…As live shows begin this weekend.
13 weeks into the First Bank-sponsored global music talents reality show, The Voice Nigeria season 3 in Nigeria, eight outstanding talents have emerged from the pack and are set for the final stage called the Live Shows. The list includes Kitay, Dapo, Anu, Kpee, Eazzie, Inioluwa, Naomi Mac and Esther.
Asides excelling during the auditions, the lucky eight out of the initial 24 contestants have scaled through several hurdles including the Blinds, Knockouts and Battles stages for a chance to perform at the much awaited finals.
It has been an intense journey dotted with rigorous trainings, rehearsals and energetic musical performances for the finalists, and their celebrity coaches Darey, Waje, Yemi and Falz who double as trainers and judges.
As the Live Shows begin this weekend, Falz will parade a super talented duo of Dapo and Naomi Mac while Waje would be represented by Eazzie and Inioluwa; Yemi would also present Kitay and Anu while first time coach, Darey will showcase Kpee and Esther.
28 years old choir director, Dapo first drew the judges’ attention with his spectacular rendition of Mario’s “Let me Love You” during the Blinds which got all four judges turning and begging to coach him before he finally chose Darey. Not stopping, Dapo has continued to wow not only judges but even viewers with his craft so far on the show. Surprisingly, despite his soul gripping performance of Joe’s “I Wanna Know” at the Knockout which got the female judges gushing Darey was about sending him to the danger zone when Falz promptly stole him effectively taking him safely to the Battles where Falz then squared him up with Peace to set him up for a regal delivery of Beyoncé’s “Already” which finally got him to the Live Shows.
For 29 year old young mom and songbird Naomi Mac, her journey started when she got three judges turns with her sonorous rendition of “I Do It for You” during the Blinds before she opted for team Falz. Her soulful performance of Whitney Houston’s “I Look To You” at the Knockouts got her a straight ticket to the Battles where she was paired with Tamara for a groovy performance of Reekado Bank’s “Ladies And Gentlemen”, a Lagos party anthem which landed her at the Live Shows with loud applause and admiration.
Heavily endowed powerful singer Eazzie didn’t quite land at the Live Shows on a platter of gold. It was a tortuous and rough rider for the 24 year old who got Waje and Falz turning for her with her rendition of “Love On The Brain” during the Blinds before she settled for Waje. During the Knockouts, she had to be saved by Waje for a shot at the Battles after she failed to impress with her performance of Rihanna’s “California King Bed”. However, when squared with Nuel Ayo at the Battles, she gave a fantastic account of her craft with a very touching and romantic performance of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” which got her to the Live Shows.
Activist and guitar-boy Inioluwa came under the spotlight with his performance of Photograph by Ed Sheeran during the Blinds, and like Eazzie he got Waje and Falz turning for him before settling for Waje. The 21 year old’s electrifying performance of Asa’s “Fire On The Mountain” during the Knockouts got him straight into the Battles and when paired with fellow songbird Ayomikun for a performance of DJ Neptune’s “Nobody”, he emerged victorious and qualified for the Live Shows.
Gifted performer, Kitay came to prominence to clinch the show’s last ticket with his performance of “Away” by Oxlade at the Blinds which got Yemi, the only available coach turning for him. His carnival like performance of Kiss Daniel’s “Laye” at the Knockout also got him a direct ticket for the Battles. Maintaining his winning streak, when paired with powerful singer Vanilla, he was outstanding during the duo’s funky performance of “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars which got him to the Live Shows.
29 year old Anu landed on the scene with her commanding performance of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Balls” getting three judges turning for her during the Blinds before she settled for Waje. During the Knockouts, despite her powerful performance of Ariane Grande’s “God Is A Woman” got Waje was about sending her to the danger zone before Yemi quickly stole her granting her straight passage to the Battles. When Yemi paired her up with medical doctor Toeseen at the Battles to deliver a compelling performance of Rihanna’s “Stay”, she came tops and secured her place at the Live Shows.
Youngest finalist and multi-talented rapper Kpee has also been a delight on the show with his artistic versatility. The 20 year old came to reckoning during the Blinds accompanied by his mom with his performance of “Sofa” by Kiss Daniel. Though Waje and Falz had turned for him with Waje pleading earnestly to coach him, the youngster opted for Falz. Living up to the expectations, he continued to wade through the waters, performance after performance. It was a very interesting twist during the Knockouts, as after a great performance of “Risky” by Davido, Falz was about sending Kpee to the danger zone when Darey quickly stole him. Falz had earlier stolen the highly talented Dapo from Falz, in a move that appeared to have balanced the tilt. When Darey paired Kpee with Rachel to deliver the award winning Dbanj song, Oliver Twist, Kpee gave an excellent account of his craft with a highly entertaining performance which saw him through to the Live Shows.
Esther first drew attention with her delivery of “Rise Up” by Andra Day, getting three coaches turning for her before she surprisingly settled for team Darey despite making Waje cry on the show. She has since been a great addition on the show with her powerful deliveries stage after stage. During the Knockouts, with an impressive performance of the classic “Flying Without Wings” by Westlife, she advanced to the Battles. Following her battle against Jeremiah with an inspirational performance of Teni’s “Uyo Meyo” she made it to the Live Shows.
Two of the 8 talents dropped during the Battles would also be saved by the viewers votes, and are expected to join the lucky eight at the Live Shows.
Show Sponsors, First Bank in a statement by its Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney, restated that, “The Voice Nigeria is a Reality TV show designed to discover and promote talented singers to actualise their dreams of becoming international stars; and this aligns with First Bank’s commitment to providing a platform for nurturing and showcasing talents and driving social cohesion.
The Financial giant added further that: “Its support for the Voice Nigeria is a demonstration of First Bank’s commitment to contributing to the projected revenue of US$86m by 2021 from the Nigeria’s music industry aimed at promoting a diversified economy in line with the Federal Government’s diversification policy.
– Israel Bolaji-Gbadamosi