Last’s performances were appropriate for the gloomy Pretoria weather, with the contestants singing inspirational songs to warm the souls of the audience and uplift their spirits.
First up was Brandon with The Golden Gospel Singers’ ‘Oh Freedom’. His performance started the line-up on a high note, with the judges commending him for everything from his singing to his looks. While Randall Abrahams thought the performance was good, Unathi Nkhayi said it was his best performance so far, and Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung remarked he had gone from “underdog to hotdog to top dog”.
Ndoni’s rendition of Brenda Mtambo’s ‘Ungayeki’ was met with mix feelings, with Unathi and Somizi wishing she had surprised the viewers with a different choice of song but Randall saying it worked well for her because voters would remember her for it.
Zanothando sang ‘Superwoman’ by Alicia Keys and while Somizi and Randall thought the performance was good in parts, Unathi believed it was great, saying: “You had me from the first note you sang.”
Zama’s performance of Jennifer Hudson’s version of ‘A change is gonna come’ had the judges heaping her with praise. As presenter Proverb succinctly put it: Zama got love from Randall, the waterworks from Unathi and a Whoo Shem! from Somizi, who said she was, for him, the best female performer on Idols SA ever.
Bruce Mr Music brought us back to the local front with Sjava’s ‘Iqhawe’. Unathi called his performance electrifying and Somizi remarked he belonged to the stage, while Randall said as good as the song was – he was not the most memorable contestant of the evening.
Be’s rendition of ‘Make it happen’ by Mariah Carey received mixed reactions with Randall and Somizi saying it did not work for them, but Unathi putting the disconnect down to mic technique and saying she loved the performance.
The judges had only good things to say for Jooma, whose performance of Leon Bridges’ ‘River’ truly impressed Randall. “As far as the male singers go, you are my favourite,” he said. Unathi said it was a powerful performance, while Somizi called it powerful.
Ntokozo also received praise for Tori Kelly’s ‘Never Alone’. Unathi said she had both the technical and emotional side of music right. “That was brilliant,” she exclaimed. Somizi said he wished the song would not end, while Randall reminded her to ensure she was always better than her fellow contestants.
Succedor took on Stevie Wonder’s ‘Higher Ground’. Somizi loved the performance, while Randall said he would get votes because of his dancing and Unathi said she was always impressed by his choice of song. “Keep performing and being the entertainer you are,” she said.
Bongi closed out the show with Beyoncé’s ‘Spirit’, ending the evening on a high note. All the judges agreed she did a good job, with Randall saying she had done well to choose a big song and do a good job closing out the show. Unathi agreed with him, saying it was perfect. Somizi: “Now this is what I call a closing ceremony … you killed it!”
Said Nomsa Philiso, the director of Local Entertainment Channels at M-Net: “Tonight’s show certainly warmed our spirits and it is safe to say that judging the by the performances, the voters are on to something with their choices. I can only encourage them to continue voting to ensure their favourite wannabe Idols progress to the next stage of the show.”
With the voting lines open, it is time for the voters to decide who makes it to the top 9 next week.
Brandon: Oh Freedom – The Golden Gospel Singers
Ndoni: Ungayeki – Brenda Mtambo
Zanothano: Superwoman – Alicia Keys
Zama: A change is gonna come – Jennifer Hudson
Bruce Mr Music: Iqhawe – Sjava
Be: Make it happen – Mariah Carey
Jooma: River – Leon Bridges
Ntokozo: Never alone – Tori Kelly
Succedor: Higher ground – Stevie Wonder
Bongi: Spirit – Beyonce’s
Idols SA season 16 is on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 on Sundays at 17h00. For more information visit our website: http://www.idolssa.tv