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TV 3 Mentor: It''s a Prince thing 1/25/2007
TV Mentor II has come and gone with its perils and excitements. After a struggle to get through the gates, being heckled by some security men and having my cameraman tackled by other official bodyguards of the Mentor show, we finally relaxed into one of the corner seats at the National Theater’s gallery at about 8:30pm. The turn out in all honesty, was MASSIVE! Every Tom, Dick and Harry was present to cheer on his or her favorite contestant. The ladies’ outfits were…ahem…just outfits. Let’s just say that among the hideous were the horrendous and in between the scary were the terrifying. Let’s not even go into the hairstyles. The high heels had a jelly-like effect on the walk. But that was not my mission there. It was to report on the show itself.

A couple of yawns later, and shouts of ‘Mo’akye oh mo’akye’ [“you’ve kept too long] from the audience, a brawl between certain members of the crowd over seating with the soundtrack of Master Mix Band’s jazz grooves, the event eventually took off at about 9:30pm (2.5 hrs after the scheduled time). The weary wait of the crowd ended with a documentary of the mentor finalist’s rise to ‘stardom’. The documentary was never completed and it was obvious that the TV3 crew were having some technical difficulties. All the while my cameraman was being bullied and thrown out of the auditorium. A few right people intervened, some goodwill blew his way he was brought back inside, only to be asked to seat himself on the floor.

Ben Fiifi Eshun and Anita Erskine steered us through the night. The eight (8) evictees started the night performing to ‘I believe in Angels’ followed by performances by the 4 finalists, Joe, Dee, Kofi and Prince. The fact that all four finalists were men, probably contributed to the massive turnout of the ladies. You could almost handpick the men present. I don’t know about you but the mentor stage still leaves a lot to be desired. There were several occasions when a performer almost tripped. It’s like the stage was designed to encourage artiste to tumble over on stage.

Two of the four rounds were going to be judged and remaining two were simply freestyle. The judges -- Mark the Merciless, Akosua Zorro and the Fatherly Dominic -- were their usual selves.

All contestants showed real talent, especially when Joe did a rendition of one of Montel Jordan’s tracks. Mark stood to clap for him with thunderous applause from the audience. Prince and Kofi did songs by Gerald Levert and Rod Stewart respectively. Dee finished off with R. Kelly’s ‘The world’s greatest’, though he didn’t quite rise to the occasion.

The night was spiced up with appearances by Samini who was later joined by Andy (with a lot of “blessing tins”). Show Boy Isaac came up next with Isaiah singing ‘Dome’. The first winner of the ‘Mentor’ show, call him Prince I and Noble Nketia also staged an OK show. Someone please tell Okuraseni Sammy to ease up on the ‘mmm na na’. Once or twice in a song will do.

Judging by Dee’s clumsy footwork, Joe’s stagecraft, Kofi’s energy and Prince’s soulful skill (and probably his name), the night ended with Dee in fourth place and Kofi was third. Joe placed second and his cousin, Prince took home the crown.

The show itself was good. But the overly pompous security men, people carrying boxes of Mobile Water across the stage and the hosts missing their cues after the contestants had performed, took a big chunk out of the score. But the ‘Mentor II’ did achieve the aim of entertaining the masses and that’s what it was all about, wasn’t it?

We are looking forward to the next Mentor show – possibly later this year. In the meantime, if you are thinking of trying out for the next mentor, please be sure to have your name changed to either Prince or Princess. You might just increase your chances by 100%.


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