TV review – Clash of the Choirs: Judging the judging

2014-06-08 15:00

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Clash of the Choirs is a great concept and has drawn nationwide interest, but the indecisive judges could be its undoing, writes Siyabonga Sithole

Clash of the Choirs

Mzansi Magic

Sundays, 5.30pm

On Sunday, Clash of the Choirs’ judging panel – consisting of Anele Mdoda, Lindelani Mkhize and Rebecca Malope – had their work cut out for them deciding who should stay and who should go.

After much umming and ahhing, they gave Team Tshedi Mholo, representing Limpopo, the boot. It has been a long time coming as on a number of occasions, the choir, led by Malaika’s golden voice, has been saved by the judges’ indecision.

Team Tshedi now has to wave goodbye to the opportunity of winning the R750?000 prize money (R250?000 of which is donated to a charity of their choice).

But the judges’ conservative approach – playing things safe and continuously not making the crucial call when needed – is becoming an irksome factor on the show.

They seem content at slowing things down, when decisiveness and brutally frank opinions would make for much more entertaining viewing.

Or is it actually the producers who are using the judges to stretch the series to save money on tapings?

Either way, people have taken to social media to accuse the judges of favouritism. Some fans are calling for public involvement in the voting as they feel the judges are too indecisive.

Kgosi Ngakantsi posted this on Facebook: “I think in future, voting should start right from the beginning ...?The level of judging is very poor, costly and indecisive!”

Others are calling for a new panel of judges for the next season.

It is not often you get such a high level of interest in a South African TV show. This is mainly because all the choirs represent a particular province, and people have a vested interest in the show and want to be part of that excitement. If only Clash of the Choirs could leverage off that.

Meanwhile, choirs continue trying to bring an element of surprise to their chosen songs. Now in its eight week, nerves are starting to kick in for the contestants. Even the choirmasters are getting edgier by the episode.

Though KwaZulu-Natal are the reigning champions after team Khaya Mthethwa took the inaugural trophy last year, it does not look promising for the Robbie Malinga-led province this year.

They look a bit ordinary thus far, but who knows, they might just sneak up and outdo Team HHP (Free State), Team Sugasmackx (Gauteng) and Team Moneoa (Mpumalanga).

Sultry-voiced soul singer Moneoa Moshesh is the youngest choirmaster on the show and the judges seem to like her. Her team is a strong contender for the coveted throne come the final episode in six weeks’ time.

Team Ziyon (Western Cape), led by Liquideep frontman Jonathan Ziyon Hamilton, are skating on thin ice and could be the next to exit the show as they have not looked amazing at all. (And they have woeful wardrobe choices.) Unless something magical happens, they’re out!

Choirs led by rappers are the favourites this year, and having witnessed the two rap choirmasters, I must say they have done very well to still be part of the competition.

If only the judges could be as exciting.

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