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Television

Idols SA Season 15 Kicked Off In Pretoria

Mzansi’s popular singing reality show kicked off last night in the capital city of South Africa, Pretoria.

If the mixed feelings we got from the opening show of Idols Season 15 is anything to run home with, the mood setter left many of us excited about the kind of talent we are going to see this year.

Queues of determined Idols wannabes left no space to even walk by or park around the State Theatre. The home of the new music genre Amapiano had people singing in baritones, high notes, low notes and no-notes. Others were keeping it formal and serious like they had mistaken the Idols auditions for the business conducted at the Union Buildings. Others showed up, but their voices were for anything but singing.

Randall for a change was bubbly, even though he didn’t leave his brutal honesty at home. He dished it up as much as it was needed. Unathi was her warm and giggly self and she was kind where kindness was a necessity. Somizi’s authenticity was fully present. And the guest judge, Dr Rebecca Malope, enjoyed herself and gave a handful of NOs when she was not impressed.

A 16-year-old girl from Benoni, shame Benoni (next to Boksburg), was the first contestant to hit the auditions stage and the first to grab the golden ticket to Theatre Week. For a season themed ‘go for gold‘, it meant that it was a promising start for the 15th instalment.

But it didn’t take long until viewers were introduced to a downward spiral of disappointment. 26-year-old Esther opened the floodgates of not so good singing and her singing was contagious. It was pouring not so good voices on the Idols stage in Tshwane.

Then Pretoria’s hopes were supposed to be revived by Yada-Lee, but that did not work out as expected for the 21-year-old who has recorded 44 songs. If anything, it left many viewers wondering what kind of songs were given studio time to be recorded.

As the Pretoria curtains closed, we were left with 24 golden ticket winners who will battle it out at Theatre Week. It was a golden moment for some hopefuls, and it will be the coming weeks that will show that the start is golden or not.

It is on and the contestants are going for gold!

Idols SA season 15 is on Mzansi Magic, (DStv 161) on Sundays at 17h30. For more information visit our website: www.idolssa.tv

You can also join the Idols SA conversation via social media on… Facebook: Idols South Africa (www.facebook.com/IdolsSA) , Twitter: @IdolsSA #IdolsSA Instagram: @IdolsSA

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Television

Emotions Run High As Ntokozo Bows Out Of Idols In Shock Exit

Youth Talent reigns as Idols collaborates with Joburg Youth Orchestra for an unforgettable night of music.

The Idols Season 14 train is barreling full steam ahead, and contestants are in full fight mode as they battle for their place on board.

The numbers dwindled further tonight as Mzansi bade a sad farewell to Ntokozo, officially bringing the Top Eight into play. Those are the competitors who will dazzle the country and the studio audience with the eagerly-awaited Showstopper spectacle next Sunday.

Before tonight’s elimination, however, all nine enjoyed the stage together for their opening number. Performing Symphony by Clean Bandit, accompanied by solo instrumentalist Davina Mae Gordon and the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra, they set the tone for the evening’s harmonious live show.

Niyaaz took to the stage first after being announced safe, singing Hozier’s Take Me to Church. While Randall felt it was “soupy”, Unathi thought it was one of the best performances the young Capetonian has had so far.

Xae followed up with Solange’s Cranes in the Sky, an act the judges couldn’t fault. “That was a consummate performance,” declared Unathi. The other judges, however, cautioned her against being too “arty” with song choice and hoped for something more up-tempo next week.

Next to make the Top Eight was crowd favourite, King B. The judges were all impressed that he chose a more restrained song in Zahara’s Loliwe. “We know you can belt it out; tonight you proved you can tone it down. People want different things and you are giving it to them,” pronounced Randall.

The previous weeks’ performances might not have yielded positive results for Nosipho, but after Hurt by Christina Aguilera, the judges were singing her praises. “That’s the Nosipho I’ve been missing; she’s back!” asserted Unathi. Randall praised her focus and Somizi advised her to “own your star quality”.

Next on the spotlight was Lincoln, putting on an orchestral version of Sia’s Electric Heart. Unathi called him a “wonder to watch”, Somizi wanted his entire outfit, and Randall admitted to being pleasantly surprised by the “really good” performance.

Teen sensation Yanga brought the house down with her performance of Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart by Alicia Keys. Not only did Somizi wipe the floor for her with his jacket, he also laid it down for her to stand on. There really was little more to say after that except …. Whooo Shem!

With three people left in the holding room, Thato was happy to hear his name called and gave a heartfelt performance of Treat You Better by Shawn Mendez. Randall said he could see him in the Top Four. Somizi praised his “perfection” and Unathi said she “loves how you seamlessly move from pop to soul and back again”.

Bringing up the rear of the Top Eight was Thando, who was left emotional by the stress of the result. Her fervent performance of Justin Bieber’s As Long As You Love Me was a testament, and Unathi told her to “take it all in” because Mzansi was showing her how much they do indeed love her.

With the stress, anxiety and emotion of elimination, Idols SA proved it was still a music show of the highest calibre. Mzansi was even treated to an exceptional performance of Kwesta’s Spirit accompanied by the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra. Definitely one for the Idols history books!

Idols SA season 14 is on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 on Sundays at 17h00. For more information visit our website: www.idolssa.tv
You can also join the Idols SA conversation via social media on… Facebook: IdolsSouth Africa (www.facebook.com/IdolsSA) , Twitter: @IdolsSA #IdolsSA Instagram: @IdolsSA

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Television

Mzansi Picks The King Over crooner As Mthokozisi Bows out Of Idols Season 14

When things came down to the wire tonight, it was between traditional crooner Mthokozisi and the unique flavour of King B. Mzansi made their voices heard and chose to bid farewell to the KZN singer who had serenaded them with some of SA’s best Afropop ballads.

Mthokozisi and King B

Before the announcement, the entire Top 10 got to enjoy the stage together for the last time with a fabulous rendition of Mafikizolo’s Ndihamba Nawe.

You could cut the tension with a knife in the backstage waiting room where the contestants were nervously awaiting their fate. This year, the format was slightly altered with the Top Nine slowly being called to the stage to perform their Throwback Sunday song. The last one left standing meant they had received the least number of votes out of the over 7 million votes cast for the Top Nine.

It might have seemed like a slow and agonising wait for the contestants, but host Proverb made a fairly quick job of announcing the safe singers, in no particular order.

First to breathe easy was Lincoln, who started off the solo performances with what Unathi called a “very sexy” rendition of Ginuwine’s racy 1996 hit, Pony. Randall, however, felt he needed to be “a little more serious and a little less cabaret”.

Xae also received a solid number of votes, which saw her perform a slowed-down version of Janet Jackson’s That’s The Way Love Goes. Unathi thought it was a “great” interpretation of the 1993 chart-topper. Somizi exclaimed: “You are R&B! I can’t fault you!”

Next to be safe was Niyaaz, who serenaded the live audience and viewers at home with Forever, the 1997 smooth jam from British boy band Damage. Randall called it the “perfect” song for him, and Somizi concurred.

Yanga still gets to be the baby of the group, as she made it to the Top Nine. Her song choice, Before You Walk Out My Life from Monica’s 1995 debut, had the judges unanimously agreeing it was perfect for her. While Randall felt she was “great” and the “full package”, Somizi advised her to be “younger and more colourful” going forward since her vocal ability cannot be faulted.

A nervous Thato leapt out of his chair in excitement when Proverb called out his name. He managed to restrain his voice for a slow acoustic start to Shai’s 1992 If I Ever Fall In Love. The judges gave him a thumbs up, with Randall saying he reminded him of a younger Usher while Unathi called him “the full package”.

Thando chose Bills Bills Bills by Destiny’s Child, the 1999 club banger that saw Somizi give her a 10/10 and a “whoo shem!” Randall let the compliments roll, saying her performance, attitude, voice and everything were simply “fantastic”. Unathi said she loved that Thando was coming out of her shell. “You are not only becoming an incredible singer, but an incredible performer too.”

A princess-like Nosipho took to the stage to sing Mariah Carey’s Open Arms, which serenaded the world back in 1996. The judges were not convinced. Randall called it pitchy throughout, Unathi advised her to remember why she was in the competition, and Somizi told her to trust herself.

Ntokozo was the second last to make it on to the stage. Her performance of Toni Braxton’s He Wasn’t Man Enough from 1996 received the least enthusiasm from the judges. They pointed out a pattern that might see the youngster not make further into the competition. “I’m very worried about you,” said Unathi.

King B brought up the rear after it came down to him and Mthokozisi. He closed off the show with a performance of Michael Jackson’s ground-breaking 1992 hit, Remember The Time, that received a standing ovation from the crowd and Somizi. The judge even went up on stage to gift him a crown – which was quite fitting for a King.

It’s now up to the voting public to keep their favourites in the competition as they vote for the Top 8 next week!

Idols SA season 14 is on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 on Sundays at 17h00. For more information visit our website: www.idolssa.tv

You can also join the Idols SA conversation via social media on… Facebook: IdolsSouth Africa (www.facebook.com/IdolsSA) , Twitter: @IdolsSA #IdolsSA Instagram: @IdolsSA

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Television

Idols SA: Top 10 Performs Judges’ Playlist

The all-new glamorous Top 10 were unveiled tonight, bringing some pop star allure to the Idols stage. The contestants were styled by a glam squad that saw them outfitted in some of the best threads and accessories Truworths has to offer, with perfect hair and make-up to match.

This evening’s theme was the Judges’ Playlist, an on-going friendly match to see which judge will have the most songs picked by the contestants. The honour went to Unathi, whose tally of five songs picked dethroned last year’s winner Somizi.

The show got off to an up-tempo start when a red-clad Nosipho performed Lady Zamar’s pop hit, Collide. Randall said it reminded him of Kylie Minogue, but she needed to “turn it up” more. Somizi, on the other hand, predicted it to be a forgettable performance.

Next up was Mthokozisi, who looked spiffy in a tuxedo jacket, taking on Maxwell’s Ascension, a decision applauded by Unathi who said: “To attempt a falsetto with such a deep voice is commendable.” An unimpressed Somizi put it bluntly: “There was no dynamic, no colour. It was bland. It wasn’t nice.”

Lincoln came on stage in a flamboyant floral outfit that he said was inspired by Somizi. His rendition of Ringo’s Sondela was “respectful”, according to Unathi. Randall felt he brought soul to the song, and Somizi said he killed it.

The judges agreed that the diminutive Xae brought some fire with her vocals on Shekhinah’s Please Mr, but needed to go “big” and show off more personality on stage instead of sorely relying on her voice.

The contestant who likes to “smile with my eyes” took on Ed Sheeran’s Perfect. Niyaaz received some mixed reviews, with the judges pointing out the song had started off well, but he had over-sang it by the end. “You don’t need to over-emote; the song’s lyrics are enough,” advised Randall.

Self-confessed tomboy, Ntokozo, took on the uplifting gospel anthem Fill Me Up by Tasha Cobbs. Unathi called her attempt “fearless” while Randall felt the song itself was going to save her for this week.

Thato brought it back home with I Got You by Encore. “You are the first performer so far this evening to have presence. You know that this is a competition,” was Randall’s compliment. “You are the full package,” concurred Somizi. “You have charisma, charm and confidence. Your tone went hand in hand with that song.”

The petit Thando took on the big guns with Aretha Franklin’s (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. Unathi and Somizi gave their critique, but all everyone heard was Randall. “Blah blah blah! Finally, we have a competition!”

Blouse-loving King B had all eyes on him as he sang Love On The Brain by Rihanna, with just a piano for accompaniment. “You are a true example of honesty and self-acceptance. You are not just a voice, you are honesty and we love that honesty,” said Somizi. “You are also a great singer. You do melodrama well.” Unathi summed it up: “You killed it! This is one of my favourite performances so far.”

Teen wonder Yanga closed off the show with a superb rendition of Amazulu by Amanda Black, that left Unathi emotional. “I had specifically chosen that song for you and hoped you’d pick it. You have done it justice; avulekil’amazulu.”

With the judges having made their song choices and their voices heard, it’s now up to the voting public to keep their favourite on the show.

Let’s get voting!

Idols SA season 14 is on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 on Sundays at 17h00. For more information visit our website: www.idolssa.tv

You can also join the Idols SA conversation via social media on… Facebook: Idols South Africa (www.facebook.com/IdolsSA) , Twitter: @IdolsSA #IdolsSA Instagram: @IdolsSA

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Television

Idols SA: Mzansi Chooses The Top 10

MZANSI FLEX THEIR VOTING MUSCLE TO CHOOSE IDOLS SA SEASON XIV’S TOP 10

There was drama, intrigue, twists and turns, and a whooping nine million votes for Idols Season 14’s first live voting show!

Tonight, saw Proverb having the unenviable task of announcing this season’s Top 10, whittled down from 16 eager and hopeful contestants.

Fortunately, he had some help from some of Mzansi’s popular entertainers who provided a bit of reprieve from the tension with a packed entertainment line-up that included Tipcee feat. Joejo, Thami, Heavy K feat. Ntombi, Lady Zamar, and DJ Maphorisa, DJ Raybel, TDK Macassette, Zulu Mkhathini and Moonchild. It was LIT!

Not to be left out of the action, the judges also threw their own spanner in the works when they announced they would not be using their wild card picks this year. Instead, they gave the voting power to South Africa, and the two contestants with the most votes from the “Maybe” list were put through.

Basimane Boys Melato aka King B (19) was the first to hear the magic words “You’re in the Top 10!” from host Proverb. The HR student from Kagiso has been a firm favourite since his dazzling Theatre Week performance that saw him get a standing ovation, which he followed up with another crowd-pleasing performance during the Top 16 Boys show. He reciprocated the love with his now trademark vosho…as Kings do!

The teenagers are certainly not here to play.

Yanga Sobetwa (17) is flying the Generation Z flag high and proud. Following the footsteps of last season’s teen victor, Paxton, Season 14’s youngest contestant has stepped out of the Cape Town township of Langa straight into the national spotlight. Could she be next star from Langa, like the timeless Brenda Fassie?

Nosipho Silinda (18) recently celebrated her birthday in the Idols house, and South Africa gifted the Grade 11 pupil from Ladysmith in KZN with a spot in the Top 10.

Ntokozo Makhathini (18) must be drinking the same Witbank water as her neighbour, Idols season nine winner Musa. Whatever it is, she’s keeping her small town on the map with her inclusion in the Top 10. It looks like her passion for conservation tourism will have to wait a little longer.

Zamagambu Memela aka Xae (19) made Idols history by becoming the first contestant to get a Golden Ticket autographed – by all the judges. While that was a sweet but meaningless gesture, making it into the Top 10 is a big deal for the youngster from Pinetown, Durban.

Thando Mngomezulu (19) finally overcame her crippling lack of confidence to give a dynamite performance that saw the country showing their appreciation with votes. South Africa spoke, the judges listened, and Thando from Jozi made it to the Top 10.

Mthokozisi Nqcobo (20) may have had only two pairs of shoes when he first auditioned, but his spot in the Top 10 proves walking in them to the audition was worth it. The Umlazi, Durban, native is finally on stage doing what he says heals his heart – singing.

Thato Makape (23) is the epitome of courage and determination, as his inclusion in the Top 10 proves. A barber from Postmasburg in the Northern, Makape travelled nearly 10 000km for an audition in Cape Town. Tonight, South Africa showed him that the journey was worth it.

Lincoln Lewis (22) from Ravensmead on the Cape Flats has been bringing fire every time he steps on stage. After being told he had given judges “the best audition of the season so far”, he went on to impress during Theatre Week and received a unanimous thumbs-up for his Top 16 performance. Now South Africa wants to see more.

Niyaaz Arendse (22) snatched the last spot in the Top 10. After many years of rejection on the show, it was no wonder the youngster from Ottery, Cape Town, was so overcome with emotion. It was on this emotional high that the curtain came down on tonight’s show.

The eliminated contestants are Dalene Swartz, Lethabo Ramatsui aka Wattahmelon, Bongiwe Pearl Mdaka, Victor Matalane, Sandile Skosana and Mnqobi Dlamini.

Idols SA season 14 is on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 on Sundays at 17h00. For more information visit our website: www.idolssa.tv

You can also join the Idols SA conversation via social media on… Facebook: Idols South Africa (www.facebook.com/IdolsSA) , Twitter: @IdolsSA #IdolsSA Instagram: @IdolsSA