The MTN Project Fame season 9 opening gala held on Saturday evening, July 23 at the Ultima Production Studio in Lekki, Lagos.
The event kicked off with cocktails, canapés and hilarious jokes as the guests arrived at the venue and got seated outside for the first phase of what was to be an amazing night. From dance competitions to acting scenarios and more, the early birds got to interact with an opportunity to win fantastic prizes from MTN.
As usual, the show is hosted by Bolanle Olukanni and Joseph Benjamin.
For the event, Joseph Benjamin was styled by @thestyleinfidel in a lovely burgundy blazer from Nigerian menswear brand T.I Nathan. Not one to be left out, Bolanle Olukanni looked absolutely amazing and was styled by Jane Michael in a floor length dress with sheer details from Nigerian womenswear brand Weizdhurm Franklyn.
The night was off to a great start after the hosts invited the judges and faculty members to their seats– Joke Silva, Tee Y Mix, Bibie Brew, Miss Ige and Ben Ogbewi.
The judges had the difficult task of selecting 14 out of the 18 remaining semi-finalists. Trust us when we say it was not an easy task because all the finalists were super talented with unique voices.
To get the gala started, comedian Kenny Blaq took to the stage to deliver some of his jokes with songs and his usual aesthetics. He made use of one of the guests, veteran actor Olu Jacobs, who was part of the audience, in some of his jokes.
After this, Jeffery Akoh, winner of the MTN Project Fame season 8 graced the stage to remind us of why he was the winner of the last cycle. His performance was spectacular.
The anxious moment of the night came when the hosts called the 18 semi-finalists on stage in 3 batches of 6 for the judges to decide who will be going straight into the academy and who will be singing at the gala to redeem themselves.
It was immediately clear that the 18 semi-finalists made it this far because of their singing prowess that stood out of the thousands of that showed up for the auditions that held in different locations. However the hard choice of selecting 14 contestants had to be made by the judges. This was obviously not an easy task. While 12 contestants got automatic qualification into the academy, the remaining 2 slots was keenly contested by the remaining 6 contestants. The process made the night intense, emotional, and fierce in competition. Perhaps, this is what makes the show truly exciting.
The final 14 that made it to the academy are: Steve Adebayo, Solomon Williams, Winner Egbo, Yusuf Kuforiji, Oladapo Ayoola Arogundade, Eli Letsa, Elizabeth Jolade Eromuwa, Favour Koroma, Gabriel Ankrah, Kitay Okotete, Mirabel Ayavoro, Oluchi Obasi, Pere Davies Atie and Okiemute Ighorodje.
It was truly a wonderful night and we can’t wait to keep you updated on all that goes on in the Academy in the course of the coming weeks.
The show will run for a total of 10 weeks, during which one contestant will be evicted every week for the duration of the show. One winner will emerge and win the star prize, while first and second runners up go home with consolation prizes.
The first prize winner of the coveted title will walk away with N5 million, a brand new SUV, multimillion naira worth of recording deal, etc. First runner up would smile home with N3 million and a saloon car. Second runner up will take home N2 million and a saloon car. Third runner up will collect N2 million and the forth runner up will get N1 million
Check out photos from the opening gala below.
For more photos, head over to the website.