Crowd favourite and one of the top performers from the first performance show of Hymnodia, Rioja “Rio” Peter Opia, has been eliminated from the fast-growing reality programme.
Following the probation from the preceding stanza, Rioja and Rachael Darley returned the lowest votes from the public and had to do a sing-off head-to-head on the spot to determine who remained in the hunt for winning Hymnodia season one.
While Rachael rendered a solemn version of popular hymn Abide with me sitting on the steps, Rioja belted his hymn from a standing position, drawing applause from the audience. In the end, and following a 2-1 split decision, the Judges voted to retain Rachael in the Hymnstitute. Rachael’s good reward for her brilliant performance meant Rioja had to bow out of the contest before the self-compositions stage, despite his equally awesome performance.
Despite their decision, the Judges and the Dean saluted the quality that Rioja brought to the Hymnstitute but heaped the responsibility for his exit to the voting public who withheld votes from the duo forcing them into a battlenodia (battle) for survival.
Prior to the performance show, watchers of the programme had considered Rachael and Rioja as two of the frontline for Hymnodia which has been nicknamed the art of worship, for its commitment to reigniting the culture of hymn singing, hymn writing and hymn making.
Hymnviction (elimination) from Hymnodia is by public votes via an independent platform by Elfrique Limited and the process is audited by the reputable firm of Gbenga Badejo & Co. At the grand finale in April, the winner will go home with the Asaph (a specially designed award named after David’s chief musician), a brand-new car and N5 million.
Hymnodia, which will be an annual event, is a one-hour programme on Lagos Television (Channel 256 on DSTV, Channel 90 on GOtv and Channel 118 on Startimes) with a magazine show on same channels on Thursday evening. It is also streamed live online via the LTV App available on the app store and on the dedicated YouTube Channel Hymnodiahq.