Project Fame, claims and lame games.


You shouldn’t find it surprising that I am writing about this reality show. By now, you must already be familiar with my faithful followership and gabbings where the famous MTN-sponsored competition is concerned.

So there’s the eighth season currently running. If you haven’t been following, then you have already missed the eviction of about ten people. No, nine. But not to worry. There’s still a lot to follow.

I appreciate the idea of reality shows such as this. I especially like this one because it doesn’t run by the general winner-takes-all principle other on-screen competitions employ. This one rewards even till the third runner-up. I find that pretty amazing. Another thing I consider commendable is how the contestants are being trained and mentored, more like guided, along their chosen musical paths. This singular fact is what makes this undoubtedly the most recognized musical reality television show in Africa. Yes, I said so.

I’m not here to make unsolicited publicity for any brand, so I’ll just cut to the chase. I think there is raw talent this season as was in other seasons. One would think, however, that maturity would develop by hindsight, and that things would only get better as we go farther, but all I see is a seeming stagnation –if not a retrogression –in the general scheme of things on the show. Is it my business? Oh yes it is. My money has gone into it countess times, thank you.

First, I have a problem, a big one, with putting everyone on probation. Frankly, I think it is an unjust method of running the show. The contestants are being demeaned to money making machines. The authorities claim it’s a way of handing over power to the audience, but we all know it’s just a means of exploiting all of us, boxing us in a corner so tight that we have no choice than to churn in money into their accounts just to save the heads of our loved ones or favorite contestants on the show. It really just begs the question that the judges are unnecessary. What exactly do they do if they cannot determine those who keep bringing it every week and those who aren’t exactly there yet? They started out that way, why did they stop putting the deserving on probation? And if I were a contestant on the show, do I really stand a chance if my friends and family cannot afford to pump in money in order to keep buying me extra days in the academy? Is it still a celebration of brilliant talent or an adulation of fat pockets? Questions.

I do not understand the double-faced-ness of our Uncle Ben. In the academy he barks and raves like an angered potato, then when the performances are being done on stage he showers praises a little too much, making it a sugary mess of flattery. I don’t get it. I used to adore Uncle Ben back in the day, but as the seasons have progressed, I watch his inconsistency become more pronounced. Do you really need to be mean before getting your message across? Reminds me of NYSC camp. I don’t get why I should sit in the sand under the sun just because some bored fella standing on a podium would love to see a plan view of a white field of young people. To what end? But I digress.

Interestingly, I seem not to be having many issues with Madam Bibi this season, asides from an inflated ego that prevents her from giving compliments when they are due. She seems so miserly with praise you’d think it’s what she feeds on to survive. Mr Bantu on the other hand has and will remain an object of my perpetual PF nagging until I see a change or a replacement. He never seems to have a mind of his own, always looking to the madam for side talks and opinions. He keeps repeating ‘The material’ to show some kind of musical deftness I still haven’t found, and he speaks in such a manner that turns my stomach, that screams ‘I’m trying too hard!’. Trust me, this is no ‘beef’. TY Mix is a human being like him to whom I have no form of connections, and yet I salute him all the time for his spot on critiques and his kind yet firm disposition towards the contestants yearly. He doesn’t attempt to prove a point. He knows his onions and won’t even move a muscle before it oozes out of him like effervescence.

I’ve got to give Mummy J and Miss (abi Mrs) Ige thumbs up too. They do a fine job in that academy. There’s the natural tendency to love some people more than others, but iu love the way they manage to handle it professionally. No one needs anyone’s fronting. Just be you and let us love you for it. and please, where is our Kaffy?

The picture quality doesn’t seem to have improved one bit, and we still get to hear sound issues now and again. The duration of the daily shows has significantly reduced to fifteen minutes, even with the unending adverts. Sigh. But we will manage. I hope we won’t be waiting till season 20 though.

Joseph and Bolanle are, well, okay. Not worse, not better. Just there. The band? well.. now humming things are (just) the same by Naeto C

Dear MTN, I love your show. But shey na like this we go dey dey? Really? Even after seven seasons?

I’ll talk about the contestants in the next installment. I still gotta say PF is one of Africa’s best nonetheless. And this last statement is pregnant, in case you didn’t realize.