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Big Deal For Six Mentor Finalists
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Music of Thursday, 19 October 2006

Source: ghanamusic.com

Big Deal For Six Mentor Finalists

Even before the process of eviction begins on Sunday, six of the contestants at the current TV 3 reality show, Mentor 2, have earned a deal they did not anticipate.

Motivated by the exceptionally high standard displayed by the 12 finallists on their maiden performance last Sunday, the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) has planned to feature the final six in all musical concerts scheduled for Ghana?s 50th Anniversary celebration next year.

This forms part of MUSIGA?s efforts to support the talent hunt reality show on TV3. A letter confirming the deal and signed be MUSIGA President Alhaji Sidiku Buari, therefore advised the contestants to present themselves as true Ghanaians and Africans in order to portray the African culture to the thousands of visitors expected in the country from all over the World.

At their opening show last Sunday, the 12 finalists proved their worth with spectacular performances and set a standard that was popularly acclaimed as a vast improvement on that of their predecessors.

In fact, they brightened the TV3 studios with their energetic performances and good voices to the admiration of the audience.

Moreover, the sound quality was good and one could clearly hear the fine voices of the competitors as their singing blended well with the instrumentation from the experienced Mega Band.

The contestants, Joe, Vic, Kofi, Sandy, Prince, Seth, Rose, Anita, Mike, Adez, Cee and Dee, were first introduced by presenters Fiifi Ashun and Mamavi according to their respective regions, Greater Accra, Western, Ashanti and Eastern, to sing their various theme songs and followed it up with individual performances of R&B songs.

There was an atmosphere of mutuality as the audience nodded in agreement to comments from guest judge Chris Ankrah of Citi Rock Music Distribution who challenged the other judges that they were bound to have difficulties in choosing a favourite out of the 12 since all of them had good voices and showbiz personalities.

The studio was beautifully designed with good lighting system and the programme was well planned as the production team busily moved up and down to ensure that everything was in order in the studio which was packed with plastic chairs for the audience.

However, despite all the fun and entertainment that filled the studios, attendance was so low that cheers from the limited crowd present was not enough to make the show exciting.

Many seats were left empty throughout the show though more than half of them were occupied. Members of the production crew had a hard time trying to keep the atmosphere lively by urging the relatively small crowd to applaud and cheer the contestants as they performed and whenever the show resumed from a break.

Judge Dominic Ansa-Asare expressed dissatisfaction at the low turn out by patrons and admitted that it took the fun and excitement out of the show.

Mark Okraku Mantey and Latoya shared the same view with Graphic Showbiz. They admitted to the fact that Mentor 1 would have been a flop without the excitement and loud cheers from the large audience that was present.

Comparatively, the contestants? performances, sound quality, set design and the instrumentation were better than those in Mentor 1 which mostly saw the bandsmen playing out of key or sounding louder than the contestants voices.

However, the crowd capacities in both shows were far different with Mentor 2 suffering a decline in attendance.
The previous Mentor show had such a large crowd that the majority that could not get seats had to stand throughout the two to three hour show.

One could not miss the loud cheers that spiced up the programme in those times. Though the crowd sometimes got irritatingly uncontrollable, their presence and active participation did not only boost the morale of the contestants but also added to the suspense which underlined the success of the show.

Apparently, the low turn out of audience was due to the introduction of the payment of ?30,000 as gate fee which might have discouraged a lot of people who could not afford or simply felt reluctant to pay.

According to the organisers the fee was being charged to have a certain class of audience who could be easily controlled to prevent the repetition of nasty scenes like the violent actions exhibited by a section of the crowd during the eviction of Hakeem in Mentor 1.

The eviction of Hakeem, a contestant in Mentor 1 generated lots of controversies following allegations that he faked his age.

To some people, he looked older than the 23 years he claimed he was and the fact that he completed Sixth Form in 1996 baffled them the more.

Many of his fans argued that he was evicted based on this allegation which they claimed was unfair. Allegedly, Some of them expressed their displeasure at the announcement of his eviction in the studio by violently attacking organisers and any suspected opposition.

The organisers were bent on ensuring that that scene would not be repeated in Mentor 2 and therefore had to introduce a firm strategy to control the crowd at the current show.

They, however, hoped that subsequent shows of Mentor 2, which runs on TV3 every Sunday evening for 15 weeks, would enjoy higher patronage.

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