The Voice Nigeria : Where Votes Outweigh Talent and Performance

The Voice Nigeria : Where Votes Outweigh Talent and Performance

The Voice Nigeria is the Nigerian version of the TV series. An ultimate talent contest that collects singers together, all in the spirit of competition and on one platform, drilling them as professionals after which only one will emerge a winner. Qualification has nothing to do with the state of origin, gender or even inclination to a particular genre but has always been based on vocal prowess and flexibility, passion and composure, stage management, confidence level and ability amongst all. I happen to be a seasoned singer, but I have always had my doubts about events like this because patterns over the years have shown that the best do not always emerge winner or do I say never emerges the winner for reasons that will be stated soonest.

The just-concluded season 2 of the challenge is a typical example of how a fan base can mean so much to a competitor at the expense of what you can do or bring to the table. Why would my fan base or external support group determine my victory or not when entering into the competition was not vote related in any way, neither was it necessary at that time. Did I come all the way here for power to be handed over to people who have no idea how much effort I put into my performance and how much pressure I’ve had to battle with to come this far? I would say that this is totally unfair and I wouldn’t be wrong.

During the audition stages, talent and skill is usually the primary consideration for selection and the untalented who were not selected are usually sent home in-between tears and disappointment, but the battle is for the strong, and sentiments shouldn’t come in the way of the game as the focus is to subject the competitors to training and drilling until the better is selected from the good and the best from the better.

Having a good voice isn’t always enough to stay in the game, but the ability to wield that voice, coupled with appropriate song selection, passion, composure and ownership of the song on stage, leading to a roaring ovation.

Even though the judges have the final say as to who moves on and who doesn’t, with a performance like that and half the job already done, it’s usually a walk over from then on as the judges seem to have the same opinion as the audience. I believe that talent does speak for itself and isn’t ambiguous, making it possible to be spotted anywhere by anyone and everyone, and though it may not be called talent, we say “He/She is really good” and that’s something that most times turn out to be a public opinion.

Here’s where I have a problem with these kinds of stuff. Towards the end of the game, the criteria changes, as advancement to the next level or stage is now dependent on external forces i.e. voting, putting skill, talent and ability secondary to fan base and support group which now becomes the consideration for ultimate victory. I do have my reservations though and if this happens to be a search for musicianship, then selection and ultimate victory should be based strictly on ability to perform and potential for an exploit in the real world and the music industry at large.

Little wonder the names making waves in the music industry never made it to selection or victory at last. Asa the Nigerian-France based guitarist & singer is a typical example as she was told that music wasn’t her thing or an area for her to explore, I believe the rest is history. It is also an irony that those who emerge winners seem to enter into a world of oblivion or a state of comatose immediately after emerging winners. This then questions the criteria for selecting the victorious from the rest of the pack.

Events like this are no different from the animal kingdom, as leadership is based on survival and survival isn’t based on election or voting but on capacity and capability. Whoever is strongest wheels the leadership irrespective of size, height, age or species. It all boils down to capacity and who did best by coming through.

In a talent contest, I should be judged based on my talent and performance, not by votes or fan base!

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