THEN THERE WERE THREE: The choirmasters, from left, Shugasmakx, Moneoa, Robbie Malinga and Ziyon.

IT WAS only a matter of time before we saw Ziyon leave and, sadly, Sunday saw his exit from Clash of the Choirs. To his credit, the man did so well his choir even beat rapper HHP’s. It was a great run for him, but the competition is fierce and it shows in the choirs’ deliveries.

For someone who was always in the bottom two it is a wonder Ziyon made it this far. He was the epitome of the cat with nine lives. He showed uncertainty and that made people underestimate him.

Now that there are fewer choirs they were asked to do two songs each with the theme being Love Duets. Anyone could have aced this episode because there are so many love duets out there, but you have to know which ones to pick.

Although they don’t say so, more popular songs are preferred by the judges because they don’t have to figure out what the song originally sounded like. That said, each choirmaster can tweak the song in an ingenious way to claim it as theirs. It is a very complex affair.


Shugasmakx has this week on lock and started things with Womack & Womack’s Baby I’m Scared of You. If you are creative enough you’ll know such a song can be worked in many ways, including adding a local flavour by using some Brenda Fassie samples off the song Ngiyakusaba, which shares the same theme as Baby I’m Scared of You. Shugasmakx did just that and it turned out to be an amazing cover of the original.

He then picked George Michael and Mary J Blige’s duet As, which was a hit before his choirs even began performing it. They were an absolute joy to watch, especially when their choirmaster broke the norm and sang solo in parts of their performance.


I am beginning to think that Robbie Malinga and crew are only in the competition thanks to his impressive CV. He has had so many bad weeks, but somehow still continues to advance in the competition.

His choirs did a bad rendition of Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson’s The Best Things in Life are Free. When Anele Mdoda told him that she did not like it, he tried to insinuate that his years of experience overrode what she said. Well, Robbie, she is the judge and what the judge says is usually final.


Ziyon had the equivalent of a death wish. The first thing everyone must get right is their song selection. Of all the love duets under the sun, why would anyone go with a current song like the track by Mariah Carey and Miguel, Beautiful? I am a Mariah fan and don’t even know all the lyrics to it, so why would the judges? It was a risk not worth taking and, as it turned out, one that got them kicked out of the competition.


Kudos to Mdoda for standing up to Malinga, but it was even more satisfying to see Rebecca Malope step in to stand by her. Malinga should not have flexed his “experience” muscle. This competition is not about past accomplishments, it is about now.


The “clash off” was again one of those places where you wish the judges would go with what is in front of their eyes and not the choirs’ progress throughout the show. Moneoa and Ziyon clashed to survive in the bottom two, but it did not take a music guru to see that Ziyon was the better of the two.

However, the judges must have been looking at their overall performances and there Ziyon fell short.


It’s the Top 3 next week and very strong choirs guided by Malinga, Moneoa and Shugasmakx remain. The axe can fall on anyone.

• Clash of the Choirs airs on Sunday s at 5.30pm on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161).