The ‘showstopper week’ themed performances is perhaps the most anticipated stage in the entire Idols SA competition, with contestants being given the opportunity to show that they can do more than just belt out a powerful song.
In the ‘showstopper week’, contestants bring out the fireworks, stage props and an army of dancers to show they can command the stage and leave us all with goosebumps. And tonight, the top seven certainly stepped it up to give the audiences a show to remember.
This week the hardest part of the show – the elimination round – was dealt with at the beginning of the show. Despite having consistently impressed the judges, Jooma received the least number of votes and viewers had to bid him a sad farewell.
For the remaining seven, the Idol SA moniker was theirs for the taking, but the ‘showstopper week’ got off to a shaky start, with Zama receiving a lukewarm reception from the judges after performing Calvin Harris and Rihanna’s ‘This is what you came for.’ Randall Abrahams said she appeared distracted and was not focused on her performance. “You will need to get your head back in the game if you are here next week,” he warned her. Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung too was not blown over by her performance. “You have one of the most powerful vocals, but you looked like you couldn’t wait for it to end,” he said, later adding that she had not thrilled him. Unathi Nkayi only advised her not to lose her smile.
Mr Music may have had an impressed Unathi beaming at his performance, but Somizi and Randall were once again not blown over by his rendition of Blaq Diamond’s ‘Woza My Love.’
“All we want from you is your very best and that’s what you gave us,” Unathi said, but Somizi and Randall were not convinced, with Somizi acknowledging the good vocals, but adding he had high expectations that were not met when it came to the performance itself. Randall suggested he had squandered his opportunity to ‘absolutely throw yourself into things and be in the moment’ adding he had nothing to lose.
Following Ndoni’s performance, however, the judges were unanimous in their praise. Her take of Beyoncé’s ‘Already’ had Somizi smiling. “You did the best you could and you did it beautifully,” he said, adding that she deserved to be on the stage next week. Randall agreed, saying she was moving in the right direction. Unathi added that she had done her level best.
But the judges were later in disagreement once again, this time over Bongi’s performance. While Randall loved her performance of Beyoncé’s ‘Déjà vu’, saying “It’s going to be hard for someone to top you,” Unathi said she had had better performances. Somizi said while it could pass for a good jazz version of Beyoncé, he had wanted a show stopper performance.
Brandon performed ‘Circles’ by Post Malone. Unathi said she expected more from him. Somizi again repeated what seemed to be his refrain for the evening – “Vocally it was good.” Randall said the performance had its moments, but there were moments where he seemed distracted.
ZanoThando’s performance of Chris Brown’s ‘Loyal’ was, according to Somizi, beautiful in parts. “You gave it your all,” he said. Randall, however, said while there was a lot of performing, his vocals could have been better.
Of course, the lukewarm showstopper evening ended on a high when Ntokozo took to the stage to perform Dua Lipa’s ‘Break My Heart’. Randall said the best had been saved for last, with Unathi wholeheartedly agreeing. “This is what we have been waiting for. The Showstopper! You killed it!” she exclaimed. Somizi too was blown over, heaping her with his famous “whoo shem!”. “That was everything, you worked it!!” he shouted.
“It’s always interesting to hear what the judges have to say about each contestant’s performance, but in the live rounds of this show, they don’t hold sway – it’s the voters who have the final say and only they will decide who comes back next week. So, if you want your favourite contestant on the stage next week, you need to make sure that you cast your vote,” – M-Net Local Entertainment Channel Director Nomsa Philiso.
Next week, we will get to see the top six take to the stage to fight for their place in the next round – so keep voting and keep watching to see who will be the last Idol standing.
Idols SA season 16 is on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 on Sundays at 17h00.