Saturday’s episode of Idols SA marked a stunning night of nostalgia as the last Top 8 fiddled with high notes from Lionel Richie’s incredible discography. On the one hand the brief was simple. Each contestant had to choose one song from the four-time Grammy winner’s sprawling catalogue of blockbuster pop anthems and timeless blues. On the other hand, Richie’s classics are so revered that a missed note would be instantly noticeable for the millions tuning in.
Fortunately for the gleeful audience who came to watch their faves melt hearts in person at Mosaiek Teatro in Fairland, this Top 8 understood the assignment. Clad in their Sunday best to honour the night’s retro-theme, Envic, Faith, Niikiey, Nkosi, Princess, Sena, Thabo and Thando freshened up Richie’s legendary catalogue with their own twists.
Not long after Thando opened the show with a poignant take on Richie’s 1992 hit ‘Love Oh Love’, the episode shot to the top of the South African trends on Twitter. Bouncing back from harsh critiques from the judges last week, Thando had clearly come back with a refreshed focus.
He’d also just become the first contestant to find out that he was safe from elimination. We bet that freed up some of those vocal runs to melt through Richie’s retro-pop instrumental.The night proceeded with the faves showcasing their agility as they each delivered their renditions of Richie’s most loved hits.
Niikiey took the stage and serenaded the audience with an unforgettable rendition of Richie's classic hit, ‘Easy’. Her performance was lauded for exuding an effortless charm. Next up was Sena, whose talent radiated on the stage during her set. She performed the song ‘You Are the Sun, You Are the Rain’, which earned her JR’s resounding approval.
By now, we know that Envic is no stranger to the classics. Performing ‘I Call It Love’, Envic showcased his vocal chops with a smooth cadence. The song was released in 2006 and reached number one on Billboard’s urban adult contemporary chart.
Thabo tackled ‘We Are the World’ with the confidence he’s been gaining during the live shows, where he has scored a couple of standing ovations. Princess delivered a mesmerising performance of Richie's ‘Just Go’, while Nkosi and Faith delivered ‘Ballerina Girl’ and ‘Penny Lover’, respectively.
Unfortunately, the journey came to an end for Lungelo. While her talent has been shining on Idols SA, she received the least number of votes for the night.
Sphukanyo had some kind words to share with her fave:
Mthoko took the opportunity remind Lungelo that this is just the beginning:
Lulo also took the opportunity to ship Lungelo and Faith:
Who will make it to the Top 7?
Idols SA airs every Saturday at 18:00 on Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161), thereafter on Mzansi Wethu (DStv channel 163) at 19:30.