MTN Project Fame Season 8: Regional Auditions Wraps Up In Lagos
THE recently concluded auditions of MTN Project certainly lived up to its billing as West Africa’s biggest musical talent hunt show. The last leg of the auditions, which was concluded in Lagos, saw the very best of musical display, as the hopefuls jostled for a ticket to the next stage of the auditions.
Buoyed by self-belief, determination and a relentless quest for stardom, the music enthusiasts from far and near surged into the premises of Ultima Studios in Lagos for the auditions.
Having kicked off in Port Harcourt, Abuja and Ibadan and Accra, the Lagos leg of the auditions was the final leg of the regional auditions. Indeed, Lagos certainly lived up to its reputation, as centre of excellence surpassing expectations as Ultima Studios, venue of the auditions was invaded by a deluge of youths who came to try their luck for the fame and fortune that Project fame promised.
But it wasn’t all about the auditions. Even as some of the aspirants besieged the registration spot to complete the registration formalities, there was ample side attraction for the other aspirants, as they engaged in singing, dancing and rap competitions.
There was also special appearance from Geoffrey Oji, winner of MTN Project Fame Season 7, who performed his single, Bursting My Brain.
The Benue State-born artiste threw the audience into rapturous delight with his rhythmic Tiv dance steps. He wasn’t the only special guest to perform at the auditions. The trio of Shola, Emmanuela and Rubunu all past contestants of MTN Project Fame treated the hopefuls to an electrifying performance of their hit track, Show Dem.
The auditions also had its touching moments as, Henry Elue, a visually impaired singer, made it to the audition grounds aided by his uncle. Sadly, he was, however, unable to make the cut. According to Elue, this was his second attempt at Fame. Despite the disappointment, he maintained that he would give the reality show another shot should the opportunity present itself.
The interesting fashion attires worn by some of the contestants were another spectacle to behold during the Lagos auditions.
From the ‘Rasta’ styled outfits to full-blown agbada and even an Oba’s regalia, the fashion styles on display were certainly worth remembering. Take ‘King’ David Adewale, a contestant, from Ogun State, for instance. He was decked in a resplendent royal outfit complete with the customary horsetail, was certainly the cynosure of all eyes at the audition grounds.
His outfit wasn’t the only unique thing about him as his comical displays ended up leaving the judges in fits of laughter rather than advancing him to the next stage.
Bethel, another MTN Project Fame hopeful and an aspiring musician and DJ from Benue State surely showed that he is a true disciple of hip-hop.
The 24-year old student from Benue State Polytechnic fascinated the judges with the multiple piercings in his face. He was abruptly cut short in his performance with the judges taking keen interest in his body piercing. He revealed that he has a total of 14 piercings on his body, including his tongue and nose. Little wonder the judges were more interested in his piercings than his singing.
Then there was, Jamil Olaniyi, who impressed the judges with his audacious rendition of the famous Musiliu Ishola’s specialty- Apala. Dressed in full Agbada with a matching skull cap and handy drum, his near flawless endeared him to Shola Allyson who joined him in rendering his song.
The auditions weren’t only about the contestants. It was also an opportunity for petty traders to do brisk business and make cool cash. A recharge card seller in the neighbourhood, who identified himself as Malik, revealed that how his business boomed over the three days of the auditions. “I have been overwhelmed with relentless requests for airtime. In fact I have made thrice my daily profit within the last two days. I may not have a singing talent but I still got to benefit from the show a big way,” he said with a big smile.
The food vendors that thronged the audition venue also had their share of brisk business over the three days. With their food stands, set up by the roadside, the famished academy hopefuls eagerly besieged them to grab a meal as the tension of the auditions got to them. Huge coolers of food were quickly emptied and replaced at intervals.
Commenting on the auditions, Cobhams Asuquo one of the judges at the auditions observed that the quality of this year’s audition had improved compared to previous editions.
According to him, there was a noticeable paradigm shift in this year’s MTN project Fame as the contestants opted to perform indigenous music as opposed to foreign songs. According to him, this trend was an indicator of the growth of the Nigerian industry.
He also said that beyond having a good singing voice, other factors that determined the selection of the hopefuls included consistency, seamless flow in change of notes and dynamism in renditions amongst others.
The next stage of the competition will feature live performances from the qualifiers from Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Accra and Port Harcourt who would vie for the right to enter the famous MTN Project Fame Academy.
The overall winner of the competition will walk home with a grand prize of N5m, a brand new SUV and a recording deal worth millions of Naira. The 1st runner up will get a saloon car and N3m. The 2nd runner up will be awarded a brand new saloon car along with N1m while the 3rd runner up will receive a cash prize of N1m.
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