It was a poignant evening as the Idols Top 10 paid tribute to the late, great icons of music with the night’s theme “Fallen Legends”.From the opening strands of their cover of Boyz II Men’s poignant One Sweet Day, it was an emotional evening punctuated by raw and powerful performances from the contestants. Lindo was the first to make the Top Nine, and dedicated Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through the Grapevine to his late malume. Randall applauded him on giving his best effort, and Unathi agreed that he would be safe this week. Somizi, however, wasn’t convinced about the performance and advised him to avoid falsettos.
Thapelo followed with a tribute to her own uncle, singing Brenda Fassie’s Weekend Special. The judges gave her a clean score sheet. “This is not the kind of song we expect from you, but it’s worked absolutely to your benefit,” said Randall. Unathi and Somizi concluded that Brenda Fassie was showing her off from her perch in heaven.
Christo dedicated his performance to his maternal grandmother. His Michael Jackson’s I’ll Be There went down well with the judges. Somizi predicted he’ll “be there” next week, while Randall warned against his “wedding singer” habits.
Safely in the Top Nine as well is Faith, whose dedication to her granny was Always and Forever by Luther Vandross. While her lower register was wobbly, Randall forgave her because of her “restraint” in singing. Unathi liked that she was “respectful” to the original composition, and Somizi asked for “youth” next time.
The next safe contestant was Mthokozisi, who touched hearts with his dedication to his son who passed away at seven months. His performance of Gerald Levert’s Made to Love Ya was highly emotional. Unathi said she had felt his “pain and love” and Somizi warned established balladeers that Mthokozisi was coming for them.
Also safe was Phindy, who received a standing ovation from Somizi for her performance of Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel, which she dedicated to her younger brother’s stillborn twin. “Trust yourself; you’re incredible,” was Unathi’s verdict. Randall praised her for being focused.
Botlhale joined in with Superstar by Luther Vandross, dedicated to his uncle. He was the archetypal dynamite in a small package. “You did really well, but you need to speak some of the words in a broader context,” advised Randall. This season’s teen sensation, Paxton, was crowned “Performance of the Night” by Unathi after her powerful rendition of George Michael’s Careless Whisper, dedicated to the granny who spent hours giving her vocal training. Somizi declared that Paxton be the teenage superstar South Africa has been waiting for.
After a tense two hours, Tee’s name was called as the last to make up the Top Nine. Her shredded nerves saw her give a passionate act of Too Late for Mama by Brenda Fassie dedicated to her late brother. Both Somizi and Unathi were impressed by her “soul and passion”.
After such a strenuous results evening, things will only get more difficult for the contestants as more of them are shed every week. Vote to make sure your favourite doesn’t fall foul to the axe. Idols SA season 13 is on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 on Sundays at 17:00 CAT.