How Nigerian Idol fares among top reality shows in Nigeria

How Nigerian Idol fares among top reality shows in Nigeria/Skabash

Nigerian Idol Season 7 premiered on Sunday, February 6, 2022, with first-time judges, Simi and D’banj joining IK Osakioduwa and Obi Asika to pick the successor of Kingdom Kroseide. 

In Season 6, Kroseide emerged the winner after an intense musical contest involving over 3000 contestants from across the country, with over 16 million votes recorded at the grand finale.

Following the completion of the online registration, physical auditions involving close to 5000 participants took place in November 2021 with the shortlisted contestants hooking up with the judges in February for the show proper.

The viewers are not left out as they can follow Nigerian Idol every Sunday on AM Showcase (DStv channel 151), AM Urban (DStv channel 153 & GOtv Supa channel 6) and AM Family (DStv channel 154 & GOtv channel 2) from 7 pm. All the auditions from day one and the behind-the-scenes episode on Nigerian Idol extra, are aired daily on DStv channel 197 and GOtv channel 29.

Nigerian Idol is a music television show that premiered in October 2010 and aired on 15 channels across Africa. It is a local version of the Idols franchise that was first shot and produced in Stockholm, Sweden. The show is making its comeback after a six-year break.

Onyekachi Onwuka, aka Yeka Onka, won the first edition of the show. The 26-year-old was rewarded with the sum of N7.5m, a contract with Sony Music, a car and an all-expense-paid trip to South Africa.

Kroseide, who won the last edition, got N30m, a recording deal, a brand-new SUV, a weekend getaway for two to Dubai, and an all-expense-paid trip to Seychelles.

But how does Nigerian Idol compare to other A-list reality shows in the country? Let’s see the outcome of the heavyweight fights!

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Nigerian Idol vs Project Fame 

Project Fame, aka Project Fame West Africa or, for sponsorship, MTN Project Fame West Africa, is a music talent TV reality show filmed in Lagos and aired in other parts of the subcontinent. The show was created to find new and young talents from Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, groom and give them all the support they need to get to the apex of their career.

This show, which began in 2008, exposes the contestants to the very best professional training, including voice training, stage presence, songwriting, etc., from the leading specialists in the music industry. A winner emerges after about eight gruelling weeks of training and exceptional performance in the academy.

However, the show came to an unexpected end in 2016 as MTN pulled the plug on it. Thankfully, a new episode tagged, MTN Project Fame Season 10, will probably premiere in October 2022. Auditioning will take place in Abuja, Benin, Calabar, Enugu, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, and Lagos.

Contestants are expected to see the likes of Joseph Benjamin and Bolanle Olukani as hosts and Praize, Tee-Y Mix, and Bibie as judges. Faculty members include Joke Sylvia, Lovett Otegbola, Dupe Ige and Ben Ogbeiwi.

You can log on to the Project Fame website for more information and how to apply.

Star ‘product’

The programme is notorious for churning out winners who end up making little or no impact in the industry. After nine seasons, only Iyanya (season 1) and Chidinma (season 3) have made waves in music. Season 5 winner, Ayoola, is doing well as an actor, though.

Any sore points?

None we can think of except ironically. In a show of this magnitude, the judges and the viewers want to see contestants who know how to sing, someone who is original, and confident. Someone who stands out from the crowd and who is prepared to answer questions thrown at him or her. Someone who can face a camera and an audience. But from the first edition to the latest, we have seen people who want to sing but can’t sing. You could call them wannabe Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Michael Jackson, Onyeka Onwenu and you would be spot-on.

Who wins the ‘battle of voice’ between Nigerian Idol and Project Fame?

Both shows aim to unearth musical talents and build the creative spirit of young Nigerians. But in this Thrilla, not in Manila, Project Fame won by technical knockout after Nigerian Idols’ organisers asked the referee to stop the ‘bout’ in the 14th round, one round to the end of the ‘fight’.

Nigerian Idol vs The Voice Nigeria

The Voice is an American singing reality competition television series that got premiered as The Voice Nigeria on April 10, 2016. After two seasons (2016 and 2017), the show went on a break before making a comeback on Saturday, March 27, 2021, for Season 3.

In Season 3, the live shows started on July 3, 2021, with 12 artists performing in front of the coaches and a live audience for a spot in the next round. Two artists per team advanced, one from the judge’s choice and the other from public votes. In week two, all eight upcoming musicians performed for a spot in the semifinals. In week three, the top six performed for a chance to be crowned the winner. After a keenly contested competition, Esther Benyeogo emerged victorious. She got a cash reward of N10 Million, an SUV, and a recording contract from Universal Music Group.

The coaches, whose job is to critique artists’ performances and guide their teams of selected artists through the competition, were Darey, Falz, Waje, and Yemi Alade. The programme was hosted by Nancy Isime, and Toke Makinwa served as the co-host during the blind auditions. Stephanie Coker hosted the Red Room from the Live Shows.

Star ‘product’

None for now. Season 1 winner, A’rese, had to switch to the screen as her music career failed to fly. She appeared in the hit series Tinsel, and between 2017 and 2018 she played the lead role of Senami Minasu in the TV series Jemeji.

Season 2 winner, Idyl released his debut single, “Better Love” and a solo “Owami” in 2018. In 2019, he had a duet with South Africa’s Rowlene Bosman for the track, “Satisfy Me”. “Iyoro”, which he rendered in his local Ijaw language, came later that year. He struggled to make an impact on the music industry despite releasing two singles, “Bi’ Seyler” and “Cut My Liver” in 2020.

Any sore points?

Unlike Project Fame, we are fortunate not to encounter “musicians” who can’t sing as pre–Blind Auditions are not broadcast live.

Who wins the ‘battle of voice’ between Nigerian Idol and The Voice Nigeria?

Nigerian Idol “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” in this heavyweight title bout. A combination of a left jab and uppercut left The Voice Nigeria for dead in the sixth round.

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Nigerian Idol vs Gulder Ultimate Search

How Nigerian Idol fares among top reality shows in Nigeria/Skabash

Gulder Ultimate Search (GUS) is a local content, survival reality TV show sponsored by Gulder, a lager beer produced by Nigerian Breweries Plc. Created in 2004, the GUS has had 11 seasons with a celebrity edition done in 2010.

Picture adventure movies done predominantly in a jungle, like Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Jungle Book, Fitzcarraldo, Tarzan, King Kong, Predator, and Death in the Garden minus gunfights or being haunted by a beast. You have GUS. Here, the contestants battle under harsh conditions in search of a hidden treasure. The challenges usually include wading through rivers or a simple act of swimming, tramping through thick forests in search of clues that point to the hidden treasure.

The weakest contestants leave the show one at a time until the last person standing finds the hidden artefact.

Since its inception, the programme has had three presenters. They are Chidi Mokeme, Bob-Manuel Udokwu, and Toke Makinwa.

The latest edition, after a seven-year hiatus, was aired between October 16 and December 19, 2021. The edition themed ‘The Age of Craftmanship’, saw Odudu Otu fend off competitions from 17 other contestants to cart home N50m worth of prizes, an SUV, and a return ticket to Dubai.

Star ‘product’?

There has not been a ‘first among equal’ star from the programme. Previous winners like Ugo Egwuagwu, Dominic Mudabai, Kunle Remi, Chris Okagbue, and Dennis Okike have become celebrities in their rights, attracting sponsorship deals from corporate bodies.

Any sore points?

Like the movie referenced above, there was death, this time, in the jungle during the fourth season of the show. At Shere Hills of Jos, Plateau state the venue of ‘The Search for the Golden Age’, a contestant, Anthony Ogadje, drowned in a lake. The 25-year-old was crossing a lake in a boat when he fell and drowned. The programme was suspended regarding the deceased. Ogadje held a bachelor’s degree in Geology from Delta State University.

Did Gulder Ultimate Search beat Nigerian Idols to the hidden artefact?

With 12 epic seasons streamed on air, the GUS reality show is one of the most-watched reality TV series in Nigeria before it went on break in 2014. The audience’s interest in the programme hasn’t waned, as witnessed on its return in 2021. But in a duel with Nigerian Idols, which we tag the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’, GUS doesn’t survive an eight-round knockout!

Nigerian Idol vs Big Brother Naija

How Nigerian Idol fares among top reality shows in Nigeria/Skabash

Big Brother Naija is a reality television series based on the Big Brother franchise, where contestants stay in an isolated house to compete for an immense sum of money and other material prizes.

Housemates are closely monitored the entire day on cameras to know how adaptable they are to the highs and lows that encompass daily existence in life. Periodically, they are required to nominate fellow housemates for the weekly eviction show. The unfortunate cohabitant with the most votes is announced and the viewers are invited to vote. Thereafter, the one with the most votes will be evicted in a weekly show aired on Sunday evenings. The last person standing is declared the winner.

The first season was aired on M-Net and DStv Channel 37 between March 5 and June 4, 2006. The latest edition was held in 2021.

Star ‘product’

No one stands out here as previous winners of the show have remained household names in the country. From Katung Aduwak to Hazel ‘Whitemoney’ Onou, the past winners have something unique up their sleeves to compete and excel in any endeavour.

Any sore points?

All the heated fights and exchanges of insults and curses between housemates in the years only help propel the Big Brother Naija appeal among its fans.

Who wins between Nigerian Idol and Big Brother Naija?

According to the Guinness World Records, the fastest knockout in the history of boxing occurred on November 4, 1947. At a Golden Gloves tournament in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mike Collins knocked out Pat Brownson in four seconds. The ‘record’ would have been rewritten if Nigerian Idol had not endured more bashing from Big Brother Naija a second more!


Nigerian Idol started brightly as they saw off the challenges posed by The Voice and Gulder Ultimate Search. Another reality show couldn’t bite the dust as Nigerian Idol lost a keenly contested battle with Project Fame. It was all to play for in its last encounter with Big Brother Naija. But Nigerian Idol received the beating of its life to fan-favourite Big Brother Naija!

Two wins in four is not a poor return for Nigerian Idol, right? Kindly leave feedback in the comment section below.

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