WATCH | Idols SA socially distanced live performances kick off

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Idols SA season 16 top 8 guys.
Idols SA season 16 top 8 guys.
Photo: Mzansi Magic
  • Idols SA season 16 live performances kicked off with the male contestants doing their best to impress the public.
  • The theme for the evening was the best cover songs.
  • You can vote for your favourite via SMS, the DStv App and the Mobile site. Find out how here.

The top 8 guys kicked off the Idols SA live performances on Sunday.

The theme for the evening was the best cover songs, and the guys brought to the stage all the soul and passion they could.

With the contestants performing without a live audience, the Idols SA production team introduced fan technology where the judges could, from the press of a button, play a recording of an applause after every performance, while the families of all the eight contestants could cheer their favourites on via a live virtual platform.

"With the first of the live performances now done, it is now up to the viewers to decide who progresses to the top 10," says Nomsa Philiso, the head of Local Entertainment Channels at M-Net. "All I can say is that it was an exciting day for all us despite the lockdown restrictions. Trying to navigate a new normal is never easy, but our contestants have adapted well and judging by the quality of the performances, I think this might be one of our best seasons yet," she said.

Sonwabile ZanoThando, taking on Ray Charles' I Got a Woman, kicked off the season with a performance that was met with mixed reviews from the judges. 

Randall Abrahams opened the judges' comments with a not-so-friendly quip, and said ZanoThando sounded like the guy singing in front of a mirror with a hairbrush. He advised him to focus.

Unathi Nkayi and Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung differed, with Unathi saying he has given his market all that they need to make sure he makes it to the next round. Somizi echoed Unathi's comments, apologising to him for calling him a one-trick pony. He did, however, warn ZanoThando not to take Abraham's words for granted before giving him more compliments.

Zahn-Reece too received mixed feedback from the judges. While Unathi felt his rendition of Superstar, a classic song that was re-recorded by Luther Vandross in 2001 and by Usher in 2004, had the right balance of tenderness, boldness and vigour to make it an excellent performance, Randall felt it was more a Luther Vandross rendition than a Zahn-Reece performance. Somizi felt the song was too big to allow him to understand the emotional side.

Ethan's performance of Micheal Bublé's Feeling Good was met with ululations and squeals of delight from Unathi. Somizi said it was a performance that deserved to be on a big stage. Randall, however, said despite the great melodies and notes, he could not wait for the performance to end.

While Randall remained lukewarm through many of the performances, he loved Jooma's performance, saying he would have voted for him. Brandon's version of Calum Scott's Dancing on My Own was also met with a thumbs up.

Succedor's Emotion, Mr Music's All I Do is Cry and Qhawe's Try a Little Tenderness also took to the stage, with the judges not quite getting to a consensus on their performances.


Sonwabile ZanoThando





Bruce Mr Music



Tune in to Idols SA Sundays at 17:00 on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161).

Compiled by Leandra Engelbrecht

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