In a little over a month, the 16th Idols SA winner will be announced, and in tonight’s episode, the top five added fire to their performances to ensure they return to perform yet another day.
With Ntokozo sadly out of the running after she was eliminated in tonight’s show, Ndoni, Mr Music, Zama, Brandon and ZanoThando will now need to ensure they woo her fans to gain those extra votes. And if the judges’ comments are anything to go by, they lived up to their expectations.
It was another music double header with the Idols SA hopefuls performing twice. For their first performances, they showed the wooden mic contenders – and the rest of Mzansi – how it should be performed, bringing back to life songs that had suffered horrible deaths during the audition rounds. In the second half of the show, they sang Mzansi’s most Shazamed hits.
Ndoni opened the evening with Berita’s ‘Ndicel’ ikiss’ and before returning later to perform ‘Senzeni’ by DJ Manzo SA. Randall Abrahams said she was sufficiently unique to always have a fighting chance in the competition, while Unathi Nkayi said she had been phenomenal. Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung was ecstatic, saying she had killed her first song and he had loved her second performance. “You were super amazing,” he said.
Mr Music was next with Ringo Madlingozi’s ‘Ndiyagodola’ before sining Sbahle’s ‘Emlanjeni’ in the second half of the show. Unathi said his second performance was better than his first, only because the second had been more believable. Somizi agreed with her, Mr Music now needed to show his emotions minus the dancing. However, he still enjoyed his performances, saying “so far, so good.” Randall asked him to now select a more inward-look and reflective song to woo voters beyond his fans.
Zama, who had had been shaky in the past couple of weeks, had the judges pleading with her to believe she had everything to win the competition. “You have the voice, you have the looks …own it,” Somizi said, begging her to build her confidence and stage presence. Somizi had been impressed with her rendition of Alicia Keys’s ‘A Woman’s Worth’ and her performance of Cici’s ‘Hamba Naye’. “It was beautiful, I loved it,” he said, while Randall echoed his sentiments, but adding she could be more emotive. Unathi too was impressed, declaring she was back in the competition.
Brandon was next, first with ‘7 Years’ by Lukas Graham and later with ‘Your Love’ by Azana. The judges were emphatic that his were the best performances of the night, with Randall remarking that he has been quietly moving up the ranks with little fanfare but brilliant performances. He commented that Brandon’s first song had suited him but the phrasing could have been better. The second performance, however, was the performance of the night, Randall said. Unathi called him dynamic, saying he had the mark of a true winner, while Somizi declared he had been his favourite in the first round and the second round, while the second round was also amazing.
ZanoThando was the last performer in each round, first performing Bill Withers’ ‘Lean on Me’ and later ‘Bella Ciao’ by Nicole Elocin and Tyler ICU. None of the judges were impressed by his first performance, all remarking he had been off-key. However, Unathi said he had the best stage presence of all the contestants, adding that his was a formidable performer. Randall said his second performance suited him better because it allowed him to dance and perform, with Somizi agreeing with him.
With the competition fast nearing its end, it is now up to the voters to choose who makes it to the top four. Says Nomsa Philiso, Director of Local Entertainment Channels at M-Net: “The voters are ultimately the ones who will decide who becomes our Idols winner this year. And I am excited that so many of them are doing just that – and I thank the 16-million voters who voted this year’s top five for proving that they can identify true talent.”