The girl with the baby doll voice, Efezino bid her tearful goodbye as Nigerian Idol sailed past the halfway point and into the top five. It was a bitter-sweet moment for the young woman with a unique voice, who had struggled with song choices throughout the season and had brilliant song moments along the way. The competition is now left with five contestants looking to be crowned the season three champion of Nigerian Idol. This week, the guest judge was brilliant singer and entertainer, Dare Art Alade, who came excited to see what the remaining contestants could deliver. Along with host Ill Rhymz, Jeffrey Daniel, Femi Kuti and Yinka Davies were the regular judges on the show.
The themes for the evening were music from the late, legendary R&B singer, Luther Vandross, as well as something straight from the home shores: highlife.

The evening started off with a very special performance by Fatai Rolling Dollar ‘Won Kere si Number Wa’. At 87 years of age, it was a joy to behold his energetic and spritely performance, and he eventually was joined on stage by the eager group of contestants. An appreciative in-studio audience gave the performance a loud and prolonged standing ovation, thrilled by the performance. Fatai Rolling Dollar had this to say about young, upcoming performers: “I love what the young artists now are doing. They have a good message for the young crowd out there, and I absolutely love it!”

It was then the contestants’ turn to perform, starting with Luther Vandross songs. Safeeyat started off the night, and performed ‘So Amazing’. Jeffrey told a disappointed Safeeyat that “…the passion and emotion that was supposed to be in this song, I was not getting that.” Dare gave his own critique saying, “I think you struggled to connect to the song.” JayFeel, was next, singing ‘ If I Didn’t Know Better’. While Yinka looked mildly pleased with his performance, Dare was blunt with his criticism telling the back-flipping singer, “I thought you didn’t really control the song.” Jeffrey added, “Your voice was scratchy.”
Moses performance of ‘If Only for one Night’ had the judges on the fence. While Dare told him, “One word: soulful,” Femi was disinclined to agree, saying, “It was good as usual,” then referred to his words of warning to the ‘teddy bear’ singer last week about sustaining a performance. Yinka was thrilled however, hugging Moses and saying, “That is what I’m talking about!” Abasiakan’ rendition of ‘I’d Rather’ saw an ecstatic crowd rise to their feet, and the judges were effusive with their praise. Jeffrey told him, “That was greatness in the making right here!” Femi was equally enthusiastic, telling him, “What I loved most was the way you modulated changing key…it’s like you were flying and took us along with you.” However, Dare told him he needed to connect more with the audience.

Debbie was the last for the evening, starting with a beautiful guitar intro for her version of ‘Dance with my Father’. Again, the judges gave mixed reactions, with Yinka saying the guitar worked for her but Femi telling the strumming songstress, “You can’t give your competitors any chance.”

Then the competition switched gears and turned to the highlife tunes, starting with Moses and an experimental take on the classic song, ‘Sweet Mother’. The judges got into quite a heated argument, with Dare of the opinion that the changes made to the song were too experimental, while Yinka on the other hand, told him. “You did very well! Your transitions were on point.” Abasiakan took on the challenge of ‘Hallelujah’ by one of Nigeria’s greatest divas:  Onyeka Onwenu. A quick learner, he took Dare’s earlier critique to heart, and tried to connect with the audience, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the judges. Femi said, “I’m happy contestants are listening to our critiques.” Jeffrey seemed to quite like the performance, saying, “African music brings out something in you.


Everything about the performance—I loved it.” Dare was pleased that Abasiakan took his advice telling him, “You nailed it, and you were dancing!”

JayFeel chose to perform ‘Taxi Driver’ wearing an afro wig, bow tie, shorts and knee length socks. It was another polarising performance. Dare said, “I would like to see a lot more musicianship from you at this stage of such a competition.” Femi was even more blunt, saying, “I think Dare is right, in the middle of the song you went off key, twice.” Debbie Rise performed ‘Mos’orire’ and it seemed she has been battling vocal issues. While the judges loved it, Yinka warned her not to scream, and Dare told her, “It was creative, it was enjoyable…but be wary of your voice.”

Last for the evening was Safeeyat performing ‘Seun Rere’. The judges all noticed an obvious disconnect between her vocals and the band performance and while her vocal performance was excellent, the judges were all disappointed with the overall attempt.

There you have it. The top five have performed and are now waiting for your votes to keep them in the competition. Who will prevail?

You can watch who makes it to the next stage on Saturday on NTA at 3:00pm, Sound City and ONTV at 7:00pm, Silverbird at 7:30pm, Superscreen at 6:30pm, TVC at 9:30pm, Real Star TV on Startimes  at 9pm, channels 209 on Sky and 828 on Virgin (Africa Channel UK) at 9pm on the RESULT SHOW. Then, catch all-new performances on Sunday on NTA at 3:30pm, Sound City and ONTV at 7:00pm, Silverbird at 8:00 pm, TVC at 8:30 pm, Superscreen at 9:30pm, Real Star TV on Startimes at 9pm, channels 209 on Sky and 828 on Virgin (Africa Channel UK) at 9pm

Nigerian Idol is the biggest music show across Africa and it is brought to you by Etisalat, in association with Pepsi and supported by Beat FM.

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