This weekend proved to be bittersweet for contestants on the MTN Y’ello Star music reality TV show as four of the show’s finalists had their dreams of winning the debut season cut short, while the rest continued their journey to stardom.
Of the five finalists put up for eviction last week, Rael became the first finalist to be relegated on the show. Dave Willz, Melody, joined her and Uzezi, while G-Isaac who garnered 46% of the votes cast was saved.
Before leaving the show, the four relegated finalists had the chance to perform one last time, doing a medley of popular reggae songs. In a rather happy twist, they were all offered the opportunity to stay on and complete their certification program with both the Henley Business School and the Berklee College of Music, which they all accepted.
Reacting to this move, show judge and music superstar Banky W praised MTN for “making sure that empowerment remains key on the show”. He further expressed his delight with the show’s format saying, “It’s not just about winner-takes-all, but about helping this generation (of talents) achieve something and I am proud to be a part of this.”
With eviction proceedings done, each of the remaining 10 finalists performed a reggae song and was rated on a scale of 1 to 10. Jesse Drumz, who was first to perform, scored seven points for his delivery of Lucky Dube’s House of Exile, which Banky W commended as one of his strongest performances so far.
Fay Fay Diamond, who performed next, chose Waje’s ‘I Wish’ and scored 8.3 for a solid rendition, which co-judge Omawumi applauded. Waje had another of her songs, a collaboration with 2baba performed by Freeborn who scored a 9.5, the highest for the night. The rest of the contestants performed songs from Wizkid, Skip Marley, Patoranking and other well-known artistes.
Having had all their previous points cleared, Freeborn and Caesar ended Saturday night top of the leaderboard with 9.5 and 9.3 points respectively while Storm was at the bottom with 5.3 points.
During the eighth episode, which aired on Sunday, November 29, the finalists gave soulful renditions of songs from the likes of Bill Withers, James Brown, Calvin Harris, John Legend and Marvin Gaye. Their performances were scored on a scale of 1 to 20, with Gideon and Freeborn earning the highest scores of 19 points each for their respective performances of ‘Your Smile’ by Tjan and ‘It Must Have Been Love’ by Roxette.
Jesse Drumz who performed ‘Sexual Healing’ by Marvin Gaye scored the least points with 14 points and was joined on the bottom-five list by G-Isaac, Storm, David Garland and the duo of Oiza and Meyi; making it G-Isaac’s second appearance on the eviction list. On the other end, Freeborn and Caesar who gathered the most points from both nights’ performances maintained their top-two spot.
While sharing feedback with the finalists, guest judge Olisa Adibua reminded them that they needed to bring their A-game to every performance, as they were now at the critical stage of the show. Also responding to a question from the show’s host Tobi Bakre about what ensures a music celebrity stays ‘blown’ in the industry, Olisa said there has to be a quality mark that such artistes don’t go below in order to keep their fan base happy.
The show’s bottom five are up for relegation and voting ends on Wednesday by 12 midnight. The evicted finalists would be announced at the next gala show, which will air on Saturday on Urban TV, Soundcity TV, Nigezie and Fashion TV between 6–7 pm.