I’m not sure where I heard this adage, or if my smartass mind conjured it up, but it is said that you shouldn’t praise a thing too much, or something like that, because the head will now coman be swelling and fall your hand (okay, it must have been in my mind). The shows from the just-concluded weekend seemed rather underwhelming, perhaps too underwhelming for a pre-final, and a far cry from what should obtain at this point. It would seem like someone carried the MTN Pfame 9 show and did a throwback to about five weeks ago, when the contestants were still struggling to find themselves.
Saturday was supposed to be elimination night, but of course, eliminations had stopped since last week, so we had fresh (or what should have been fresh) performances by the ‘Super Six’. I sat on my favorite couch, sipping zobo and making excuses for the seeming weakness in their voices, for the slightly flat notes, for the self-absorbed performances that lacked color, and for what looked in shape and size like an ‘ojoro’ at the end ( There’s a reason my eyes are this big). The excuse I managed to come up with was along the lines of stress. They sang the ‘Champion Song’ at the beginning of the show with all their hearts and might. They screamed and wailed and jumped and cried, gave it their best and then some, and had everyone on their feet, screaming after them. Heck, they even announced the hosts, all atop their voices. Then you call them all to come and sing after that, and all you get is dreary-dreary-tayad-tayad.
Don’t they sing group songs every elimination show, abi? Of course they do, just that they don’t all come to perform afterwards. Only those on probation do, and when this happens they empty their bodies, spirits and souls into their performance because they do not want to go home. I mean, what greater motivation is there than an elimination? Take that away, and watch as shoulders sag and voices crack upandan.
The ‘ojoro’ was in the kind of song and props that Elizabeth, who has suddenly become a fans’ favorite in a space of days, was given. I have begun to observe a trend with her assigned songs; songs that sell themselves already namely Ijoya by Weird MC, Standing Ovation by Tiwa Savage, Work by Rihanna, Man-down by Rihanna, Love Don’t Care by Simi … songs that either cause you to boogie because of their energetic rhythm, or cause you to emote because there is no other way around them. But how do you emote to Hips don’t lie by Shakira, or Bounce Along? So, of course, Elizabeth was set up to slay; has been for a while now, but we just didn’t realize it. This is not taking anything away from her confidence and stage presence, but you can’t give unequal sorts of songs and props and expect everyone to be placed on a level playing field.
The summation of the entire story-story is that Elizabeth came and slayed on Saturday, and hers was the only outstanding performance of the night.
Nomination night had them performing duets, and these were perhaps the most unexciting PF duets I have watched in a while (and I have watched SEVEN seasons). The pairings were awkward for their voice types, and there was barely any chemistry between the singers. Even their intros seemed like a joke, each person trying to outshine the other. I was going to ask my screen where the love was, then I remembered I wasn’t Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas.
But first, let’s even talk about the ‘MTN Projection’, Dolapo, who was called up to perform at the beginning of the show. Dolapo auditioned at Ibadan, and made such an outstanding fool of herself that the video went viral. At this point in the competition, bringing her on stage for the comic relief was perhaps the biggest mistake of the season. Yes, we laughed, mostly out of shame for her even though we already knew it was all planned, but still, it seemed like the sanctity of our revered PF stage was desecrated. I mean, really? She had to put her shoes on her head at some point, and spiral without control. You could read my sentiments in Bibi Brew’s eyes. It was not hilarious, it was horrible!
Back to the last set of performances, we had back-to-back covers of old Nigerian classics (how many times would we do Classics in one season?). Winner was first with Na poor I poor which became a bore quickly, Pere came next and lit up the stage with Feso jaiye and Yoruba dance moves to match, Okiemute followed and did a Fela on Nike Nike. The next set of performances followed the same pattern, but for some unknown reason, was separated. When Elizabeth hit the stage with Mario, and Kitay came on stage to dance with her, I knew the ojoro was real. Okay, ask the average PF follower, and they would tell you they love the Kitay-Elizabeth relationship. They would probably go on to say they loved one because of the other. Now, introduce Kitay into Elizabeth’s performance, where she sings for him and calls him her Mario, and what you have done is simply set them up for more love, at the expense of everyone else. Kitay was obviously next, and made a hilarious performance out of a rather boring song Aunty Bisi. Then Dapo came and wowed us in his very dramatic Baba costume, with Salome. His was perhaps the best performance of the night, and we all stood to rock with him.
You bet my predictions for this week have changed. And because this is the final week, these are my final predictions, based on what has suddenly become the fad in PF world:
Elizabeth seems to be turning heads and getting all the love lately, so it isn’t farfetched to predict her for the win. Kitay or Okiemute would follow closely. Pere is almost certain for a fourth, Dapo for a fifth and Winner for a sixth.
Following from everything I’ve complained talked about on this episode, I ask myself, what exactly determines a person’s win after all? Isn’t it Uncle Ben and his choice of songs? Unless you’re Christian from Season 7, who knows how to turn every song into something special, you are probably limited by the style of songs you’re given. Some songs would blow even in the hands of a five-year-old, and it isn’t fair that such songs are given to some contestants at the expense of others. But then again, who is certain about anything? Even I, Chief Executive Predictor and Gburugburu Seer of the Federal Republic of Project Fame, cannot categorically tell you what it would be in the next seven days, for my eyes, big as they are, fitn’t behold that far. Beht—and this is a serious beht—just in case these predictions work, you know where to find me. I only take car and cash gifts, the recession is real.
By Ife Olujuyigbe
(See the other MTN Pfame 9 reviews done by Ife HERE. )
Words Are Work … and fun too!