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Reality shows have become very popular with the youth. The most famous one is American Idol. In Ghana and West Africa, we have heard of project fame, Nigeria Idol, Mentor, Stars of the Future (now defunct) etc. Thousands of potential recording artistes turn up for these shows in a bid to attain stardom and a pedestal for possible music oriented career. Indeed lots of stars have been unearthed so far and they all making it big globally. Iyanya, Chidinma of Nigeria, Efya, and Irene Logan Ghana are making waves everywhere.

However majority of these wannabes after getting the platform and exposure they crave for, begin to languish in the shadows of oblivion. When most of these winners lay hands on the mouth watering prizes, they don’t make any effort to write any song let alone come out with an album. It seems what matters to them are the prizes to which they are willing to offer any price. Even Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, who lighted up the second edition of the American idol in 2003, are yet to blossom and portray the quality that characterized their epic American Idol journey.

No one can even remember Prince, the first winner of Mentor. There was another Prince (he won the second edition) whose fame evaporated into thin air right after the completion of the show.  Top five contestants of all the major reality shows aforementioned are yet to hit the limelight. Ironically the few ones who have dared release singles and albums are not getting their groove and have rather found the music terrain a different ball game altogether. A typical example is Joe (who later changed his name to Nii and then later to Nii Soul) of Mentor 2 fame. Even high profile reality shows like X-factor and Project fame contestants follow the same pattern. So the inevitable question is, what is exactly is their impediment? It is obvious some are so talented in singing songs of mainstream artistes, which essentially hinges on wonderful voices that angels above will envy. Then also is the “fraudulent” acquisition of votes and insincere accolades and appellations from the judges that make them think they are already stars. Lots of them lack the ability to put words together to make up a song. Perhaps what they care for is to appear on national television holding microphone and hypnotizing everyone.

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One cluster of opinion posits that Music Hunt organizers are treacherous and are only out there to exploit these innocent budding musicians. A former winner of Mentor Six, Stone made a shocking revelation some years back when he unveiled the scam behind Mentor, arguably the most famous talent show in the country. Without mincing words at all he said all past winners of Mentor had not received their recording deal and other prizes that the organizers promised. Another former contestant, Paulette Broohm cast a huge dent on Mentor when she alleged that the organizers are nothing but fraudsters. Evidently, these shows are a complete departure of its primary objective.  They prey on the desperation and shallow mindedness of these guys only to leave them in the middle of nowhere.


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