Day three of auditions for SA Idols season 17 brought yet another week of tears of joy and disappointment. In addition, there were plenty of laughs and birthday balloons on stage as the judges sifted the good from the bad, paving the way for dreams of stardom to come true.
This week’s guest judge was one of South Africa’s greatest talents, Ringo Madlingozi. He took a day off from the world of politics and Parliament to help select the best singing talent South Africa has to offer.
For Randall Abrahams, Somizi Mhlongo and Unathi Nkayi, the day brought with it some pleasant surprises as they – assisted by Ringo – dished out 24 Golden Tickets.
The day may have started with a no as 22-year-old Karabo Mogola from Pretoria failed to make the cut. However, there were plenty of Golden Tickets, with several Idols hopefuls managing to secure a full house of nods.
Twenty-two-year-old Katiso “Kat” from Johannesburg rolled in with his roller skates and falsetto to clinch the first Golden Ticket of the day. Somizi was impressed by his rendition of Aaliyah’s ‘At Your Best’, with Ringo charmed by his “grand entrance”.
30-year-old Tiisetso Makhene “Misty”, 19-year-old Lungile Magagul and 18-year-old Samukelisiwe “Samora”, all from Johannesburg, soon joined him. They now head to Theatre Week to fight for their spot in the Top 16.
Contestants who secured four nods included 18 year-old Andiswa Zondi from Johannesburg. Despite not being fluent in her mother tongue, IsiZulu, she impressed the judges with her rendition of Kelly Khumalo’s ‘Themba’, proving, as Unathi said, that music is indeed the universal language.
Other contestants with four nods were 28-year-old Nqobisile Linda from Soweto, 20-year-old Gugulethu Dube from Pretoria, 24-year-old Tandokazi Velele from Gqeberha, 19-year-old Perseverance Diphofa from Pretoria and 22-year-old Daylin Sass from Hannover Park in Cape Town.
Birthday girl Monique Erens from Johannesburg was able to celebrate her 25th birthday with a golden ticket, and finally Somizi got a chance to share his gift of the balloon drop.
But the green light to theatre week proved elusive for 28-year-old Siphesihle Dlamini from Johannesburg, who just could not hit the right notes – or words – during her rendition of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Have Nothing.’ Moreover, 26-year-old Craige Hodgson, also from Johannesburg, struggled to find the right tune on his guitar and his road to stardom ended in the audition room.
However, the show ended in a climax when Siyabonga Motloung from Potchefstroom stepped into the Idols SA audition stage. The 21-year-old, who has previously shared the stage with the late great Dr Sibongile Khumalo was the highlight of the day. He moved the judges to tears with an Oletta Adams song, 'I Just Had to Hear Your Voice' and demonstrating Johnny Depp’s words, that music touches us where words alone cannot.
Season 17 of Idols SA broadcasts on Sundays at 17:30 on Mzansi Magic Channel 161, and at 17:00 from the live shows. Get exclusive updates and a behind the scenes look at all the action right here on our site. Don't forget to join the conversation by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #IdolsSA.