Here’s our definitive ranking of the first batch of blind auditions from The Voice Nigeria Season 2

Time to get into it.

After what will probably go down as the most talented season of reality tv music since Idols West Africa (which gave us Jodie, Timi Dakolo and Omawumi) and a whole year of waiting, The Voice Nigeria is back. The second season premiered on the 16th of June 2017, with a new judge, Yemi Alade and a fresh batch of talent. We’ll say this right out of the hatch, so far it seems like the second season of The Voice Nigeria is having a serious case of the Sophomore Curse. Season one’s blind auditions easily had better, more vocally versatile singers, many of whom came fairly polished.

This season’s hopefuls are surprisingly rough around the edges, with a good number of them unable to enunciate properly the complex songs they choose to tackle. Weird considering the acts who eventually make it to the live blind auditions, pre-audition in Nigeria and are thinned out to a manageable cache that can then be flown to South Africa. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves because this is only the first of four rounds of blind auditions but things are not looking good so far.

Here’s our ranking of the auditions from sunday’s show.

8. Jahnonso – Fly Like An Eagle(Seal).

Everyone knows you have to give it a lot of thought before you tackle a song by Seal, and you come correct if you’re going to tackle Steve Miller’s iconic ‘Fly Like An Eagle’, covered with great dexterity by Seal. Jahnonso, one half of the Ilem sibling duo, literally butchers the song, screaming his way through the high notes and barely squeezing through with his pronunciations. His performance convinced only Yemi Alade, which we guess say more than anything else, we could.

7. Afolayan – I’ll make love to you (Boyz-II-Men)

Another singer tackling an iconic song, Afolayan who works as a singer in real life, tried to jazz up his performance, ditching the song’s sultry origins for a more noble delivery. But it didn’t quite work and even though he got Patoranking to turn for him, the other judges seemed unconvinced. He has a lot to prove in the coming season.

6 Zorah Julius – Dangerous Woman (Ariana Grande)

Ideally, Zorah’s performance should be at the bottom of the list, but she got three judges to turn for her based on the force of her raw talent. However there really are only two people who can do justice to Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman”. Ariana herself and Mariah Carey. Zorah’s rendition stretches the limit of her abilities, and show she doesn’t have control for complex songs, and that ending was disappointing as hell. Let’s see if Waje can whip her into shape.

4. Olarenwaju – Stupid Song (Bez ft. Praiz)

Jazz singer Olanrewaju was one of two blind audition that chose music from Nigerian singers, and she had one of the better auditions, actually eliciting physical responses from the judges. However things went progressively south when she decided to switch to scat singing, a skill she evidently isn’t proficient at. She got Yemi Alade, to turn for her, so she has a lot to prove as the show progresses.

4. Jahtell – Fucking Perfect (Pink)

Jahtell has some got some serious pipes on her, and as a plus size woman with a message of body positivity, she was only one of two singer to audition with songs that ideally suit their talents and personalities. However, Jahtell, like her brother Jahnonso, has a huge enunciation problem, the kind that some vocal runs can’t mask. Once the competition gets underway proper, it will come back and bite her in the ass.

3. Favour – Kilo Poppin (Ms. Jaie)

Favour’s cover of Ms. Jaie underrated Nigerian debut Kilo Poppin’ helped cement her not just as a talented singer, but also one that will probably succeed commercially in Nigeria, which makes sense considering she sees Yemi Alade (a successful touring artist herself) as her music idol. Favour got all four judges to turn, a rarity this season thus far. Her performance was saved by it’s bright spots, but there is still some work to be done before Favour finds her place as an artist.

2. Emmanuel – Survivor (Destiny’s Child)

School teacher Emmanuel brought the house down, getting all four judges to turn with his stellar interpretation of Destiny Child’s ‘Survivor’, he was also the first contestant the judges actively campaigned for, but he eventually chose Timi Dakolo. Emmanuel however still has some control issues when he goes for power notes, which is why he stops just shy of our favorite act for the first episode.

1. Ifeoma – When you believe (Prince Of Egypt OST)

31 year old Ifeoma couldn’t have chosen a better song, than one Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey both lent their vocals too. Incredibly technical and always moving, Ifeoma literally sails through the entire song, never missing a note, never pitchy, almost always in control. Perhaps too in control because only two judges turn for her. She goes with Yemi Alade, whose fervor as a stage performer, might help her find her on-stage gingah!

Here is a ranking of the greatest ‘so you think you can dance’ performances