After weeks of uncertainty and emotional upheaval, tonight’s episode of Idols SA was a bit of a breather for viewers and contestants alike. With the theme: Classic R’nB hits from the 90s, tonight was all about love.
Keegan set the tone for all things hearts and roses when he opened the show with Luther Vandross’ The Impossible Dream, hitting high notes that had the judges dispersing the compliments at a dizzying rate. Randall even said hotshot Keegan had set the bar so high, it was going to be almost impossible for the other nine contestants to follow.
It was up to Lucia to prove him otherwise, as the next contestant to step up on stage. Singing Never Gonna Let You Go by Faith Evans. This proved to be right up her alley, as she comfortably breezed through the performance. The judges were impressed, but Unathi urged her to “not be afraid to leave your emotions on the floor”.
Sanele’s song choice was the favourite Boyz II Men sing-a-long, I’ll Make Love To You. According to Unathi, he started off shaky but made up for it later. But Randall was not so accommodating, and bluntly stated that “the train has come off the tracks” with Sanele’s performance.
The train came back quickly back on the tracks with Noma’s rendition of Whitney Houston’s My Love Is Your Love. The judges agreed that she had taken that popular karaoke staple and turned it into her own hit. “It was great!” enthused Gareth.
Bevin put extra slo-mo love with Robbie Williams’ Angels. While the crowd ate it up, Gareth said this was not the best song choice and was a little dry. The rest of the judges concurred, so it’s now up to the public to make their opinion known via their voting thumbs.
Consistent favourite Terra Cox had Unathi jumping up her chair when he serenaded the viewers with Tell Me What You Want Me To Do by Tevin Campbell. Somizi went one up on her when he strutted from the judges’ table to give him a standing ovation. He called it “the best performance of the night thus far”. To the crowd’s delight, Randall pronounced “You channelled El DeBarge” before breaking into song!
Nosihe changed things up when her turn came. Playing the keyboard like a pro, her crystal clear voice rang out as she sang I’m Your Angel by Celine Dion feat. R. Kelly. Unathi called it powerful, Randall didn’t like the song choice, Gareth said there were times he felt she was shouting at them, and Somizi said it felt like being at a government official’s wedding.
Tebogo sang Jodeci’s Lately. Randall didn’t mince his words; he told Tebogo he is in danger. Gareth complimented him on his voice but felt he was emotionally disconnected from the song and interpreted it as if it was a protest song.
Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart received the Thami treatment. Unfortunately he forgot the lyrics an stumbled on the song. The judges’ opinions was split in the middle – two sure that the voting audience will forgive him while the other two questioned his longevity on the Idols stage.
Valentine closed off the show on a high note with Whitney Houston’s I’m Your Baby Tonight. Her spirited performance had the crowd on their feet screaming their lungs out. “I was born during this song! Hallelujah!” declared Somizi!