WATCH: 'Idols SA' top 10 inspire Mzansi
The top 10 “Idols SA” contestants took to the stage this past Sunday. The theme was inspirational songs and although the judges’ reviews were a mixed bag, some of the performances appeared to inspire the panel.
To kick-start the show, the 10 gave their rendition of “He Still Loves Me” by Beyoncé and Walter Williams before moving on to their solo performances.
Brandon was first in line with The Golden Gospel Singers’ “Oh Freedom”.
As the first solo performer of the night he set the bar high, winning even Randall Abrahams’s approval. The judge also commented on his dress sense.
Unathi Nkayi echoed Randall, saying this was Brandon's best performance so far. Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung remarked that he had gone from “underdog to hot dog to top dog”.
Ndoni followed with a local song, Brenda Mthambo's “Ungayeki”, but her performance was received with mixed feelings.
Although Unathi felt Ndoni’s performance was flawless and emotive, she said her song choices were a bit predictable, like last week's Tracy Chapman song, “Fast Car”. On that note, Unathi advised her to "keep us guessing".
Somizi disagreed with Unathi, saying he didn’t think it was a safe song choice. He agreed that it was a beautiful performance.
Randall also gave it the thumbs up. "I thought it was a smart choice because, especially in the wake of Covid-19 and how a billion people are facing difficulty," he said.
Zanothando sang “Superwoman” by Alicia Keys and although the song's build-up took a while to impress Somizi, with parts of it sounding slightly weak in the beginning, he felt Zanothando began to own the song as it progressed.
Randall believed there were good moments and not-so-good moments.
Unathi was touched by the song's meaning, thanking him for it and how he performed it.
"You had me from the first note you sang until the last. You had me when you belted out and when you were gentle.
“You never broke eye contact with me and therefore I know you were singing for me and every woman that will be voting for you and every man that believes in the song that you performed."
Unathi said this was Zanothando’s best performance so far.
Zama’s performance of Jennifer Hudson’s version of “A Change Is Gonna Come” had all three judges raving, with Randall saying she'd shown everyone in the competition that they would have to step up.
Unathi, who was left in tears, said Zama was an example of what challenging oneself is as she continued to challenge South Africans to follow their dreams.
Somizi admitted to underestimating Zama at first, and that based on that performance, she had proven to be the best female contestant. He gave her a “Whoo Shem”.
Bruce Mr Music brought us back to the local front with Sjava’s “Iqhawe”.
Unathi called his performance electrifying and Somizi said he belonged on the stage. Randall said although his performance was good, he was not the most memorable contestant of the evening.
BE took to the stage with Mariah Carey's "Make It Happen" but failed to touch Somizi, who admits that this is his favourite song of all time.
Randall said her only advantage was that it's an up-tempo pop song that is also inspirational.
"Which means you have to to take 100% advantage of it … you just didn't seem like you wanted to get into it.
“It's almost like in the top 10 you are like 'mhmm, am I really here'. You are really here and you have to prove that you want to be here."
Unathi blamed it on mic techniques, saying she hoped South Africa forgave her but the performance was on par and she loved it.
The judges had only good things to say for Jooma, whose performance of Leon Bridges’s “River” truly impressed Randall.
“As far as the male singers go, you are my favourite,” he said. Unathi said it was a powerful performance, while Somizi called it powerful.
Ntokozo keeps impressing the judges, coming on stage with a Tori Kelly rendition of “Never Alone”.
Somizi said he wished the song would not end, and Unathi said Ntokozo had mastered both the technical and emotional side of the song.
“Ntokozo you have something that very few, even professional musicians have. We always speak of musicians being technically brilliant or we say musically emotively brilliant.
“Very few get it right. You are the one contestant that has it right," she said.
Randall said when the song started it was far too low for her and encouraged her that as the field narrowed, to not only be as good as she is but better than her fellow contestants. "It's a competition."
Succedor took on Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground”.
Somizi loved the performance, saying that although he'd been hard on Succedor he believed he was back.
Randall said although he got lost during the song, he believed Succedor would get votes because of his dancing. Unathi said she was again impressed by his choice of song. “Keep performing and being the entertainer you are,” she said.
Bongi closed off the show with Beyoncé’s ‘Spirit’, with all three judges agreeing that she did a good job.
Randall said she had done well to choose a big song. "I think you (made) a really, really good choice. It's good to pick a really big song … closing off the show," he said
Unathi agreed with Randall, saying her song choice was excellent and it was the perfect type of song for her.
Somizi ended by saying, “Now this is what I call a closing ceremony … you killed it!”
Next week, one contestant bites the dust when the top 9 is announced.