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Nigerian Idol S9: Divas, Divos Night as David Garland, Gracia exit

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THE excellence and resolve on the Sunday night live show last weekend are some of the many reasons why Nigerian Idol has captured the hearts of millions of audiences all over the country.
   It was the third Live Show for this season nine (S9) and the dreamers were set to unleash their innate superstars abilities, as they pay homage to music legends on the night through the theme Divas and Divos Night, thus showcasing the drama, flamboyance and personality of the Divas and Divos they truly are.
   Just when the night live performances were set to commence, palpable tension dominated the atmosphere at the venue where the music reality contest was being broadcast live from somewhere around Ikeja, Lagos.
   The tension created following the show host, IK Osakioduwa’s announcement that the duo of Gracia and David Garland would be evicted from the competition after they amassed the least number of votes amongst the top nine contestants. The announcement caught the judges off guard as they expressed shock over the news, thus questioning how Nigerians vote, given the last set of evictions.
   The night started with Chioma’s performance of Tina Turner’s Proud Mary, which she delivered very well. As a vocal powerhouse, she brought the groove to the stage, executed choreography without compromising her vocal delivery, and gave the judges exactly what they needed to ease into a tension-filled night.
   The rock and roll anthem became a signature song for Turner, peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance – Female in 1972.
   Stevie’s performance of Jackson 5 hit song Who’s Loving You, was a journey as he kept the party going with the classic. From the killer intro to his use of falsetto, he brought the theatrics he’s known for to the stage and truly performed like a Divo.
  The upbeat and soulful track was released in 1969 as part of the album Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1970 and showcased the young Michael Jackson’s incredible vocal talents.
   On this episode, Mira Clear gave a glimpse into her soulful side with her electrifying performance of Mary J. Blige’s Be Without You. Her voice and style which she fused to create her own stage presence, vocal delivery, and audience engagement were some of the many things the judges commended her for on the night.
   The 2005 heartbreak anthem from the album, Breakthrough became a massive hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song also won the Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 2007.
   Going for the ultimate diva anthem, Lady Ruth brought delicateness to the stage as she breezed in and out of her notes while performing Mariah Carey’s 1997 all-time hit, My All, from her sixth studio album, Butterfly. The single dominated the charts, spending a record-breaking 15 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
    Like a divo, Platinum ticket winner Chima brought suaveness to the stage as he commanded the audience in Stevie Wonder’s Lately, a song released in 1981 for his 19th studio album, Hotter than July. The touching ballad became a massive hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified Silver in the UK.
  With a smooth and soulful approach, Chima’s diction runs, even as his range explored with his vocals effortlessly in what was tagged one of the best performances of the night.
   As much as the night brought memorable performances, Lammy and Maio struggled to keep up on a night riddled with excellent show of talent from most of the contestants.
   Performing Bryan Adams’ Everything I Do (I Do It For You), Lammy brings a touch of masculinity to the theme. The powerful rock ballad released in 1991, was originally written for the soundtrack of the Kevin Costner film, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and also part of Adams’s sixth studio album, Waking Up the Neighbours.
   It became a global phenomenon, topping charts worldwide and winning the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture or Television in 1992.
   Maio’s performance of Michael Jackson’s Heal the World, was considered inspirational. Released in 1992 from his eighth studio album, Dangerous, the song became one of Jackson’s most beloved anthems, promoting peace and unity. The single reached number two in the UK Singles Chart and peaked at number 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
   Despite their powerful performances on the night, David Garland and Gracia were evicted from the singing competition following their inability to poll enough votes to keep them on the music reality show. Their eviction left the judges speechless.
   David Garland’s delivery of Celine Dion’s emotional masterpiece I Surrender was a befitting goodbye as he took the audience through a journey with his vocal performance. Released in 2002 as part of the album, A New Day, the power ballad topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and received positive reviews from music critics.
  Gracia absolutely stole the show with her sassy performance and incredible stage delivery of Patti LaBelle’s Lady Marmalade, a 1974 hit. The song received a major resurgence in popularity after being featured in the 2001 film Moulin Rouge!
  Featuring Christina Aguilera, Pink, Mýa, and Lil’ Kim, the iconic version reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was also a number-one hit in the UK. Lady Marmalade was the ninth song to reach number one by two different musical acts in America.

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