It’s no secret, by now, that Berry has been named the ultimate winner of the 17th season of Idols SA. It was a long road to her final triumph, with the same ups and downs experience by any other contestant, only a few more opportunities for each, considering her lengthy stay.
Her Idols SA journey started the same as anybody else’s – with an audition. There were seventeen thousand of them submitted this year – online, thanks to the coronavirus – which were drastically whittled down to become the few that were lucky enough to audition in person. This is the first real hurdle of the competition, as it requires you to put your skills on display to a roomful of judges, who may – or may not – decide to bestow you with a coveted Golden Ticket. Luckily – and somewhat obviously, by this point – Berry earned herself a spot:
Having completed this hurdle, Berry was in the competition proper, and it was time to fully introduce her to the Idols SA audience:
At this point, during what we call the “group stages”, the competition is still quite full of hopefuls – sixteen, in total. Berry found herself in Group A, and had to shine above the rest in her group, which she did with this rendition of Lauren Daigle’s “You Say”.
It became apparent quite early on that Berry had a certain “style” about her – somewhat edgy with a real feel for the more upbeat style of song choice. That attitude was put on display during her performance of “Blinding Lights”, during which she really leaned into the pop sensibilities of the track:
Fast forward a bit, and we find ourselves at the reveal of the Top 3. This required Berry to prepare three songs, two of which we’ll cover here. The first was her gospel duet with Ayanda Ntanzi, “Basuka”. During the lead up to the performance, Berry mentioned that she was nervous about singing in isiZulu, but – as it turned out – her nervousness was enough to ensure that she prepare more than well enough:
Her other standout performance from the night was her choice of cover song, “Unchained Melody”. This was a brave choice, considering that we had come to know her for her energy-fuelled performances, and this track by the Righteous Brothers is famous for being more restrained while also being very evocative:
The biggest night of the season was also the biggest night for Berry, and not just because she ended up winning. Her performance on the night were perfect, like this repeat of an earlier performance of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” alongside the Mzansi Gay Choir. Her first delivery of this song was already good, but her performance during the finale was nothing short of great!
Another highlight from the performance was undoubtedly her brand-new duet with Karabo – John Legend’s “Never Break”. Both of these contestants had worked so hard to get to this point, that numerous viewers expressed sympathy that they couldn’t simply share the award. This duet made it clear that – while the two were competitors – there certainly is nothing but respect for one another:
Then came the big announcement – after weeks of rehearsals, performances, stress and excitement, the winner of Idols SA was announced. By this point, we all know the result, but it’s worth looking the excitement on both of the finalists’ faces:
With that moment out of the way, it was time to celebrate, and boy, did they celebrate! The whole gang joined Berry onstage for her closing performance of her new single “Ungowami”. It was an excellent way to seal the season:
And that was it – the competition was over, South Africa had a new Idols SA winner, and Berry is set to start of her post-Idols SA career. This is what she had to say about the prospect:
Until next season!