The contesting groups in ‘Icons: Divas edition’ had some good news last weekend when the judges decided not to evict any of the groups. The two groups with the least amount of votes, Chilli and R&M seemed shocked and relieved when the judges gave them the good news – but of course we all anticipated that move. Didn’t we?
According to the judges, it was too early to eliminate any of the groups based on the performances from the previous week, which was the first public performance for the groups. Therefore, they were all given a second chance with last weekend’s performances. The theme for the weekend was an all-Ghana affair – with songs from Ghana and all the groups, judges and host clad in traditional attire. It was the Icons extension of the Independence Day celebrations. So which groups deserved to be free from eviction based on the weekend’s performances?
Eboni started the show with their rendition of Nana Fynn’s ‘Menkoa’. It was interesting to see that song being performed by a group and Eboni’s doo-wop on it was pretty unique. The lead vocalist was too strong for me and I felt there could be more involvement from the other girl apart from just the doo-wops. Judges Stephanie Benson and Gena West didn’t seem to agree on Eboni’s performance as they went into an argument in the full glare of the public. Stephanie was cool with their performance and called the group the dark horse of the competition. Gena said the group sang out of tune when she was giving her comments on their performance. Stephanie came back to say that they didn’t sing out of tune and that perhaps Gena wasn’t listening, while Gena insisted the girls were out of tune. Divas! Divas! Divas!
Breeze then performed Sydney’s hit song, ‘Africa Money’. They opened the song with a nice mellow introduction and sped it up afterwards. It was an interesting spin on the song but there was too much screaming and I realised that the girls were out of breath in no time. The judges seemed to like the performance though.
Diamonds took on Felix Owusu’s ‘Waben’. They had the right attitude to carry the song through and the harmonies were on point. Each of the girls carried their part well and it wasn’t surprising that Stephanie referred to them as the ‘perfect group’. She said they looked like a group but they needed to work on their dramatisation a bit more!
Chilli, looking hot and sexy went for Kojo Antwi’s smash hit ‘Amirika’ and certainly brought in the diva! They owned the song and had the right attitude to carry the dynamics of the song. Judge Quantos thought that the girls concentrated a bit too much on looking sexy and not on perfecting their vocals – and I agree with him!
R&M couldn’t go wrong in the ‘good looks’ department when they took on Jay Ghartey’s ‘My Lady’ with their spin-off, ‘My Baby’. They had a good melody to their version and although it was a little too slow, they showed great attitude on stage with it. Jay Ghartey, who was in the audience, commented that the vocals were on point. But Quantos humorously remarked that Jay was being too generous. Quantos commented that the group holds so much promise but something was missing in their performance. His fellow judges were in agreement, and it seems that for the second week in a row, R&M failed to impress the judges wholly.
Kolors took on Wutah’s ‘Kutosa’ and came out shining. They owned the song and had a good harmony to it perhaps because the song originally was performed by a group; it made it a bit easier for them to flow with it. Stephanie called them her ‘three African Nubian queens’.
Kyses also took on Kwabena Kwabena’s first major hit, ‘Aso’ and ran away with it. They made the song their own, looked good together as a group and had the right attitude on stage – although, they were a bit loud for me. Stephanie blew them kisses, Qauntos said their performance was wonderful and good, and Gena said they chose the right song.
Keshi 3 wrapped up the performances with Osibisa’s classic, ‘Welcome home’. Although they had the right attitude for the song, the melodies were fluctuating here and there and so I didn’t like it fully.
On the whole, the performances on the night were appreciably good. While some groups found it easy to choose a leader for their performances, some were playing it safe and sharing the vocals all round. Since, the groups are being judged based on their performance as a unit and not individually, perhaps it is best for the groups to know their strengths and put their best foot forward always instead showing off their individuality. There will be no second chances this weekend as one of the eight groups would be kicked out of the competition. To vote for your favourite group, text their names to 1737 on all networks.