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By NBF News
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Now, the honeymoon is over in the Etisalat sponsored Nigerian Idol. The final 30 contestants that will vie for the ultimate Idol crown have been selected and beginning from this weekend, they will be showing the judges and viewers the stuff they are made off, that qualifies any of them to become the next Nigerian Idol. As usual the selection as shown on television on Christmas Day was a blend of fantastic music and nail biting suspense as the group stages of the Idol was aired.

With the show now in its sixth and seventh episodes, it presented to viewers the elimination of the top 100 contestants as they were pruned to 30 in a keenly contested series of performances that was summed up by Mr. Peter Bode, show director, thus: 'the group stages are always a mixture of emotions. It is sad to see a lot of these talents go because they represent the best 100 from around the country; it is however rewarding to see the joy on the faces of those who have made it. In the end, the toughest and the most talented make the top 30 in the competition.'

The competition, which will see the eventual winner walk home with a one year recording and management contract with a reputable record/management firm, a brand new car and $100,000 as prizes, started with group performances from the top 100 contestants who were divided into groups of three and four. After the group performances, the judges were faced with the job of breaking the bad news to the contestants who had to go home.

And Yinka Davies whose responsibility it was to tell those whose best were not enough that they have come to the end of the competition for this season, was almost in tears as she reeled out the groups that made it into the top 40. But the competition was not over yet; this time, the top 40 had to perform duets in groups of 20. Finally, the judges selected their top 30 while the 10 who did not scale through had to leave.

It was indeed a very excited 30 contestants who sang, danced, prayed and shed tears of joy at their achievement. The seventh edition which fell on Christmas Day saw the contestants treating viewers to a powerful rendition of popular Christmas carol, 'Jingle Bells'. On Friday, the battle opened as the 30 contestants slugged it out in front of a live studio audience.

The Nigerian Idol top 30 will take the competition to the next level as they fight for the chance to make it to the next stage as top 10 finalists. The show will end on April 1, 2012 when a new Nigerian Idol is crowned at a glamorous closing gala. Yeka Onka is the Season 1 winner and she has since joined a bevy of other Idol greats worldwide including Timi Dakolo, Jordin Sparks and Ruben Stoddard. Idol fans can win tickets to the live studio show as well as other give-aways by visiting the website and other popular blog sites.