It was certainly not an easy road for 12 finalists who eventually made it to this stage at the ongoing Etisalat-sponsored Nigerian Idol.
In fact, the last episode was filled with tension, drama and tough decisions for the judges who had to defy the tradition of selecting only three contestants from the wildcard round by also putting two other contestants on stand-by.
After announcing Pscholes, Modele and Sther as winners of the wild card show to complete the top-12 stage, the judges selected Preye and Precious as stand-by contestants, due to their impressive performances.
The Wild Card show is a lifeline where contestants who had been previously voted out during the Top 30 round earn a call back by the judges to perform for the last three spots on the show.
Yinka Davies just had to explain why the judges made the decision as she said, “Tonight, these talents have forced us to say no to the status quo of the show. We have chosen not only our favourite three but two stand-by contestants.”
The selection of Classic Tunez was dramatic because the judges interrupted his performance by sending him off the stage, only to inform him that, he had won an automatic qualification to the top-12 stage because of his amazing performance of Robbie Williams’ ‘Angels.’
Classic Tunez replaced Tama Nisa who had initially qualified for the top-12 stage but pulled out due to health issue.
Esther was commended by the judges as the most improved contestant and the best for the night, based on her evolution in the competition. With great confidence, Esther delivered an outstanding performance that left the studio audience intensely delighted.
Commenting on the round-off of the stage 30, Manager, Youth Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Idiare Atimomo said, “We know that the journey so far has offered surprising upsets. The Nigerian voters and judges have made their decisions and they have kept faith with their favourite contestants. We are happy with their favourites and confident that they will not disappoint us.’’
And now, the contestants, whose real names are, Oyinkepreye Toun, Ogunmoyero Modoluwamu, Victor Ekeoma, Godson Goodluck, Adigwe Brenda and Ese Amadasun, Ogunrombi Olakunle, Okemiri Uloma Margaret, Ayoka Janet, Paul Manuwa, Modele Fatoki and Esther Ariteshoma, are ready for the battle ahead. It is not over yet.
NONYE BEN-NWANKWO, ADEMOLA OLONILUA | THE PUNCH