After two weeks of excitement, the theatre week for Nigerian Idol season 6 came to an end on Sunday night as the judges finally selected the 11 contestants who will be battling it out in the finals to become Nigeria’s next biggest singing sensation.

Initially, 68 contestants were selected for the theatre week, but after a series of tests and performances only 11 scaled through.

During the second week of theatre week, contestants were assessed on the strength of their voice and their overall stage performance.

It turned out to be the end of the road for many of the contestants, as the judges felt they were either not strong enough to compete or had shown little to no improvement in the past week.

The contestants had to take on the task of performing to impress the judges – Seyi Shay, Obi Asika and DJ Sose as well as the viewing fans at home.

Sunday was also the day for the first live performances of the season, and there was a lot at stake as the two contestants with the least votes would be eliminated the following week.

Nigerian Idol Closes Theatre Week As 11 Contestants Make It To The Finals
Performances

The theme of this week’s performance was “African Legends”, and 23-year-old Akunna stepped up to deliver her rendition of Angelique Kidjo’s “Wombo Lombo”.

Dressed in a regal purple dress, she clearly showed that her voice had recovered from the setback of Theatre Week. Assisted by a live band, she delivered an energetic performance that was well-received by the judges, with DJ Sose commenting on her growth, and Seyi Shay noting that Akunna had put up a “fantastic” display.

Beyonce chose to perform Angelique Kidjo’s “Agolo”, revealing that it was a song that she enjoyed listening to in her childhood days.

Matching the energy of an African classic is no easy task, but she put in a good shift, with Seyi Shay stating that her voice had become “a lot stronger”, and Obi Asika commenting on her improved confidence.

Clinton dedicated his cover of “Sweet Mother”, the classic composed by the late Prince Nico Mbarga, to his mother. Assisted by an enthusiastic live band and backing vocalists, he delivered an energetic performance, with cute dance moves to boot.

One of the judges, Asika lauded his infusion of ad-libs, but DJ Sose noted that there was a drop in the quality of delivery.

Styl-Plus’ 2004 classic “Olufunmi” was the song that Comfort chose for her debut live performance.

She struggled with her vocals, and the judges felt that she did not bring her A-game, even though Obi Asika commended her fashion choices. Daniel, dressed in a red suit, elected to try out Lucky Dube’s reggae hit “I’ve Got You Babe”. While Obi Asika noted that he looked comfortable, and DJ Sose seemed to be satisfied by his performance.

Dotun, who opted to perform a cover of Miriam Makeba’s “Malaika”, was praised by Obi Asika and DJ Sose for his vocal range and emotive display, and Seyi Shay described the rendition as “captivating.”

Emmanuel handed in a scintillating cover of Majek Fashek’s “Send Down The Rain”, earning plaudits from the judges for his “stage presence” and “originality.”

Donning a bowler hat, Faith went for Sir Victor Uwaifo’s “Joromi”, with some help from the live band. He maintained his vocal energy from start to finish, and the judges seemed pretty pleased with his performance.

Salif Keita’s “Africa” is a difficult pick for any singer, but Faith Mac stepped up to the plate, bringing the high pitch and strong projection that the song deserved.

Francis took on Lucky Dube’s “Remember Me” for his live performance, partly because his father loved the song, and partly because he wanted to spare a few thoughts for people who had to grow up without a father figure.

Seyi Shay positively commented on his vocal range, and Obi Asika also felt that the singing was “emotive.” The final performance of the night had Kingdom performing Lebo M’s “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (from the movie Lion King), a rendition which sat well with the judges: Obi Asika commented on his “presence.”

Disappointments

Meanwhile, producer, songwriter, and singer, Winning was one of the contestants whose journey was cut short.

His personality and charisma had earned him a spot in the theatre week, but unfortunately, he was unable to wow the judges again. Agbutun Agbalaya had also shown lots of promise, but his last individual performance was not good enough.

However, 16-year-old Comfort Alalade showed great improvement from last week and was rewarded with a spot in the final. The judges were continuously amazed by her voice and performance.

Akunna was also lucky to make it into the finals. Although she lost her voice right before the performance, she still went ahead to give a great performance. Her determination and resilience landed her a spot in the finals alongside Kingdom Kroseide, Clinton, Beyonce, Faith, Dotun, Francis, and Emmanuel.

After these nine were chosen, it was a battle between Daniel and Faith Mac on who would land the last spot into the finals.

However, in a shocking twist, both Daniel and Faith Mac made it to the finals making the total number of contestants heading the big stage 11 instead of the usual top 10.

Next week, the real battle begins as all 11 of them start the final journey to becoming the Nigerian Idol.

Onyekachi Elizabeth Gilbert Onwuka, more known as Yeka Onka won the debut edition in 2010 before the show was rebranded to West African Idols and eventually Nigerian Idol.

Background

The first season of the show, which coincided with Nigeria’s 50th anniversary, was tagged ‘Live Your Dream, Accept No Limitation’.

Onka, 26-year-old at the time, went on to beat fellow contestant, Naomi Ebiama to the first position. She bagged a recording contract with Sony, a car, an all-expenses-paid trip to South Africa, and a cash reward of N7.5m.

The show is also credited for producing prominent singers including Timi Dakolo, Omawunmi, and Mercy Chinwo. Other winners to date include Moses Obi Adigwe and Evelle. Lakunle K-Peace won the fifth and last season in 2015.

Voting

At this stage of the competition, the power is solely in the hands of the viewers, as they get to determine who stays and who leaves. Voting on Nigerian Idol is via the website, mobile site, MyDStv, and MyGOtv apps and via SMS, which is available only in Nigeria.

You may vote for your favourite contestant via the Africa Magic website, www.africamagic.tv/nigerianidol and the Africa Magic mobile site by selecting contestants of your choice and entering your number of votes, and click VOTE. Voting via these platforms is limited to 100 votes per user. MyDStv App and MyGOtv App votes are free and votes are allocated based on your subscription packages.

Nigerian Idol live shows begin next week Sunday, May 9 on Africa Magic Showcase (DStv ch 151) and Africa Magic Urban (DStv ch 153), and Africa Magic Family (DStv ch 154 & GOtv ch 2) from 7 pm.

Viewers can also catch a special 24-hour Nigerian Idol Extra content on DStv Channel 198 and GOtv Channel 29.

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