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Hunt for nation’s hidden talents is back

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TO boikano and mom

After it seemed as if SA’s Got Talent would never return to our TV screens, it is refreshing to know the show is back – bigger and better.

There is an array of changes that will blow your mind. From a talent perspective, it seems many contestants used the the show’s hiatus to brush up on their skills in order to bring viewers some stellar performances this season. But, obviously, not everyone came to the party. Other contestants look so dazed you wonder if they were dared to attend.

This year we have talent ranging from ballerinas to fire eaters, dodgy balancing acts and even Michael Jackson and Elvis impersonators. The stage is open for all sorts of madness to ensue.

Invited to hang out for a day at the Joburg and Durban auditions, what I saw was a mixed bag of talent, or a lack of it.

The judges, Shado Twala, Kabelo Mabalane and Ian von Memerty, will be having a great time over the next few months.

On the day Tonight attended, the Durbanites seemed to have brought their A-game to the auditions, much more so than the Jozi crowd. The standouts included the beat boxing duo Demo, who received a standing ovation for their performance.

“I always felt the art of beat boxing was dead. It is something I feel was last used successfully by Timbaland. You guys came in and gave us something unique and I really liked it, considering I have been slating beat boxer contestants on the show,” said Mabalane.

Twala and von Memerty could not have agree more as they, too, are not really beat box fans.

“We used to battle against each other in Durban before we became a team,” said Demo member, Evo.

“We are happy the judges liked what they saw so we are going to try and work on a lot of material to make sure we can last as long as we possibly can in the show,” said his partner, Drumkit.

Durban hosted a number of interesting acts including traditional music specialists who did wonders with their vocals and Zulu dancers who fused their routines with contemporary elements.

But not all was rosy. For those of you who watched this year’s season of Idols you might recall the rather interesting Michael Jackson impersonator who received more Twitter mentions than the birth of Jay-Z’s baby.

Our local Wacko Jacko came through to do his thing and if you thought Randall Abrahams and crew had a fun time with him then SA’s Got Talent will prove you wrong. Here he doesn’t have to sing so he thrills you with MJ’s signature moves in convincing manner. The judges are clearly torn and the dancer’s fate hangs in the balance. Whatever you do, do not miss this episode.

Then came Botlale Andile Boikano of Mafikeng, an 11-year-old poet who mesmerised everyone. Her confidence had the judges on their feet once she was done with her set.

“I started doing poetry when I was six years old and my mom inspires me,” said the youngster.

She went on to explain that her love of poetry has seen her be selected by her school to represent it at competitions, weddings and government functions.

“I write many poems, depending on the given theme, for every function I perform at. If I should get far in this competition, then I will have enough poems to last me to the end,” she said.

If you haven’t heard that Kabelo Mabalane is the new addition to the show’s judging panel, then you must have been hiding under a rock.

The seasoned musician is sitting comfortably in the third seat next to Twala and von Memerty. If you thought that as a God-fearing man he would be all smiles, then you’ll be shocked at what you will see. He is blunt and impatient, so much so you might miss Idols’ Abrahams after a while. All the same, he is a fair judge who justifies his actions.

Truly interesting times ahead.

• SA’s Got Talent will air on e.tv starting from August 30 at 8.30pm.


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