Lungisa Xhamela (25) from Langa in the Cape last night became the first guy to be voted out of the Idols SA Season 11 Top 10.
Idols SA host ProVerb made the announcement at the State Theatre in Pretoria Sunday evening shortly after the start of the live broadcast of the Top 7 “Showstopper” spectacular. With more than 5.5 million votes cast for the Top 8, it came down to Lungisa and Siphelele Ngcobo (24) from Inanda as to who would be the first guy to leave the Top 10.
Lungisa gave up his studies in medical bioscience at the University of the Western Cape this year to pursue his musical dreams full-time for the sake of his two-year-old daughter, who lives with his parents in Port Elizabeth. “I got everything I wanted from this experience – and more …” he commented as he came off stage tonight. “This competition has opened up so many doors for me, and I’m excited to get out there and get my career started.”
With three girls and four guys left in the competition, the pressure was on to impress the Idols SA voters tonight in the all-important “Showstopper” spectacular, with special choreography by Lee-Ché.
Special guest star Chiano Sky opened the show with a performance of her hit “Dancing with VAM”, from her new album “Inferno”, and then the first Top 7 contestant to take to the stage tonight was 22-year-old Amanda Antony from Port Elizabeth, with the Cee-Lo Green hit “Forget You”.
Gareth Cliff pointed out that “Showstopper” is a very difficult show every year because there’s so much going on on the stage, “but you still delivered a very good vocal performance, which is what you have to do,” he complimented Amanda.
Somizi Mhlongo said Amanda is delivering memorable performances now because she’s grown so much in confidence. “That was fierce, that was sexy, that was unapologetic, that was everything we need from a Showstopper performance,” Unathi Msengana agreed. And even Randall Abrahams commended Amanda on making herself heard in such a big production. “Next week another guy will be going home,” he predicted.
“I loved it, I thought it was inspired to do something old school,” said Gareth. Somizi was impressed with what he called Rhema’s “vocalisibility”, but he was not impressed with Rhema’s moves.
“I think the entire production of your song was just genius,” Unathi exclaimed happily. But Randall disagreed. “The vocals aren’t enough,” he cautioned. “You’ve got to come out and look like you want to win.”
Mmatema, well done, that was spectacular,” said Gareth, struggling to make himself heard above the roaring crowd. “You murdered the performance!” Somizi raved. “You need to go to prison or to stardom. You are too good! You are a superstar!” Unathi agreed that Mmatema was perfect in every way and commended her on being unapologetic about her talent. And Randall had nothing new to add to the words of praise that had already been spoken.
“Nice job, dude, I loved that song,” said Gareth. “I think you did it very, very well. It was authentic, it was very real, it was very you.”
Somizi was pleased to note that Sphe gave it his all and noted that he takes the judges’ advice on board every week. “Slowly but surely you are getting there, you are finding yourself,” he told Siphelele. “People are going to vote for you because of your authenticity,” he predicted. Randall predicted that it’s going to be a very tight competition at the bottom of the rankings next week. He noted that Siphelele clearly put in a lot of work and he thought the song and the arrangement would serve him very well in the voting.
16-year-old Loyiso Gijana from Uitenhage performed the House hit “Don’t Look Down”, by Martin Garrix. Gareth was pleased to see an Idol choosing something new and modern to perform, but he thought despite the spectacular staging, Loyiso might be vulnerable this week.” “You remind me of a younger version of L’loyd Cele, on steroids,” said Somizi. “He predicted that Loyiso would have a great future in the music business. “You’re going to be so rich!” he said. Unathi was impressed with how versatile Loyiso is as a performer and Randall was also happy to see a contestant performing many different genres of music, but specifically that Loyiso genuinely seems to enjoy all those different songs. “And that’s one thing you have above all the other contestants,” he notes, “and that’s charm.”
Dineo Moseki (21) from Vryburg performed the Ariana Grande song “One Last Time”.
“Dineo, uhm … no,” said Gareth. “There were too many flat notes,” he complained. “I felt like that whole performance was suppressed.” Somizi was also disappointed. “You’re becoming one-dimensional now,” he commented. “Based on this performance you are going home,” he predicted. “At this point of the competition you can’t make any mistakes,” Unathi agreed. “You let yourself down,” she told Dineo. Randall again pointed out what a challenge it is for a performer to rise above the spectacle of the Showstopper, and he didn’t think Dineo ever managed it.
24-year-old Karabo Mogane from Nelspruit closed the show tonight with EDM master Calvin Harris’s hit, “Blame”, which earned him a standing ovation from the judges. “You and Mmatema are worlds apart from the others,” Gareth praised. “I cannot fault you,” Somizi agreed. “For all I care you can sing ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’, I would still roll down,” he commented. “I’ve always known you have this in you,” said Unathi. “You shut it down – you stopped the show.”
“To hear your voice married to Dance music …” Randall marveled. “I really wish I could hear more music like that. You can really sing and you made it work – it was magical.”