The first half of the show saw the contestants strip down some of Mzansi’s best hits to their bare essence in line with the unplugged theme. In the second half of the show, they gave a nod to Pride Month by upping the ante with “impersonations”, performing songs from artists who are part of – or are allies of – the LGBTQI+ community. Adding that extra layer of flair was the Mzansi Gay Choir, who for the third year in a row graced the Idols SA stage as back-up performers.
The first round was smooth sailing, with judges Unathi Nkayi and Randall Abrahams, and guest judge Khaya Dladla not holding back on their compliments. One could say it was a great nod to great talent – Unathi described Karabo’s rendition of Amanda Black’s ‘Thandwa Ndim’ as incredibly powerful, while Randall remarked that everything about Daylin Sass’s performance of Liquideep ‘Fairytale’ was good. S’22Kile struck gold with her take on Bucie’s ‘Easy to Love’, with both Randall and Unathi saying it was her best performance to date, and Khaya calling her “precious”.
The shower of compliments continued, with Berry being told she was the complete package and overflowing with talent after she sang Craig Lucas’s ‘Happy’. After Kevin’s rendition of Afrotraction’s ‘Mnike’, Khaya called him a superstar and Unathi remarked there was nothing negative she could say about his phenomenal performance.
Unfortunately, Nqobie did not get the chance to perform, having being eliminated in tonight’s show.
The second half of the show was, however, met with mixed feedback, with contestants like Karabo (‘River Deep Mountain High’ by Tina Turner), Daylin Sass (‘Whataya Want From Me’ by Adam Lambert) and S’22Kile (‘Love On The Brain’ by Rihanna) leaving Randall somewhat unsatisfied even as Unathi and Khaya were full of praise.
However, the judges were unanimous about Berry and Kevin’s performances. Berry killed Lady Gaga’s ‘Edge of Glory’ and had the judges calling her “phenomenal” once again, with Randall praising her choice of song. The audience’s reaction to Kevin’s performance of George Michael’s ‘As’ said it all and all the judges could do was to put into words the rapturous applause. Khaya was ready to declare Kevin an Idol, while Randall said it was a great performance. Unathi was reduced to tears at the thought of witnessing him see his dreams come true.
Commenting on tonight’s performances, Unathi said they were a pleasure to watch and she was proud to witness the evolution of each contestant. “We have seen them grow and improve week by week and we are proud to see their talent continue to blossom. At this stage of the competition, we are confident that all of them are going to make it big in the music industry and it is humbling to have witnesses their journey from hopeful stars to performers in their own right,” she said.
“I don’t know who is going to be 2021’s Idols SA winner – but all I can say is that they are all already winners,” she concluded.
Next week will see one more contestant exit the competition, but it is up to the viewers to ensure that their favourite Idols SA hopeful returns next week as part of the top 4.
Idols SA season 17 is on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 on Sundays at 17h00.
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