Mon 28 Mar 2016, 09:00
Spectacular showdowns create drama and dilemmas on The Voice SA
How do you pick a winner when incredibly talented singers under your wing go all out to give the performances of their lives in head-to-head Battles of note? Coaches Karen Zoid, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Lira and Kahn Morbee faced this agonising dilemma after pairing up some of the show’s standout stars in this week’s episode of The Voice SA.
The scene for the evening’s drama, excitement and emotional intensity was set when charismatic performer Clemour Ngobeni (24) from Midrand took on the quiet but formidable teacher from Fontainbleau, Justin Swallow (23) with the Katy Perry anthem “Roar”. Their roars had the coaches raving. Lira praised their feistiness and presence, while the blown-away Karen wanted to cry in a good way when Justin went into his high register, and then called Clemour “a dynamo”. But it was up to coach Kahn to decide who would stay in his team and the conflicted Parlotones frontman had to consult with his co-coach Vicky Sampson. In the end, Clemour was named the winner of this ferocious battle.
If this was not dramatic enough, Lira then pitted two talents against each other, who both turned all four of the coaches’ chairs during the Blind Auditions: popular teacher and humanitarian from Kagiso on the West Rand of Johannesburg Tshegofatso Makhafola (27), and the equally popular Sibulele Miti (27) from King William’s Town. Lira furthermore upped the ante by pulling them out of their comfort zone with The Bangles hit “Eternal Flame”. The two introverted singers dazzled with fantastic performances and at decision time, the very proud Coach Lira chose Sibulele to progress in the competition.
Coach Bobby also had to make a tough call when two Afrikaans divas, Nolene Olivier (24) from Sandton and Sumaré van Schalkwyk (34) from Brackenfell , wowed the coaches and audience with their heartfelt interpretation of Corlea Botha’s Afrikaans classic “Swart Koffie”. The coaches disagreed about who the winner should be, leaving Bobby to check-in with his co-coach Toya Delazy. They picked the bubbly Nolene.
#TeamBobby’s second showdown happened to be just as epic. Experienced performers Lyle Volkwyn (29) and Gavin Edwards, (37), took it down to the wire with the Bryan Adams ballad, “Please Forgive Me”. “I forgive both of you!” Karen quipped. “I feel like you left your soul on that stage. You took it to another level,” Lira commented. “I’m so proud of you guys, we’ve been working a lot this week,” Bobby told his team members. “You guys are amazing, I admire your talent ... For me, the guy who won the battle today is Gavin.”
Then there was also the battle between the #TeamKahn best friends, and a surprise twist for #TeamKaren, when not two but three singers had to enter the Battle grounds.
Stellenbosch student Francis Bowers (22) from Melkbosstrand and 45-year-old Michelle Booysen from Boksburg were challenged with the Elton John classic “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” by coach Kahn. Lira said Michelle reminded her of Barbra Streisand, and Karen heard shades of the South African singer Cindy Alter, from the group Clout, in her voice, but ultimately Kahn went with Francis Bowers for his team.
After a few very tough days of training, Karen Zoid made an announcement that created additional stress for Cape Town rocker Alicia-Ann du Plessis (22) and the fitter-and-turner from Stilfontein, Almur Marais (25). They would be joined by Pretoria rocker Marcel De Almeida (24), as his competitor Sofaya Nkosi (28) withdrew from the competition due to other engagements. "There are three people, and we’re allowed to take two through,” Karen explained.
Karen deliberately put her rockers together in this tenacious trio, and they had to earn their stripes with the Aerosmith classic, “Living on the Edge”. Almur nailed it, but Karen was conflicted regarding her second choice: “Thinking about the rock thing, tell me who you would keep?” she asked her fellow coaches. Kahn noted that Marcel had the bigger range, but “I felt your performance was more sincere,” he told Alicia-Ann. “Here’s the deal,” Karen announced her final decision ... “Marcel’s skill level is higher than Alicia-Ann’s. Marcel, ek sal jou deurvat, maar ons moet daai goed afleer!”
So, that is how 24-year-old Marcel Almeida joined six other singers to make it through to the Live rounds of The Voice SA.
This week’s haul of winners comprises: Marcel De Almeida (24), Almur Marais (25), Gavin Edwards (37), Nolene Olivier (24), Sibulele Miti (27), Francis Bowers (22), and Clement “Clemour” Ngobeni (24).
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