With 53 Golden Tickets already having already been given out at the Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban auditions, it was time for Jozi to shine. And, looking at the crowd gathered outside Carnival City, there was bound to be some talent.
First up, Chrystal Worship’s name was oddly prophetic as three of our judges liked her clear voice and decided to give her a Golden Ticket. Unsurprisingly, it was Randall who dissented, saying her voice was “Unoriginal”.
From that point, it was almost as if the other three judges had decided to leave Randall out of the party as the floodgates opened and Unathi, Gareth and Somizi handed out three golden tickets in quick succession.
Then came Nothando Nkambule, who had apparently already won an Idols competition. Unfortunately for Nothando, this was the Idols and winning here takes more than sheer volume.
Timid Thea Bezuidenhout didn’t fare much better. Unsurprisingly it turns out, as this was her first performance in front of strangers. Cut short by Randall exclaiming, “I can’t any more,” poor Thea was on her way home.
And, with that, the floodwaters subsided as contestant after contestant left the audition room empty-handed.
Then Busisiwe “The Eliminator” Mthembu stepped into the room and showed the judges that a single mother from Langaville just trying to support her family could be so much more. The judges were unanimous in their love for her voice. All they wanted was for Busisiwe to give a performance that matched. But she would get a chance to do that in Sun City.
Many feel 16 is too young to audition for Idols and that older, more mature contestants often fare better, especially in the Sun City cauldron that is not-so-affectionately known as Hell Week.
However, Joburg managed to produce some very talented 16-year-olds, not least of who was Nina Terblanche. Her rendition of Ed Sheeran’s "Thinking Out Loud" left the judges completely gobsmacked. All except Gareth who spoke for them all when it came around to judging saying, “Seldom someone comes in here and they’re just pure.”
Horse racing voiceover artist and betting man, Keith Basel, surprised the judges with a voice that didn’t quite seem to match the look. This mismatch often results in the contestant going home early but, this time, it was a Golden Ticket and a trip to Sun City for Keith.
Loyiso Gijana, yet another 16-year-old, travelled all the way from Muir College in Uitenhage to show our judges what he was made of. Making up for a previous indiscretion, Randall allowed Unathi to decide Loyiso’s fate, which saw him heading to Sun City with a Golden Ticket in hand.
After just missing out on a Top 16 spot in Season 10, Dineo Moseki was the last Joburg hopeful to step into the audition room and, like so many unsuccessful candidates before her, took the ill-advised decision to sing her own song. However, unlike so many unsuccessful candidates before her, Dineo did just enough to get three yeses and a Golden Ticket to Sun City.
And with that, 78 Idols hopefuls will be making their way to Sun City to endure Hell Week, the crucible that determines who has what it takes to make it to the Top 16 and the first live performance at the State Theatre.
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