By Pulse Reporter
The tension was palpable in the Dome, more so among the last three finalists; Doreen, Ruth and Jackson, as the announcement for the winner hang in the not too far future. Throughout the eight gruelling weeks, Nairobi had hosted the Tusker Project Fame reality TV show, but had failed to produce a clear favourite until this moment; the tables were to be turned during a night of reckoning.
It was clear that the contestants had saved the best for last. Joe gave a performance that lived up to his promise — to sing as if this was his last— rendering justice to Papa Wemba’s song.
Jackson, the versatile contestant from Rwanda took to the floor and presented a riveting performance of Lokua Kanza’s Plus Vivant that left the audience thrilled and earned him a standing ovation from Universal Music Group’s representative, Gerrard Foster.
In a few minutes, Kenya’s Ruth Matete replied back with her version of Coldplay’s Clocks — a song that she confessed she had never heard, by a band she had never heard of — pulling no stops in making it sound original, starting with a heavy African percussion to a rock song gave it a distinctly African feel. The roof came down.
“You are my winner,” Ian Mbugua, the otherwise no nonsense judge, famous for being hard to impress, remarked as an animated applause whirled on.
So there they stood as the TPF dome went pin drop silent awaiting the fate, which would turn one into the youngest and richest celebrity in East Africa.
There was no dispute among fans that judging from the last two weeks of the show, Ruth was poised to win, but how Jackson was relegated to the third place with Doreen coming second, left a loud murmur among many. The debate is yet to settle down.
Many people still believe that Jackson deserved to come in first runners-up position, even as the Kenyan’s 26-year-old Ruth scooped the Sh5 million prize. Ruth became the second Kenyan to win the regional competition that is now in its fifth season.
But it all goes down to the votes and with his fate in the hands of voting fans, talented Jackson could do nothing little to rescue himself.
Whereas no one would speculate any foul play, it is obvious that bearing in mind the different countries’ varied advancement in information technology, some contestants would have an upper hand.
Adopt BBA voting model
The same would happen if, for example a Nigerian contestant were to be in the competition — by popular voting, this country that boasts the highest population in Africa, has more people who access Internet than the entire Burundi and Rwanda combined. Other reality shows like Big Brother Africa show have adopted a formula that balances country votes to make it more equitable for the contestants.