May 8, 2007

Idols West Africa - Jerilyn Says Goodbye

The Idols West Africa Top Ten's only Non-Nigerian contestant, Jerrilyn Mulbah is out of the competition. Like the proverbial cat with nine lives, she has successfully evaded eviction several times in a row, unfortunately, this time she did not receive enough votes and had to say goodbye. The 23 year old Liberian singer has come a long way. From the auditions where she won the sympathy of the viewers and judges; through the top 24 to the top 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 and finally the top 5 spectacular, she has managed to keep hanging on despite criticisms and receiving the highest number of "Unsafe" declarations.

This week she sang two songs. She was the first performer on stage with "Never too Much" by Mary J Blige, a song which she rendered kind of averagely, going flat a couple of times. Her second performance (Christina Aguilera's "The voice within) was much better than her first and she actually reminded people of her voice qualities. She started impressively, performed a few stunts and hit a few highs. She maintained this feel up till the modulation, after which she went a little flat. She ended with some flat notes although barely noticeable. Her final words were "Eviction is like injection. It hurts for a while and later you'll get better." Jerrilyn has really come a long way, and we hope she'll continue going, and not stop.

This week was different from other weeks. For the first time, each contestant had more than one chance to impress the judges, audience and voters as they each chose and sang two songs. Top performances for me were Timi's second performance, Timi's first performance and Omawumi's second performance - in that order. Timi started out with "Flying without wings" by Westlife. He exhibited the unique voice and style for which he has become known for. A natural performer, he had the crowd cheering and singing along with him early in the first verse, and carried them along through the song. Towards the end however, he had to struggle a little and it seemed the key was a bit high, but it was hardly apparent. His second performance was "How am I supposed to live without you" by Michael Bolton. When he started the first verse, I was actually afraid he wouldn't be able to maintain the pitch when he got to the chorus but I was pleasantly surprised. He pulled it off quite well. He strained a little but hey, even Michael Bolton strains with his songs!

Omawumi closed the first half of the performances with Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You". Initially thinking we were in for a treat with Omawumi taking that song, I was greatly dissapointed and I can say that this is her worst performance so far. She started wrongly, missed a couple of notes and the texture she gave her voice was totally wrong for the song. Also she went flat a few times. In my opinion, she either did not study the song well enough or she tried too much to make it hers. In short, it was woeful. Her second performance was much better. She rendered the old classic "I will survive" by Gloria Gaynor. I was on the edge throughout, really hoping she would pull it through without going off or messing up. The song has a lot of dynamics. However, she did very well and introduced enough stunts to regain the glory she lost in her first performance. I was willing to forget her past blunders after hearing this rendition.

"Fine Boy" Eric was not at his best this week. His first performance was of Seal's "Kiss from a rose". He actually started well and hit Seal's high notes but he did not use his voice well. The song's numerous dynamics and key changes would have come out so well if he had pushed a bit more. In addition, he left too many blank spots within the song, and he didn't hit the best parts with the spirit the song required. I'll rate this performance as slightly above average. His second performance was quite better though. He rendered "All Night Long" by Lionel Richie, a much less demanding song than his first choice. He created some kind of commotion towards the end of his performance when he suddenly jumped into the crowd and danced around before getting back on stage to finish up. However, he still left some blank spots within the song which would have could have been filled in better. Eric needs to start using his voice better if he hopes to remain in the competition.

Temitayo started with "I'm Your Baby Tonight" by Whitney Houston. She actually reminded me of her vocal abilities with this song. However, she was still quite distant from Whitney. She maintained a good pitch throughout the song and did a good job. Towards the end, she struggled a bit with the high notes and almost went flat, and there the song lost it's magic, but then, it's a Whitney Houston song - and nobody can do it like Whitney. Her second performance was Gloria Estefan's "Reach". She started quite well and pulled off some smooth flows. It was quite better than her first performance and she was great up till the modulation after which she struggled a bit and couldn't hit the high notes well enough. Her performance was just OK and had no "Wow" moments. She'll do well to stay within range and not exceed her voice limits.

The "two song" choices seem to have treated the performers quite well. They all did better during their second performances. They also seem to have got relatively better in terms of voice and performance abilities. PMAN's 2nd Vice President, Gloria Ibru, who was a guest judge at the event was impressed with at least one of each performer's songs. Her words to them were "It's Anybody's game right now". She however declined to name a favorite performer.

A remarkable event took place before it was all over. After the five performances, the audience was told to wait for something extra. Everyone wondered what was going on as a young lady was chosen to join Timi and Eric on stage. Suddenly, a message appeared on the screen, "A message from Mike Majic, Malia, Will you Marry Me?" The crowd was ecstatic and Malia (for that's who it was) was awestruck. What else could she say apart from "Yes"? Eric and Jodie then gave a rendition of Tosin Martyns' "Olomi" as Mike presented the engagement ring. Now was that romantic or not? The rest of the story is available here.

The Idols West Africa competition is getting tougher and hotter. If you missed out on the performances, the clips are available for streaming and downloading on the Idols West Africa website [here]. Also the week 7 performances which were previously unavailable on the website are now available. View them here. Now we are down to 4! The competition gets tougher. My fingers are crossed as we get closer to the end. Who goes home with the crown? Only you can decide!
NB: I received a very nice and encouraging mail from Dinah & Mary from SA. Thanks a lot for your message of encouragement. I tried replying but the mail bounced. Hope to see you around.


Anonymous said...

Jerrilyn who is normally the worst, was actually not the worst on Sunday as she actually redeemed herself on her second Song. The night's best, head and shoulders above the rest was Timi. He certainly knows how to get a crowd in a frenzy. He is a born performer. I can see him selling out stadiums to perform. He has the voice and the performance skills to go far.

ExcitedJade said...

Tayo.. how u dey?
i dont get to watch West Idols.. so i cant say much.

aloted said...

The moment we have all been waiting for- Jerrilyn is OUT! Ok that sounds mean I know, but I have been waiting for this for a looong time. E yah!
Am thinking she wasn't quite ready this time but who knows if she competes in season 2 she might actually stand a chance.

BOBBY said...

Tayo how far...long time man.

Naija Vixen said...

Sad she went out as I was just starting to like her ;-) Luv ur blog!

Linda Ikeji said...

jerilyn shud av left before uche and jodie

Writefreak said...

i wan happy die! At least Jerrilyn will not win. Thank God good sense is starting to prevail. I kinda think she was relieved to go too, she had a smile on her face like "i've been expecting this a long time ago, thanks for saving me the anxiety". Goodbye Jerrilyn, i won't miss her one bit!

Tayo said...

@All, thanks for your comments.
@anonymous, I'm not that so so confident about Timi. I'm yet to hear him sing a fast upbeat song.
@excitedjade, I'm fine o. Thanks. You can watch online if you want.
@aloted, LOL. I think you're right.
@bobby, I know o. I've been quite busy.
@naija vixen, Thanks a lot. I'll visit your blog shortly.
@linda, I think so too. As I'm sure many others do
@writefreak, LOL. Many people no like that girl o! Anyway, I'm sure she has learnt a lot from the experience. My hope is she comes out stronger.

truth said...

I wasnt her fan or anything close to that but I dont think she was as much of a threat or annoying as people perceived her to be. did she deliver some terrible performance? oh yeah! but her last 2 perfromance definitely redeemed her. i'm proud of her and she's still an achiever whichever way.

Awoof said...

Hey Tayo, I see some changes around your blog - well done! Too bad I don't watch IWA.... Sky sucks... we need some proper Dstv around here...

~Mimi~ said...

hi tayo :) been chekn ur blog for updates. your idols update is coming a bit late isnt it??what have u got o say for urself?lol.i also noticed i cant comment on ur newest post wats up with that?