Last week, the show ended with a cliffhanger as 21-year-old S’22kile nervously waited to hear her fate after performing Beyonce’s ‘Brown Skin Girl’. The judges then gave her a warm welcome into the Top 16 even though they felt that it was not her best performance.
Next to make it into the Top 16, was the Miss Soweto runner-up Ithana. Her final audition song, ‘Good Job’ by Alicia Keys, was a tribute to the frontline workers who have been working tirelessly to save lives amid the Covid-19 pandemic. She pulled off a solid performance. However, the judges were divided. Randall Abrahams calling her talented but Unathi Nkayi was not quite convinced that she was good enough.
“Overwhelmed! A lot of emotions are running through me but good is definitely one of them!” Ithana said.
Similar to Ithana, Tesmin-Robyn had the advantage of having experience as a performer. The 22-year-old had impressed the judges during the group rounds, and her final solo audition was no different. Unathi called her performance of ‘Ncese’ by LaSauce phenomenal, with the other judges agreeing and welcoming her into the Top 16.
Joining the ladies in the Top 16 is 20-year-old Sinovuyo, who performed Shawn Mendes’ ‘Mercy’. Despite forgetting her lyrics during her solo performance, the 20-year-old was confident and managed to bounce back.
Also making it into the top 16 was 18-year-old Andiswa, whose rendition of Normani’s ‘Motivation’ bowled the judges over. However, with eight ladies already in the top 16 it was clear that the judges would have to live with top a 16 that is female dominated.
“We were excited during the earlier auditions that the guys were exceptional this year, but the ladies have really impressed us and this round has really demonstrated how strong they are this year,” said Unathi.
The ladies’ good run did not end with Andiswa. Nqobile, who sang ‘Illanga’ by Sun El Musician, featuring Simmy and Ami Faku, left feeling confident after her performance. That however, did not stop her from bursting into tears as she heard the good news that she had made it into the Top 16.
There was some joy for the guys too. Daylin Sass (22), brought tears to Unathi’s eyes with his final audition performance of ‘Save your Tears’ by The Weeknd. An overwhelmed Unathi clapped her hands excitedly during his performance, also giving him a standing ovation. She was not the only one who shed a tear. Daylin himself was overwhelmed with emotions when hearing the news that he had made it to the next round.
Rounding off the top 16 was Zukisa. Despite his young age, he was able to make his presence felt in the competition. The 16-year-old performed ‘Perfect Strangers’ by Jonas Blue and while Unathi felt he did not have the strongest voice, she loved his performance.
Zukisa had made peace about the possibility of not making it into the next round. He had resolved to return next year if he had not made it through. Luckily, he will not have to defer his dream of achieving Idols fame.
“It feels amazing! I am really excited!” he said.
From next week onwards, Zukisa, along with the 15 other rising stars will now compete for the viewers’ votes as the competition enters the live stage phase.
Idols SA season 17 is on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 on Sundays at 17h00. For more information visit our website: http://www.idolssa.tv. You can also join the Idols SA conversation via social media on Facebook: Idols South Africa, Twitter: @IdolsSA #IdolsSA and Instagram: @IdolsSA