The eight gents officially opened Season 14 with some smooth sounds from The Temptations chart-toppers, Treat Her Like A Lady and Lady Soul, in honour of Women’s Month. They certainly set the stage and pace for the night's theme, Best-selling Males of the 21stCentury.
Worship leader and aspirant music school owner, Victor was the first solo act, singing 'Nguwe' by Vusi Nova. The Judges didn’t feel his shy demeanour set the stage on fire. “You have a great voice, but you need to give us more if you are here in two weeks’ time,” was Randall’s sound advice.
The next to take on the microphone was Umlazi high school tutor, Mthokozisi. Unathi commended him for “honouring” Luther Vandross’ classic, 'So Amazing', while Somizi called him “mild, calm and sekzy”.
Mnqobi was up next with his rendition of 'Hold On, We’re Going Home' by Drake, which received the first outright unfavourable reviews from the Judges. They predicted he is likely to be voted off. “This train just hasn’t left the station for me yet,” said a disappointed Somizi.
Sandile came on with an up-tempo version of Nathi’s 'Nomvula'. The research scientist from Tsakane received a “most solid performance so far” from Randall. Somizi predicted he’ll make it to the Top 10 because “your performance was as tight as those pants”.
The show had hit the halfway mark and it looked like things were finally on an upswing for the Judges.
That said, it was the young man from the Cape Flats who finally raised goosebumps and got pulses racing. Lincoln took on the dramatic James Bond theme song, 'Writing’s On The Wall' by Sam Smith, scoring positive reviews. “You are a consummate performer. You gave me goosebumps; and when I saw your eyes roll back, I knew you were in the moment,” said an excited Unathi.
Thato, the singing barber from Postmasburg, performed Chris Brown’s 'With You' with great energy, but not enough pizzazz to charm the Judges. They felt he was very much about himself and had forgotten he was in a competition.
Kagiso’s “bright light”, King B, brought the house to its feet when he belted out 'Stay With Me' by Sam Smith and scored a trifactor of compliments. Randall said he was the one they focused on for the first time tonight; Unathi branded his “the performance of the night” and Somizi gave his first “whoo shem” of the season!
The show was closed by Niyaaz, who took years to finally hold the microphone on Idols SA’s main stage. The Judges agreed that he came to fight; and fight he did. He gave a “solid performance” of Justin Timberlake’s 'Mirrors', according to Randall, who slotted him in his “maybe” category.
Next week, the girls of the Top 16 will take to the stage to fight for their spot in the Top 10. It’s now up to South Africa to vote for their favourite, so get started right here!