First to fill a spot for the live show, where viewers get to vote, was Nomthandazo 'Tee' Xaba from Southgate in Durban. In her last theatre week performance, the 18 year old sang Jill Scott's 'A Long Walk' and had Somizi on his feet. Judge Unathi commented by saying:
"That's how you shut down a show and shut down theatre week."
That performance, coupled with her group round success , added to her moving onto the next round.
The other ladies left to contest the crown include Gugulethu “Gugu” Zulu (24),Phindile “Phindy” Dube (19) from Durban who stood out in Randal's eyes, Minenhle Minnie Ntuli (22), former Clash of the Choirs contestant and education student Blessed Mlangeni (23) originally from Nelspruit, Nokuthula “Hadassah” Makhoba (23) from Pretoria, Gabi Du Plessis (16) from CPT, Paxton Fielies (16) also from the Mother City and
Basetsana Kolwane (19) from Joburg.
Returning contestant Thapelo Esau (20), from the East Rand fell short of her dream in Idols season 12 when she lost her voice. She returned this year and history threatened to repeat itself.
Thankfully, she had done enough to secure her spot in the Top 16 and she could not hold back her tears as she thanked the judges for the opportunity.
Another returning singer who made it was Faith Msibi (25).
The PK (pastor's Kid) from Witbank was sent packing last year at the same stage.
Last of the ladies to win a place in the Top 16 was 27-year-old Thokozile Ndimande who worked as a back-up singer for one popular singer Maleh.
Meanwhile, things were looking rather sour for the boys. Unathi's favourite Ofentse Motale was the first to fail after he couldn't remember his words on two of the three theatre auditions. Following closely behind was Diego Val who suffered from the same bout of forgetfulness.
On the brighter side, Mthokozisi Ndaba (25) became the first guy to make it through. Ndaba was praised for his hard work and soldiering on after being shot during a mugging weeks before the theatre round started.
Randall also praised him as being memorable. Unathi likened him to Idols' season 9 winner Musa Sukwene. Somizi added that he admired how Mthokozisi didn't use his shooting as a crutch to get ahead. "You know us and sob stories... Some people would have brought it up until the end," said Somgaga.
Christo Daniels (21) who was found in PE's pop up auditions sponsored by Telkom also secured his place. "Getting a spot into the top 16 is just another step into the door of making that change," he said.
Joining him are Pretoria boys' Botlhale Phora (21) and Somizi's favourite Lindokuhle “Lindo” Sithole (21).
This coming week, 8 of the 16 contestants will take to the stage, namely Blessed, Christo, Faith, Gugu, Lindo, Paxton, Phindy and Thokozile.