If everything goes according to plans, Grammy Awards winner and American Idol, Jennifer Hudson, might be the headlining act at the grand finale of the Nigerian Idol holding in April. According to sources close to the show’s Nigerian franchisee, Optima Media Group, Hudson has been approached and is ready to visit Nigeria for the first time. “We have concluded all arrangements to make her perform at the idol finals. In fact, organisers of the American Idol are the go-between. So, it is taken for granted that she will be in Nigeria in April,” the source tells E-Punch exclusively.
Currently a major force in the comity of leading American vocalists, Hudson rose to fame as a finalist in the 2004 edition of the American Idol. In 2006, she was cast in the film adaptation of the musical, Dreamgirls, alongside Beyonce, Eddy Murphy and Jamie Foxx. Her superb interpretation of her character won her all the major awards in Hollywood including the Oscars and Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actress in 2007. Despite suffering personal tragedies in 2008 when her mother, nephew and brother were killed, Hudson’s musical and acting careers have been on the rise.
Noteworthy is that when Hudson, whose vocal range and ability has been compared with the late Whitney Houston, comes to Nigeria, she will share the stage with multiple Grammy Awards nominee; Nigeria’s own Afrobeat star, Femi Kuti. The source says Femi has agreed to perform at the final show. A pointer to this was his presence as guest judge at the Fela tribute night last weekend where he mentored the last three contestants, Mercy, Joe Blue and Stephen Onochie and taught them a trick or two on how to make music of Grammy Awards standard.
Jointly opening the show, the trio sang Fela’s “Water”, after which the last girl standing, Mercy, dovetailed into Victor Uwaifo’s Joromi. She rounded off her performance with an applause-worthy rendition of Fela’s Zombie. So impressed was Fela’s heir that he rated Mercy’s performance a triple A plus, mentioning that she reminded him of his grandmother, the activist, Funmilayo. Next was Stephen Onochie, who teed off with an energetic performance of Flavour’s Adanma, before performing Fela’s classic, Gentleman. Joe Blue on the other hand settled for ‘Palava’ which also earned him commendations from the audience and judges. How these commendations translate into vote will be seen on the final day of show.
Project manager, Tiwa Medubi says, “It is true when they say time flies when you are having lots of fun. It has been an incredibly hectic few months and suddenly a star will be unveiled. This is what we all have been waiting for from the first day. We wish the remaining contestants all the best; they deserve to win.”