Idols Top 16: Picture: Supplied

The first evening of the live show took off with a bang with some memorable performances and the obvious misses. 

The night staged in Pretoria was graced by the two of the judges Unathi Msengana and Randall Abrahams, missing the third bubbly musketee who is said to be living it up in the Los Angeles. 

To help out with commentary, the newly appointed in-house mentor, singer Donald shared his views throughout the show.

Round one - eight contestants of the 16 took to the stage to perform the hit Thath'isgubu from the legendary Bongo Muffin together. 

Judging by the crowd's cheers,  a great show was to be expected.

The night's theme was 'breakout hits' from their favourite artists and last on stage to receive the 'performance of night title', Thokozile gave a powerful rendition of  Beyonce's 'Dangerously in love'.  

By the end of her song, she had almost the entire theatre on their feet and the judges giving off great remarks. Though not a big Beyonce fan, Randall said "because there are so many girls, you had to stand out. And that song gave you a moment to standout and you took it." 

Not all reviews looked this great as the first performer of the night Gugu Zulu didn't do it for the judges. Singing South Africa's old time favourite 'There's music in the air' by Letta Mbulu, her singing was described as being "too nice" and therefore not delivering a winning performance. 

"It was a nice opening but it certainly didn't blow the roof off," said Randall. "I got the sense that you were performing at some stage show like Dream Girls, where people aren't going to that sorta show to really watch and be enthralled by the singer (sic). Singing is simply part of what is happening in the evening."

To which Unathi and Donald agreed to. 

Mixed reviews came through for Phindi with  Adele's 'Chasing Pavements'. Unathi labelled her singing as a "masterpiece" performance that took everybody on an emotional journey. 

"It was powerful melodically and in an emotional was as well, which is what a lot of vocalists can never ever perfect."

Randall, on the other hand, gave a slightly different review and reckoned that she was saved by the song choice and the audience's cheers. "Obviously people react at the end of the song...they never clap at the start. 

"At the start, the phrasing, the whole intro was just not there. It was absolutely lacking. The reason why I say that is because from here on -out you have to have complete performances. If you falter and someone else has a complete performance, that's it of you," he said.

One for the only four male contestants in the top 16, Somizi's favourite Lindo chose Maxwell's "Lifetime" with great reviews from both judges. As a return contestant, last night's performance was labelled as his best in the 2 years of his Idols' journey.

So was another return singer Faith's performance of Vusi Nova's Memeza. She received loud cheers from the audience and predictions from Randall of seeing her receive majority of the votes.

Others who sang last night were Blessed singing Brenda Fassie's 'Promises' which was "in second gear" the entire time, Christo receiving great reviews for Bruno Mars' Versace on the Floor' and shy Paxton's 'Here' by Alessia Cara receiving mixed reviews as well.

All the contestants hope that this journey bears great fruits for them and that they become the next big thing in their singing careers. 

The much contested top 10 will be selected and announces in two Sundays time, after all performance have concluded including next week's eight acts.

Eight contestants with the most votes will automatically secure a spot and the judges get to choose the final two wild cards to fill up the top ten.