These Idols weren't Born This Way

"I'd like to see you do something different."

Every Idols judge has said this to every Idols finalist at some point. Has it ever really paid off? Don't think so.
Randall was desperate for Jason Hartman to try his hand at Justin Timberlake in season 5. It flopped. Karin Kortje won season three despite having a predisposition for a jazzy sound which is rather different from the pop pied pipers the show usually dumps on the charts.

So why are the judges so keen to shove these contestants out of their boxes? Let's not even get into how season 6 runner-up Lloyd Cele has sold out on his singer-songwriter vibe to be Chris Brown's slower, older and less popular cousin.
The point is - trying something "different" only counts in your favour if you can pull it off.

Speaking about his decision to do Grace Kelly by Mika, Lefa said he wanted to show a "completely different side". Now he's just the guy whose falsetto sucks and Princess Charlene’s mother-in-law is probably turning in her grave. What a waste after his stellar performance of Valerie in the Top 15 show.

Unathi commended Erin for her performance of Outkast's Hey Ya! while Gareth admitted it didn’t work for him. If she'd changed it up to suit her voice and style, she could have had more success with it. But instead she sounded like a virgin karaoke singer. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit.

It isn't about skill this year. They're all skilled singers. Well, most of them. I'm still not sure what Nolly’s doing there.

Crushanda's big, bold voice is so special; it should be reserved for special songs. My Life Would Suck Without You sounded like a cop-out; a need to funk it up after the serious weight of Heart's Alone. She should stay true to her Heart, she can afford it.
Brownie points for bravery don't always translate into viewer votes. The Idols would all do well to remember that.

Some of the contestants, however, are so comfortable in their skin that they make the song fit them – not the other way around. Mark and Kelly fall into this category.
Mark did Lady Gaga's anthem Born This Way total justice with his signature "scream"; it’s going to take him all the way to the top five, just as it did for American Idol’s James Durbin. And Parlotones take note – THAT’S how you do guyliner.

Kelly can't hide that coy eye-flutter and she puts her stamp on every performance with those interesting, original inflections.

While that comfort alone may not be enough to win the competition, it certainly puts one in the lead because it translates even when the sound is crappy (seriously, M-Net?) and your nerves are shot.

While Randall's opinion is clearly the only one that matters (how cute was Freddie when Randall complemented him?), he also appreciates a ballsy contestant who's not afraid to go against the grain or the judges' advice. Just be the singer you are, not the one they want you to be.

Which song would you like to see your favourite Idol sing? Let us know. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24