Season 17 ’Idols SA’ top 16. Picture: Twitter
Season 17 ’Idols SA’ top 16. Picture: Twitter

Women dominate 'Idols SA' top 16

By Amanda Maliba Time of article published Aug 23, 2021

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The top 16 contestants forIdols SA” season 17 have been locked in, meaning viewers are a step closer to being treated to the exciting live round of performance.

This year is proving to be yet another unprecedented year seeing 10 women dominating the competition and just six men adding on to the number for the full-set of contestants.

The 21-year-old S’22kile, whose fate was left hanging in last week’s broadcast, counted as number nine making it on to the top 16, after giving her rendition of Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl”.

Her performance was deemed not strong enough, forcing the judges to look back at her other performances.

Somizi Mhlongo admits to seeing a lot of potential in her, evidently a sentiment shared by the other judges and securing her spot.

Next, performer, actress and Miss Soweto runner-up Ithana, put a smile on her vocal coach’s face during rehearsal, with Margaret Motsage praising her delivery on such an important song as “Good Job” by Alicia Keys.

The judges' comments were split, Randall Abrahams commenting that she was improving and that she is talented, while Unathi Nkayi questioned if she was aware of the power in her voice.

Her performance, which she described as “leaving her heart on stage”, paid off as she became woman number 6 in the top 16.

DJ and performer Tesmin-Robyn, 23, who impressed Somizi during the group round, also impressed vocal coach Kurt Herman, who labelled her “a small bottle of dynamite”.

Robyn’s rendition of LaSauce’s “Ncese” secured her a spot in the top 16, although the judges were divided.

The 20-year-old Sinovuyo gave her shot at Shawn Mendes’ song “Mercy” and although she forgot her lyrics in the early stages of the song, her strong performance compelled the judges to overlook that and fall in love with her.

Her rehearsal with vocal coach Caroline Borole left Borole a bit worried about her future on the show, and Unathi felt that she was shouting more than singing.

But her overall performance secured her a spot, with Randall commenting that Sinovuyo is a strong performer.

Andiswa, 18, gave a rendition of Normani’s “Motivation” that blew the judges away.

Her audition was the start of disrupting the show’s status quo, as she became the ninth woman in the top 16, Nqobile adding on as the 10th singer in the running for the coveted prize.

Nqobile sang “Ilanga” by Sun El Musician, featuring Simmy and Ami Faku.

“We were excited during the earlier auditions that the guys were exceptional this year, but the ladies have really impressed us and this round have really demonstrated how strong they are,” said Unathi.

Dylan Sass, 22, brought Unathi to tears with his final audition of “Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd, a performance that secured him a spot in the top 16.

Unathi stood up in applause after his performance, with his vocal coach Liesl Penniken saying “he is amazing”.

Rounding out the top 16 was Zukisa, whose performance ofPerfect Strangers” by Jonas Blue, left him unsure of his own fate, already considering his return to the show the following year if he didn’t make it through.

Zukisa was the last in, even though Unathi felt that he doesn't have the strongest voice for the competition but said he is a strong performer.

With the top 16 ready to compete, the competition will finally enter its live stage phase and viewers will get to vote for their favourite performer until the ultimate winner is crowned.

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