Randall Abrahams, Ringo Madlingozi Unathi Nkayi and Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung. Picture: Supplied
Randall Abrahams, Ringo Madlingozi Unathi Nkayi and Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung. Picture: Supplied

'Idols SA' audition day 3 sees 24 hopefuls get golden tickets

By Amanda Maliba Time of article published Jul 26, 2021

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Tears, laughs, rolls and balloons were the order of the day on Sunday at the Urban Brew Studios where thousands of hopefuls descended to audition for the popular singing competition “Idols SA” season 17.

Although missing the usual excitement of thousands of potential contestants lining up outside the four audition cities, due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the singing competition exercised a different approach reaching 15 000 avid singers via its online entry method, and awarded just a few thousand the opportunity to sing before the judges in Joburg.

This week’s guest judge was the formidable multi-award winning super star Ringo Madlingozi who, together with Randall Abrahams, Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung and Unathi Nkayi, sat through a throng of singers, all hoping to get the golden ticket that sends them straight to theatre week.

In the end, only 24 potentials got the nod of approval from the judges and will compete in two weeks time at what has been dubbed as the most difficult part of the Idols journey, theatre week.

And with all the great, and not so great, singers that walked through the audition doors, it was 21-year-old Siyabonga “Siya” Motloung’s audition that got Somizi and Unathi in tears.

Siya, who sang Oleta Adams’s big song “I Just Had to Hear Your Voice”, is a classical music student at the North-West University and has shared the stage with the late Dr Sibongile Khumalo after being spotted at a competition.

On the more chirpier side of the auditions, Somizi finally got to gift one deserving contestant, who was celebrating their birthday on the day, with his celebratory balloons.

And while last week’s birthday girl Milani Twenani from East London, failed to get herself the balloon celebration, it was birthday girl Monique Erens from Joburg who was adorned with the celebratory balloons as she bagged three yeses from the judges after singing Jennifer Hudson’s popular song “Spotlight”, which brought so much joy to Somizi.

In the golden tickets corner, Erens was joined by 28-year-old Nqobisile Linda from Soweto, 20-year-old Gugulethu Dube from Pretoria, 24-year-old Tandokazi Velele from Gqeberha, 19-year-old Perseverance Diphofa from Pretoria and 22-year-old Daylin Sass who hails from Hanover Park in Cape Town, who said music was his saving grace.

Another interesting contestant was Andiswa Zondi from Joburg who admitted to not being fluent in her mother tongue, IsiZulu but impressed the judges with her rendition of Kelly Khumalo’s “Themba”.

Unathi reckons that she was proof, in front of all South Africans, that music is the universal language that cuts across all borders.

And while day three brought in good singers, “Idols” wouldn’t be “Idols” without those hopefuls who believed they could sing but really can’t.

Like 28-year-old Siphesihle Dlamini from Joburg, who was so nervous that her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” just did not pick up, or 26-year-old Craig Hodgson who got a yes from Randall and Unathi but two nos from the other judges.

Randall begged Somizi to change his mind, with Somizi asking Hodgson to sing the Happy Birthday song, that solidified Somizi’s no even further.

This week, Zwai Bala joins the judging panel as the auditions trains makes its last round before heading to theatre week.

Catch “Idols SA” on Sundays at 5.30 pm on DStv Channel 161.

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