The Delay Show: A love and hate relationship

I like that Delay brazenly asks questions which others sidestep or are too afraid to ask. On the other hand, the manner in which she conducts her interviews are most often downright disrespectful to her guests and yet, I like many others, find ourselves visiting her channel each week to watch her latest interview.

The most amusing part of the show for me is usually the introduction section where she heaps praises and appellations on herself. This can stretch from a few seconds to about 3 minutes. She talks about how great the show is, how she has remained relevant in the industry and also uses this segment to cast insinuations about some comments that have been made in the media about her since she never responds to personal attacks. She is not ashamed of her background and she has often referred to how much she struggled to get a foot in the door of the media space, the death of her mother and the lack of support she encountered. She has unarguably done well for herself. She has produced tv series that have enjoyed huge successes as well. Her Maxgringo company has four eponymous products running now: Delay Mackerel, Delay Sardines, Delay tomato Paste and Delay Spaghetti. She has huge sponsors like Vodafone and Malta Guinness associated with the Delay show. She knows she is doing well for herself and she flaunts it.

In her interviews, Delay like others has her biases and when people she likes or respects come on the show it is apparent. Case in point, her interview with James Gardiner was very friendly and practically veered off into discussing business ideas. Her interview with Okyeame Kwame was also a very relaxed one and she wasn’t in combat mode.

In many other interviews, this is not the case. In her interviews with Rosemond Brown popularly known as Akuapem Poloo and that with Xandy Kamel, she was downright condescending. Her recent interview with Evangelist Papa Shee where she refused to call him Evangelist as he preferred was painful to watch. Recently, she titled an interview with Nana Frema an upcoming artiste as “Delay interviews Dr. Obengfo Patient”. The artiste in another interview with ZionFelix expressed pain and disappointment with how the interview was titled. I believe this was to catch as many “eyeballs” as Delay herself usually puts it. I believe that this is however highly unfair.

It is apparent that Delay rides on sensationalism and controversies. There have been countless times when artistes have accused her of airing parts of interviews they explicitly asked her to edit out but with that being the juiciest part, Delay rarely does that. Her interviews with Joyce Blessing and Kurl Songs are examples of such controversies. Since Delay never explains her actions or such accusations, in essence, even if you are not happy with her following an interview “She is living her best life, ain’t no back and forth with you…”.

Delay also perpetuates certain cultural stereotypes which I find very uncomfortable. She continually hounds female guests with questions as to why they are not married. Recently in an interview with Kofi Mole, she kept going back and forth asking if he was gay because he had painted his finger nails and asked O.V if she was a lesbian because she dresses in a tomboyish fashion.

I can imagine that going to her show will be like navigating a minefield because you can never be too sure what she has on you. However, being on her show also gives you a huge visibility that other shows don’t provide so I suppose weighing both options artistes decide which for them will be more profitable. Some people have apparently boycotted the show because of her style but then there will be a lot more who will want to be on her show.

I watch the Delay show judiciously every week on Youtube. I have subscribed to the channel and on weeks where I don’t get notified of the show, I go on the channel to check if perhaps I missed the notification. That is how much I am addicted to the show.

Her show is one of, or perhaps the only celebrity interview-based entertainment show that has lasted that long (over a decade). Other entertainment heavy weights like Eddie Blay, Jon Germian, Bola Ray have hosted celebrity interviews on TV in the past but their shows are long dead. I believe Delay being both host and executive producer of her show changes the dynamic of what she has control over. Her interviews being predominantly conducted in the Twi language I surmise has also earned her a larger fanbase. Even though the show has weathered some serious controversies, like the Wanlov incident where most people thought her “time has finally come”, she and her show have stayed relevant in the showbiz industry. The show being available on YouTube means that it’s available to watch for anyone who has access to the internet. Her videos constantly trending as No. 1 in the country is evidence of the popularity of the show.

Delay’s show is doing well but she can do with some improvement. Her ‘Instaglam’ in recent times has lost its spark. It tells us nothing we have not seen ourselves in the explore pages of Instagram. In addition, I have noticed that Delay continually tries to link absent parents or single parenting to later “troubled child” symptoms in her interviews. This is becoming old. For someone who prides herself on being edge-cutting, she must do better especially with the interview section. While I love the brazen nature of her questions which continually draw me to watch the show, I believe the tenets of journalism such as fairness, objectiveness apply to talk shows as well even if they are purely for entertainment.

I don’t always like Delay’s style but it is apparent that she has finessed her craft and it is working for her. Like me, you can abhor Delay’s style of interviewing but I guess that is what also keeps us going back to the channel. We are eager to see what she has been up to; following juicy snippets of interviews she posts on her Instagram page. I have to say I grudgingly admire her grit. 

by Emelia Pobee

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