As the Blind Auditions of The Voice SA reach their halfway mark this coming Sunday on M-Net at 17:30, the four coaches are still looking to fill approximately 50 percent of the spots in their teams, and judging by the recent buzz online from the likes of singer Thandiswa Mazwai and golfing legend Gary Player, it’s not just the coaches who have been wowed and surprised by some unforgettable performances from talent over the past few weeks.
This week, fans of the show can expect more talent from the “Friendly City”, Port Elizabeth, the youngest contestant of the season – fresh out of high school, as well as a whole host of professional performers who have made their love of music a full time occupation and are entering The Voice SA to take their careers to the next level with the hopes of landing a coach and mentor. But the bar has been set extremely high so far, and the coaches are not simply going to turn on a whim: their decision must now be calculated based on what their teams currently look like. Here is a breakdown of the team tallies so far, and where in South Africa all of the talent have come from to date:
Soulful songstress Lira currently has a total of seven talent in her team, meaning that there are only five spots left. Her team includes four powerhouse and uniquely distinct female vocalists, namely Bubbles Mnomiya and Tender Mavundla, both from Kwa Zulu-Natal, beautician Jacqueline Tolken from Kempton Park and Port Elizabeth’s Amanda Faku who received the fastest four-chair-turns from the coaches in the history of the show when she auditioned last week (19 February). Not to be outshone, the guys in #TeamLira each pack their own punch too. There’s Season 1 winner Richard Stirton’s best friend Luke Lovemore from Cape Town, the young Aston Wylie from Gonubie and the oldest member of the team Andrew Snyders (37) from Cape Town who also joined Lira’s team last week.
Last season’s winning coach Kahn Morbee is the one mentor who has historically been drawn to the more left-of-centre performers and singers with the most distinctly different sounds. This season is no exception, as Kahn seems to be biding his time, hand-picking talent that are notably different from the run-of-the-mill. With only four singers in Kahn’s team so far, he has the luxury of being more liberal with his buzzer going forward. Making up #TeamKahn to date are the gravelly-voiced Durbanite Freddy Lalendle, who Karen compared to Tom Waits, bubbly music teacher Kirby Jo from Cape Town, sassy Information Science graduate from Grahamstown Zee Gqamana and of course, the guy with arguably the biggest personality ever seen on The Voice SA stage, Johan “Fatman” Brummer from Bela-Bela.
Karen Zoid, always a fierce competitor in the red chairs, has also remained cautious and calculated in her chair turns thus far. In her current team of five are two powerful female performers who both tried out last season without any luck, but returned to the show this year to set the coaches’ chairs spinning. They are Marissa Petzer, girlfriend of #TeamKaren’s Season 1 alum Almur Marais from Stilfontein, and Johannesburg-based Veronique Lalouette who was a familiar face to all of the coaches as she is a session musician with whom they have all worked at one point in time. Karen also has the only duo of the show so far, The Massers, a brother and sister team from Pretoria. Balancing out the team are the ever-stylish and jazzy Lindo Sithole from KZN and the most recent addition, young Armand Joubert from eMalahleni.
Bobby van Jaarsveld’s team tally also sits on five performers to date. As the youngest coach on the show, Bobby also seems to be selecting younger, fresh talent for his team this time around. 19-year-old Anchen Groenewald from Rustenburg was one of the first to join #TeamBobby, followed by fellow 19-year-old Chad Jubber from Durban and 18-year-old Rick Jansen from Centurion. Bobby also managed to bag the first contestant who has even chosen him out of a four-chair-turn from all of the coaches, namely chemical engineer Marco Basson (23), who is based in Van der Bijl Park. The oldest and newest member of Bobby’s team is Jeanne-Mari Engelbrecht (29), an English teacher from Strand whose version of a Whitney Houston classic landed her a spot on #TeamBobby.
What will the coaches’ strategy be going forward in the show, and how hard are they willing to fight in order to cinch the best talent for their teams? Fans can find out every Sunday night on M-Net channel 101 at 17:30 or every Monday night at 18:00 on M-Net City channel 115. Viewers can also visit www.mnet.tv/thevoice to watch exclusive interviews with the coaches and talent, and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @VoiceSA / #TheVoiceSA or on the official “Voice SA” Facebook page. You can also download The Voice SA app today for exclusive show-related games and special features.