Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Comedy Show That Is Idols East Africa 2008

The Idols East Africa talent search show is in town – and what a show it is! It should have been dubbed the Stand Up Comedy Show. The phrase ‘all walks of life’ takes on a whole new meaning in IEA. They all gave it a shot, the good the bad and the downright wacky. And they all deserve Kudos for trying.

There were contestants and contestants. And then there was Samuel Njuguna. The guy walked in roofed in a long weird blond wig which badly needed some brushing. Says he sings in soprano and the wig would give him the much needed psychological boost to perform better. I wonder whether he carried it from home and wore it at the last minute, or he wore it at home and came to KICC looking like that.

Zadok was the undisputed king of Bravado. He breezed in and declared that he’s already a star. ‘yeah, me I’m already a star you know, I’m already a star’. He soon learned that too much attitude does not an idol make. He was kicked out by an all judge unanimous vote - just three words into his song. He was that bad.

Confidence oozing Maureen Otieno must have thought it was an ODM colour co-ordination show. She came in wearing orange shoes, orange belt, orange top and huge orange earrings. And some dark jeans. You’d be forgiven if you mistook her for an ODM youth-winger. For all her confidence she could not sing. But she had some sexy dance moves.

Top prize for the wackiest goes to one Kevin Munyi. He came in with an attitude straight from hell and got straight into the business of mocking the judges. Dude is in a singing audition yet he says he can’t sing! His mother is depressed and his father is broke. He was in the competition to change the world. Crazy chap. But behind all that attitude lies a very good guitar player. He strummed a fluent melody with the guitar placed behind his head. Kevin struck me as a disturbed young man who may need some psychological evaluation.

It’s sad that nearly all contestants in Nairobi performed so dismally. I believe many would have stood a better chance singing songs closer home. Not the likes of Manyake, Nyundo Yangu and I’m not sober, but surely there is a lot of good Kenyan Music to choose from? Eric Wainaina for example? Nyota Ndogo? Susan Owiyo? Achieng Obura? The youngsters mostly chose music from performers like Chris Brown, Alicia Keys, West Life and the train wreck that is Britney Spears. The only one who tried to get African sang some sort of traditional song which was an equally bad idea.

The IEA vibrato and falsetto judges are all guilty of copying to the very last full stop American Idol’s Simon Cowel, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. In the AI set up Randy is the good old doug who gives the real picture, Paula is the sweet mama with compliments for everyone and anyone but mostly the cute boys, Simon is the brutally honest one who by the way happens to give some very concrete advise to those who care to listen. Angela Angwenyi and TK are not copying too badly but Scar is by far the worst copy cat. Ok he plays the Simon Cowel nasty judge role but that is no excuse for him to sit there and look so thoroughly bored - like someone forced him to be in the show. He forgets that Simon, as mean as he is, actually says something. Simon has a real eye for talent and predicts winners rather successfully. For example he predicted Fantasia Barrino’s win very early in the Season 3 competition.

He has predicted a win for 17 year old cutie pie David Archuleta. I couldn’t agree with him more. That boy is a sure winner.


Anonymous said...

hahahaha ati the train wreck that is Britney spears lol!

Taabu said...

Ciku wacha kuharibu CV ya watu. That said you are right our shores suffer acute lack of AUTHENTICITY. Starting from leadership premised on 1960 models when villager academic heroes considered all else dimwit to the comedy of errors in entertainment.

But they are not alone. Look even the IEA thingy is itself cut-and-paste. No roginality and the African Neos and C Browns are shaming all and sundry. You are right on average we suffer a national attitude problem and soon we will join our brodas up west.

PS: Biggy Achieng Abura can roll effortless the mass not withstanding, ama? Simon Cowel dropped out of seco but knows his trade albeit after nepotism from his dad.

Anonymous said...

hahaha! wanjiku my sister you are now doing me justice! this is what i like!!

and how do you know i wasnt maureen otieno with the orange clothes?! please usiniharibie jina!! odm youth winger!! lol

HLumiti said...

That is the EA Idlers day out.

There is plenty of singing talent in East Africa and this Idols thing did not ‘search’ for it. Certainly not show casing it. The show is a tasteless mockery of our young performing artistes. And I mean the real ones engaged in artistic work. That this weird lot was screened from out of the alleged thousands who turned up for auditioning points to a major lack of skill in the technical team. And for sure, that panel of judges is a pathetic set of apes that will not inspire anyone.

Celtel and the Idols franchise holder need to get their act together next time. Wakati huu, they can go on and waste their money because the show is rubbish by any standard.

Wanjiku Unlimited said...

Mrembo you may be many things but an ODM young-winger?! No way!

Taabu I didn't know Simon Cowel dropped out of seco. Thanks for the info.

Mwangi said...

I think Idols Africa is so sad......where was the Mugiithi artist, Baraka za Mungu, the Taarab singer from Coast?

I think at times Kenyans forget that Africa will never beat the West at games they invented and continue to refine day in day out.

One of the only ways we can compete is by doing our own thing and doing it well.
BTw where the hell was the Eric Wainaina 'Kenya Only' song? I think a lot of the chaps in Kenya need to leave and come to the diaspora to see just how lucky they are from a cultural perspective.

Wanjiku Unlimited said...

Mwangi sometimes the way I see those judges they will laugh at any contestant who tries Mugithi or Taarab. That's the tragedy of the whole Idols East Africa thing - the judges don't know what they're looking for. Angela Angwenyi kept telling contestants to sing the chorus of 'I will always love you' by Whitney Houston. And yet a song like 'Kenya Only' among others could also showcase vocal ability if that is what she was looking for.