After months of intense searching, the curtains have drawn on the first phase of Nigeria’s biggest music reality show, Nigerian Idol. The last two days of auditions saw the show hit the bottomless talent pools of Benin city and Lagos giving fans some of the most exciting auditions of the show yet. And now auditions are over, the tension is building as Idol moves to the next stage of the competition that is always make or break for many hopefuls—the elimination rounds.
“The competition is beginning to unfold as the best of the lot go head to head. The grit and tenacity that the contestants show is unbelievable and you cannot help but watch to see what happens next. These contestants leave absolutely nothing to chance, they believe that they are the next Nigerian Idol and it is just spectacular to watch and listen to them all give it their best shot,” said Tiwa Medubi, the Nigerian Idol project manager.
With penultimate stop at Benin, the Nigerian Idol judges were more than pleasantly surprised with the first contestant of the day, 26-year-old student Emmanuel Egbo with his rendition of R. Kelly’s "When a Woman Loves", and it earned him a golden ticket straight to Lagos. The judges were even more surprised at twins Peter and Paul Samari, and Peter made it to the next round. And though there were rough moments, overall the judges were impressed by their first time city to the "Heart Beat of Nigeria", Edo State.
The search closed on a high with a return to Lagos for the final round of the audition, and it was a day of guys with guitars, epic vocal dexterity and even more epic disappointment. People from all over Nigeria gave one last push to get a coveted place in the top 90 and a chance to be the next Idol. Lagos was the place to be for last round of selections, and the show drew to a close on a high note, as singers belting out Whitney, Stevie Wonder and Adele showed the judges just what they were about. There were a few surprises in store as contestants from previous seasons such as Henry McJohn and Obinna Michael tried their luck again—and both got golden tickets. And there were no lengths that competitors would not go to for their chance to win. Liyele Oreoluwa and Owen Ehodize, literally crossed oceans, flying in from the United States of America for their shot at the prize.
Now, the auditions are over and the true battle begins: who will make it through the elimination rounds?
Nigerian Idol airs every weekend on: NTA Network at 4.00pm on Sundays and 3.00pm on Saturdays; Sound City and ONTV at 7.00pm on Saturdays and Sundays; STV at 8.00pm on Saturdays and Sundays; and on TVC at 9.00pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
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 Rhymz will bring us the highs and the lows throughout the competition. The Idol grand prize is worth $100,000, in which 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 also receive prizes worth a total of 10 million naira.