It’s an undeniable fact that Durban and Idols go together like hand in glove. Not only is the turn out always one of the highest for regional auditions, but the province has produced quite a number of Idols SA winner – four at the last count. It remains to be seen if the next star was among the 1500 people who queued outside the Playhouse in tonight’s episode.
The presence of radio motormouth and charismatic TV personality, Phat Joe, certainly blessed one 16-year-old whose chances of making it to Theatre Week went from zero to “hell yeah!”, thanks to Joe’s Golden Disc. The guest judge nearly lost a talent he believes in when the other three judges gave resolute nos. Fortunately, Joe remembered just in time that he has the power to veto all other votes with his Golden Disc. It turned out to be a good day for the lucky contestant.
“I’m looking for someone with presence and that x-factor,” he said. “I’m not here to find a session musician. I’m looking for the full package. We’ll discover the next Idol right here, the same way I discovered you,” was Joe’s assertion on set.
But if the next Idol was among the throngs in Durban, weeding him or her out was no easy feat. Judges Unathi, Randall, Somizi and Phat Joe had their work cut out for them as they were subjected to one bad audition after another. It was only after a 19-year-old blew them away, getting a full house of four yeses, that the talent floodgates finally opened.
Tonight’s highlights included a contestant bringing their own microphone and boom box for an “authentic” sound, an optometrist who performed an exam on Somizi during the audition, a one-word original composition dedicated to a world icon, and Randall pronouncing: “Let’s just put this kid through” after he was dazzled by talent.
Mthobisi's memorable audition
This week also saw the Idols Telkom Pop-Up Audition bus travel to The Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth, where four aspiring singers were hand-delivered Golden Tickets by Proverb, after the judges had evaluated their auditions via Telkom FreeMe.
Will Durban score a coup by producing another Idols SA winner? Or maybe someone from the Friendly City, Port Elizabeth, will take it. Only time will tell.
Idols SA Season 13 is on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 on Sundays at 17h30.