Cape Town – Sunday night’s top 16 live performance invoked woman power as the girls took to the Idols stage to fight for their place.
The eight young powerhouses kicked off the show with a homage to queen Bey with Run the World and Formation, giving a spirited performance that drew excited applause and enthusiastic feedback from the judges.
Sunday’s theme was bestselling female artists of the 21st century, and to help the stage newbies were award-winning Shekhinah harmonising her hit Different featuring Mariechan.
First to take make a solo appearance was diminutive Christmas baby, Thando, singing American Idol alumna Jennifer Hudson’s Giving Myself. While Randall felt she didn’t get to belt it out because it was too big a song, Unathi called the performance “exceptional” and Somizi said she had “killed” it. (Watch here performance here)
Aspirant music writer, Bongiwe, followed with the impassioned Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth feat. Emeli Sandé. The rendition had Unathi declaring: “You’re in it to win it! The competition has just begun!” (Watch her performance here)
Attridgeville’s blonde ambition, Wattahmelon, may have struggled with the first verse of Fantasia’s Lose to Win according to Somizi and Unathi, but she hit all the right notes with Randall, who declared she was “fantastic from start to finish!” (Watch her performance here)
Recent birthday girl, Nosipho, saw Unathi and Somizi give her performance of Sia’s Alive an enthusiastic thumbs up, while Randall was also impressed with her delivery of an 80s big sound ode. (Watch her performance here)
The judges may have been giving mixed reviews, but all three agreed that the girls were still running ahead of the boys halfway through the show.
Xae, who is a self-confessed car karaoke lover, hit the tri-factor of adulation when she left Randall speechless, Somizi shouting “genius” and Unathi calling it “brilliant!” for her rendition of SZA’s Broken Clocks. (Watch her performance here)
Season 14’s youngest contestant, Yanga, slowed it down with Adele’s monster hit, Don’t You Remember. Again, it was two to one as Randall felt it dragged while Somizi and Unathi loved it, with Somizi awarding it a “whoo shem”. (Watch her performance here)
Ntokozo brought it home and kept it local with Ndiza by Zahara. She undoubtedly received the best ovation of the evening. “Best performance of the night!” said Somizi. “I’d much rather listen to you off-key than six other contestants on key,” Randall announced. “Your imperfections were perfect,” was Unathi’s declaration. (Watch her performance here)
Closing off the show was Dalene with Whitney Houston’s It’s Not Right But It’s Okay. It didn’t turn out to the big bang closing that was expected, with Randall and Somizi feeling it failed to launch while Unathi believed she would be memorable. (Watch her performance here)
The judges have handed out a mixed bag of sweets and lemons, but it’s ultimately up to the voting public to push through their favourite to the top 10. Let’s see what the results bring next week.
Idols SA season 14 is on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) on Sundays at 17:00.