Last week in the first Live Group Spectacular of Idols SA Season 11 the Top 16 guys brought their A-game and the fans at home clearly loved it – South Africa cast more than 1 million votes for the group, which is a new all time Idols SA record for this stage of the competition.
Last night the guys could relax in the audience, happy in the knowledge of a job well done, and cheer on their female counterparts as the Top 16 girls took the stage with a lively group rendition of the very first American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson’s “Heartbeat Song”.
Up-and-coming Mzansi star Mathew Gold and BreakDLaw were this week’s guest stars with their hit “When We Were Young”, and then the first girl to sing for the Idols SA fans’ votes the Pride of Limpopo, Mmatema Moreni (23), performing the Ella Henderson hit, “Ghost”.
Idols SA judge Gareth Cliff said it was a very powerful start to the evening. “You’ve made it very unfair for the other girls, that they have to follow that,” he said. Somizi Mhlongo was bereft of speech. “You are such an amazing … you range is beyond … your tone is beyond …” he sputtered. “Oh, my gosh! You are devastatingly gifted!” Unathi Msengana was happy to see that Mmatema performed that song like she meant every single word. Even Randall Abrahams was pleased. “There are many weeks to go before the final, keep up the song choice,” he advised. “Your charisma is what’s going to get you the votes.”
Next up was the youngest girl in the competition this year, 17-year-old Nina Terblanche from Nelspruit, with Blackbyrd’s “Better In The Morning”.
“That was cute, I liked that a lot,” said Gareth. “I picked up something in your voice that I’ve heard in Taylor Swift’s voice. And that is something that’s very cool right now – a girl with a guitar and a great voice.”
“I like the fact that you hold your own,” said Somizi. “What you did now was perfecto. You are what I would call a full package.”
“It was enchanting, it was endearing, it was cheerful,” said Unathi.
And Randall summarised all of his colleagues’ positive comments. “You have a very different voice,” he praised. But he warned that Nina might struggle with votes because she’s not as confident as most of the other girls in the competition.
Amanda Antony (22) from Port Elizabeth was up next with Beyoncé’s sexy anthem, “Drunk In Love”.
“That is a very hard song to do right, and vocally I can’t fault you,” said Gareth. But in some ways he still thought it was a little lacking. ”I give it an 8 out of 10,” he told Amanda. Somizi agreed that there are certain artists who, if you’re going to do their songs, “you need your ancestors next to you.” And Unathi advised Amanda that “it’s okay to be extraordinarily sexy when you do this kind of song”. “It was kinda paint-by-numbers,” Randall agreed. He wondered if Amanda would get votes because of this song choice, or lose votes because of it.
Elwira Standili (22) from Worcester took to the stage with the Taylor Swift hit “Style”.
“There’s a lightness to that song, it bounces, and I felt like yours was plodding, it wasn’t bouncing,” Gareth thought. Somizi advised Elwira that it’s okay to admit that some songs are not your style. “Next time choose a soulful, ‘chilli-baba’ song,” he advised. “I thought you were perfect,” Unathi disagreed. “This was just stodgy,” said Randall. “It completely lacked charm.”
18-year-old Bridgitt Leahy from Pietermaritzburg chose the Meghan Trainor hit “Lips Are Moving”.
Gareth said there was a lot he could criticise in that performance, “but I can’t help liking it,” he said, “And I do want to hear you up there again.” Somizi agreed that Bridgitt was not on key. But Unathi was impressed with how much she had grown so far in this competition. “I think you’re growing week by week,” she said. “The one thing you have on your side is that you’re quirky,” said Randall. “But if you have that card to play, you’ve got to play it. You’ve got to get in there!” he urged her.
Paarl beauty queen Nadia Herbst (20) strutted her stuff with Ellie Golding’s “Love Me Like You Do”.
“I did not expect that,” Gareth said honestly. “You occupied that song.” He said Nadia and Mmatema were head-and-shoulders above the rest. “Perfect song choice, perfect emotions, perfect look and feel – it was your show,” said Somizi. “That was incredibly powerful,” Unathi agreed. But Randall had problems with the phrasing and he thought the high notes were pitchy. “So if you’re going to get votes, as the other judges seem to think, I don’t think it will be for singing,” he complained.
Next up it was the turn of Vryburg singer Dineo Moseki (21), performing Sia’s “Chandelier”.
“Listen, it’s a very hard song,” said Gareth. “I found the chorus pitchy and strained.” Somizi momentarily lost command of his English … “You swung on that chandelier, vocally,” he praised. “Sia is the pap-and-vleis, and you brought the chakalaka!” Unathi thought it was the performance of the night. But Randall disagreed. “To my mind you spent 90% of the time swallowing the words,” he complained
And 25-year-old Shenay O’Brien from Johannesburg closed the show with Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj’s mashup of “Bang Bang”.
Gareth thought this performance was the one that “jumped the shark” for Shenay. “The vocals did not work for me,” he said sadly. Somizi reminded Shenay that he advised her to sing in her own voice. “Bye, Felicia,” he said shortly. But Unathi thought everyone in the Top 16 could learn from Shenay when it comes to performance. “There were moments that worked and there were moments that were absolutely bleak,” said Randall. If you can’t handle that falsetto, stay away from the song, he advised.
Voting for the Top 16 girls opened at the start of the live Spectacular show and closes on Tuesday night, 8 September, at 22:00.
The result of this voting period and last week’s voting for the Top 16 guys will be announced in a spectacular live show on Sunday, 13 September.
The four girls with the most votes and the four guys with the most votes will be safe. The four girls and four guys with the fewest votes will be up for elimination, and theIdols SA judging panel of Randall Abrahams, Somizi Mhlongo, Unathi Msengana, and Gareth Cliff will save two contestants (no matter from which group they are) to make up the Idols SA Season 11 Top 10.
Tickets to the Idols SA Season 11 Live Spectaculars are available from Computicket.
Squid Game Ending Explained; We’ve Been Scammed
We’ve been had, and Squid Game is here to prove it.
When the end of the South Korean horror drama arrives on the ninth episode, the winner finds himself harrowed by what the coveted prize has cost his soul. In the rat race for survival, along with a better life that hinges on the never ending hustle, there’s no time to stop and see the horror our lives become. By the end, we see how the winner has sold his soul for a crappy deal that came with a few toys, and a happy meal.
A group of 456 players are mysteriously invited to take part in a set of children’s games for a grand prize of $38 million, which will be enough to give the winner the financial freedom they desperately need. The players are selected from different walks of life, with the burden of excessive debt being their biggest motivation to give the Game a go.
The first of deepening terrors comes during the first game, when the players discover that penalties for losing in the challenges will be death. DEATH. Horrified, the players initially vote to leave and return to their lives.
This noble departure doesn’t last long; their material realities as fugitives on the run from debt collectors only highlights the glow of the precious promise they’ve now left behind. When they return for the second time, they now consent to their highly probable deaths.
Led by Lee Jung-jae, who plays Seong Gi-hun, a taxi driver with a gambling addiction, the South Korean series has become somewhat of a global phenomenon. Now the most streamed Korean series of all time, Squid Game is also said to be on pace to dethrone Bridgerton as the most streamed series in the history of Netflix. And it’s with good reason. Squid Game is a trip.
Survival is the drive. The blues of a broke life pile up for Seong Gi-hun, who’s daughter is being taken away to the US by her mother and step father. His mother is battling deteriorating diabetes and even in her frail condition, is still working hard to make ends meet. It’s during the peak of his frustrations that Gi-hun is randomly invited to take part in the Game.
After accepting the offer, he finds himself in a discreet location along with 455 players, who are also drowning in debt. The players are kept under an authoritarian system of surveillance. Masked guards in pink suits keep the scene under control under the supervision of the Front Man. Gi-hun allies with other players, including his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo, as a the most strategic way to survive the bloody challenges.
Amongst those that end up in this team is player 001, a frail old man who who became his “gganbu”. Sae-byeok, who was also in the team, was killed by Sang-woo, Gi-hun’s childhood friend, team member and flip-flopping ally. Several other team members had to be killed by their team mates, which revealed the wickedness of the games.
In the end, Gi-hun’s victory came without an apology. He had to defeat a close ally in the games, the old and frail player 001. They’d bonded throughout their time, but in the end he had to advance himself against those he’d built alliances. As the games progressed, the players found themselves having to face tough calls. Someone else has to die for you to make it another day.
After a series of brutal games, it comes down to childhood friends Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo. They’d played different games, with Sang-woo having played hard and stopping at nothing to win. Gi-hun is mad at Sang-woo for a series of betrayals, including him stabbing Sae-byeok to her death. In the end, Gi-hun wins when Sang-woo apologised and kills himself.
Yet despite emerging a winner, Gi-hun finds that the cost of becoming an overnight billionaire has bankrupted his soul. For a year following the day his bank account was loaded with a nine zero figure, he didn’t touch the money. After all, he returned to find his mother dead on the floor. One of his motivations was getting the money to get her medical help over her advancing diabetes.
Gi-hun is clearly troubled by the bodies upon which his new wealth rests. A year passes and he hasn’t touched the money – even oddly reverting to old patterns of asking for loans to get by. It might be late to be so concerned about the moral questions surrounding the games now – the long and short of it is he won and his life has changed.
Later, he is shocked to find out that the “gganbu” who had to be killed after losing to him in a game of marbles, was never really killed.
In a shocking plot twist that changes everything – he also finds out that the old man is in fact the creator of the games! Finding him in a medical bed after receiving a mysterious invite to the location, Gi-hun discovers that the man’s real name is Oh Il-nam, an obscenely rich fella who created the games in 1988 (the same year Korea hosted the Olympics for the first time) purely for their entertainment. We already know by now that ‘the VIPs’ are a bunch of morally bankrupt elites who find pleasure in watching the poor masses slaughtering each other for money in a broken system. Where have we heard that before?
Although his participation in the games as player 001 was a farce, what he told Gi-hun back then, that he had a brain tumour, had been true. And of course, he challenged him to another sick game. A man had been freezing to death on a street pavement, and Oh Il-nam challenged Gi-hun to guess to bet on the odds that someone who help him when the clock strikes 00:00 at midnight. As Gi-hun wins, Oh Il-nam dies.
We assume this marks the end of the games. However later in the episode, Gi-hun sees the man who recruited him doing it to someone else. He runs to stop what is happening, but arrives at the exact scene late, the train has already taken off. Later on the way to boarding a flight, he turns and calls a number. “I can’t forgive you for everything you’re doing,” he tells ta man we assume to be In-ho. He turns back, clearly about to begin his new mission.
What we know now, is that Oh Il-nam created the games to tickle the sick tastes of his sick rich network. But he is now dead. Who is now behind the games? This, and Gi-hun’s passionate manifesto, are strong indications that next season of the series is already shaping up to a different arc. It’s his final transformation, and he is ready to take down the operation and those behind it. He won’t allow people to be “horses” for the entertainment of wealthy elites.
We know that In-ho shot Jun-ho in a bid to stop him from alerting the police about the games. The signal was bad, delaying the delivering of the evidence Jun-ho had been trying to send in several texts, right up to the moment the moment he plunged from a cliff and hit the water. What we don’t know is whether the messages were really not delivered. There’s also no conclusive evidence that Jun-ho is dead.
Potentially, the biggest lesson from season one is that our relentless pursuit for material success in a punishing money system kills us.
First Look at HBO’s Game of Thrones Spin-Off ‘House of The Dragon’
Things look promising for HBO’s upcoming drama series, The House of Dragon. The highly buzzed Games of Thrones prequel’s first visual teaser has been met with much fanfare, raking in more than 8,6 million views on Youtube within two days of its arrival.
First reactions and buzz around the epic teaser have been strong indications that the series, slated to premiere in 2022, is off to a good start despite the infamous final season slump suffered by G.O.T. And it could mean that maybe, just maybe, the world ready to let old baggage go.
The House of Dragon, created by an entire different team, will arrive about three years since the cold winter. The cast includes Matt Smith, Paddy Considine and Sonoya Mizuno who will be bringing to life a different era of Westeros.
Midnight Mass is Creepy With A Dark Subtext and You Need To See it
‘God’s angel’ had sinister plans for the town.
The reign of terror plunges a small and quiet town to ashes when the arrival of a charismatic yet mysterious priest coincides with the return of a disgraced young man who has just been released from prison.
While Riley (Zach Gilford) initially finds that Crockett Island and its 127 residents – along with his childhood sweetheart Erin (Kate Siegel) – still conduct a mundane existence, Pastor Paul (Hamish Linklater) soon changes that.
When the island’s much loved Roman Catholic senior priest takes a trip to the pilgrimage and never comes back, an energetic new priest takes his place at the Holy Land church. And while his arrival brings with it a new wave of spiritual revival amongst the island community, something sinister begins to haunt the town.
With each episode, the esoteric occult that powers Paul’s ability to perform astounding miracles and mesmerise the islanders, slowly gains dominion over the unsuspecting community. Instead, they begin taking up a renewed interest in the church as word of mouth spreads about the signs and wonders. Much like Jesus Christ was able to draw crowds wherever he went, the appearance of Paul’s supernatural power is able to attract even those who’d remained sceptics their lives.
It’s the blending of the sacred and the sinister. The taking of communion that has been contaminated with demonic blood, which functions as the miracle drug promising eternal life.
We soon find out the miracles come at an unthinkable cost.