By NBF News
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The 18 contestants
It was an amazing and scintillating nite at the Ultima Studios, Lagos, recently when the season three of the MTN Project Fame began with 18 talented contestants being admitted into the musical academy.

Interestingly, all the 18 contestants performed before the judges and live audience were automatically admitted into the academy based on their extraordinary displays. Although, only 15 contestants were originally billed to go in, but the judges ushered in all the 18 contestants based on their skillful performances.

According to the General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Kola Oyeyemi, the Gala show marked a turning point in the lives of 'these youths who have come to see their lives transformed from that of everyday people with raw talents into superstars. 'This is a wonderful moment in the development of Nigerian music. MTN has chosen to identify with the aspirations of these youths and invest in their future because we believe in their talents.'

Bibie Brew, one of the MTN Project Fame West Africa judges, explained that the judges were not only looking out for the participants' performances, but also their potentials and how they adapt to improvement over the weeks. The Opening Gala show was preceded by a Cocktail Gala, which was well attended by high profile celebrities largely from the entertainment industry and the Nigerian media.

The event was packed with excitement as all the 18 contestants displayed their talents with scintillating performances of hit songs from various international artistes like: Michael Bolton, Tony Braxton, Shenile, West Life, Pussycat Dolls, Dave Cox, Shade Adu and others.

This was also amplified by an off-the-hook performance by the Award winning R&B songster, Djinee, who thrilled the crowd with hit tracks from his last album, as well as MTN Project Fame Season 2 winner, Mike Anyasodor, whose performance of his latest hit track, 'Fine Fine Girl' got the entire audience on their dancing feet, all complemented with some rib-cracking jokes from top Nigerian comedian, Seyi Law.

The MTN Project Fame Academy will run under the guidance of veteran actress, Joke Silva, as the principal; music expert, Ben Ogbeiwi remains the Academy music director; singer and actress, Dupe Ige is the voice coach;  renowned dancer, Kaffy is the new dance instructor while Kayode Oyedepo remains the physical instructor.