Performances moved easily from the emotional to the hilarious at the Abuja, Calabar and Benin auditions of the ongoing talent hunt show, Nigeria’s Got Talent. Episode 5 took fans into the final auditions.
It began with a tone of disapproval set by the judges at the Abuja audition. Members of the ‘Big Star Acrobatic Troop’ were unimpressive, as were Ndanyomo Ogbonnaya, a 48 year-old man who sang in his native tongue and Francis who used his mouth as a saxophone.
The next act was from a cross-dressing comedian called Peter. “Not only was your comedy distasteful,” said actress and judge, Kate Henshaw. “But I also find you distasteful.”
The breezy, fast-paced edition, interspersed as usual with quips and commentary by the bubbly host Andre Blaze moved to Calabar, where the judges found plenty to approve of. Two young men in diapers called ‘Adult Babies’ got the audience laughing and a singer called Debbie won their hearts with a rendition of Asa’s ‘Jailer’.
A young man named Edet showed off skating skills and a 14-year-old Samuel who was a dancer and his singing sister, Felicia also got approval to move to the semi-final round.
The Benin auditions opened with a younger rapper, Boniface who failed to dazzle. The ‘DNA Crew’ put up a fantastic dance routine too, but it was Jude James, an albino singer who carried the day with his performance of Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the World’.
As overwhelmed Kate Henshaw struggled with tears, co-judge Dan Foster noted that James “hit the spirit with his note and passion”.
“Those are the moments that make the show,” said Debby Schulman, the producer. “Beyond the gorgeous cinematography, or the choice locations or the energy from the thousands who came out to audition, this is about moments that reach out and tug at your heart – talent that makes you believe again. Nigeria totally rocks.”