By Hazeez Balogun
At last Sunday’s recording, it was fanfare for many as yet another set of brilliant performers rocked the Idols stage in a bid to make it to the top 10 phase.
But for the inquisitive minds present, it was difficult not to notice that heads wouldn’t stop swaying towards the seat right behind that of the judges. Seated were Jeremiah and Nicholas-Yinka Davies’ kids who before now had never been seen publicly with the actress, dancer, performer and singer.
Jeremiah, 18, couldn’t hide the excitement of being in the studio for the live show “Oh, so this is how it works. This is where the contestants come in from, and that’s definitely were the presenters get their lines”, he said as he made his way to his seat.
It doesn’t take a genius to notice that Nicholas is really reserved, but containing his excitement was a really difficult task for the 16 year old. “I love Nigerian Idol. I have followed it since November. It feels good seeing what happens to bring up the show, and I must say I had a nice time. I’m so rooting for Rachael”
Yinka Davies first hit limelight as Lagbaja’s lead singer in 1992 and performed numerous live shows with him. She has since moved on to become one of the best female vocal talents on the African continent.
“My kids love Nigerian Idol, and have always wanted an opportunity to see the show live, so I just thought, what’s wrong in bringing them out to see it, and that’s why we are here”
Every Sunday, for four weeks, the top 50 contestants selected by the judges at the theatre auditions come in groups of 10s. Every week eight will go and two with the highest number of votes will stay.
Last week, Zoe and George joined Ola, Naomi, Glory and BB at the top 10 phase. “I feel really excited about being in the competition”, was all Zoe Chinaka, a marketer who also loves dancing could mutter minutes after being announced the sixth contestant to make it to the top 10 phase.
25 year old George, a hotelier at Transcorp Hilton Abuja couldn’t hold the excitement “My efforts were not in vain, I had to leave school, church, home and family during the festive period to compete with nine equally talented singers, and I made it? I can’t stop thanking God”.
And as Zoe and George hugged and exchanged pleasantries with family, friends and well-wishers; Ewoma, Adetoun, Amaka, Kessiena Godswill, Rachael, Chioma, Anthony, Leonard, Nina and Emmanuel the Great embarked on a trip their colleagues embarked on a few weeks back.
“Seeing talents leave every week is not a good experience for me, but the format has to be followed. There are loads of talents that have left this competition, and it’s really saddening”, Yinka Davies said.
Ewoma Egedi, the first contestant to get a golden ticket at the Enugu auditions was the first to perform Roberta Flack’s “The first time ever I saw your face”, and even though the song is not popular amongst the Nigerian audience, she got a positive comment from Yinka. Adetoun, an undergraduate of Mass Communication at Olabisi Onabanjo University rendered Whitney Houston’s “I have nothing”.
22 year old Amaka came to the stage with a lot of attitude as she performed Jennifer Hudson’s “I never loved a man”. Kessiena Goodwill was up next to perform “Lady in Red” by Chris Burgh.
“I never liked that song, but today I did”, was Audu Maikori’s comment to him after he performed.
Rachael’s rendition of Shirley Bassey’s “I have nothing” got the crowd cheering, and after performing Yinka Davies says “Do you know Shirley Bassey”?, a nervous Rachael shook her head “You don’t, and you did that song well?’ Thank you very much Rachael”.
Chioma’s performance of “Unbreak my Heart” obviously didn’t go down well with Jeffery Daniel “You went off key so many times”, he said. 22 year old Anthony made an effort in making Ben King’s “Stand by me” his as he added a little choreography to it.
If the viewers thought choreography will stop with Anthony, it didn’t. Leonard came on stage with an umbrella to perform “Fly me to the moon” by Frank Sinatra, and while the viewers were still contemplating on why he was on stage with an umbrella, he made some moves and threw it off – a move that got the crowd cheering.
Nina gave the most mature performance of the day as she performed “I love you Baby” by Gloria Gaynor”. Emmanuel the Great closed the show with “Get there” by Oletta Adams.