Is Anybody Else Watching the West African Idols Auditions?

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lawyerchap007
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Mon Mar 26, 2007 3:41 pm

@Kaydee

sure men, you can reproduce whatever you like. Thanks for ur props, men. i appreciate.
lawyerchap007
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Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:23 pm

Well, the votes are in and we now know who the Top10 contenders for West African Idols are. But, my word, it was a truly shocking results show yesterday with two totally unknown quantities making it into the top10. following from Sunday’s show when Group 4 performed their hearts out, Africa voted pretty predictably. Tony Ighofose performed ‘More than words’ by Extreme with a certain endearing appeal that would have been good enough to see him into the Top10 if he had been in Group 2 or 3. Unfortunately for him though, no one remembered his performance by the time Omodele Fatoki was done with her award-nite worthy performance of Wet Wet Wet’s “love is all around.” Moving with graceful ease on the stage she seemed totally at home as she belted out the popular tune with some major variations that gave the song new allure.

Then came Miss Sokari Briggs, Group 4’s hottest looker singing Shania Twain’s “Still the one.” During her interview, Africa saw a singer they could be proud of. She had great looks and her speech was flawless; she was very articulate and actually convinced me to vote for her before I had heard her sing a note. One could easily imagine her on TRL or on Oprah’s yellow couch and not be scared that she’d mix up her tenses on international television. But the singing didn’t exactly come together for her. Despite hitting a couple of brilliant highs in a performance that hinted of true talent and of great things to come, on the night a surprisingly shaky voice that had too many squeaks ended her dream of becoming West Africa’s first Idol.

I had been waiting all month long to see James Brendan perform at Planet One. His performance during the open auditions had me seriously considering him for the final three. Singing Backstreet Boys’ “Show me the meaning of being lonely” he gave a credible performance but regrettably did nothing special to compel Africa to remember to vote for him. Banking on his “ladykiller looks” to get him top of mind recall was the wrong strategy and he paid for it dearly. His exit was painful for me because I believe he actually had the best male voice in the top24.

Joan Ekpai had me in stitches during her open audition as, despite having a clear-as-a-bell voice, she seemed not to know the lyrics of Celine Dion’s “I’m Alive.” Luckily the judges didn’t hold this against her as they were blown away by the sheer purity of her voice. On Performance night she got the perfect song for her voice: Show me heaven by Maria Mckee. According to Dan Foster, if you shut your eyes during her performance you’d have heard Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston all rolled into Joan Ekpai. For singing, her performance on the night was without equal.

But for sheer drama, the night belonged to Temitayo George singing Vonda Shepard’s “Searching my soul.” The cowgirl costume got Africa to take notice while the rambunctiously suggestive dance moves got them to remember to vote. We heard better singing on the night but the Idols thing is about the whole package and the performance helped her get the votes in. It was thus no surprise that she made it into the Top10 alongside the best singer of the night: Joan Ekpai.

Then it was wildcard time. Two people from the remaining sixteen were to join the eight already in the final round. Considering Omodele Fatoki’s brilliant performance and having not seen her voted into the top10, I thought the judges would be silly not to give her a wildcard, cos, that girl can sing the stuffing out of any song you give her. So when her name was called as the first wildcard, I knew the judges were thinking straight for once.

But then they turned right around and showed their capacity for inexplicable decisions with their choice of the second wildcard. My money was on Lara George for her unbelievable performance of Celine Dion’s “It’s all coming back to me now” that has been hailed by the international press as being easily the equal of (if not better than) the original rendition. Even Celine Dion was said to have been so impressed when she saw the performance that she has shown some interest in meeting Lara. Just listen to the audio of that performance without watching the video, and you’ll hear one of the most flawless renditions of that song to come from a non-Celine Dion throat.

Mike Magic succeeded for the first time in creating mind-thumping, edge-of-the-seat suspense by parading the entire fifteen remaining contestants and sending those from groups 2 and 3 away empty-handed. When the contestants from Group 1 took the stage, the tension was palpable as everyone knew the wildcard had to come from this group. Incredibly, Uche was announced as the wildcard, and I’m like “Hello? Where did that come from?” For those who might have forgotten, Uche did a pretty good job with Monica’s ‘Angel of Mine’ from the first week of Top24 performances. But he was nowhere near Lara’s class. He wasn’t even within shouting distance of Ibitoru’s mind-blowing performance that night. He then proceeded to turn the stage into a revival ground with repeated shouts of Glory to God delivered in true televangelist fashion.

We have come to understand that the mindblowing decision was a measure to try and even out the gender imbalance in the Top10. Had Lara gotten the wildcard, there would have been seven females and three males in the Top10, so they had to sacrifice talent for gender balance and I think that sucks royally. Even if the fact that Lara is a somewhat ‘established’ singer was held against her, there were people who did better than Uche, truth be told.

Anyways, we cannot argue with the judges as their decision is final. But at least we have our own opinions of the judges to console us, if you know what I mean.

So folks, there you have the Top10. Irrepresible Omawumi, hot Timi, GQ-esque Eric, sentimental Jerrilyn, majestic Mercy, unbelievable Jodie, clear-voiced Joan, theatrical Temitayo, born-to-sing Omodele and lucky Uche. Let see what they’ve got as they bring their game come Sunday.

See y’all then.
Oakes
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Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:27 pm

Sorry,not following up the West African Idol situation but YO APOP:She SOUNDED LIKE A PARROT BEING SODOMIZED???? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
lawyerchap007
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Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:33 am

The first spectacular lived up to its name in set design, lighting and camera work, but not quite in performances. Sure enough, there were quite a few notable performances on the night, I mean, you can always count on Jodie, Timi and Omawumi to bring the house down. But it was a night on which everyone punched way below their respective weights, perhaps with the exception of Jerrilyn who gave probably her best performance (but which is really not saying much).

Temitayo opened with a rousing performance of Tina Turner’s River Deep, Mountain High. It was a brilliant impersonation of the world’s sexiest grandmother. She played to her greatest strength, the ability to sing and engage her audience with lots of movement. She is particularly good at picking songs that do not require a particularly good voice to render and relies on lots of booty shaking to get her votes in. Plus, I suspect there’s a “fan club” (a.k.a voting syndicate) behind Temitayo. But the performance rocked the house and set the tone for the night.

That performance was always going to be tough to follow and Mercy had the distinct ill-fortune of coming on next. Singing Whitney Houston’s I have nothing, from The Bodyguard Soundtrack, Mercy disappointed everyone who saw her breathtaking rendition of Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing compares to you. She started off well enough but along the way, the song showed it was too big even for Mercy’s outstanding skills. She lost her way in a meandering maze of pitch changes that left her sounding like a bad day at the opera. And Africa took note. However, she brought it home quite well, but the damage was done. Didn’t expect to see her in the bottom two, though.

The sob-story of West African Idols Jerrilyn Mulbah took the stage in a sultry performance of Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart. For me, it was her best performance yet. She showed good control of the song’s undulating tune and for once opened up her pipes to show us the upper reaches of her voice range. Combining pure notes with growling back-of-the-throat interjections, she showed she’s not in the Top10 on sentiment alone. There is considerable talent in that small frame.



Clear-voiced Joan Ekpai was up next, singing (surprise, surprise), Celine Dion’s Save the best for last. As her voice sounds remarkably like the Canadian diva’s she’s tactically choosing songs that best showcase that similarity. So I was prepared for a treat, but got such a safe performance that I was thoroughly unfulfilled, knowing what she’s capable of when she means to really sing. It was thus not surprising when I saw her in the bottom five of the Top 10.

Omodele Fatoki was born-to-sing but on the night, she chose the wrong song. Singing Luther Vandross’ Here and Now, the lows proved too deep for her to carry off convincingly, and when she tried for the higher notes they came out gratingly high. She tried to embellish the song with some tonal variations but they too fell flat. It just was not her night. Perhaps the song was too big, perhaps her confidence was too small, but she’s still a phenomenal talent who only needs studio time and the right producer to ensure that her reach doesn’t exceed her grasp as it did on the night.

Group1 returnee Uche took the stage dressed up like John Legend, and singing “Used to love you.” A truly popular song, it got the crowd going and Uche’s stagecraft also helped to distract everyone from the fact that for the most part of the performance, he appeared to be struggling (and winning, but struggling nonetheless) with the higher notes in that song. His voice is a deep gravelly contra-alto, much unlike the lighter purer alto of John Legend. Where on Earth did he get the idea that he sounds like John Legend?

One of the surefire hits of Idols West Africa is Timi. With a distinct voice that is instantly recognizable once you’ve heard him sing, Timi brought the house down with a version of Luther Vandross’ Dance with my father that had tons more attitude than the laid-back original. The crowd went wild as Timi sprang the song’s variations on us. Already a firm favourite for the title, a fan club appears to be forming around Timi. Arguably the strongest male performer on the night.

If you want to see a realistic contender for the Idols crown, look no further than Jodie. Consistently outstanding in her performances, her rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman” was the best performance of the night (as usual) but was her weakest performance so far. (If you saw her Top 80 and Top 24 performances, you’d agree with me). But it was still good enough to raise goosebumps all overmy body. Jodie is one talented performer, and though it’s early days yet, I’m tempted to tell the other nine contestants to reserve their flight tickets, cos they’ll all be going home sooner than Jodie.

Smooth, sinfully handsome Eric came on to sing Boyz II Men’s End of the Road. A safe performance that went to the edge when he sought for and got the crowd’s participation in his performance. A sure mark of a confident performer. He’s not all about the looks, he’s got real talent and the way he took command of that stage shows he’s in for the long haul. Definitely eye candy for the ladies, he’s just the sort who’d have an all-female fan club voting him to within striking distance of the title.

Omawumi closed the night with a mindstopping performance of Whitney Houston’s Wanna Dance with Somebody. In a characteristic theatrical performance marred only by breaks in sound due to her improper positioning of the microphone, she brought the audience to their feet with a closing note that needs to be heard to be believed. I was surprised to find her in the bottom half on results night, but so long as she got through, nothing spoil.

Omodele got voted off on Monday night. I guess we saw it coming. She’s a talented young lady who will go far if she keeps her dreams alive. Well, here’s looking forward to the next spectacular. By the way, how does one get to be part of the live audience? I wuld lovee to watch those performances in person. Would appreciate any info on this.

See y’all on Monday.
kaydee
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Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:34 am

@ LawyerChap

:s hock: :s hock: :s hock: U ain't one of the organizers? I wanna make a blog and i'ma holla at ya real soon
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