Sunday night 'Idols SA' was all about days gone by as the top 4 contestants took the audience and viewers down memory lane with their favourite hits from their high school days as well as their parents’ favourites from their own high school days.
The contestants were free to perform without the usual suspense of elimination and they gave it their all as they tried to sing their way into the top 3.
It was a week of all-round excellent performances, though with some words of caution from the judges.
Nolo Seodisha, ever the consistently nice guy on stage, opened tonight’s competition with his mother’s favourite song during her high school days, "Let’s Groove" by Earth, Wind and Fire and returned later to perform Bruno Mars’ "Lazy Song".
The judges were pleased with his first performance, with Randall Abrahams calling it great and Unathi Nkayi saying he killed it. Somizi Mhlongo wished he had added that something extra by researching the song, but said this did not take away from the good performance.
Nkayi said his second performance was charming, while Mhlongo called it cute. Abrahams said he was more engaged this week than in other weeks, which he reckoned would count in his favour.
Micayla Oelofse showcased her usual high notes with both her performances. She first sang her dad’s favourite song, It must have been "Love" by Roxette, which was pleasant enough for the judges, but it was her performance of Ariana Grande’s "Dangerous Woman" that had them raving.
“It was a powerful performance,” said Nkayi, while Mhlongo said it was beautiful. Abrahams said it was clear that this was the type of music she enjoyed and was comfortable with.
Luyolo Yiba has become known for his understated yet powerful performances and tonight was no different when he performed his parents’ high school favourite hit, "Night Shift" by The Commodores. The judges called it a phenomenal tribute to the Motown greats.
But it was his second performance that blew them away.
Channeling his inner Usher, his rendition of R&B superstar’s "OMG" had Abrahams blustering “Who is this guy?” and commending him for his excellent choice of songs Nkayi said it was a popping and amazing performance, while Mhlongo gave him his biggest “whoo shem”.
Sneziey Msomi has been consistent week after week, getting the lion’s shares of Mhlongo’s “whoo shems”. And true to form, she maintained that high standard as Mhlongo dished out his ultimate expression of praise for her performance of Brenda Fassie’s "Umuntu Ngabantu", while Abrahams was impressed that she had paid tribute to the late great MaBrrr by not only learning the song, but also learning the performance too.
Nkayi said she did not think it was possible for her to outperform her showstopper performance, but yet she did it.
Her second song, Bucie’s "Superwoman", however, proved she was only human, said the judges who were not too sold on that performance. While Mhlongo said it was ok to offramp now and again, Abrahams reminded her that as the show was getting closer to the end, the other contestants were upping their game.
Next week will see yet another "Idols SA" contestant eliminated, but it is up to the viewers to decide who will remain as part of the top 3. The contestants who crack the top 3 will not only be a step closer to being the next "Idols SA", but will also be given the opportunity to visit New York as part of their preparations for the top 2 performance.