The Top 8 finalists for Idols SA season 12

The heat was cranked up a little bit higher on Sunday night as the race to the Idols crown became more real. In what host Proverb called a shock result, one of the favourite contestants, Valentine, received the least number of votes from the Mzansi public.

But before the inevitable sad exit, the Idols SA Top 8 brought magic to the South African State Theatre in Pretoria with the help of last year’s winners of Clash of the Choirs.

First to make up the Top 8 was Thami, who opened the show with a spirited performance of Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered that had the crowd on their feet chanting his name and Randall raising his hands to “testify”. It was an explosive start to the show!

Next up was a delighted Bevin, who sang Mariah Carey’s I’ll Be There, which gave Unathi “goosebumps”.

Safe and in the Top 8 next was Keegan, who surprised with his rendition of Nguwe by Ntando. “You reminded us that we are multilingual; thank you for teaching us that. Your performance was lit!” was Unathi’s assertion. Gareth agreed. “You showed some versatility tonight that most of us didn’t know you had.”

The first female to make it through to the Top 8 was Lucia, who performed Lesego’s Afrika. Randall compared her voice to shortbread because “you always want more”. Somizi described her as “perfection” and that people will find her in the finale without understanding how she got there.

The State Theatre went into a frenzy when Terra Cox sang Michael Jackson’s Will You Be There. Unathi sobbed throughout and could not utter a word afterwards, Somizi ran up on stage to tightly hug the contestant, Randall said he had nothing to add, while Gareth – who seemed to be the only one who could string a sentence together – simply said: “You are really unbelievable! How did we wait so long to meet you?”

As the next contestant to make it to the Top 8, Noma kept the bar just as high. Her effortless delivery of Mariah Carey’s Without You received nothing but praise from the judges. “For the first time since I met you, I’m hearing a bit of hoarseness in your voice and I love that. It means you are pushing yourself and surrendering yourself. That makes me so happy. Keep pushing,” was Unathi’s advice.

A visibly relieved Tebogo built up slowly to a crescendo that had three of the judges raving about his performance of R. Kelly’s World’s Greatest, which was compared to an erupting volcano by Unathi.

The nerve-wrecking announcement of the last person to make the Top 8 saw Nosihe pitted against Valentine, with the latter making a shocking but graceful exit on the show. A shaken but happy Nosihe then rounded off the Top 8 performances with Thandiswa Mazwai’s Ingoma. “You are allowed to smile and relax. You did very well,” said Gareth. Somizi, however, cautioned her to “pay attention to detail. Vocally I can’t fault you, but the interpretation is also just as important.”

Besides the Idols contestants, entertainment was provided by Mzansi crooner Donald, who gave the audience and viewers a taste of his Red Mic Experience by singing a mash-up of his popular R'n'B hits before being joined by Dream Team.

South Africa also got introduced top one Idols SA superfan by the name of Roger Quan, who has been attending Idols SA live shows since 2009. Could it be why this learning materials designer is still single? We’ll never know!

Join us next week for what promises to be the best Showstopper live show yet. You miss it, you miss out!

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