Thank you, Hannah!

By admin
30 July 2011

She was meant to wait quietly outside with her grandmother while her mom auditioned in front of Idols’ tough panel of judges but little Hannah Duvall (4) has a mind of her own - as thousands of TV viewers saw.

She managed to do something that has made her the envy of many hopeful contestants: to impress Randall Abrahams, the judge we love to hate. And without even singing a note.

We arrive at mom Tracy’s home in Red Hill, Durban, and it’s easy to see why Idols’ toughest judge has a soft spot for Hannah.

While Tracy (23), the real Idols contestant, pours juice in the kitchen a chatty Hannah wants to know, “Would you like something to eat?” Later she plays a few notes on the piano. Who knows, perhaps she’s already preparing for her own Idols audition in a few years’ time.

On the day of her audition Tracy, an LLB student who dreams of being a singer, explained to Hannah that Mom was going to do something very important and asked her to be on her best behaviour.

“My legs were shaking and it felt as if everybody could see I was trembling,” Tracy says of her big moment when she appeared in front of Randall, Gareth Cliff, Mara Louw and guest judge Steve Hofmeyr at the Idols auditions in Durban.

She’d just begun answering their questions when a tearful voice could be heard from outside the door.

“Is that your daughter?” Gareth asked and suggested the little girl come inside to watch her mom’s audition.

Then, in front of the TV cameras, the little cutie went straight for grumpy Randall. And suddenly there was no sign of his intimidating presence. He held out his arms to Hannah and the next moment she was on his lap.

Meanwhile Tracy was a bundle of nerves as she started singing Adele’s Make You Feel My Love. Afterwards Steve’s response was lukewarm but Gareth and Mara agreed she deserved a second chance.

Randall was in a difficult position. Would he rip Tracy’s dream to shreds with Hannah watching? So he asked the little girl on his lap whether Tracy should go through. And would you believe it, she said no! “Cause sometimes my mommy shouts at me,” came the reply. Randall was shaking with laughter.

When he asked again Hannah showed she knew blood was thicker than water. “Yes!” she cried and Tracy received that sought-after golden ticket into the next round.

“I was shocked. I couldn’t believe Randall was sparing my feelings because Hannah was in the room. When I got outside I just burst into tears. I thought I didn’t deserve that golden ticket.”

As Randall puts it, “She’s a cute, bubbly little girl. All my friends have kids and while I’ve always been ambivalent I’d be fooling myself to think I too would not want a little one in future.”

And if it’s a girl she will, like Hannah, have no trouble twisting her dad around her little finger.

Read the full article in the YOU of 5 August 2010

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