Monday, January 7, 2008
CELEBRITY TAKES 2
DEC. 24, 2007
I got off from work early. I received a call from a friend in SOD (Spirit of David) inviting me for the season finale of their Reality Show- Celebrity Takes Two. Celebrity takes 2 is a dance competition that is modeled after Dancing with the Stars / So you think you can dance? It featured 10 Nigerian celebrities. Recording of the show was done on Tuesdays while the TV Broadcast was done on Sundays. However, this was not to be the case for the season finale because the final show was to be on Christmas day. They decided to move the show to Christmas Eve for logistic purposes. Planet One in Maryland Lagos played host to the show throughout its duration. I arrived there at 4pm and got my VIP Pass. I got there 2 hours before time because I wanted to see the pre-show activities and preparations
I took special interest in the show when I saw the billboard near Falomo roundabout in Ikoyi. I have close ties with the SOD club in my alma mater. We were able to work together successfully through many shows on campus. Celebrity Takes 2 started as Takes 2 a couple of years ago. Takes 2 was a dance competition between members of SOD nationwide. Members were paired in couples as they competed against each other.
Those were the days of humble beginnings.
The question is – How did they make the transition from the Nursing Auditorium on Afribank Street to Planet One Events hall in Maryland? It took a lot of hardwork, prayers, perseverance and doggedness. I am aware of how many times proposals they submitted were turned down by corporate organizations only to later hear that the corporate entity was sponsoring its own dance show. E.g Close-up Salsa. However, Providence smiled their way, Skye bank accepted their proposal and Celebrity Takes 2 was birthed.
The final show, which was to commence at 6pm, did not start till about 10 pm. This was due to many factors – Christmas Eve traffic, Low Publicity and organizational difficulties. Electricity was taken off around 5pm and was not restored till about 7 pm. Sound and Visual guys came in late. Stage setup was also done pretty late. As expected, the celebrities did not show up on time. After all, that’s why they are called celebrities. In the final round, were Passuma Wonder, Funmi Aofiyebi and Omowunmi Akinnifesi. The show started with a song by some Lil John impersonator. Segz and Sarah Boulos started off as hosts while the usual hosts Ben and his lady counterpart came in as a dance couple and did a few moves to the amazement of the audience. Dayo Liadi and Ijodee Dance Troupe did justice to Olori Oko . He showed the audience the real meaning of Contemporary African Dance and validated all the critical comments he had made during the show. Highlights of all the moves of the finalists were shown to the audience. Then, the time came for the winner to be announced.
Funmi Aofiyebi was declared the winner based on votes received as SMS from members of the public. She was presented with the keys to a Chinese SUV- Hoover.
Looking at the final show critically, it largely fell below international standards despite all the effort put into it by the SOD crew. Logistics proved to be a major nightmare for them. A lot of things which were handled by volunteers need to be outsourced in subsequent shows. Professionals must handle every aspect of the show while SOD concentrates on its core competence- dance.
SOD’s main advantage is its religious background. It is made up of young folks who see dancing as a spiritual ministry. I am sure their members would have done the whole show for free if they had to. This is what gives them an advantage over most dance ensembles in Nigeria. They really don’t care about the money. They have a structure that has lasted almost a decade. I sincerely hope the Instructors would be well paid after the show.
All the years of hard work had paid off eventually. Some of them had poor results in school, some dropped out while others had issues with their parents because they wanted to do dance. The hallmark of the show was when I saw the mother of one of the instructors jumping up for joy and as she spoke to her husband on phone about the final result. I heard another parent reconciled with his son who was a member of the dance crew during the course of the show. For all their tears, pain, sweat and hardwork, I will like to congratulate my SOD folks. Keep the flag flying