It was a night of unending excitement and a walk down memory lane as Nigerian Idol’s final 3 performed Nigerian songs including songs from Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. And despite her delightful performance last week on the Nigerian Idol stage, Najite El-David failed to get enough votes from the audience to keep her in the competition. She thus took her final bow on the competition earlier in the week. This reduced the chase for the 2012 idol crown to the last three final contestants – Mercy, Stephen and Joe Blue.

Mercy had emerged as the contestant with the highest vote. She was followed by Stephen Onoche and Joe Blue. Before leaving, Najite entertained the audience one last time, rendering the Bob Marley classic, Everything is Gonna Be Alright while the other finalists joined her on stage.

Meanwhile, the theme for this week is ‘Unplugged’. It was Nigerian Fusion meets Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s Afrobeat. The final three, Joe Blue, Mercy and Stephen, kept it intensely Nigerian by singing one song of the Afrobeat legend and another local song.

For the very first time on the Nigerian Idol stage, the performances were opened by the Top 3 contestants with a group song Water by Fela.

The last girl standing, Mercy, started the contest proper with her rendition of Victor Uwaifo’s ‘Joromi’. It was an exotic display of her vocal dexterity. She later rounded up her performance for the night with a superlative version of Fela’s song, Zombie.

Next was Stephen Onochie, who entertained the audience with the performance of Flavour’s Adanma. And for the second time that night, he performed another of Fela’s classics Gentleman. To wrap up the first round of performances Joe Blue teased the audience with the classic Adaure. His last performance of the night was an elaborately orchestrated version of Fela’s immensely popular, Palava bringing down

the house with his very energetic and innovative performance.

To guest judge is none other than Femi Kuti, Grammy award nominee and first son of the Afrobeat legend, Fela, while guest performers for the night, Jesse Jags and Black Magic. wowed the audience with individual performances.

The winner of the show will be unveiled at a grand gala in April where A-list international artistes are expected to perform. The winner will go home with the grand prize of $100,000 including a management and recording contract. The winner also gets an SUV and many other prizes; including gifts from lead sponsor Etisalat.

—Funsho Arodundade