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Tears, joy, as Nigerian Idol goes live

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It was indeed a night of shock, tears and joy for the 25 contestants that came through the first day of the auditions before judges – Obi Asika, Seyi Shay and DJ Sose – for this season Nigerian Idol.

The show, which is making its comeback after a six-year hiatus, saw some of the contestants advance to the next stage of the competition, while the ‘we are here for serious business’ judges axed others.

The judges gave wannabe stars from different walks of life their verdicts, which was good and joyous to some and to others, not so good. From fashion designers to lawyers, entrepreneur, comedians and even professional musicians, they took their turns in the audition room located somewhere in Lagos.

With the judges job well spell out, the first six contestants that came out of the auditioning room, beamed with laughter, as they walk away with their Golden Tickets. However, things took another turn as each contestant that came up afterwards, including Azubuike Uzoegbu, who claimed to have performed with the legendary 2baba at a fashion show in Onitsha, and Michael Macaulay, a professional musician, who was seeking to promote his recently released extended play (EP) through the competition, did not live up to the judges’ expectations.

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While some contestants got sympathetic ‘No’ and admonishments to come back next year, some others like 17-year-old Mayowa, who was commended for his songwriting skills, were advised to just quit altogether. Chigozie Oleka on the other hand was nervous after receiving a negative response from the judges; his subsequent pleas caused DJ Sose to storm out of the set.

The most impressive performances of the night came from two fashionistas — 30-year-old Azigalobari and 23-year-old Faith Mac, the younger sister of 2011 Nigerian Idol finalist, Naomi Mac. They greatly impressed the judges and got their Golden Tickets.

A total of 13 golden tickets were handed out to the deserving contestants to proceed to the next round — Theatre Week, where they will battle against each other to make it to the next stage.

The show, which is now in its sixth season, is the local version of the Idol series franchise, and part of Idols West Africa, which was shot and produced in Stockholm, Sweden. Its first season in Nigeria was premiered in October 2010 and broadcasted live on 15 different channels across Africa.

On March 27, 2011, 26-year-old Onyekachi Elizabeth Gilbert Onwuka better known as Yeka Onka from Ohafia, Abia State was announced the first Nigerian Idol. She defeated fellow competitor Naomi Ebiama and was awarded the sum of N7.5 Million, a recording contract with Sony, a car and an all-expense-paid trip to South Africa.

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Meanwhile, this season has kept the social media buzzing with outrage, as followers of the show lampooned the judges, especially singer Seyi Shay, for her blunt judgments and giggles that haunted the contestants. According to some twitter users, while Obi Asika was calm and introspective, DJ Sose’s poker face scared many of the contestants.

Akuhwa Michelle@AkuhwaMichelle wrote: “We pick judges here simply because they have magically made a hit or two and made fame from it. Most judges have not the slightest idea what music is about. Respect to #MTNprojectfame. Their judges are music oriented.

“Seyi shey… you shaa, haff disappoint me. The way you even look down on contestants even before they start, hmmm!! You’ve copied some things from Oyibo, so also copy their sense of humour small thinking face. U see AGT Simon Cowell will make you calm down your nerves and encourage you. Imagine DJ Sose asking a contestant to leave or he leaves when he was begging for another chance to sing another song. And they laugh at the contestants with so much mockery!”

Samuel Toby@samueltoby14: “This useless DJ and so called Seyi shay just making mockery of the contest they don’t deserve to be there.”

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