Apr 24, 2007

Idols West Africa - Farewell Mercy

Another Shocker awaited viewers of the West African Idols contest yesterday as another contestant was evicted. This time it was the 6' 3'' tall, ever-smiling Mercy Nwankwo who had the least votes and had to bid her fellow contestants farewell. We've seen Mercy edge her way through the top 24 to the top 7 and her skill and performances have got more impressive as she progressed. She was the first on stage this week and she sang Stevie Wonder's "Part Time Lover", a song with she delivered with much skill, exhibiting confidence and a great attitude. She made it work all the more by doing some of the pitching for which she has become known for. At the end of her performance, the crowd was quite ecstatic. I was real pained to see her go, and quite disappointed cos she has great voice skills. Her parting words were "I appreciate knowing that there are people out there who appreciate what you do - fans, friends family. I see it as a privilege to have come this far. Thank you to every single person and God for this exposure and experience." Hopefully, the exposure and experience will launch her into greater things.

This week, the contestants performed around the theme "Hits from the 80s and 90s". It worked for some and didn't work for some. The top performances for me were Timi and Mercy (Yes, Mercy!). Timi has managed to maintain the "most impressive performer" status for 2 weeks straight, displacing Jodie who earlier occupied the position. He performed "Stuck on You" by Lionell Richie, delivering with a mixture of voice skill and performance talent. Towards the end of the song, he pulled up a lady from the audience and gave her a little "salsa style" spin after which she fell into his arms as he finished the song. The crowd was ecstatic, the judges gave a standing ovation and Nana's emotions took control as she shed tears - she couldn't even give her judgment on the performance, Timi's singing had affected her so much.

I was not too impressed with the other performances ... especially Jodie, although relatively, I'll still give her a good mark. I expected a lot more from her though, but she obviously had many things working against her. Her choice of song, outfit and hairstyle were not the best. Singing Tina Turner's "What's Love got to do?", she started a little sluggishly but got better along the song. She put a little too much into the song and she should have been more relaxed. I hope she does better next week because I had come to look forward to her performances. Omawumi performed slightly better. Her rendition was of "Rhythm of the night" by Gloria Estefan, a Latino style song. She came dressed the part and she attempted some of Gloria Estefan's Latin Dance moves. However, she put in more effort into the dance than the singing. She got lost briefly during her performance but quickly made a come-back. She apparently has good come-back skills. Eric who performed The Fugees' "Killing me softly" did a great job compared to his performance last week. He started off with a mixture of high and low pitches and soon got the crowd singing along. However, this was still not good enough to keep him out of the bottom three (a position which he shared with Omawumi and Mercy), and was just lucky to pull through. Hopefully, he'll step up his game next week.

Bottom performances for me this week were Temitayo and Jerilyn. Now don't get me wrong, their performances were still quite good. Temitayo performed Irene Cara's "What a feeling", and she did quite well. She came on stage with skinny jeans which obviously drove the guys wild. However, there was no real WOW moment and her performance was quite short. Jerilyn on her part did a lot better than her previous performances with Celine Dion's "All by Myself". She attempted a sustained pitch towards the end of the song and she pulled it off quite well, but for most of the song, she stayed within her limits.

The judges appealed to viewers to vote right and vote for talent, as the West African Idols show is a singing competition and not a "Bootylicious" one (Dan Foster's words). There was a special guest in the house in person of Paul "Play" Dairo. These were his comments on the top 7 "Timi is perfect. Timi is too hot to handle, too hot to handle. I give it to Timi" and "I’m proud to be Nigerian and African and I believe [our talent] can soon take on the world." I agree with him about the talent we have in Nigeria and Africa. Given just the right support and encouragement, Nigerian artists will perform better than many international ones. We are getting there.

If you missed out on the performances, the videos will be available for download and streaming at the Idols West Africa website available here. I look forward to next week's performances when the contestants will be selecting from the theme "Home grown African tracks"! Right now, we are down to 6 contestants. See you all next week.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog. I don't believe Mercy deserved to go, but she was never going to win the show, either way, so if it was not this week, I am sure it would have been next week. Head and shoulders above the rest this week was Timi with a performance that had me screaming, jumping up and down like a crazy woman. It was honestly one of the 2 best Idol performances I have ever seen and that includes American Idol.

linda ikeji said...

to me timi is the winner of this competition.jodie also deserves it but there can only be one winner and that's timi without any doubts or questions.mercy i didnt particularly like her voice.i think she should have left before uche

Tayo said...

@anon and Linda, I agree, Timi seems to be heading for the number 1 spot. However, a lot can still happen in 5 weeks. I expect Jodie to make a comeback... and let's have some real competition.

Glory said...


Vera Ezimora said...

6'3" tall? Woah!

Technically, she's now a celeb, so even though she didn;t win the contest, this is definitely not the end of the road for her.

truth said...

Anyone wanna join me in rooting for Jodie? I think she delivers a sound performance. I haven't watched the last episode just yet but I haven't stopped playing the her performance 2 weeks back.
Still 2 weeks back, Timi seems like the for-runner here though. Was that a Michael Jackson slide he showed off or what?lol. I enjoy watching him and needless to say I'm glad he didn't flop trying to pull that stunt.

Tayo said...

@Glory, That's very true. What's helping her is the fact that she's the only Liberian left in the contest
@Vera, Yes o! She was the tallest contestant.
@Truth, Jodie seems to have declined and is now kind of riding on past glory. If she does not step up her game next week, she might have lost her place.

Dupe said...

The problem with Mercy has been her facial expression. She sings well but her face to me communicates pain. She needs to work on that. How for example will she sing a love song.