After weeks of painstaking auditions held in Nigeria and Ghana, Top 9 contestants have emerged in the Glo X Factor music reality TV show. The finalists, who were unveiled yesterday on AIT, Soundcity, STV, AMC and V Channel, are now ready to slug it out for the N24 million grand prize offered by show sponsors, Globacom as well as a recording contract with Sony Music.
Among the wannabes are six solo singers and three groups. The solo singers include Ethel Esi Eshun, Michael Inalegwu Ogah, Philip Otuya, Mohie Patience Uyoyo Oghene, Obianuju Catherine Udeh and Victoria Ebi Gomoti. The groups are DNA Twins, Symphony and SmoothBoiz.
Viewers will have the opportunity of watching the unveiling of the Top 9 today (Sunday) on NTA at 5.00pm, WAP TV at 6.00pm, ONTV and Real TV at 7.00pm, TVC at 8.30pm as well as Kennis Music at 9.30pm. The contestants will now begin their live performances and vie for votes from the viewing public to remain in the competition.
X Factor is the world’s number one music reality TV show. It is designed to find new talents. It is contested by aspiring singers, drawn from public auditions and is open to all ages, sexes, styles, solo acts or groups. However, the difference between X Factor and other reality shows is that the judges also double as coaches for the various groups. It is peculiarly split in stages, following the contestants from auditions through to the booth camp, the judges’ homes and to the grand finale.
Bringing X Factor to Africa confirms Globacom as the leading force that connects the youths to their entertainment passion. “Africa has been yearning for a programme of this optimum quality and we are privileged to have made it possible,” Globacom said at the launch of the show. It added that Glo needed to do something special as part of activities marking its 10th anniversary, hence the gift of X Factor to entertain and delight its teeming subscribers across sub-Sahara Africa and the larger public. X Factor is a wave making show in major countries including UK, US, Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Spain.
The Top 9
Blair and Clinton Robert aka DNA Twins
Blair and Clinton Robert aka DNA Twins turned 17 on June 16. The twins come from a polygamous family of 13 children and attended Madonna Model Secondary School, Owerri, Imo State. They had just finished writing their final exams when the audition started and they decided to participate at the Abuja auditions. Their father used to be a wealthy man in London but he suffered a set back as things became tough financially. The twins then had to move into their uncle’s house.
“Our chances are bright. God has brought us this far, and we believe He will see us through. And we will do our best. We will work hard, have fun and make the crowd happy. We will be relying on our fans to vote for us,” the twins chorused.
Ethel Esi Eshun
Ethel Eshun, 21, dropped out after just two years in junior high school when her parents separated, which made her to move in with her mum. Ethel’s father lost his job and her mum was unemployed, so she could not continue her secondary education. She went to a computer school for six months but has not been able to further her education since then. Ethel has a five-year-old son who she had when she was 16. Her baby’s father wasn’t happy with her relationship with her son and forced them to break the relationship. Ethel hails from Accra, Ghana.
Michael Inalegwu Ogah aka Ankara Boi
23-year-old Michael, a law graduate of University of Abuja, entered the competition with his singing partner, Damola Boaz, a 500 level Engineering student of the same university. However, Damola pulled out of the show when his department was moved to Minna Campus of UniAbuja. Michael went solo and has made it to the Top 9.
Michael formed the group Ankara Boiz five years ago with Damola after he heard him playing a guitar and liked his performance. He is from Oturkpo, Benue State, and lives in Abuja.
Victoria Ebi Gomoti aka Vicky
Victoria Gomoti, 20, is from Biseni, Bayelsa State. She is a secondary school leaver but intends to further her education by studying Mass Communication in the university. Victoria whose parents divorced when her mum could no longer take the violence from her father would also love to pursue a professional course in music.
Victoria’s mum, who she says has made plenty of sacrifice for her, has been taking care of her single handedly. Vicky vows to do her best in the competition so that people will vote for her. She, however, prays God will help her do well. Right now, Vicky lives in Gbagada, Lagos with her younger brother.
Philip Otuya aka Pheel
Philip is 26-years-old and hails from Kwale, Delta State. Born into a large family of 12 children, he studied Industrial Relations and Personnel Management at University of Lagos. Pheel started singing at the age of nine in the church choir, and did his first recording in 2006. He has gone for different competitions and plans to make a career in music.
A Lagos-based R&B singer, Pheel says he respects every contestant in the show but “I am focused on coming out as number one. I want to be an example to young people out there, that you can chase your dream and make it no matter how long it takes.”
Mohie Patience Uyoyo Oghene
At 49, Mohie Patience Uyoyo Oghene aka Princess Pat is about the oldest among the contestants. She has been married to Patrick Mohie for 21 years. Together they have three beautiful daughters aged 18, 15 and 12. Prince Pat, who lives in Ikota, Lekki, Lagos, describes herself as “basically an all-round entertainment person”. And she is very right considering that she is a singer, songwriter, actress, gospel minister and scriptwriter. Princess Pat has also released a gospel album. She hails from Isoko South, Delta State while her husband is from Ogoja, Cross River State.
Obianuju Catherine Udeh aka DJ Switch
29-year-old rapper Obianuju Udeh adopted the stage name DJ Switch because of her versatility and ability to switch from one thing to another. She is from Udi, Enugu State, and studied Geology at University of Port Harcourt.
The rapper worked briefly with Halliburton and is now a professional DJ, who grew up in Warri, Delta State but now lives in Abuja. DJ Switch’s father is late and she is the last of eight children. “I have my trust in God. I believe everything happens the way it is meant to be and I am confident,” she says, adding that rap is her passion.
The story of The Symphony is quite inspiring. The members met each other at the audition queue in Kumasi, Ghana and decided to perform as a group instead of going into the competition as soloists.
The Symphony is made up of Solomon, 23, Nii Nortey, 21, and Silas, 24. Solomon is a student of Materials Engineering at Kwame Nkurumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, while Nortey is studying Industrial and Rural Art in the same institution. On his part, Silas is a product of University of Development Studies, northern Ghana.
“It has been very challenging considering that we didn’t know one another before and we have not been together for long, but we are united in our common goal. We hope to win a lot of Nigerian hearts along with the Ghanaian hearts,’ Solomon says.
The group, SmoothBoiz, is made up of 25-year-old Victor Simeon from Okpila in Edo State, Festus and David Oboh, respectively 24 and 23 year-old siblings, who hail from Ekpoma, Edo State, and Peter Godwin, 25, from Obiaruku, Delta State.
The guys came together during their secondary school days at Government College, Ikorodu, Lagos. A major motivation for the group was Victor, who lost one of his legs when a lorry ran over it a few years ago. So, the friends formed the group to help him raise money for prosthesis.
The friends who all live in Lagos now sing professionally at bars, clubs and functions. Sadly, Peter lost his father a few weeks ago but his friends say they will work harder in the competition for him.