Unathi Nkayi. Picture: Supplied
Unathi Nkayi. Picture: Supplied

First 8 'Idols SA' finalists take top 16 spots

By Amanda Maliba Time of article published Aug 16, 2021

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Theatre week, aka “hell week”, proved to be a difficult road in making dreams come true as some contestants crumbled under the pressure and some rose and made a lasting impression.

Contestants had to perform one last time to a small group of media personnel and the judges, and hear their fate the next day – with a strong group of performers, making the final judgement that much harder.

Eighteen year old Bulelani was the first to secure a spot after a very emotional mic check session, that had the vocal coach Margaret Motsage worried.

Singing Mnqobi Yazo’s hit song “247”, Bulelani had the crowds cheering and Somizi Mhlongo commenting that he was entertaining, securing a spot to further compete.

Another artist who got a standing ovation, with her rendition of Zendaya’s “Neverland”, is 30-year-old Berry, who was complimented on having strong performance rounds each time.

Berry is joined by another 30-year-old, who broke down in tears at the news of her advancement, Misty, who gave a very entertaining rendition of Black Coffee’s “Ready For You”.

Kevin, a full-time musician was another to secure a spot after his solo performance of Giveon’sStuck on You”, with Unathi Nkayi saying he has got more and more consistent.

Karabo, 21, who had stated that she was intimidated by Randall Abrahams in her earlier auditions, was another to be sent through to the top 16, after giving her rendition of Amu Faku’s “Lala Ngoxolo”, and clearly getting Randall’s attention by being dubbed an underdog.

Three other contestants who sailed through to the top 16 are Monique, who received the balloon celebration on the day she turned 21 after securing a golden ticket, who performed Rowlene’s “Hypnotise” at her final audition; Siya Motloung, 21, giving his rendition of Blaq Diamond’s “Sthandwa” after a rocky theatre week; and Sia Mzizi, 20, doing Childish Gambino’s “Redbone”.

With 30 contestants fighting for a spot in the Top 16, it is clear that not everyone will make it.

Likable contestants who failed to impress the judges at the solo auditions were 24-year-old Dudlu-KaDlamini, who struggled with Elaine’s popular song “Risky”, admitting that she didn’t know the song.

She actually doesn’t know Elaine, she admitted. Randall commented that she hasn’t been consistent and that showed on stage.

Lionel, 24, who was frustrated at mic check for not getting the song right, was another to bite the dust, along with 23-year-old Faith, who actually annoyed the vocal coach, Kurt Herman, who said he wasn’t convinced that Faith was serious due to her lack of preparation.

Someone else who frustrated Kurt was 23-year-old Ceejay whose voice didn’t come to the party.

With the pressures mounting, Mic Nash, 25, crumbled so hard that he walked off stage even before he concluded his song, having frustrated vocal coach Motsage, who said Nash completely went off script from what they had rehearsed. His nerves overtook him and that was the end of his journey.

While the other contestants’ bad news somehow matched their feelings about their performances, Noluswazi, 25, was in disbelief when sent packing after singing Beyoncé’s “Love On Top”.

Noluswazi thought she nailed her performance, while Somizi said she was “in her own father’s church”, “and they will follow me,” while completely off key.

The remaining eight spots will be filled this coming Sunday as the show gears up for the live performance that puts the power in the hands of the viewers.

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