Monique and Prince Kaybee. Picture: Facebook
Monique and Prince Kaybee. Picture: Facebook

'Idols SA' brings some of SA's biggest DJs to join contestants

By Amanda Maliba Time of article published Sep 20, 2021

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After Sunday night’s intense elimination round of the “Idols SA” competition, from 16 contestants right down to 10, but only nine (yes, nine) singers got to perform on the “Idols” stage.

Twenty-three-year-old Ithana dropped out of the competition the day before performance night due to medical problems, leaving only nine avid singers in the running.

“As M-Net, we wish her a speedy recovery. It is unfortunate that she cannot continue in the competition, but her health is of paramount importance. I know that this would not be the last time South Africans see her on their screens, said Local Channels Entertainment Director Nomsa Philiso.

The night’s theme, a never seen before challenge, saw the singers team up with celebrated DJs of our time namely DJ Cleo, De Mthuda, Prince Kaybee, Sun El Musician and DJ Sumbody, all attempting their latest hits.

As exciting as the challenge was, it seemed to rub Randall up the wrong way as he dubbed Bulelani, Daylin Sass and Monique’s performances as though they were singing in a school concert, leaving the judges with conflicting comments right through.

Bulelani gave a high energy first performance alongside DJ Sumbody, making the DJ’s hit song “Iyamemeza” his own – a song that has surpassed the gold status and is currently going onto double platinum.

Randall had no qualms with his vocals, saying those were really good, but said that the entire performance was like a matric school concert.

“If you are going to be here next week, go watch the performance and try to understand where I am coming from.”

Unathi disagreed with her fellow judge, saying she loved the dynamism of it all and that she couldn’t take her eyes off him.

Monique’s take on Prince Kaybee’s “Charlotte”, which features Lady Zamar, was the other performance to get the “school concert” reference from Randall, while Unathi thought she made the song hers without taking it away from the original.

“Seeing Kaybee smile when you went into our indigenous languages was beautiful because it meant okay it speaks something to him,” with Prince Kaybee nodding away by her side.

Daylin Sass’ rendition of “Friend Zone” by Prince Kaybee was, unfortunately, another performance that got the ‘school concert’ tag from Randall, who felt he oversang. Unathi, on the other hand, enjoyed his performance and his ability to utilise the entire stage creatively.

S’22Kile was paired with De Mthuda on his collaborated hit song Wamuhle that got her mixed reviews from both judges.

Unathi said she wanted a visual reference of amapiano, that if she would close her ears, she wanted to look at her and know exactly what genre she was singing, which she didn’t get.

Randall commended her rise to the occasion of being a performer once styled but thought her singing was slightly sharp and carried a little over-singing.

He believes, though, that she did a good enough job to secure her a spot next week.

Berry paired up with DJ Cleo on his collab song, “Choose To Be Happy”, which reminded Unathi of a young Tamara Dey back in time, but Randall figures that although it started off well, “it very rapidly descended into cabaret”, a comment he once gave her weeks before.

Unathi thought Kevin’s performance of “Piki Piki” by DJ Sumbody had soul, commenting that “it is always such a dream to watch you.”

She adds that at times experienced performers on the Idols stage are sometimes at a disadvantage because they are too relaxed but that Kevin’s experience has always worked in his favour.

Randall admitted to having zero recollection of Kevin from theatre week but that the avid singer has come into his own very rapidly and has kept them guessing since.

Nqobie is clearly Randall’s favourite, receiving praises from the veteran judge after her rendition of Sun El Musician’s banger song “Akanamali”.

Randall said her ability to not over-sing makes her performances enjoyable, but Unathi quickly disagreed, saying she needed more from her as the DJ commanded more attention than she did.

The night’s golden star undoubtedly went to Sia Mzizi.

His rendition of “Emlanjeni”, accompanied by De Mthuda, got rave reviews from both judges.

Randall said he sang it so well that he didn’t sound like someone covering someone else’s song and owned the song, while Unathi said that his choice in song was perfect and that “the combos are communicating.”

Karabo’s closing performance of DJ Cleo’s “Gcina Mpilo Yami” was applauded by both judges as the “perfect way to end the show.”

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