The judges may have chosen the songs, but the spotlight was firmly on the Top 10 contestants as they belted out tunes from the night’s theme: The Judges’ Playlist.

It was a good evening for Somizi, who led the scoreboard with the most chosen songs.

Mthokozisi kicked things off with John Legend’s “Love Me Now”. The feedback was positive, with Somizi calling his voice warm and crisp. But Randall and Unathi felt he needs to hit his notes from the word go and not wait for the big chorus before unleashing the full might of his voice.

Tee followed up with Lira’s heartrending “Hamba”. While it went down “brilliantly” with Unathi, Somizi said he tried but failed to connect with her. Randall was left worried about her singing devolving into a cabaret show.

The Proudly South African theme continued with Botlhale singing “Naninina” by Vusi Nova. He received a silent “Whoo shem!” from Somizi, a lukewarm response from Randall and an enunciation critique from Unathi.

Thapelo’s song choice paid tribute to Idols alumna Zamajobe with “Ndawo Yami”. Again, the response was average as Randall pointed out that it only took off from the chorus. Unathi advised against “shouting” into the microphone and Somizi was more mesmerised with her beauty.

The cuddly Lindo was the first to get a unanimous thumbs up from all three judges for his rendition of John Legend’s “Ordinary People”. He even received a “Whoo shem!” from the stoic Randall, with Unathi calling it a “worldly” performance. “You are an ordinary guy with an extraordinary voice,” was Somizi’s rejoinder.

Unathi and Somizi told Phindy to “surrender” and leave everything on stage when she performed the sensual “1 + 1” by Beyoncé. Randall was not moved.

The tears finally flowed from Unathi’s eyes when the pastor’s daughter, Faith, put on a showstopper performance with the late S’fiso Ncwane’s hit, “Kulungile Baba”. “uThixo akubusise (God bless you),” was all Unathi could muster. “You didn’t entertain; you ministered!” said Somizi. A smiling Randall called it a Top 5 performance.

The youngest contestant, Paxton, celebrated her 17th birthday tonight with a high octave rendition of Ariana Grande’s hit, “Side to Side”, featuring Nicki Minaj. Unathi was on her feet, calling it “the perfect song and performance”. Somizi was speechless and Randall called it a “great” performance.

Thokozile took everyone on a dramatic musical journey that left the Somizi and Randall underwhelmed. Her expressive rendition of Mary J Blige’s “I’m Going Down” was fraught with emotion, but only Unathi had positive feedback for her.

The night’s closer was Christo, who performed “Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross. Randall said it wasn’t the finale he was looking for, but Unathi said he’d hit a sweet spot.

It remains to be seen who goes and who stays as Idols moves into the single digits next week.

Idols SA season 13 is on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) on Sundays at 17:00.

You can also join the Idols SA conversation via social media on Facebook: Idols South Africa (, Twitter: @IdolsSA #IdolsSA and Instagram: @IdolsSA.