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Nigerian Idol S9: Tension, emotion high as theatre week cuts contestants down to 20

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FOLLOWING the three weeks of tasking audition process, only 72 singers out of the thousands of ‘Dream Chasers’ made it to the Theatre Week, the second phase of music reality show, Nigerian Idol Season 9, where the competition only gets hotter.
   Emotions were high as the theatre week gave the audience jaw-dropping chops on the contestants. The Week began with Omawumi informing everyone about the twist in the season’s second stage of the musical contest show. She stated that they (Judges) would have to make the biggest cut ever in the show, stressing that only 20 out of 72 contestants who got the golden tickets would make it to the next round.
   The information raised the stakes for contestants, making them realise the intense battles that lie ahead to make it as the next Nigerian Idol. During theatre week, the 72 singers who got golden tickets were paired and given specific songs to sing.
    Some performed their given songs excellently well while some did not. It was end of the road for those who could not impress the judges with their rendition as they could not proceed to the next stage. Only top 20 singers who perform excellently continue to the next stage where they will slug it out in a much tougher music battle.
   Southrain and Maio were the first pair to both get a pass to the next stage. They beautifully sang Sugarcane by Camidoh after scoring the song with voice coach, Lauretta Cookey. Their performance received commendations from the judges – Omawumi, Ric Hassani, and 9ice.
   Alfred Greatness and Kevwe Joshua were a perfect match as the judges were blown away and applauded the performance after they sang. 9ice commended them as the best performance he had seen so far during the episode.
   Omawumi added to the commendation, tagging them as an ‘unexpected progress.’ They gave the judges an unforgettable performance of the song Sign, Sealed by Stevie Wonder. Their duet was one of the best for the night, and they got a pass to the next round.
   Gracia, left partnerless, had to select through a ballot system a contestant from three platinum ticket holders to sing with. Since platinum holders were guaranteed passage through to theatre week, they wouldn’t be impacted by the outcome.
   Choosing Mikki, they performed When I First Saw You by Beyoncé and Jamie Foxx. Despite doubts from voice coach Tima Reece during rehearsals, their stage performance left a positive impression, earning a standing ovation from Omawumi and securing Gracia a spot in the next stage.
   While Tari, Mira Clear and Brammy advanced to the next round, it was a big round of applause for Teddy and Lammy as they are one step closer to their dreams of becoming the next Nigerian Idol. Their talent shone through, and they earned a spot in the next round.
   Yella, the other pair of Tari, could not advance to the next stage of the show as she failed to impress the judges with her part of the performance. The same fate befell Debbie and Tega whose rendition of Who Is Your Guy by Spyro featuring Tiwa Savage could not take the judges to their expectation. Hence they were shown the exit door.
   Though Da Bee and Sally wowed with their Monalisa performance, their journey on the music contest has ended despite their talent shining brightly.
   Stevie made it through to the next round, sadly it was journey ends for his pair Paul, whose twin Prosper, also on the show was sent packing for failure to impress the judges with their performances.
  With only 10 spots available in the live show, anticipations are running high, amid a mixture of emotions. The judges are expected to continue with the daunting task of selecting the top performers to advance to the live show stage which is expected to commence on Sunday, May 26.