When it was announced that yet another inter-national TV show was to be adapted for local consumption, most of us sighed.
Granted, we have done pretty well with titles like Idols SA, So You Think You Can Dance and SA’s Got Talent, but no one was ready for Clash of the Choirs. The franchise may have done well in the US, but with a finicky audience like we have in South Africa, success was not guaranteed.
If you looked at the most successful choral groups in this country you’d probably come up with about five and they’d include Joyous Celebration, Ncandweni Christ Ambassadors and Soweto Gospel Choir. It is obviously hard for choirs to get a break in this cut-throat industry.
That said, this then makes it easy for Clash of the Choirs to enter the game and promise one group of vocally gifted singers a secure future in music. Although no deals have been promised, the R250 000 prize should be enough to jumpstart any music career. It is, after all, about exposing the talent and everyone competing will get their fair share of fame.
Below is a breakdown of what transpired on the show last Sunday and the follow-ups concerned.
NUGGETS FROM THE JUDGE
Here we choose one judge to give an analysis of what was right, what was wrong and what could be improved upon from the previous episode.
Lindelani Mkhize, the most experienced of the judges, was our first choice this week.
“I am happy with what everyone has done. This show gives hope to the young people in the townships and rural areas, hope to pursue their love for choral music,” he said.
“Traditionally, it is known that choral music is only for gospel, but we are trying to change those perceptions on this show.
“I believe music is an art where you paint with instruments and in this case the main instrument is the voice,” he explained.
Mkhize is also happy that the choirmasters, who are from different backgrounds, have tried their best to co-exist and give choral music a chance.
THE FALLEN’S VERSION OF EVENTS
This is self-explanatory. We hunt down the choirmaster who was booted out on the last episode to hear their take on the whole experience.
Unfortunately for us this week, Thembi Seete, who was the first to be evicted, was not available for comment. We would have loved to have her expand on the “Today we leave, but next week it’s someone else” statement in her farewell speech. We hope to catch up with her at a later date.
MAKES YOU SAY “EISH!”
This is basically the cringe-worthy stuff. The moments on the show when you are glad you are not related to whomever the cameras are focused on.
Okay, we all know the annoying hit, Baby, which made Justin Bieber a superstar. It was played to death on radio and even older people know the lyrics. The two choirs that were thrown in the bottom were led by Zakes Bantwini and Seete (pictured). Both choirs were asked to rearrange Bieber’s song in very little time and we heard interesting results. Seete’s kids probably didn’t know the words as they were too comfy on the chorus, which generally meant them repeating the word “baby” for ever. It was a complete mess, so much so that even if Bantwini’s choir hummed the whole song, they would still have been better.
Seeing Winnie Khumalo through her choir was surreal. It was like watching her multiplied by 30 or so people. She breathed her usual energy into her choir as they sang Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse’s Shikisha. And, not only did they sing it well, they moved just like Khumalo does when performing her solo material. It was so well done that every judge commended her.
OUR BEST BETS ARE ON...
With Seete gone, it means all the remaining choirs have another chance to stamp their authority on the competition. Though everyone seems to know what they are doing, for now Khaya Mthethwa and Judith Sephuma are the top contenders.
• Clash of the Choirs airs every Sunday on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) at 5.30pm.