SAFEEYAT, MOSES OR DEBBIE RISE: THREE LEFT VYING FOR NIGERIAN IDOL TROPHY

There are just three contestants left in the running for Nigerian Idol’s top prize after two were ousted in the Saturday night eviction show. The disappointing departure of JayFeel and the shocking loss of Abasiakan meant that the men on the show were dealt a heavy blow, leaving just Moses in the competition, alongside Safeeyat and Debbie Rise.

This week the contestants chose music from the Neo Soul genre, as well as some of their favourite Nigerian songs. And there was an additional bonus: three of the biggest veterans from the Nigerian music industry—Stella Monye, Mike Okri and Adewale Ayuba—performed duets with our hopefuls, resulting in some of the most exhilarating performances on television this year.

It was only fitting that the guest judge of the evening was Mike Okri a man who ruled the airwaves in the 80s and early 90s with his music. With his timeless music able to span generations, it was no wonder he told the audience, “Music of my time is original…the music now borrows a leaf from the past, meaning the past and the present have a relationship.” Also sitting in the judging panel were our regular judges: Yinka Davies, Femi Kuti and Jeffrey Daniel.

The evening kicked off with a high-octane, acrobatic dance performance by the talented group, Flyhigh dancers, who had the audience spellbound by their daring flips and tricks. Then came the highlights of the evening as the Idol hopefuls took their spots on the dream studio stage and performed their hearts out.

Safeeyat
Throughout the show Safeeyat has struggled with performance issues, but she looked set to put all that behind her as she performed her duet with Fuji veteran Adewale Ayuba and Safeeyat 'We are Happy People'. The collaboration had the judges dancing in their seats and the audience up on their feet, singing along.

Next she sang Maxwell's 'This Woman's Work'. While she was complimented on her clear vocals and the emotional impact that started the song, the judges were hoping for more of a climax. Mike told the singer, “It was wonderful, but you can do better.” Yinka gave her some tough advice, telling Safeeyat she needed to find a way to inject emotion into her singing.

Her final song for the night was the catchy ' In the Music', sung by Omawumi. Here she seemed more in her element, which was reflected in the comments offered by the judges. Femi told her, “You are where you should be,” while Jeffrey said, “One of your strongest performances…but when you let go, let go! Because you’ve got it.”

Debbie Rise
Debbie Rise might have been aiming for her golden ticket to the top, singing Jill Scott’s 'Golden' dressed to match in a gold dress and accessories. It seems her risky choice to mix in a fuji break in the song went well, however the judges had some comments to make on her vocals. Jeffrey appreciated her choice, saying, “Great song choice. Your vocals are improving and you are getting more balance.” However, Mike told her, “Quite a wonderful performance…but there were some notes you weren't hitting.”
She put her best foot forward, and put her nerves behind her as she sang with the illustrious Stella Monye, reprising Stella’s monster hit 'Oko Mi Ye'. An awe-struck Debbie Rise was visibly flabbergasted after her performance. The performance certainly created a party atmosphere in Dream Studio, much to her delight.

Debbie Rise’s final performance hearkened back to childhood songs as she performed Bez’s 'Stupid Song'. While the nostalgic tune kept the crowd going, the judges also had some words of advice for the singer. Jeffery told her “Come out like you are a star and control the stage!” Femi reiterated the point telling Debbie Rise, “You must come out like a winner!”

Moses
As the final man left in the competition, Moses had many expectations to live up to, and he did not disappoint. He started his night off singing Maxwell's 'Pretty Wings'. Mike was effusive in his praise telling the portly singer, “I can’t believe what you just did. You delivered.” Jeffrey was impressed with his growth throughout the competition saying, “You started in a lower register, and here you are stretching your vocals. That is the making of a superstar.”

His second performance saw him reach for the high notes with Omawumi’s song dedicated to the everyman: 'Today Na Today'. Femi told Moses, “You have always been one of my favourites, and you are doing everything right tonight.” Jeffrey was impressed with his stage presence telling him that, “When you come out here you own the stage; you just grab us.”

The last performance of the evening was guest judge Mike Okri paired with
Moses for the classic hit, 'Time na Money'. The stupendous performance had the audience chanting Moses’ name, and even had Jeffrey saying, "The most electrifying performance of the night!" Yinka Davies was at a loss for words, but loved every minute of the performance.

Watch the top three in all new performances on Sunday on NTA at 3:30pm, Sound City and ONTV at 7:00pm, Silverbird at 8:00pm, TVC at 8:30 pm, Superscreen at 9:30pm, Real Star TV on Startimes at 9:00pm, channels 209 on Sky and 828 on Virgin (Africa Channel UK) at 9:00pm. And don’t stop voting! Text your favourite contestant’s number to 33680 to keep him or her in the competition or dial the short code directly if you use an Etisalat line.

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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