Taking the plunge

2011-07-08 00:00

IT’S mid-day after Erin Fourie has appeared on the reality show Idols, and she’s as indie and down to Earth as ever.

We sit down for coffee and reflect on her success so far in the show, and her first audition. “After three hours of standing in Durban heat at the gate, just to get a good spot in the line, you start wondering: ‘Was this such a good idea?’,” she muses. In hindsight, it turns out it was.

Fourie is a well-known singer and musician in the midlands area, and has an honours degree in drama from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has not only the talent, but the experience and skill set to journey far into the latter stages of the Idols reality show.

“I have been asked: ‘Why this year?’ and the answer I want to give is: ‘I have nothing else to do,’ or worse yet: ‘I have nothing better to do’,” she quips. “Actually, it was Rob from Hebron Haven who said if I don’t try out he would fire me.” She says she thinks he was joking.

Courageously, however, she took the plunge.

“We harbour these secret desires,” she says about auditioning. “We see these adverts on TV, and we frown upon and scoff at it, but actually, we’re like: ‘I really want to try out’.”

And now she’s hoping to ride the wave as far as she can.

“One of the things people have said, is that you need a ‘thing’, or a selling point to accentuate. Maybe I’m just doing it wrong, but I’m just going with being myself. I don’t have a gimmick... do I?” she asks.

I shake my head.

“My Facebook page has exploded,” she continues, in a jovial mood. “It’s having an aneurysm right now. ­Suddenly, so many people want to be my friend.

“I’ve told my sister Kath: ‘If I start letting this popularity get to my head, you bring me back down’, and now she makes jokes about it and teases me.”

Fourie must be considered a leading contender in the competition.

I proposed to her that if anyone can survive as a musician in ­Pietermaritzburg, they can do it anywhere. She says: “It’s all a matter of knowing how to play Hotel California and House of the Rising Sun... if you can do those, you’re fine.”

Looking to the future, she seems open-minded, but notes that performing musical theatre on the West End is a dream of hers. “I didn’t study four years of drama for nothing.”

And at this stage, anything seems possible, given the exposure, which Fourie is cautious of.

“There’s a difference between ­being liked and being famous. Since Idols began I’ve been saying: ‘This is too much, I don’t know if I can handle this.’

"There’s a difference between performing for people and having them appreciate your music and come to your gigs, as opposed to ­everybody watching you every single week.”

That’s something she’ll just have to get used to.

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