It was the height of emotions for Zibili Evelyn, aka Evelle, who was declared winner of this year’s edition of Nigerian Idol, after defeating her closest rival, Odugbemi Idowu Sarah, aka Eye-D, during a spectacular grand finale at the weekend.
Evelle, by this feat, became the proud owner of a Hyundai Four Wheel Drive Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), in addition to N7.5 million, an Android tablet phone, an ipod and a recording deal with Universal Music Group.
Her joy knew no bounds, as she was handed the dummy cheque and car keys by the Director of Consumer Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Oluwole Rawa, at the Dreams Studios, Bamako, Ogba, venue of the show.
A part-time singer at the Eko Hotel and Radisson Blu Hotels, Evelle, amidst tears, dedicated the award to her mother, who is currently in hospital, having been involved in an auto crash two weeks ago on her way to Lagos to witness her daughter’s performance.
“…God first, then, my mum; it has to be my mum. I know this will make her feel much better than she is feeling right now,” she said.
Evelle’s victory came as a surprise to many, especially because she had fewer votes, a week to the grand finale, from the public compared to the number of votes received by Eye-D.
“To actually get more people to vote for me, I went into my closet when I was praying and said to God: ‘I don’t know how this is going to happen; I am going to give it my best shot and I want you to help me in such a way that, even those who have been voting for my opponent will vote for me this time. That was my prayer, and I am sure that was what happened,” she added.
Though she came second, Eye-D did not betray her emotions. She promised to spend her prize money to boost her farming business, while also continuing in music.
“After today, I am going to take one week of sleep. I have so many songs that I have written. I will start releasing them one at a time; and I know my efforts will be crowned by the grace of God,” said the singer, who hopes to be as popular as Omawumi of West African Idol. “Yes, Omawumi because she shone more than the first. But in the mean time, let the will of God be done.”
For coming second place, Eye-D also got a car, a Hyundai i10, one similar to the size of a Picanto. “I’m definitely going to use it; it’s pretty and cute,” she said, when asked what she would do with the car.
Her prizes also included N1.5 million, an Android tablet, a phone and an ipod.
Elvis Jay, who came third place, also got N1m, an Android Tablet, a phone, and an ipod.
Each of the contestants from the 4th to 10th place received a cash prize of N100, 000, a Galaxy Tab, a Blackberry and an iPod.