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Y’ello Star: Dave Willz, G-Isaac, Uzezi, Rael, Melody battle for survival

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A cross section of MTN Y’ello Star contenstants

With three weeks gone in the ongoing TV reality competition, MTN Y’ello Star, the 14 finalists who made it into the Y’ello Star house displayed their vocal strength and performance abilities last Sunday, as they performed to determine who would be the first to lose the right of performance on the show.

The week kicked off with highlife and folk music performances from the contestants, and each performance was rated within the range of 10. At the end of the outing, five of the 14 contestants, who are at the bottom of the ladder board after scoring the lowest cumulative points, are up for exclusion from live performance.

Jesse Drumz, the visually impaired was the first to hit off with Mike Okri’s Time Na Money. At the end of his performance, Banky W, one of the three judges on the show expressed delight at his improvement saying he was “starting to come into his own”. The judges rated his performance a six.

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Next was David Garland, who rendered Sir Shina Peters’ all time hit, Afro Juju, which earned him a high 9.3 rating and accolades from the vivacious Omawumi. The show didn’t witness another 9-point performance until Dotti and Freeborn rendered Orlando Julius’ Ololufe and Taxi Driver by IK Dairo respectively.

Asides watching the contestants put in some work to keep themselves in the show, performances from episode 5 proved to be a journey down memory lane, as contestants performed some Nigerian classics from various decades from the 70s to the 2010s.

Rael scored the lowest for the highlife performances, as her rendition of Onyeka Onwenu’s You and I didn’t impress the judges enough to get her a score better than 4.3.

For Sunday’s episode 6, the contestants performed a mix of pop and RnB hits by Aretha Franklin, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Seal. The top performance of the day was Freeborn’s powerful delivery of Aretha Franklin’s You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman, which earned her a 19.6 rating, as the judges ranked contestants on a scale of 0 to 20.

Rael once again got the lowest rating, as her performance of Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind earned her an 11.3 rating. Guest judge, Olisa Adibua criticised her song choice, stating that though she had fun performing it, she could have picked a better-suited song.

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Gideon’s performance was a highlight of the night, as all the judges rated him 18, a huge rise from his highlife performance that only got a 6.7 on the scale of 10.

Jesse Drumz brought some flair to his performance playing the drums for his rendition of Harry Styles’ Watermelon Sugar. He joined Uzezi and the duo of Oiza and Meyi on the shortlist of contestants who played an instrument during their performance.

Banky W used the judges chat session as an opportunity to remind the contestants that talent is never enough in the music industry, stressing, “it takes more than that to succeed. If you are talented and entitled and not willing to push yourself and get the other things you need to complete that picture; you will never make it.”

At the end of Sunday’s show, Dave Willz, G-Isaac, Uzezi, Rael and Melody became the first five contestants to be put up for exclusion and will need votes to stay in the competition. Voting ends on Wednesday evening after which the excluded contestant would be announced at the next gala, which airs every weekend on stations across the country.

The excluded contestants will lose their right to perform at the live shows but will remain in the Y’ello Hub to continue their musical education delivered by acclaimed faculty members from Berklee College of Music, Henley Business School and Afrinolly Creative Hub.

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