By Ayo Onikoyi
The world acclaimed number one singing reality TV show, X Factor brought to Africa by leading telecommunications company, Globacom, reached another exhilarating crescendo as the 9 contestants who survived the boot camp to go the distance in the final run for the N24 million prize money performed live in Lagos on Tuesday before an enthusiastic crowd made up of their family members, Globacom executives, the media and members of the public.
Though the final battle for the prize money is among the 9 contestants, three groups and 6 solo artistes, which began their live performances on Tuesday to vie for viewers’ votes to remain in the competition, the war may just be won among the judges who mentored them.
Immediately the judges were announced to come on stage by the delectable on-air personality, Toolz, who was the anchor person for the night, one could feel the cold war palpitating among the judges; Onyeka Onwenu, Reggie Rockstone and MI as each made his opening speech by rooting for the artistes they have mentored.
First on stage was the Ankara boi, 23-year-old Michael Inalegwu Ogah, a law graduate of University of Abuja mentored by Onyeka Onwenu and the Otukpo, Benue State-born rising star did not disappoint. Besides Onyeka who passed his act of the night the two other judges, Reggie and MI also concurred.
Next to thrill the audience was 49 year-old Princess Pat Mohie who did a rendition of Tina Turner’s ‘What love gotta to do with it’ to a rousing acceptance from the audience. M.I. as the mentor had only glowing words for the Isoko-born contestant just as Reggie also concurred but not Onyeka who slammed the artiste’s choice of song. That was the first missile of the night thrown by the veteran singer but M.I. will later prove to have a long memory.
The entertaining night continued seamlessly with Bayelsa State-born Vickie mentored by Onyeka. Even though she got Onyeka’s and Reggie’s pass mark, M.I got his pound of flesh back by berating the artiste’s act and her throaty rendition of Whitney Houston’s “Where Do Broken Hearts Go’.
While the other contestants, Eshun, DNA Twins,Pheel, DJ Switch, Symphony and Smooth Boiz gave stimulating performances to the admiration of the audience the real war of words existed between the judges who, while protecting their mentored artistes reserved some acidic comments for the artistes of other mentors.
Reggie Rockstone was particularly looking lucky on the night because his artistes were getting positive nods from other judges until the Symphony group, from Ghana came on stage with their rather off-key costumes which was attacked by M.I. Even Reggie himself agreed there was something comical about their costume and exonerated himself from choosing it for the group.