Radly Naidoo at auditions of Idols SA.

Joburg contestants turn up in droves for the third round of Idols SA auditions.

It was business unusual when a myriad of colourful characters lined the pathway leading up to the doors of Carnival City Casino on the East Rand.

More than 1 600 people defied gloomy weather to attend the Johannesburg leg of Idols SA auditions – and where hopeful stars go, musical instruments and theatrics are not far behind. The snaking queues had their fair share of guitar strummers, harmonica players, dancers and jesters.

Enrico Padi, 18, provided some distraction for the nervous crowd with his dance moves. The performer from Springs was returning for the second time to Idols SA after bombing out in the first round last time. “It’s because I was too nervous,” he confessed. “Now I’m dancing and having fun with people so that we can all be at ease when we go inside to perform.”

Then there was Nompumelelo Klaas, 26, and her friend, Zinhle Mathebula, 16. Both are from Orange Farm, they seemed determined to hold the record for being the earliest people to arrive to an Idols SA audition when they set up camp outside the venue on Friday night – a whole 36 hours before the doors opened.

Radlyn Naidoo’s story was different. The 19-year-old from Fairy Glen in Pretoria was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome at a young age, and suffers uncontrollable tics, twitches and outbursts.

He became somewhat of an Internet star after revealing on his blog how music has helped him cope. “I remember one day when I was about 10; I was watching TV and getting frustrated because I couldn’t understand what was happening.”

“My twitches were really bad so I just went to my room and locked myself in and sang. I only realised after the four hours in my room that I had not twitched at all. Now, I not only want to raise awareness about Tourette’s, but also revive the culture of humanity, empathy and unity,” said the second year B.Comm Informatics students from University of Pretoria.

After being told he has “the voice of an angel” by one of the vocal coaches, Radlyn is more than ready to conquer the hearts of the judges on whose hands lie his golden ticket fate.

The final round of auditions takes place at Grand West Entertainment World in Cape Town on Friday 5 March.

For more Idols SA XII details, check out the official Idols SA website at www.idolssa.tv