Meet Idols SA top 9 as race to the ultimate title moves up a gear.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Despite the pressure being the most intense it's been so far, this week's Idols SA edition was a celebratory one, as the newly minted top 9 hit the stage in their wedding best.
Following viewer votes, making it to the Idols SA season 19 top 9, in no particular order, were: Niikiey, Lungelo, Faith, Nkosi, Thando, Princess, Thabo, Envic, and Sena. Sadly, it was time for Lungile to say goodbye to Idols SA.
The theme saw the top 9 perform songs from the ultimate South African wedding playlist, bringing i-step to the florally decked-out Mosaïek Teatro stage.
Niikiey kicked off the show with Malaika's Mmatswale, to praise from the judges. Somizi Mhlongo had career words of advice: "Do you want to make a lot of money in music? Then this is your genre, mntwan’am. It was your concert."
Next to take the stage was Lungelo, who took on Etta James' At Last. The judges loved her performance, with Thembi Seete saying: "It felt like I was on a movie set, in a jazz club. All that was missing was red wine and a cigar. Your voice is smooth and clean."
Faith performed Caiphus Semenya's Matswale. Leading the judges 'compliments was JR Bogopa, who said: "That was a great performance, but there’s no need to over-sing the song. Otherwise, you stayed on it. Good job."
Nkosi took on Ekhwen Lami by Phila Dlozi, with Somizi saying: "What I liked about this rendition is that it could be your single. It was soulful, beautiful, easy, and mellow. I enjoyed just watching you."
Next was Thando, who sang Bob Marley's Is This Love, to mixed comments from the judges. Thembi said: "Because we've seen you from the beginning, I know you can do much more. You’ve lost that rawness no one can teach you. You were too careful."
Princess took on Lira's Phakade, impressing the judges. "It's like you’re the pizza guy – you never fail to deliver. You know your sweet spot and you play well in it. Great performance, "said JR.
For his performance, Thabo sang Christina Perry's A Thousand Years, to a standing ovation from the crowd. Somizi said: "I wanted you to even go higher. What you did was enough, but I know there’s still more to you. It’s the performance of the night."
After a technical error saw Envic unable to hear his first take on Jamie Foxx's When I First Saw You, he was granted a do-over, which mostly impressed the judges. “All I’m going to say is welcome back, Envic. This is the Envic we know," said Thembi.
Ending the show on an upbeat note was Sena, who sang Stevie Wonder’s All I Do.
JR said: "It was straight to the point. It did what it had to do, but you're up against great singers, so you need to up the game every week."
Next Saturday will see the contestants battle for viewer votes in the top 8 as they sing songs by American Idol judge and musical icon Lionel Richie. Who will make the cut? The audience will decide, but there's certainly no shortage of entertainment on Idols SA season 19, iLast Number.