There are some women who know how to make an entrance in a packed room – and then there are the Idols SA 2016 ladies!
The eight female powerhouses made an entrance to remember when they opened Season 12’s live voting shows at Pretoria’s State Theatre with a sexy, yet classy, delivery of Rihanna’s Work. Looking relaxed in black skinny pants, white shirts and Aztec printed ponchos, they owned the stage and held the audience spellbound during the opening sequence. Talk about a memorable first impression!
As if Pretoria was not hot enough, Durban’s Afrotainment crew brought their own heat on stage; culminating in the Queen of Gqom, Babes Wodumo, performing her runaway chart topper Wololo. If anyone was in any doubt that Idols SA always bring the blaze, the first 20 minutes completely obliterated that!
The evening’s theme was “Hits of the Last Decade” and soon enough, the eight ladies came on stage to introduce themselves to Mzansi and seduce Idols faithfuls into falling in love and voting for them.
Valentine kicked things off with Beyonce’s Halo. Considering she was belting out a favourite on Queen Bey’s birthday, Valentine had a lot riding on the performance. It paid off. Gareth said she stood out among the other roses, Somizi wanted her to find her Sasha Fierce “Matlakala”, Unathi called the performance emotive and Randall congratulated her on choosing the perfect song to open the Top 16.
Things were off to a great start at the State Theatre.
Lucia followed with Adele’s Send My Love (To Your New Lover). Somizi said she has a great range and called her a future seasoned vocalist, Unathi warned that SA can be unforgiving and ruthless at this stage so Lucia needs to be on point with her delivery, Randall said it was safe and good but needed to be memorable, and Gareth agreed with him.
Bringing things home was Sgherdeed, who was a ball of dancing energy on stage while performing Deep in the Bottom by Black Coffee feat. Monique Bingham. Unathi complimented her on her interpretation both vocally and performance-wise, Randall said the performance was good but the voice quite flat, Gareth thought the song choice might not have been so great at this “critical” stage and Somizi said he got lost somewhere along Sgherdeed’s performance.
Coming in with a fighter spirit was Luke, performing Yoga by Jhanelle Mone feat. Jadena. Randall called the song choice “ambitious” but that Luke fell short, Gareth concurred with his fellow judge, Somizi felt she was restricted by the heels and uncomfortable, while Unathi thought nerves got the better of her.
Noma slowed things down with a deeply moving rendition of Rihanna’s Stay feat. Mikky Ekko. The goosebump-o-metre in the theatre went off the charts as she got a standing ovation. Gareth asked her to trust the musicians she way playing with, Somizi said not only is she gifted but has a beautiful soul as well, Unathi called the performance absolutely perfect and could barely contain her emotions, and Randall could not fault her but asked Noma to be more aware of her mic technique.
The lady with the intense facial expressions, Siyakha, brought the energy back up with local hit Valelisa by Trademark and Zinhle Ngidi. Somizi, who is unashamedly her biggest fan on the judges’ panel, said she was the girl to watch. Unathi called her voice incredible but felt distracted by her dancing, Randall believe she had done a better job of standing out than other contestants and Gareth said it was impossible to take his eyes off her.
Amanda was effortless in her performance of Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman. Unathi called her a dangerous woman, Randall gushed that it was the right song, she had presence and was emotive enough, Gareth called it his performance of the night, and Somizi was left speechless.
Nosihe closed up the show with Beyonce’s XO. Randall said her nerves got the better of her and in turn, she gave an average performance. Gareth said the song was a grade or two below expectation, Somizi said she was going to need Mzansi to forgive her so that they can keep her in. Unathi was certain that she was going to stay because Mzansi loves her despite her average week.
So who made a good impression? Who did Mzansi fall in love with at first sight? Well, we have a little time to wait because next week we have the eight guys who make up the Top 16 take their turn to seduce South Africa for votes. Don’t miss it!
Idols SA season 12 is on Mzansi Magic, DStv channel 161 on Sundays at 17h30.