Back to School For Idols SA’s Loyiso
THE shock exit of the hugely popular Loyiso Gijana this week, in that astonishing total vote of just under 9 million votes cast, proved that Idols SA Season 11 is literally anybody’s game at this stage.
The tension is really ratcheting up now, three weeks to the Idols SA Season 11 Finalé, but at least this week the Top 4 get a little break from the tension with a trip to London for a surprise musical experience, courtesy of Virgin Atlantic!
The musical theme for the Top 4 Spectacular this week was “My Idol”, with the contestants each performing two songs from the musical idols that have inspired them.
And the Top 4 guest star this week is herself the idol of many a young South African: none other than the “Kalawa Chikita”: performance poet and singer Busiswa, with her smash hit “Lahla”.
The first contestant to be safe this week and get that coveted boarding pass to London was Mmatema Moremi (23) from Limpopo, who chose the showstopping Céline Dion power ballad “Because You Loved Me” for the first round. “They love you,” Gareth Cliff told Mmatema. Somizi Mhlongo was not a fan of the song “but it was saved by your amazing voice,” he said. Unathi Msengana was impressed with how much Mmatema keeps tweaking and refining her craft. “You are confident, you are Godly, you are anointed,” she raved. Randall Abrahams was afraid that the constant praise for Mmatema would “begin to sound like treacle after a while”. But there is still three weeks to go, he cautioned her, “keep your eyes on the prize”.
And for her second time around Mmatema’s song was Fantasia’s “Lose To Win”. “We’re getting everything out of you guys tonight!” remarked an impressed Gareth. But Somizi said he couldn’t lie because lies gives him a rash – he did not enjoy that performance. Unathi agreed that Mmatema’s performance was too gospel-y. “Don’t go there as your safety net,” she cautioned. Randall admitted that even he has no idea who is going to win this competition, “so please take the judges’ advice to heart,” he cautioned.
24-year-old Siphelele Ngcobo from Durban stuck to his beloved South African classics again this week – Lira’s “Feel Good” for the first round, which Gareth noted was all about feeling good, “and throughout the competition so far you give people a good feeling,” he said. “You have no idea how proud I am of you. Your timing to peak is so impeccable,” said an impressed Somizi, and Unathi thought “it was absolutely incredible.” Randall didn’t want to talk about the singing itself, but he noted that Siphelele must be the most unaffected performer he’d ever seen in eleven seasons of Idols SA. “You’re still the same guy who’s working hard and wants to win,” he said.
And his second song was Ringo Madlingozi’s “Kum naKum”. “Perfect song choice,” said Gareth. “That. Was. Amazing!” said Somizi. “It’s performances like this that keep the people of the Kingdom of the Zulu, the Kingdom of heaven, so proud of you,” Unathi told Siphelele. And Randall noted that at this stage of the competition many singers tend to over-perform because they have something to prove, “but you have nothing to prove,” he praised Siphelele.
Karabo Mogane (24) from Mbombela first round choice was the Luther Vandross classic “So Amazing”. “I love Luther Vandross, I love that song, and I think you did it beautifully,” said Gareth. Somizi said if Karabo’s voice was a car he would “hijack it, steal it, and run!” Unathi told Karabo even if he doesn’t win the competition, “you will still be one of the most successful male vocalists that this country has ever borne.” But unfortunately Randall thought that, despite how good Karabo’s voice is, that performance was bland.
And his second round choice was the James Brown anthem “It’s a Man’s World”. “It’s a man’s world,” said Gareth, “except for Mmatema, watch out!” Somizi said Karabo can fill up the Dome now, “whooo, shem”. Unathi noted that the contestants have to make sure they are top-of-mind for the voters at the end of the show, and that Karabo certainly achieved that with this performance. And Randall noted that it was definitely better than the first round. “Thanks,” he said simply.
Moments after learning the shocking news of Loyiso’s eviction from the competition, Rhema Varrie (21) from Alberton won himself a standing ovation with his emotional performance of the Etta James standard, “I’d Rather Go Blind”. Gareth said that Rhema had added a special dimension to this whole competition, and that “that performance was stellar”. “Rhema, you break my heart,” said Somizi, and he implored Rhema to always perform at that level of intensity. “This performance is going to change the course of your life, and rightfully so,” Unathi told Rhema. Randall reminded Rhema of his advice to the contestants last week to give memorable performances at this stage of the competition, “and that’s what you did,” he said.
And Rhema closed the show with some of that Marvin Gaye “Sexual Healing”. Gareth pointed out that this song has to be delivered really sexually, and Rhema didn’t manage that. Or, as Somizi put it more succinctly: “Some songs you need to experience the lyrics before you sing it. One day …” he consoled. “You are too young for this song,” Unathi agreed. “You sang it beautifully but you were never ready!” And Randall just noted cryptically that “there’s a big gulf between emoting and emotion.”
The result of this week’s vote will be announced during the live broadcast of the Top 3 Spectacular next Sunday, 8 November, on M-Net, channel 101 on DStv, and Mzansi Magic, channel 161 on DStv. – Dstv
Follow us on Twitter on @FingazLive and on Facebook – The Financial Gazette