May 23, 2007

Idols West Africa - Temitayo Takes a Bow

So close to the Idols West Africa finals you could feel the tension, the top 3 stood with blank expressions as they awaited their fate on the stage of Planet One during the eviction session. Mike Majic did not help matters as he decided to announce the results backwards giving an impression of Timi's eviction while Temitayo and Omawumi appeared safe. All around West Africa, viewers held their breaths and fans' hearts stopped briefly as the final verdict was awaited. Alas, Timi was safe and Mike Majic brought Temitayo and Omawumi back on stage. In the end, Temitayo was declared to have had the least votes and was evicted, leaving Timi and Omawumi to contest for the West African Idol Title.

Temitayo George has indeed come a long way. The last Lagosian left in the competition, the pretty 25 year old has had many things working for her in the competition. She's pretty, moves her body well on stage, exhibits confidence, has an excellent diction and a large fan base that comes with being the daughter of the owner of a famous orphanage. The only thing that worked against her was her voice. She didn't handle high notes too well, and her dynamics were far from smooth. There was no real spark or "goose bump" moments in her performances, save for her confidence and style. Her last words on stage were "I believe God’s will for me was to reach the third place and this is just the beginning of great things to come. You’ll see me again very soon, performing with all my heart and soul just for you". We hope she'll train that voice of hers, and bounce back stronger.

This week was spectacular indeed. With just 3 people singing, there was less to look out for and more to see. There was less to listen to and more to hear. It was the most crucial of the spectaculars so far, and you could see anxiety on the contestants faces as they tried their best to impress while staying within safe limits. Overall, the performances were not as good as previous weeks.

Timi opened the floor with Lemar's "If there's any justice". Dressed like a journey man, he delivered the way only Timi could. From the first note, he created magic in the audience, with his facial expressions matching the message of the song. It was a good performance, although he got into a little strain on the high notes. For me, this was the best performance of the night. His second song was Brian Adams' "Everything I do". The starting key was a little too high, but this did not deter him and he impressed both Judges and fans, receiving favorable responses from both. He almost missed the cue for the last chorus, but it was barely noticeable and he quickly corrected himself.

Temitayo started her her performances with "I'll be there" from Mariah Carey. Although her performance was OK, she wasn't really up to the set standard. Her high notes were not smooth and were quite squeaky. She might have done better if she had stayed more within range. Her second rendition was of Diana Ross' "He lives in you". Delivering with an airy voice, it was quite a good performance. She did better with the highs and lows although it was nothing near the original. She introduced a little bridge towards the end which she did with some free style. This performance was OK but relative to the other contestants was just average.

For Omawumi, I'm convinced that she can mimic any singer she wants and usually succeeds in sounding like them. Sometimes it works for her (e.g. Natasha's "I bruise easily") and sometimes it doesn't (e.g. Mary J's "Can't live without you). This week, she surprised listeners and proved her versality in her song choices. Her first song was a Bob Marley song - "I don't want to wait in vain". It was not too spectacular, until she introduced the freestyle rap and got the audience wild. For her second song she chose "Ain't no other man" by Christina Aguilera. She achieved the "Christina" sound but due to the nature of the song, she got breathless and her voice became less and less audible as the performance progressed. She still managed to end it all gracefully.

These performances were their last chances at impression due to a change in the voting pattern. The voting lines were opened from Monday and will remain so until Saturday. Thus, voting ends before the grand finale on Sunday and as such the final performances won't count. You are advised to vote now either on the Idols West Africa website (here) or by text to your country code. Please make sure you vote as this is your last chance to decide who gets to be the first West African Idol. The grand prize is 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. I believe there'll be consolation prizes for other contestants but this has not been announced.

It's no coincidence that the final two both came from Group 1 in the Top 24. Group 1 had great voices in persons of Ibitoru, Lara George, Ekanem and Uche who made it into the top 10 but was dropped along the way, and I knew the West African Idol would come from this group. So who gets the crown? The passionate and show-stopping Timi Dakolo or the versatile and energetic Omawumi Magbele? It's your choice. Don't wait, Vote Now!


aloted said...

I think I am the first to post a comment! :)
Anyways as at yesterday I was not sure who to vote for (u can read my dilemma on my blog) but it's becoming clearer and clearer now.

Tayo said...

Hey Aloted, thanks for visiting. I want to remain neutral here but I'll advice to base your votes on all performances so far (Since the final performances won't count)

Linda Ikeji said...

Timi is the 'baddest' singer since 2face.i hope he wins

Tayo said...

@linda, Yes OOOOO!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I like this write up. I'm voting for Timi, I hope you all are, because he shall win!

The Pseudo-Independent said...

Thanks for the update. Ill be back.

Ugo Daniels said...

As i've always maintained, my vote's on TIMI!

Tayo said...

Looks like Timi is having some support here. That's good.