Sheraton Hotel, Abuja was on Saturday besieged by thousands of contestants eager to vie for honor and glory in the audition for X-Factor, the world's biggest music reality TV Reality Show brought to Africa for the first time by Globacom.
The excitement was palpable as the youths numbering over 2000 exuded high confidence, believing that they would scale the audition hurdle.
Standing out in the crowd was a set of identical twins, Clinton and Blair Roberts and D Omalichas who were dressed in identical costumes.
Clinton and Blair Roberts initially called themselves the “X-Factor” but changed their stage name to the DNA Twins to avoid patent issues.
The DNA Twins' impressive performance outside the audition room got them an express advance over three stages of the audition to qualify automatically for the final stage. While waiting to be accredited, the crew of judges had noticed the twins and had tried them out ahead of their turn and awarded them the black wrist band for the last trial stage.
The 17-year-old twins had just finished from Madonna Secondary School, Owerri in Imo State, South East Nigeria. They told reporters that they hope not only to win a place in the show but to go all the way to emerge finalists.
“For us, X-Factor is the ultimate show and we have been looking forward all our lives to participating in the programme. This is the dream we have been waiting for. Just participating in the audition is deeply fulfilling but we also want to go ahead and win.” They praised Globacom for bringing opportunities of stardom to youths.
The other duo that stood out at the event, Becky Inyang and Josephine Onyejebose, D Omalicha's, are students of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi. Though neither siblings nor twins, singing under the stage name D Omalicha’s, they were identically clad and were of the same height. They also made an impression on the judges and got a quick wave on to the final stages.
Interestingly, despite their talents, neither D Omalicha’s nor the DNA Twins had ever performed in public. They therefore saw X-Factor as the God-sent break they have been praying for. “Even if we do not win, we are already encouraged, but we believe we will make our mark and hit the limelight” Onyejebose said.
After Abuja, the X Factor crew will move to Kumasi and Accra, Ghana, before coming down for the Lagos auditions slated for Saturday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Dream Studio at No.1 Bamako Street, Omole Estate, Ojodu.
Entertainment industry watchers believe the profile of X Factor and Globacom’s mouth-watering prize money of $150,000 (N24million), the biggest purse among current music reality TV shows, are responsible for the huge interest the show has generated in the country. The winner of the show will also get a recording contract with the internationally acclaimed Sony Music for the recording of an album and professional management of the winning individual or group.
X Factor is designed to find new singing talents, and offers a platform for aspiring singers of all ages, sex and style as well as solo acts and groups to pursue their ambition. The show has been successfully launched in major countries including UK, the United States, Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Spain.