) in the Competition. Although she has not made it public, it appears the young talent is ready to go solo.
Oluwatoni Afolayan whom we have all come to know as Toni started singing in the church, but became an active actor in the industry in 2008. The unsigned young lady made a lot of buzz with her single “Silateya” in 2008. Toni and Ajumoke belong to different groups that made it to the next round.
Out of thousands that auditioned for Idols, there are now 50 talents left as the show moves from preliminaries into a critical phase.
Since Nigerian Idol debuted on TV on Sunday November 21, 2010, viewers across Nigeria, UK and USA have been treated to the highs and lows of hopefuls who trooped out to audition for the music reality show. It’s been a roller coaster, some contestants have cried after being rejected by judges, some have taken rejection with a pinch of salt, others have even lied that they were going to the dream studios when the reverse was the case – one particular contestant even ran away from the camera after being rejected, and then others have been given the much desired Golden ticket.
Last week, 100 contestants were trimmed down to 50, and in the weeks to come, producers of the show have stated that every week, the contestants will appear in groups of 10. The general public will be given the privilege to vote, and then the two contestants with the highest votes get to go on to the next level while eight wannabes go home each week. “It’s getting tougher, the contestants are really talented, and having to see eight of them go every week is really disheartening, but the format has to be followed” Lillias Bode Producer of the show says.
With the top 50 contestants ready to slug it out for the grand prize, Adaora Mbelu, Communications Manager at OMG educates us more “At this point, the judges no longer make the decision, the viewers will take over and participation will be through voting”.
Sponsored by Etisalat in association with Royal Exchange and Pepsi, the journey to discovering Nigerian Idol will take the mould of the original Pop Idol. Host Misi and Anis will take TV viewers through the auditions, the theatre episodes, group workshop episodes all the way to the live shows.
The Idols TV series was first created by Freemantle media UK as Pop Idol, but in recent times it has been simply referred to world-wide as IDOLS. And just like the original show, Nigerian Idol aims to seek out the next solo super star and offer one young hopeful talent a life changing opportunity.