Progress Chukwuyem progressed all the way to the final of the 10-week show to emerge the winner of Nigerian Idol Season 7 on Sunday. His reward for leading the contestants of the reality show, co-sponsored by Bigi carbonated soft drink brand of Rite Foods, totalled N100 million.
The breakdown of the star prize include N30 million, a new SUV, a Bigi branded refrigerator, a year’s supply of Bigi drinks, an EP plus a music video, a weekend getaway from TravelBeta, and a DStv Explora fully installed with a 12-month premium subscription.
The 21 year-old singer, songwriter, and performer from Ika South of Delta State defeated Edo State’s Zadok Aghalengbe, 27, at the grand finale after a heated contest, as both demonstrated their musical dexterity with stunning acts that got the judges and audience thrilled.
Progress was declared the winner with the highest vote from the 45 million recorded for the week. This was also part of the over 220 million votes pulled for the musical show, which started with the top 12 contestants, after a painstaking audition of over four million candidates.
Progress, often called a Pastor because of his religious inclination, was elated after a captivating performance with Zadok.
He got inspiration from his activities as a church chorister and has participated in a musical competition at age 16. Also inspired by Jonathan McReynolds, a Grammy-winning American gospel musician, Progress believed he will be the next Nigerian Idol. And his dream has come to be!
Before the verdict, Progress performed AJR’s Bang, which led to a standing ovation by the judges and audience, while Zadok did I Wanna Dance with Somebody, by Whitney Houston, another wonderful rendition that was also well applauded.
The act by the winner was greeted with comments from his father, who was present at the show, saying “what l see today is like a dream. When he went for the audition, l told him that the Lord is with him and here he is, the Nigerian Idol”.
The evening show was packed with fascinating stage performances by top-notch artistes who are also judges on the show. D’Banj, one of the judges, sang Emergency, one of his hit songs; Simi did Duduke; and Pheelz, Finesse.
The rendition by the winner of Nigerian Idol Season 6, Kingdom Kroseide also enlivened the audience, while Season 7 top 10 contenders entertained and made the show memorable.
Progress, the Season 7 idol who was over-the-moon, commended the Bigi for taking entertainment to an enviable height through the sponsorship, and for being refreshed through the 10-week show.
Rite Foods’ Brand Manager, Boluwatife Adedugbe said that the support from the Bigi brand is a way of connecting with its consumers, who are continually being rejuvenated by the sweet taste of its 13 variants, which are produced by the world-class and proudly Nigerian company.
According to her, the sponsorship of the musical show is one of the unflinching testimonies of the company’s relentless commitment to strengthening the Nigerian creative industry by discovering and nurturing young talents that would make the nation proud at global events.