In a shocking result, Idols SA host ProVerb announced at the State Theatre in Pretoria that sixteen-year-old Loyiso Gijana had to leave his Idols' dreams behind and return to his studies at Uitenhage’s Muir College. Loyiso is the sixth contestant to be voted off South Africa’s popular singing contest.
It was a fierce battle for a spot in this week’s Top 4, with just under an astonishing nine million votes cast from last Sunday’s Top 5 Spectacular to the close of voting at 22:00 on Tuesday evening (27 October) – by far the most votes ever cast in any single voting cycle in Idols SA history.
Having just turned sixteen when he first auditioned back in March, Loy-Loy – as the irrepressible teenager affectionately became known – was the baby of Idols SA Season 11, but he dominated the competition from the very beginning. Loyiso was one of the very few contenders who scored yeses from all four judges in his original audition, and at Sun City already Somizi Mhlongo told the teen he had a bright future in the music business, after his performance of Usher’s “Good Kisser” in the solo auditions.
But this youngster from the small Eastern Cape town of Uitenhage always had a bright future anyway. At school he was a very focused student, singing in the school choir and competing in rugby, tennis, and athletics. He was always determined to go to university, even if he should win Idols SA. “Economics,” he said. “I want to sell stuff – be able to package and sell my image to the people.” Hardly surprising since his stepdad runs a tavern and his mom is an accountant and also runs her own transport business. “Granny also ran her own business, a spaza shop – so I grew up with entrepreneurship,” the level-headed young man pointed out at auditions.
That determination was Loyiso’s attitude from the very start of the Top 10 competition. “Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll be in the Top 2,” Idols SA judge Gareth Cliff predicted after his performance of Emile Sandé’s “Next To Me” in the Top 10 Spectacular. He blew the judges away again the following week in the Top 9 show with the Sara Bareilles ballad, “Gravity”. “Your artistic intelligence is beyond me,” said an impressed Somizi Mhlongo.
Randall Abrahams thought Loyiso’s performance of the Bobby McFerrin classic “Don’t Worry Be Happy” in the Top 8 Spectacular was “absolutely top level”, and when he did the House hit “Don’t Look Down”, by Martin Garrix in the Top 7 “Showstopper” Spectacular, Randall thought the one quality he had over all of the other contestants was charm.
“I don’t know how to fault you,” Somizi exclaimed after Loyiso’s dual performances of the Boyz II Men hit “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” and “Hold Back The River” by James Bay in the “90s vs Now” Top 6 Spectacular. He thought that Loyiso could give the likes of Usher and Chris Brown a run for their money.
In the Top 5 Spectacular Loyiso sang Zahara’s “Ndiza” and Bob Marley’s “One Love”. Gareth was impressed that Loyiso had managed to dominate in virtually every genre of music across the competition, but Randall unfortunately didn’t think that Loy-Loy’s performances would be memorable enough to keep him in the competition.
Fans can catch Loyiso live on Arye Kellman’s Internet-streaming show on CliffCentral at 16:00 on 2 November to find out what’s next for this charismatic youngster.
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