GLO X Factor: The good, the bad and the ugly!

That GLO X Factor has come to give stiff competition to the existing reality shows in Africa and also open the eyes of its organisers would be saying the obvious.

After months of auditions, raw talents were scouted, nurtured and selected for the task ahead, then came grueling performances, shocks, disappointments, criticisms from the judges and heartbreaks after heartbreaks.

There were evictions every week, then the first ever X Factor show on the African soil came to a very successful end with a well-deserved winner in DJ Switch.

DJ Switch, real name Obianuju Catherine Udeh was last week crowned winner of the maiden edition of the X Factor singing reality show sponsored and organised under the tutelage of Nigerian’s telecom operator; GLO.

The Warri-born versatile artiste in all female-grand-finale beat her fiercest rivals; Ghana’s Eshun and Vicky from Nigeria to come on top. She survived several eviction shows, which saw six other contestants kicked out every week till the finales.

As I followed the show straight from its launched, I observed the following points which can help to shape the show in its subsequent editions.

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The good

There are many musical talents out there with less reality shows or shows like Glo X Factor to give them the needed opportunities to be discovered, nurtured as they work towards the realisation of their dreams. The introduction of GLO X Factor has been a dream come true for the many talents who auditioned.

It was also a dream come true to the nine finalists who were picked after the Boot Camp to be part of the show. It was a dream come true for the last three finalists and finally to DJ Switch, it has been a blessing.

Unlike the other singing reality shows, the X Factor was well produced, packaged and due diligence done to see to its success and I have no doubt in my mind that it was a major success.

I appreciate the level of work that went into the show in terms of media coverage throughout its duration. The tempo was upped during the show’s last month. This is commendable, especially when it had to fight for slots with other existing singing reality shows which followed the same airing patterns at the weekends and on almost the same television platforms.

The winner, DJ Switch took home the ultimate prize of $150,000 and other mouth-watering packages as well as a contract with Sony Music, which is ridiculously tempting, no wonder the audition recorded considerable number of talents both in Ghana and Nigeria venues.

Sony Music have churned out international stars like Beyonce, Chris Brown, Britney Spears and Alicia Key and the fact that they promised to put all their channels at the disposal of DJ Switch to take her to the next level as they have done for the aforementioned artistes means the GLO X Factor show is not just putting out talents without seeing to their advancement to the top.

The bad

Very often, whenever a concept of a foreign show is being replicated in Africa, everything about the show is copied ‘ditto ditto’, a mindset I think that must be discarded.

It’s not everything about a foreign show that can suit Africans. We should rather take the part which will enhance our growth and do away with the ones which are alien to us.

I feel that portions of the rules and regulations from the original show must be altered to suit us or if not they must be done away completely.

The GLO X Factor’s judges; Reggie Rockstone, Onyeka Onwenu and M.I. coached and mentored the contestants.

The nine lucky contestants who qualified to the Boot Camp were shared among the judges. Reggie Rockstone’s had underr his tutelage Smooth Boiz, DNA Twins and Symphony.

Onyeka Onwenu’s mentees included the contestants who were below 23 year—Vicky Gomoti, Ethel Esi Eshun and Ankara Boi. And Rapper M.I.’ took charge of contestants over 23—Princess Pa Mohie, Obianuju Udeh and Philip Tuya.

This was to enable the judges coach and guide them. They also helped in picking songs for them to suit their individual voices. Though it might seem like a good idea, I think it rather put lots of pressure on them because I felt their objectivity and verdict during evictions could be compromised.

How else do you expect a judge to genuinely comment on a contestant who he or she mentors? This stance brings about favouritism and puts some contestants at a disadvantage.

On that premise, I feel the contestants should be coached by different people all together, so that the judges partiality do not come to bear on their verdict.

The ugly

Of course when a man is put under so much pressure, he surely will find a way out of such a situation and that was exactly how the judges felt though they have not come out to say so.

The judges are humans also and on few occasions, one clearly observed that, they put their professionalism aside and allowed the fact that they mentor particular contestants to affect their general comments towards such contestants. It got worse when the contestants were part of the last two to sing for survival.

There were instances that each of the judges decided to straight away save their respective mentees and even comments that followed were not the best. Does that mean the other contestant is not good enough? I don’t think so.

We all understood why Onyeka Onwenu always saved Vicky whenever she was part of the last two. Taking away the coaching responsibilities from the judges will ensure that, they will have the peace of mind to give fair judgment on each contestant.

By Ebenezer Anangfio/Graphic Showbiz/Ghana
eanangfio@hotmail.com or tweet @anangfio

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