Tonight, Idols SA started off on a sombre note when host and executive producer Proverb announced the passing of South African kwaito legend Mandoza. The man who united Mzansi with his cross-over chart topping hit, Nkalankatha, succumbed to cancer earlier in the day.
But in true Mzansi form, the mood picked up to a celebratory tone when new-age hip hop kids Fifi Cooper and Emtee took to the stage to perform their hit, Koze Kuse.
They were quickly followed by the Idols Top 16 Girls performing Beyonce’s militant Freedom. Dressed in all black, full of attitude and a choreography resonating with the tone of the song, they had the crowd eating out of their clenched fists.
As is the nature of Mzansi’s granddaddy of reality singing shows, the good times were quickly followed by the terse time.
Luke and Lucia were the first to come up to hear their fate. The husky-voiced Lucia breathed a sigh of relief when it was announced that she was safe, thanks to the public votes. Luke, on the other hand, was in the fate of the judges.
To break the tension, Season 9 winner Musa came on to serenade the crowd alongside Afro-pop kingpin Robbie Malinga with their ballad Mthande.
Amanda, Valentine and Noma were next on the chopping block. Of the three, Amanda didn’t get enough votes and so her fate was also left to the judges.
The last of the ladies, Sgherdeed and Nosihe, joined Proverb on stage to hear their fate. Nosihe proved to be one of the country’s favourites and made it through to the Top 10.
A medley of Price’s hits including Purple Rain and When Doves Cry was the Top 16 Guys’ entry melody, no doubt having judge Randall Abrahams – a huge fan of the late virtuoso - all up in his feelings. Looking dapper in black and white, they charmed their way into the audience even more.
Keegan and Terra were the absolute hit of last week’s show, receiving Performance of the Night accolades from the judges. The country agreed, and both went through to the Top 10.
The Ambitiouz Crew kept the tempo up with their energetic fusion of kwaito, hip hop and gqom, keeping the Pretoria State Theatre lit with “nu skool” fusion!
Thamsanqa, Bevin and Lusanda were the next in the spotlight. Nerves and anxiety permeated the air as Proverb delivered the verdict: none of the three had garnered enough votes to make it to the Top 10, leaving them in the mercy of the judges.
The viewers and audience had hardly had time to absorb the shock when Thami, Tebogo and Sanele were called up. Fortunately they didn’t have to wait long, and it was elation all round when returnees Sanele and Tebogo went through to the Top 10.
Black Motion feat. Dr Moruti with Heartless Intentions gave everyone a breather from the terse announcements.
Still, the nervous energy was palpable backstage as the three girls and four guys waited to see if they would be one of the two saved by the judges. Knowing that this is the one and only week the judges can use their wildcard votes ratcheted up the tension even more.
As in the nature off all competition, there has to be winners and losers. For Idols SA season 12, it was goodbye to Luke, Amanda, Sgherdeed, Lusanda and Thamsaqa; leaving Sanele and Bevin to round off the Top 10.
In an ironic but fitting twist in light of a fallen kwaito giant, the closing performance featured Mandoza’s compatriots in kwaito greatness in the form of the 999 Music stablemates Arthur, Chomee and Ishmael.
Join the Idols SA conversation via social media on:
Visit our website: www.idolssa.tv or be part of the conversation via the following social media platforms: