Glo XFactor: And the Winner is… DJ Switch
Catherine Obianuju Udeh, Aka DJ Switch
As the curtain drew on season One of Glo XFactor, DJ Switch was overwhelmed by the fortune, great opportunity and the teeming fan base that have come her way. But as she relishes the coveted prize, KASIE ABONE notes that what would sustain the applause are the positive choices that she makes
The atmosphere at the Dream Studio, Omole, Ikeja was electric. Excitement filled the air. It was the grand finale of the Glo XFactor. Who among the three female contestants would clinch the coveted prize, a whopping N24million cash prize and a recording deal with Sony music, one of the leading global recording labels.
XFactor is the biggest and most impactful global talent show on TV. Besides generating amazing individual performances that will be remembered whether the singer ultimately won the contest or not, Glo XFactor moments was a combination of tremendous talent, showmanship and creativity. The platform, made possible by the leading indigenous telecom giant, Globacom, is expected to serve as a springboard for launching the career of these budding artists as bona fide stars, a fact that was reaffirmed by Onyeka, the elegant stallion and one of the judges when she said “You have found your niche, you have excelled in it. You are unique in your performance. I don’t know who is going to win, but who amongst you that wins will take this continent by storm.”
This maiden edition was fun-filled; the live audiences were electric; the judges had fun even while not missing out on the business of the day. That fun-feeling understandably was contagious as it did not leave out viewers at home who ended up having fun and so kept tuning in and voting.
The emergence of Catherine Obianuju Udeh, the Udi, Enugu state born Geology graduate of University of Port Harcourt, as the eventual winner of the Glo XFactor Season One, did not come as a surprise to anyone. From beginning, Catherine, popularly called DJ Switch in the competition, was definitely a major contender and the audience’s favourite. She delighted her fans with her extraordinary and unpredictive display of high energy and creativity. “God has created me to be creative.” she enthused. She came to the show with extra ordinary natural talent and creative abilities that got better at every outing which got viewers cum audience applauding and voting. She remained a top act from the beginning, never making the bottom two.
For Eshun, the only Ghanaian standing and Vicky, both of whom were at some points in the competition made the last two but were kept in the competition by the judges, their doggedness, determination, passion, dedication and great voice combined to see them to the end. Like DJ Switch, they came to the show with raw talent and a diligence and willingness to strive beyond the ordinary and present themselves better with each next performance. They exploited their stage craft and ‘showwomanship’ to great effects in making the choice of winner difficult for voters. Their improvements were so much that the judges could not predict who would win because the three finalists contrasted sharply
But what set DJ Switch apart from the crowd was her performance of 2Face Idibias “Free”. That performance in combination with other spectacular performances marked the moment DJ Switch stepped away from the pack. She exploited her creative ability on the song which she said exemplified her feeling in the competition. She connected instantly with the audiences, practically brought down the house with her excellent performance that still produces chills.
The story would not be complete without the three judges that nurtured the talents to ensure that the three continuously hit the right notes that viewers longed and voted for. The Ghanaian born hiplife crooner, Regie Rockstone, brought musical credibility, the nostalgia, branding, continuity that came from his many years in faithful service to the music industry. Music Diva, Onyeka Onwenu, came with comedy, vibrancy, appeal and most of all entertainment; while MIs much-needed cutthroat candor delivered the right balance that impacted the success of the show. The trio remained the most exhilarating part of the XFactor till its climax.
The star-studded event witnessed performances from 2008 X-factor UK winner Alexandra Burke, one of X-factor Ghanaian’s contestants Efya and Nigerians’ musician, Flavour whose performance thrilled the audience when he rendered and danced to one of his popular hit songs.
X-factor’s host and presenter, Toolz looked ravishing in a well tailored Ankara dress that flowed like a bridal dress. The three finalists later took their turns to perform the song that brought them thus far. Vicki mounted the stage first, wearing a pink gown with pleats. With a voice which can be said to be golden, she stole the audience as they fell for her cool and breathtaking voice while the audience applauded. DJ Switch’s performance was greeted with a wild and thunderous ovation. The audience cheered the young rapper who as usual, gave a great account of herself. Ghanian’s Eshun wore a sequin green dress and slowly made her way to the stage.
All the finalists displayed confidence and originality while rendering their songs which was attested to by the judges. Onyeka Onwenu who could not stop saying prayer lines to the contestants, thanked God for their talent adding that she was proud to have been part of their mentors.
MI who spoke after DJ Switch performance said, he didn’t believe she was going to make it this far, saying, “while we were about choosing the three finalists, I had told myself, you were not going to be part of it, but when you came out and made your performance, you changed my mind”.
Ghanaian Reggie Rockstone was proud of the contestants saying he wouldn’t be a partial judge because Eshun was from his country, he appreciated their performances as he was quick to add, “I brought my wife along with me to witness this wonderful event”.
The highpoint of the grand finale was the presentation of the N24million cheque to DJ Switch. Her joy knew no bounds as she ran around the stage shedding tears of joy. When asked to give her remark, she was quick to apologise to her mother. She says “I have not seen my mum in almost a year because I have been pursing music. I thank Globacom for changing the life of my family”.
And for emerging the winner of the coveted XFactor title, Globacom Nigeria, in fulfilment of its promise, presented DJ Switch with a check of N24 million and a brand new SUV in addition to a music recording contract with Sony Music. The first and second runners up were presented with one million Naira cheques each.
The evening was also witnessed by Omawunmi and one of Nigeria’s representatives at the last BBA. The chase Beverly Nwosu.
Speeches over, friends, families and fellow contestants jumped onto the stage to share in the joy of the three who have kept Nigerian audience glued to their TVs in the weeks that the show lasted.
With the curtain drawn on the season of the popular XFactor, there is no doubt that the applause would continue to gradually die down in the weeks and months ahead. The vehicle and the cash prize are meant to propel the trio from the pedestal to the stardom level which they are now but to remain at this level requires a lot of discipline, dedication and personal drive. Complacency, sense of contentment, career path not channelled in the way of making music and mismanagement may shoot down the rising star they have become.
Glo has offered DJ Switch N24 million, the biggest prize money ever in such reality show, and a recording deal but she won’t utilize this opportunity unless she embarks on a mission of self discovery. Like Omawumi who came second in the first and only Idol West Africa, Eshun and Vicky can also rock the stage if they wish to take a career path in music. Should they wish otherwise, they are on their way to fade away from the heart and minds of millions of Nigerians and Ghanaians who applauded and voted while they serenaded them as the show lasted.
As the next season of XFactor is being waited upon with enthusiasm, and as the applause dies down for the reality show winners, only time will tell where, when, and how they will make their mark into the music industry. Let’s hope that winners can bring some positive changes and can perhaps compete with the likes of Omawunmi, 2Face, PSquare (Africa’s most creative performers), D Banj (the master stage craft) and other very talented Nigerian acts rocking the global music stage today.