The Road to Stardom: A Comprehensive Review of the ‘SOO Live the Dream’ Music Talent Hunt, by Innocent Omozokpia




When Hon.Barr. Sergius Ogun approved the proposal for the Soo Live The Dream Music Talent Hunt, no one ever anticipated the fever-pitch excitement, drama and melodramatic climax which characterized the 30-day musical talent discovery fiesta.

The talent hunt show was heralded by a pre-event media parley at Eko Hotel & Suites Lagos, and an exclusive press conference at Hotel De Home Ubiaja on 15th August 2015. The two media events afforded both the sponsor Hon.Barr.Sergius Ogun, Member House of Representatives, Esan North East /South East Federal Constituency and the Organizer of the programme DIHOO RECORDS the opportunity to formally unveil the musical show piece and answer all relevant questions pertaining to it.

John Ewah's photo.

The SOO Live The Dream Music Talent Hunt proper was preceded by a week-long road show which saw the Organizing team criss-crossing every nook and cranny of Esan North East /South East Federal Constituency, mobilizing and galvanizing interested individuals to register for the show.

The Road Show Train which went through the streets of Uromi, Ubiaja, Ugboha, Ewohimi, Ewatto, Ohordua, Oria, Onogholo, Okhuessan and Illushi with a whistle stop at Auchipoly and Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma amid funfair and fanfare was like a carnival – like procession.

The pulsating tunes of slizzing hot music vibrating from the giant speakers of the mobile DJ and the magical dance steps of the professional dancers from Benin City set the usually quite and sleepy communities aflame with inflamed excitement of limitless proportions. By the time the road show which began on 17th August ended on 21st August 2015, it was evidently clear that the populace had been sufficiently mobilized to participate in the programme.

The evidence to substantiate this fact could easily be deduced from the large army of young people that flooded the various form collection centres to pick their entry forms, Free of charge. Collection of entry forms closed 5th September 2015, with the total number of entries received standing at five hundred

As early as 8:am on Thursday 17th September, St Anthony Catholic Social Hall Uromi, venue of the SOO Live the Dream Music Talent Hunt Audition was besieged by a sea of human heads jostling and begging to be given a chance to prove their musical worth.

The five hundred contestants were a myriad of the good, the bad and the ugly. Some sang beautifully like angels in the seventh Heaven, some sang in discordant tones, producing a replica of the irritating sound of a broken china while others simply cloaked in barely audible monotones.

After four straight hours of one on one drilling and grilling, only 110 contestants got the nod of the four – man panel of judges to proceed to the 2nd Round. The panel of judges which was led by Nomoreloss, had ITV’S Sidney Shocker, VIBES FM’S Monique and Elcee as members. Serious signs of real musical contestation began to manifest in the 2nd Round of the audition which held the following day Friday 17th September 2015 as the remaining 110 contestants sang with an irreversible determination to outrun and outdo one another.

At the end of the day, twenty contestants navigated their way to the third round, among the number was a blind young boy and a 16 year old secondary school student. The blind boy who goes by the stage name B.O.G literally stole the show with his sonorous voice and perfect mastery of the keyboard just as the young school lass DEBORAH CHRISTY ODIBOH shone like a million stars, courtesy of her enchantingly sweet voice, teenage innocence and flawless poise.

The battle for the Top Ten occupied the centre stage on Saturday 19th September, with Contestants like B.O.G, DES KAY, DEBORAH CHRISTY ODIBOH, IMPACT, DESTINY, VICTOR, GIFT and HOPE putting up impressive performances which got so many hearts stirred.

Unlike round one and two, the 20 contestants performed live with the full complement of a live band and back up singers. The section had Hon.Barr.Sergius Ogun and other important dignitaries in attendance. Just like the previous day, the young blind boy and teenage school lass stole the show yet again.

The thunderous Cheers and applause that greeted their classic renditions defies definition. It was a close contest but 13 contestants eventually made it through to the GRANDFINALE. 10 out of the 13 were chosen by the judges while the audience saved the best three losers from eviction, through voice vote.

The GRANDFINALE of the SOO Live The Dream Music Talent Hunt kicked off by 3 pm on Sunday 20th Sept at St Benedict Catholic Social Hall Ubiaja with opening prayer and the National Anthem. The star-studded event was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life including the Sponsor of the Music Talent Hunt Hon.Barr.Sergius Ogun, Former Works Minister Arch.Mike Onolememen, Sen.Engr Clifford Ordia, Rt Hon. Anthony Aziegbemhin, Hon. M.D. Igbas to mention but a few.

Sabina,the Naija Pastor was the anchor for the day. The 13 finalists performed, one after the other, with each finalist performing twice. It was an evening of unlimited fun and spectacular musical showpiece as the audience was held spell-bound, all the way. The hall was filled to capacity with curious spectators, with a large over flow spilling into the adjourning precincts.

After two rounds of eliminations,the number of the finalists stood at five. Each was given a few minutes to stage their last performance and the results were announced thereafter. Then came the Supreme moment! B.O.G, (real name Ikharehon Godspower) the talented blind boy from Ebhoiyi Uromi clinched the first position, Deborah Christy Odiboh from Ubiaja emerged the first runner up while Ogunnubi Kunle Destiny a.k.a DES KAY from Onewa Uromi claimed the second runner up spot.

The Triumphant Trio were rewarded with 200,000 ,100,000 and 50,000 naira respectively by Hon.Barr.Sergius Ogun, with a firm promise to fly them to Ireland on 2nd October 2015 where they are expected to perform live at the Miss Nigeria Ireland 2015.

John Ewah's photo.
Each of the winning trio is also entitled to a recording contract with DIHOO RECORDS , a fast-rising national music outfit. In his short but precise speech, Hon. Barr Ogun explained that the music Talent Hunt was borne out of the burning desire to reduce and reverse the mass migration of youths in the federal constituency to Libya, promote indigenous creativity and empower young constituents with outstanding musical talent through sponsorship and corporate mentorship.

We have never seen this before in the history of democracy and legislation in Edo state and Esan North East / Esan South East Federal Constituency . It is simply awesome

The Soo Live The Dream Music Talent Hunt 2015 has come and gone but its rays of innumerable benefits would continue to shine on Agbazilo for a long time to come. For the very first time in a long time, the good people of Esan North East /South East Federal Constituency have unwittingly produced three young and fresh music stars that will rock and rule the nation’s music industry in no distant time.

Nigeria and Nigerians will hear them. The sun rises from the east, watch out for the three talented music stars from Esan North East /South East!


Innocent Omozokpia