The battle line is drawn. After 21 days of excruciating search in the jungle, a winner will emerge tonight in this year’s edition of Gulder Ultimate Search tagged: The Gatekeeper’s Fortune. This will draw the curtain on the job of the three Gatekeepers, Dominic Mudabai, Michael Nwachukwu and Christopher Okagbue.
Of the 12 contestants that entered the jungle late last month, only four possesses the staying power to see the competition to the end, and they are Nuhu Zigwayi, Paschal Eronmose, Adah James, and Onyinye Udodi. But who among them will emerge the Ultimate Man tonight? Meanwhile, the crown for the Ultimate Woman has been taken by Onyinye Udodi. Before then, it was a straight fight between her and Uzor, both being the remaining female contenders in the competition.
Not only will the Last Girl Standing get N1 million cash prize, irrespective of her other prizes, there is also the pride of being the Ultimate Woman. Other female contestants that paved the way for Onyinye as they were evicted along the line included Kofya Brown, Ayo Ojueromi, Bornford Patience and Priscillia Ezeh. Keen watchers of the show would have predicted that Patience, despite her small frame, would emerge the last girl standing because of her strength and mental alertness, she however ran out of steam when it mattered most.
However, Uzor crashed out of Gulder Ultimate Search 9 because of disobedience; thereby giving Onyinye an easy claim to the throne. Uzor was sent packing for relieving herself from the burden of the Stump of Shame, which she removed from her leg twice. It is forbidden for contestants to remove the Stump of Shame unless they are directed to do so by the anchorman, Chidi Mokeme, and this must be at the task location. Between Onyinye and Uzor Both Uzor and Onyinye are not new to being in the limelight. Uzor, a 27 year-old actress currently stars in Tinsel, about to wed and a few other TV soaps. On the other hand, Onyinye, 23, who hails from Anambra State, is a model and one-time Face of Anambra State.
Her sister, Chimaobi Udodi was a contestant in Gulder Ultimate Search 8: The Contest of Champions. Onyinye placed fourth in the first Gatekeeper’s task while Uzor was sixth. In the following day’s challenge, which was group based, Onyinye was part of the losing group while Uzor was part of the winning team. In the climb and dunk competition, in which contestants were expected to climb up a tree and dunk oranges in a basket, Onyinye outshone Uzor. While Onyinye put in eight oranges out of 10, Uzor could only dunk five. Uzor’s weakness was clearly manifested in the Raise Your Flag challenge; when she was paired alongside Nuhu Zigwayi.
The game involved the contestants going through an obstacle course, fetching braces in the process then fixing it on the skeletal frame of a ladder which they then climb on to raise a flag. Nuhu kept on dragging Uzor and at a point in time, she fell. Onyinye and her partner, Paschal Eronmose won the challenge. Onyinye was also part of the winning team in the Ladder of Pain task. Here, she inspired Paschal to victory in a game which tested the strength and endurance of contenders. Uzor on the other hand was part of the losing team.
Her partner, Nuhu, was the first to give up in the game. Even though, Gatekeeper Chris Okagbue was present, Nuhu and Uzor narrowly missed eviction. And for emerging victorious, Onyinye and Paschal were handed a calabash by the Council of Elders. According to the elders, the content of the calabash will aid the two contenders in their search. In the Gauntlet challenge, Uzor was part of the winning team while Onyinye was part of the team that lost. But then, she performed better than Uzor in the Puzzle of Doom.
Onyinye emerged fourth while Uzor placed sixth. In the Pot of Life challenge, where contenders were required to smash the pots of other contenders, thus marking their end in the games; Uzo placed sixth while Onyinye came 2nd. By Episode 19, the warriors had been down to seven. The Giant Crossworld puzzle required that three players should form two teams while the “rejected contestant” would serve both teams as a transporter. While Onyinye was made one of the teams, Uzor was not picked by any. And so, she had to play the role of transporter. Onyinye’s team eventually won the competition. In the challenge of the 20th episode, Onyinye finished 2nd, while Uzor finished 3rd. For the challenge of the 21st episode, both girls were grouped into two teams comprising three members each.
Onyinye’s team also won the competition. However, in games in which both female contenders were grouped in the same team, their side lost. The games were the Tug of War, Mudgby, and Human Raft. Speaking after her eviction, Uzor said: “My experience in the jungle was tough. I have to say it was really really, really tough. Yes, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but nobody said it was going to be this difficult. I probably gave up a thousand times everyday. I was like I think I’ve tried. I can’t kill myself. I think I’ve pushed myself beyond limits. Judging myself, I would say I did 120 per cent. I tried.
I could not do any of those things before. I’m sure nobody would expect that I would come this far on the quest. Because most of the times, I didn’t seem like the strong contender, who, you know, could beat them to it. I’m sure some people would say ‘yes, she got lucky’. It’s more than luck, I have grace, so amazing on my life.” Speaking further, she noted: “Everything is for real o, nothing is staged on Gulder Ultimate Search. It’s been amazing, I’m grateful to God, my family, Gulder, Nigerian Breweries and everybody who has been involved in this in one way or another.” And speaking on her emergence as the Last Girl Standing, Onyinye said: “It feels wonderful being the only girl in the gang.
It makes me feel like I’ve finally made it through, that I’m not like the other girls, or a weakling or something. It means a lot to me.” The grand finale will be shown tonight on Africa Independent Television, African Magic World (DSTV), Real Star (Star Times), Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC), and ITV, Benin at 10pm.