Well well well. It had finally come down to the contestants who had been given the Audition Number 8416 versus Audition Number 8423. In other words, after the votes the previous weekend, Trinah had fallen by the wayside and the Finale was between Nicolette and Eric.
For Trinah, it had been a commendable feat since not every Tom, Harry and Dick can make the Idols Top 3. In fact, not every Trinah, Eric and Nicolette can make the Idols Top 3. But these particular ones had made the cut and thus anyone of them who walked, was not taking the literal Walk of Shame but a Walk of Fame. Felicitations are in order for Trinah. Clap clap clap.
But the surprises of this show are what made it so interesting. Despite all the emotions and anger and ecstasy, this show is just entertainment. No one needs to get philosophical or analytic. It is pointless to discuss whether the journey on Idols was a hallelujah trail or a Death March. It was simply, the television show, which was music to our ears.
So here they were: Nicolette and Eric vying to be declared the winner of Idols. Those who had placed bets on any other contestants to be in the Finale had been forced to eat humble pie, or at most, samosas the size of the Elemi Triangle.
The tension was palpable. Who would fall at the last hurdle? Who would blink first?
The eldest in the Top Ten facing off with the youngest. Two contestants with varied styles.
The smooth velvet sound of Nicolette accentuated by her constant smile had made some of us who had written her off be considered musically illiterate. It was not down to the Power of Collective Amnesia that Nico-Rocks made the Finale. It was due to her ability to bounce back when seemingly down and capture the imagination of voters with each next performance. You just couldn’t know what to expect from the girl.
When Eric took on Michael Jackson, he destroyed the myth that: Eric has no Plan B, only a superb Plan A. He knew his strong points but was not one to shy away from a challenge. He could single-handedly bring the audience to tears with his collective Five Senses. With his eyes as he opened them wide, with his voice as he belted out any tune, with his touch as he led the girl up to the stage and sang: When A Man Loves A Woman.
I should have a look at the Invitation Card to the Finale. It always stated that you should be Dressed to Thrill but this time everybody that mattered was Dressed to Kill. OK, except Judge Kawesa who in keeping up with his title, is independent from everything including the Fashion Sense.
The rest of the Top Ten were back. And how!
They got the party started in true music-fest style. When I saw the girls out in those shorts, I asked myself, “Self, given the chance, would you want to date each of these girls?” My self agreed!
It had been sad seeing some of these contestants leave especially those who went before their time: Samantha, Mkhululi and Ammara. And our hope is that they will soon bedazzle us with their new albums so that they never take the exit from our lives again!
The video clips played had a measure of hilarity especially when the Top Two took a glimpse at the Judges. Unlike chat talk when people, “I am laughing my ass off”, without laughing even once, we all shared a good laughter as Scar, TK, Angie and Kawesa became the butts of mimicry. Actually the laughter that erupted in the Bomas could be heard as far as Timbuktu.
Nicolette sealed her place as a Songbird with the Eva Cassidy hit before Eric took on Michael Bolton’s When A Man Loves A Woman.
Well, a lot can happen in 60 seconds. Nicolas Cage can steal your car, for one. Eric Moyo on the other hand, can leave you a quivering, teary-eyed wreck.
As if these Idols are not already immortals, Nicolette was back with ‘My Immortal’ which she delivered with perfection. Or so we thought.
Scar has been the basis of a recent University Thesis on whether coarse remarks from a Judge on a Reality TV show are a product of the metaphysics of melancholy and the entropic death of talent. But as every bespectacled, girlfriendless sci-fi aficionado will realize, Judges can have an off day, too and Scar was finding 90 minutes too long to live in, without upsetting one or two people. He stood in applause however when asked to redeem his night.
We now waited for the obligatory Angela abdication of judgment. Eric came back for Sondela and she said, not a single word, but stood and clapped.
One of my best memories of this Idols show was being away from Nairobi one Sunday and listening in on an awful mobile phone connection with a running commentary as I was informed, as Eric sang, that ‘Angela is smiling’.
Nicolette gave her all in Goodbye Baby as Eric also rounded off with This Is My Every Thing. The jury was still out on the two songs at the time we went to press. Tee hee hee.
The Best In The West were in the house as Eric and Omawumi gave us a glimpse of how they do it in the Wild Wild West of Africa. In true contrasting styles, Eric wore sunglasses in the dark theatre whilst Omawumi wore a short dress as she sang a long song. It was probably the time zones that brought on those sunglasses but ‘No one, no one’ could get me to love that rendition.
Now, if you were thinking this was a cliff hanger, which it was, Eric still had to sing a duet with Nicolette. Before the Lady In Red delivered the envelop to some inexplicable cheers. I wasn’t sure why but maybe people thought she deserved an award for managing to get into the dress. Lebo still milked the advertisers for all its worth by telling us that we would know the winner right after the break.
Well well well. You all know what happened next. Confetti ensued, tears were shed, hugs were given, the winner told Africa that he (not she) loves them, as people sung his (not her) praises - he (not she) sung again and then … (CUT!)