Not many TV homes, yet 'Idols' raises hope in Ethiopia

MUMBAI: "You sing like a donkey" is what the not-so-good contestants on Ethiopian Idols get to hear from the judges. In a country where there are hardly any television homes, Ethiopian Idols is surely a far cry from the glamour and glitz of its US, British and more recently, its Indian counterparts.

The sets have been hastily constructed in a shabby hotel restaurant while waiters peek in to see the performances. What's more, the contestants don't even have proper power and sound systems and have to deal with frequent power cuts.

Interestingly, the format and details of the show has been copied from Pop Idol without permission from its producers FremantleMedia, which owns the global intellectual rights of the show.

However, the production house has said that it did not want to force Ethiopian Idols off the air but does intend to charge a fee per episode.

What Ethiopian Idols does have in common with its global counterparts is an acerbic judge a la Simon Cowell and / or Anu Mallik. Ethiopian Idols judge Feleke Hailu sure lives up to his predecessors. The show has fast won the highest ratings on an otherwise dull state-run TV.

While Ethiopian Idols can't promise the riches or fame enjoyed by American and British winners, it does offer hope in an impoverished country where most of the 77 million people cannot afford a TV set. The show also has broken new cultural ground in the country.

Feleke's catch phrase -"Alta Fakedem," (You didn't make it) in Amharic - may seem meek compared to Cowell's biting reviews, but it has managed to cause a sensation in this tradition-bound culture. "Sometimes they get angry. The girls burst into tears and a few weeks ago one singer threw a stick at me after I told him he had failed to get through to the next round. The problem is in our culture. It is not common to tell the truth or criticise. People cannot take criticism," Feleke was quoted in a media report as saying.

One contestant Natinel paid $10 of his hard-earned savings to travel 300 miles from Gonder in northern Ethiopia to Addis Ababa to compete for the talent show. What attracts these aspiring and hopeful contestants is the prospect of winning a local record deal and as-yet-undetermined cash prize.

Close to 2,000 contestants participated and judges will then whittle them down to 96. The winner will be decided by the public by a phone-in ballot, which is the first time such polling will be used in Ethiopia.

Latest Reads
Abhishek Upadhyay joins &TV as marketing head

Abhishek Upadhyay, who headed marketing for OLX, has been appointed marketing head of &TV, the Hindi language GEC channel of Zee Entertainment Enterprise Limited (ZEEL).

Television TV Channels People
Saral Jeevan adds three new programs to its prime time offering

Saral Jeevan, a Kannada infotainment channel, is launching three shows today. While one of them is season two of Jnanapada (based on folk songs), the other two programs are based on factual content. With a focus on non- fiction programming like history, mythology, travel and insights from Indian...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Discovery joins hands with BYJU’S for quiz show

Discovery Communications India and BYJU’S, the Learning App, has joined hands to launch a school quiz show called the Discovery School Super League.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Time Warner to be renamed Warner Media, Turner CEO exits

AT&T announced on Friday, its first full day of owning Time Warner, that the operating businesses in the $85 billion acquisition will be contained in an entity called WarnerMedia. The names of the operating units - HBO, CNN, Warner Bros., TNT, etc. - will stay the same.

Television TV Channels People
This special musical video follows Bani J tirade against trolls as a part of ‘Trolled’ series on RISE by TLC

After a power packed punch by Bani J to the misogynistic trollers, comedy sensation Mallika Dua is all set to fire back with her quirks and wits and show the internet hate its place. This will be the second short format music video under the ‘TROLLED’ series and will premiere on Rise by TLC, a...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Sports dominated OOH viewership in April-May: BARC

Contributing more than half of the total TV viewership during the April-May period, the sports genre topped charts in Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India's Out of Home (OOH) measurement report. Sports accounted for 70 per cent of viewership, while movies and music enjoyed 10 per cent...

Television TV Channels Viewership
News18 Network launches multimedia campaign to strengthen its position

MUMBAI: News18 Network, has announced the launch of its mega campaign 18=1. The Network, which once comprised of channels such as CNN-IBN, ETV, IBN7 and IBN-Lokmat, recently consolidated all its general news channels under the News18 Brand. This has allowed the Network to develop one, seamless...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Guest column: TV Analytics on Colors Tamil

Viacom’s entry into a new regional market with channel Colors Tamil has made big news since its launch in February this year. With its sampling phase for content still running, the channel’s performance has a dynamic impact on the regional television landscape. We studied the key viewership...

Television TV Channels Regional
Mukta A2 Cinemas launches the newly acquired SunCity Multiplex

Mukta A2 Cinemas, a well known chain of cinemas from the brand Mukta Arts Ltd, announces the launch of its new property SunCity Mukta A2 Cinemas, located at Vile Parle, Mumbai. The launch took place on 15th June 2018 and was celebrated with the release of this month’s most awaited action-drama,...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories