The Ethiopian Idol Show, a replica of the famous American Idol
, became a stage of controversy after the previous rightful broadcaster and producer failed to win a bid launched by the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency (ERTA).
Isaac Getu General Manager of I.G Entertainment claimed he came up with the idea of the Ethiopian Idol show. He said he presented a proposal to ERTA in 1995 E.C and the proposal was accepted. Isaac further said that he has invested a lot of money and time in making the show, “in the beginning the show wasn’t a hit, nobody wanted to be on it but I didn’t give up, I worked really hard to make it a success” he stated.
However, as he was preparing to start the fourth season he found out that ERTA announced a bid for people to submit proposals if they were interested in producing the Ethiopian Idol Show. The former producer said that the announcement came as a big shock to him; “No warning, no notifications.” “As far as I know I was producing the fourth season and was not aware of any problems,” he said.
Meanwhile, Commission Director at ERTA Gebre Amelak Teka told Capital that Isaac Getu was one of the six people to submit a proposal for the bid on the show. “Isaac Getu was the producer of the show until now because he won the bid the first time it was out some years ago, when the idea of the show was conceived, but he failed to win this time,” GebreAmelak added.
“I.G Entertainment has received certificates of appreciation from ERTA for the work they have been doing. The show has been able to acquire numerous sponsors. UNICEF has given us a four year sponsorship contract because they want to get important message across the country,” Iassac said. He said he was confused why ERTA announced a bid and why they wouldn’t even let him know. “It is not legal for ERTA to have announced the bid on the show, I am the owner of the show, and they can’t just get another person to produce it.”
On the contrary Gebre Amelak argued that announcing the bid was well in the rights of the agency.“The bid was announced because we wanted to find somebody who could produce the show at a bigger and better level because we believe the show can be better.”
Abraham Wolde was announced as the winner of the bid and the next owner and producer of the show. Abraham Wolde, famous for his Balehageru series music productions, was quoted as saying, when the show started some years back, that the show belonged to him in the first place and now it is given back to its rightful owner.
The team leader of the “HaHu” dance group, winner of the third season’s Ethiopian Idol modern dance competition on his part said he thought the show had room for improvement. He said the singing and dancing talent were not well screened and videos were not edited properly so that mistakes were shown on the live broadcast.
“I have heard that Abraham Wolde was the winner of the bid and I can see a positive aspect of this because he has a lot of skill with working with cameras and that might make the show better. I don’t know if it’s true or not but I have also heard that the new producer has taken out the dance segment and had made it only a singing competition. That is a blow to the dance culture,” Hawariat told capital.
Isaac said that these recent events are morally degrading and sad. He said he will not stop until justice is served and the next step will be going to court.
Isaac, the pervious producer of the show, had been living in the Netherlands for 18 years. He owned restaurants and worked as an event organizer and Ethiopian music promoter until he resettled in Ethiopia and began working on the show.
The Ethiopian Idol has been entertaining the public for three seasons and it has been the most popular TV show across the country. The show is a platform for talented people to showcase their talent. Contestants come from different parts of the country to get a chance at stardom. The show has also obtained international recognition; catching the attention of famous news networks like BBC and Aljazeera and other TV channels operating in France and the Netherlands.