May 27, 2007

The Grand Finale. How Timi Won!

It was the day many West Africans had been waiting for. The Grand Finale of Idols West Africa was taking place. Maryland, Lagos was a beehive of activities as fans and supporters trooped into Planet One as early as 3:30 pm. Guests were let in at about 5:30 pm and took their seats (and their stands). While the presenters were doing the final sound checks just before the show, all the previous performances of Timi and Omawumi were played back. It began with the playback of Timi's "Stuck on you" performance drawing instant applause from the audience. Omawumi's "Ekwe" and "I will survive" also drew cheers from the crowd. Both good and bad performances were played and the mood was set. The show finally began with an official asking everyone to switch off their phones and turn off the flashlights from their cameras as it would interfere with the recording equipment (That's why the pictures were not clear o! I couldn't use flash, please forgive).

The show was kicked off by Basket Mouth - a popular Nigerian Stand up comedian. He made the place burst into life with his jokes and picky "Yabs". Next to get on stage was the host of the show Mike Majic. For all those who don't like Mike's presentation style, I'll tell you he really is doing a good job. Everything he says is read from a screen displayed to him. He has to read everything and still make it sound natural, and I must say he did a good job. He intimated us on what awaited us during the performances of the night and got us all expectant.

The first event of the night was a group song by six of the top 10. Omodele, Joan, Uche, Mercy, Jerrilyn and Temitayo gave a wonderful group performance with each taking individual solos in the song. It was a great performance. Never before had viewers seen a group song in the Idols West Africa competition, and they were not disappointed.

Mike then announced that each of the Top 2 would be doing 3 songs each. There was a recap of each contestant's journey through Idols. We all laughed when we saw their first pictures at the audition. They looked so innocent compared the their present states - especially Omawumi. Timi was first on stage with a remake of his "How am I supposed to live without you" performance. As usual he delivered excellently, capturing hearts with his stage presence and the applause was great. Omawumi was next with a remake of her "I will survive" performance. Exhibiting her unique strength and vigor, she made her fans wild. Up next again was Timi with his "Stuck on you" performance and like before, he blew the minds of the audience. Omawumi then came up with a rendition of her "Ekwe" performance to end the first segment of the show.

Up next was a very spectacular segment. Each of the two would be doing self-composed songs. Timi was first with a song he wrote titled "I love you". He delivered it with the great style that only Timi knew how. The lyrics and structure of the song were great. It was a very melodious mid tempo song and the audience easily learnt the words well enough to join in the chorus. Soon, everyone was singing together. Omawumi was next. Dressed in a see through black attire and thigh length black stockings to match, she immediately drove her (male) fans crazy. She sang her self-composed song "You got me", an old school style with an old school beat that reminded one of the early 90s.

Up next was another surprise. Singing Rod Stewart's "You are everything" were Uche and Jodie in a duet. In Jodie's words, this was a dream come true because Uche was her choice amongst the top 10 to perform a duet with. The hall was alive with cheers for Jodie and Uche. Jodie's fans especially went crazy with excitement at this chance to see her perform one more time on the Idols West Africa stage. Their performance was a good highlight of the night's events, partly because everyone had been expecting this duet when they were both absent from the group song, and also because Uche is the favorite evicted male contestant while Jodie is the favorite evicted female contestant. The cheers were great and people screamed, talk about "Medicine after death", it was too late.

Finally, the great moment had come. The results were about to be announced. Timi and Omawumi came on stage for the final time. First, they got some words of advice from the judges after which the results were brought to the stage. Dede quoted Guest Judge Reggie Rockstone as saying, "I wish Omawumi will win, but if she doesn't win, I will adopt her". At this time, there was pin drop silence. Mike Majic didn't help matters as he created what he knew best how to. Tension! I could swear that if someone had a gun in that hall, they would have gladly threatened Mike with it so he could speed up the announcement. Finally, the golden words, "The winner of the Idols West Africa Title is ... [pause] ... [pause] ... Timi! There was a great uproar in the hall. People screamed, jumped up and down, embraced each other in emotional bursts, shed tears and there was insanity in the hall for a few minutes. Linda (my blogger friend whom I met at the show) jumped up and down like a mad woman (her own words) and Foluso Aloko (my friend who help me get the entry ticket) lost her voice totally from screaming so much. Timi himself was overwhelmed. He jumped, laughed, danced, cried, knelt, screamed while the soundtrack to his self-composed song "I love you" was played. It was a wonderful period as all the other contestants in the top 10 came on stage to cheer him, and there were cheers, and laughing, and crying, and hugging ... and the show ended on that note.

After the show, the judges and the guest judge Reggie Rockstone were bombarded with autograph requests. I never knew Nigerians were that crazy about autographs. People were quarreling and almost snatching autographs from one another. The judges' table was so tightly surrounded that Dan, Nana and Dede were barely visible and security operatives had to barge in and restore some order, after which I managed to get some good pictures of the judges.

Timi has really come a long way, and he really deserved to win. Anyone who was at the finale will realise that though Omawumi was very good and quite versatile, she was really no match for Timi in terms of stage presence and connection with people's minds ... and these are the major qualities which make a platinum record sale. I'm happy my votes did not go to waste (you don't want to know how many votes I cast for this guy) and I know Timi will not dissapoint Nigeria and we will be proud of him. And so he went home with the grand prize of a recording contract from Sony/BMG Africa International, a Kia Picanto from Nigeria’s Dana Group, $10000 cash from Ecobank, and an ultimate viewing experience of a 26-inch LCD TV and an I-Pod from the show’s headline sponsor Celtel. And so ended a journey which has been ongoing for about 4 months. A journey which saw great and little singers drop by the way side. People say this has really changed the music industry and no "yeye" artist will dare to release "any kind yeye" song again. Personally, I await Timi's CD and I know I won't be disappointed.

More Pictures

Mike Majic

The Judges

Guest Judge Reggie Rockstone (far left) and VIPs

The Duet - Uche and Jodie

The group performance: L-R, Omodele, Eric, Jerrilyn, Temitayo, Joan and Mercy.

The Duet - Uche and Jodie

Omawumi - Ekwe

Omawumi - You got me

Timi - How am I supposed to live without you

Timi and Omawumi exchange final words before the results

Under Tension !!!

The top 10 cheer Timi

After the Show

Me and Mike Majic

Me and Friends (From Right: Foluso Aloko, Tayo, Kenny, Yomi and Me)

Me and Linda Ikeji

Dan Foster

Nana Abrewa

Dede Mabiaku

The Production Crew

The Planet One Stage - Where it all started and ended!


Anonymous said...

Hi,I did not really follow the program from beginning but the little I did I knew TIMI will win and I am glad he did.

To TIMI I say Aiyeeko as the Ghanaians will say.You deserve it and God richly BLESS U.

Anonymous said...

Hi,I did not really follow the program from beginning but the little I did I knew TIMI will win and I am glad he did.

To TIMI I say Aiyeeko as the Ghanaians will say.You deserve it and God richly BLESS U.

Kevin Okejero
From: Accra Ghana

Kevin Okejero said...

Love your site thanks for being the 1st to publish the Idol West Africa result on the net.

Kevin Okejero

From: Accra Ghana

The Pseudo-Independent said...

This is only to reserve a seat here and I will be back to comment properly after exploring this excellent blog.
Ill be back. However, just in case I am taking too long, please give me a shout.
See you shortly.

Anonymous said...

I love Timi's song. I cannot believe he composed it. It is really a great song, from the first bar of the song, I knew I was going to love it. It is a feel good song, it is easily memorable and has a great hook. Wow, I am really impressed. Always loved Timi, could not see it going any other way, he is the real deal. Nigeria has found real talent, in my opinion, world class

TheTaj said...

I'm elated this Timi guy won!!! He deserved all the accolades coming his way because he lived his dream. What more- his great voice (that hasn't stopped 'affecting' a lot of my female friends), stage presence, charisma, spirit, humility........We've got another worldclass star in Naija! This guy will go places.....

catwalq said...

I feel as if I had seen it myself...
I kind of tuned off the show after that fine fine boy was voted off. U know, Eric i think his name was...

Come oh, is Linda Ikeji a performer?
I think I saw a picture somewhere with ehr on stage...

Anonymous said...

Dede made the point at least twice, and I hope in the euphoria it was not lost on the audience: that the Top Two Finalists are from the volatile Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The point is that in all the ruckus in that region, excellence thrives. Thanks for West Africa Idols for helping to expose that.
The Nigeria LNG Limited too must be commended too: in three papers on Saturday, it ran an ad where it pointed out that 'Wumi or Timi: It is Niger Delta.'

Tayo said...

@Kevin, you were right. Timi really deserved it. Thanks for your comment.
@Pseudo, thanks man for the compliments. Pls be back.
@Anon, Timi really has talent. His song was great and easily followed.

Tayo said...

@Thetaj, you couldn't have said it better. Timi has stage presence, charisma and voice. He's world class.
@Catwalq, No o! Linda's not a performer (maybe sha, i don't know), She was at the show to watch and it was our first time seeing each other.
@Anon, I really felt elated too about the Niger-Delta thing. NigerDelta became popular due to oil wahala and l8r the kidnappings, this shows there's still a lot of good about to come out from Niger-Delta.

Ugo Daniels said...

'sup man, you pretty had it all tied up. Wish i was in 9ja...'sighs'.

Dede's face is cracking me up. That guy must have smoked tons of weed in his life so far...LMAO!!!

All in all, i was,still am sooo excited TIMI won.

truth said...

I'm totally impressed how you analyzed the Timi won! I tried watching the clips on another site but they are not clear at all. I could hear it all though. I'm pretty excited for Jodie and Uche as well. They sound great together and I hope they are exposed to recording opportunities too.I'll buy Timi's album anyday.....and Jodie's too (me and my Jodie craze).lol.

Tayo said...

@ugo, the guy na Fela guy now .. abi what else should we expect! But I don't know for sure sha.
@truth, yes oh. I loved the Jodie/Uche sound. Although, they should have sang a better song. I'll buy their albums anyday sha.

JOY said...

Oh my God.. i love ur blog tayo.. are u a journalist or what cos u sure know how to write. as i am leaving this comment someone is calling me obsessed... well i dont mind the name as long it is TIMI i am obsessed with ... The way he sings gets to my heart,, i tel u guys another luther vandross is born again.. infact i like his singing better that Luther...Timi has a dream and just one phase of it has been fufilled the next phase is for his album to sell... All timti fans show ur suppport and but his cds... TImi u re the best and u re my idol... dont mund my typo errors!.. Tessy

aloted said...

Thanks for giving us a load down of the show...good one!
By the way I heard one gist like that...that these sony/BMG peeps might play a fast one on Timi. U can check my blog for the 411.
God forbid bad thing!

wienna said...

Have u ever thought of being a journalist, mr. T? lol

Aziza Uko said...

I was at Planet One when this happened. This article is accurate. It was a wonderful feeling. Our Nation's politicians have a lesson to learn in conducting free and fair elections. LOL

Tayo said...

@joy, thanks a lot. I'm not a journalist o! But then, there's a drop of journalism in every man ... (Udeme's Law) lol. Thanks for visiting.
@aloted, I heard too o! That would be seriously crazy if they do that, we no go gree.
@wienna, where on earth have you been?
@aziza, so u were there too? I'm sure you'll agree with me that Timi deserved the prize.
@all, thanks for your visits and your comments.

Anonymous said...

didnt follow d program as such jare

BOBBY said...

This boy you be fine boy ooo..ah ahnnn...

Moving along...i am glad Timi won, i think he deserved it.

Great show over all!!!!