Clash of the Choirs SA’s first elimination show leaves audiences and judges breathless

09 October 2023
The first challenge of season 4 saw the choirs pay tribute to the Springboks – with a surprise twist ending.
Clash of the Choirs South Africa

After two touching episodes of auditions and personal stories, Clash of the Choirs SA got down to business as season 4’s first live performance challenge got underway – and it was nothing short of spectacular.

All roads in the Mzansi Magic competition show led to Johannesburg, as the nine choirs and their choirmasters prepared a musical feast for audiences and the judges to indulge in.

Hosted by DJ Sabby and Bontle Modiselle, the episode featured an uplifting group performance from the choirmasters and their choirs.COTCSA’s musical director Zadok (whose glittering global CV includes working on the SAMAs and MTV VMAs) set the tone with a timely theme: the choirs had to compose odes to defending Rugby World Cup champions the Springboks. As Zadok pointed out, the marriage between music and sport is a classic one.

Kicking things off was Team Khanyisa (Mpumalanga), who sang ‘Ubomi Abumanga’ by Sun-El Musician and Msaki. Zwai Bala praised their vocal synergy, calling it “balanced out” and “beautiful-sounding.”

Next up, Team Hle (Limpopo) performed their own rendition of Boom Shaka’s ‘Lerato’. Dr Tumi led the praise, saying they gave him goosebumps, while an emotional Buhlebendalo Mda said: “I felt like I was getting hugged by the Lord himself.”

KZN’s Team Ntencane took on Young Stunna’s ‘Adiwele’, with positive feedback from the discerning judges. Zwai said: “Now that is a performance. You really brought us the heart of KZN.”

Northern Cape’s Team Langa took on Margaret Singana’s ‘Shaka Zulu’ classic, to a tepid response from judges. Buhlebendalo said: “I was not moved by it, something was missing.” 

Next up was Team Stoan (North West), who sang Cassper Nyovest and the Mahotella Queens’ ‘Malome’. The judges felt the choir needed more confidence, with Dr Tumi saying: “Remember, you’re a team. If you slip up, you’ve got 13 other people who have your back.”

Team Vusi Nova (Western Cape) boldly took on TKZee’s ‘We Love This Place’. About his song being covered, Zwai said: “You knew you were going to make me smile. But have fun – that’s going to be key to how you stay in the competition.”

Eastern Cape’s Team Lady Du performed HHP’s ‘Born for This’. Dr Tumi said: “I loved the performance, but make sure you pick the right leads at the right position of the song.”

Team Zaza, Free State, took on ‘Father Stretch’ by Sunday Service Choir. Zwai said: “You guys sound like you have been a group for the longest time. You just feel comfortable.” 

Closing off the show was Gauteng’s Team Prince Kaybee, whose rendition of Emtee’s We Up’ blew away the crowd and judges. Dr Tumi called it “the most musical performance of the night”.

In a surprise twist, no choirs were eliminated – but choirmasters had five minutes to make the heart-breaking decision to eliminate two members from their choirs. There was shock and there were tears from all sides.

For those who made it to sing another week, who will go home and who will ultimately walk away with the cool R1-million prize money? Keep tuning in to Clash of the Choirs SA to find out!

Clash of the Choirs SA airs every Sunday at 18:00 on Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161), with episodes also available on DStv Stream. Find us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and TikTok. Join the conversation using #COTCSA.