Competition for Idols’ wooden mic tougher than for golden ticket

2012-03-07 00:00

IDOLS judge Gareth Cliff might have gotten a kiss from Jabulani, one of the uShaka Marine World’s resident seals, but neither he, nor fellow judges, Randall Abrahams and Unathi Msengana, had much love for the Durban hopefuls at yesterday’s auditions.

At noon yesterday, only five singers had their hands on a coveted golden ticket to Sun City, and by the end of the day just 21 contestants had made it into the top 100.

The judges had promised to be tough on this year’s contestants, and they certainly didn’t pull their punches when it came to telling the wannabe Idols what they thought of their efforts.

Abrahams told Umhlanga resident, Arran Williams, that he had run roughshod over every nuance in the Billy Joel classic, She’s Always a Woman.

And Cliff wasn’t a whole lot kinder declaring that the singer had “massacred” the song.

Next in the firing line was Mzansi’s answer to Lady Gaga, Nomacenge Mngoma, from Amanzimtoti. Wearing a silver top covered in sequins, plenty of bling and, in a nod to Mother Monster’s outfit at the Grammy’s last month, a black hat with a net veil, she belted out Bad Romance.

Mngoma was told she was unlikely to follow in Gaga’s musical footsteps, but Cliff said she was destined to get a lot of attention when the reality show aired.

“You’ll see a lot of this [Mngoma’s audition] on TV,” he predicted.

One of the happy contestants was Zinhle Ngidi, from Bellair, who now finds herself facing the prospect of juggling her matric studies at Rossburgh High School with the next round of auditions for Idols.

She plans to take extra classes to keep up with her schoolwork and says that whether she’s studying or singing, she always gives 100 percent.

“It feels amazing,” Zinhle said of getting a golden ticket. “I was really nervous, but after getting my ticket I’m good. It’s another step forward in my dream of being a singer.”

And 18-year-old University of KwaZulu-Natal student, Nidaal Hassim, from Westville, who looked both elated and exhausted after his audition, said the hours waiting to be called by the judges had been nerve-wracking. “I was really restless, nervous, because I wanted this so much,” he added.

• Season eight of Idols is a co-production between M-Net and Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 107) and will be broadcast on both channels from June 2012.

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