Gulder Ultimate Search Season 12 showed us the journey of a wildcard becoming the ultimate champion. After battling 17 contestants, Odudu Imeh Otu emerged as the winner of the most iconic reality show on Nigerian television.
In the early weeks of the show, most viewers watching would’ve voted Odudu most unlikely to win the show. This wasn’t a judgment of his skills but his initial disposition. Odudu hid in the background and was hardly noticeable but somehow managed not to be evicted. As the show progressed, so did his survival skills.
Although he got into the show as a wildcard, he made sure to put in the work while giving his best performances till the very end.
On Friday, January 21, friends, family, supporters and industry professionals gathered at Cilantro restaurant in Victoria Island, Lagos, to celebrate and finally crown the show’s winner.
The event kicked off with celebrity hypeman Do2dtun, who gave his best performance to rile up the crowd and get them in the right mood. Popular actor Gideon Okeke took to the stage to steer the event into full swing. Standing in front of an eager crowd, he presented a gold medallion that would be awarded to all 18 contestants courtesy of Gulder.
Gideon Okeke welcomed the managing director of Nigerian Breweries, Mr Hans Essaadi, to address the crowd. Mr Essaadi thanked the show supporters, praised the contestants for their hard work, and declared them all to be winners.
Uche Unigwe, the director of sales of Nigerian breweries, was called to the stage to present the first round of the awards. Olayinka Omoya was the first to receive a gold medal and a cash prize of ₦600,000. Mfon Mikel was next and was awarded a gold medal and a cash prize of ₦700,000. Gerald Odeka followed next to receive his gold medal and a cash prize of ₦800,000. Ifeanyi Nebe, the tallest warrior, received his award and a cash prize of ₦900,000. Iniabasi came up to collect his medal and a cash prize of ₦1,000,000.
After the first round of awardees, Martin Kochl, the Nigerian Breweries supply chain director, presented the next set of awards. Oreva Oboh was called to the stage to collect his medal and cash prize of ₦1,050,000. Tobechukwu Malachy Okey was called next to collect his medal and cash prize of ₦1,100,000. Opeyemi Ishmael received his medal and cash prize of ₦1,150,000.
Osasere Junior, the athletic Edo boy, received his medal and cash prize of ₦1,200,000. Jennifer Okorie received her medal and cash prize of ₦1,250,000. Yankari Solomon was awarded a gold medal and cash prize of ₦1,400,000. Esitima Edem followed next, collecting a gold medal and a cash prize of ₦1,000,000. Next, Rachel Omokhafe received her medal and cash prize of ₦1,450,000. Tosin and Chidinma, who tied in for the same position, received their medals and a cash prize of ₦1,500,000.
Marketing director of Nigerian Breweries, Mr Emmanuel Oriakhi, awarded the finalists, Damola and Damilola, ₦3,000,000 each. Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, State Commissioner of Tourism, gave Chidinma Okeje the last woman standing award and an extra cash prize of ₦2,000,000.
The ultimate champion, Odudu, was finally welcomed onstage to receive his coveted crown and cash prize of ₦20 million, a brand new Innoson SUV, and an all-expense-paid trip to Dubai.
After being presented with ₦50 million worth of prizes, Odudu expressed joy and gratitude to the organisers and Nigerian breweries for the opportunity.
“I did not hesitate to put in my application, and despite getting into the jungle as a wildcard, I was determined to make the best use of the opportunity. This rare opportunity has changed my life for good, and I am truly grateful to Nigerian breweries, their sponsors and partners, as well as my fellow contestants.” He said.
The event wrapped up successfully, with the contestants well compensated for their efforts and the winner finally crowned. Fans of the show and the winner surrounded Odudu with praise and support as they flocked to the after-party.