Idols SA 2015 – Top 8 bid farewell to Elwira Standili

It was another sad goodbye on the Idols SA Season 11 stage tonight as the Top 8 bid farewell to Elwira Standili (22) from Worcester, who gave up her studies to pursue a life in the limelight.

Elwira received the bad news towards the end of tonight’s Top 8 Spectacular at the State Theatre in Pretoria, which at least still afforded her the opportunity to perform the mega-hit “The Power of Love” with Eighties icon Jennifer Rush, who was the special Idols SA guest star tonight on the eve of her Southern African tour.

“The Eighties” was the musical theme of the evening tonight and the contestants were mentored in their rehearsals this week by Ms Rush.

Over 4.24 million votes were cast for the Top 9 this week and the first person called to the stage, who received enough votes to stay in Top 8 was the baby of the competition, 16-year-old Loyiso Gijana from Uitenhage, with Bobby McFerrin’s jaunty 1988 hit “Don’t Worry Be Happy”.

“I think it’s terrific. That’s exactly what everybody’s got to do to make this work tonight,” said Gareth Cliff. “You make me happy!” said a broadly grinning Somizi Mhlongo, and Unathi Msengana told Loyiso that he fulfilled what an artist’s purpose is tonight. “I’m sure the entire country is happy, she laughed. “I’m sure the entire continent is happy.”

“The song was absolutely perfect for you,” Randall Abrahams said approvingly. “That’s not to say that you can’t make a mistake, but your performance was absolutely top level.

Fans can vote for Loyiso via USSD by dialing *120*33033# (Calls are charged at R1,50 per minute, limited to 200 votes per cellphone number); by SMSing his voting number 09 to 37400 (SMS’s are charged at R1.50/SMS, limited to 100 votes per cellphone number); or for free via WeChat (100 times per cellphone number); or for free on the official mobile site or Idols SA website or at www.mnet.co.za/idolsSA,100 times per cellphone number for each valid voting period.

For her Eighties moment 22-year-old Amanda Antony from Port Elizabeth kept it local with the South African classic “Paradise Road”, by Joy.

“I never get tired of hearing that song,” said Gareth. “It wasn’t perfect, but I’m very happy that you made it through here tonight, and that you were able to sing that song for us.” Somizi said it was one of his favourite songs, and Amanda’s performance was okay. “I think you did a safe job,” he said. But Unathi thought it was better than “safe”. “Amanda, you’re a really, really good singer,” said Randall. “But the competition isn’t only about singing, it’s about votes.” He felt that Amanda could have given a bigger dramatic performance of the song.

Fans can vote for Amanda via USSD by dialing *120*33033# (Calls are charged at R1,50 per minute, limited to 200 votes per cellphone number); by SMSing her voting number 03 to 37400 (SMS’s are charged at R1.50/SMS, limited to 100 votes per cellphone number); or for free via WeChat (100 times per cellphone number); or for free on the official mobile site or Idols SA website or at www.mnet.co.za/idolsSA,100times per cellphone number for each valid voting period.

The third Idol who made it through to the Top 8 was Lungisa Xhamela (24) from Langa in the Cape, who performed an á capella version of one of Eighties icon Cindy Lauper’s all-time greatest hits, 1983’s “Time After Time”.

“I’ve never heard that song done in such a fresh way,” said Gareth and both he and Somizi had words of praise for the backup vocalists. “I think it’s the best version I’ve ever heard,” he said. “Like stolen condensed milk in a tin …”. “Soos kondensmelk,” Unathi agreed. But trust Randall to point out that if everybody loved the backup vocals so much, Lungisa didn’t do enough to capture the audience.

Fans can vote for Lungisa via USSD by dialing *120*33033# (Calls are charged at R1,50 per minute, limited to 200 votes per cellphone number); by SMSing his voting number 07 to 37400 (SMS’s are charged at R1.50/SMS, limited to 100 votes per cellphone number); or for free via WeChat (100 times per cellphone number); or for free on the official mobile site or Idols SA website or at www.mnet.co.za/idolsSA,100times per cellphone number for each valid voting period.

Siphelele Ngcobo (24) from Inanda made it through to the Top 8, despite Musical Director RJ’s concerns about his performance last week, and he brought some true Eighties magic with Lionel Richie’s Oscar-winning 1985 hit “Say You, Say Me”, from the movie “White Nights”.

Gareth thought it sounded dated and Somizi thought maybe Siphelele should rather have chosen a vernacular song. “No more English!” he ranted passionately. But Unathi disagreed vehemently. “I think we do you a disservice when we tell you not to try,” she said. And Randall pointed out that Eighties ballads are big – “when you have your moment you have to go for it.”

Fans can vote for Siphelele via USSD by dialing *120*33033# (Calls are charged at R1,50 per minute, limited to 200 votes per cellphone number); by SMSing his voting number 04 to 37400 (SMS’s are charged at R1.50/SMS, limited to 100 votes per cellphone number); or for free via WeChat (100 times per cellphone number); or for free on the official mobile site or Idols SA website or at www.mnet.co.za/idolsSA,100times per cellphone number for each valid voting period.

21-year-old Rhema Varrie from Alberton performed Simply Red’s Grammy-winning 1989 ballad, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”.

Gareth praised Rhema’s unique, individual sounds and Somizi was beside himself. “You speak to the heart and into the soul!” he raved until words failed him. “You really are finding yourself and its beautiful,” said Unathi. “You’re cooler than ice, man.” Randall thought it was the best song choice of the evening, but he did note that Rhema got some of the phrasing wrong at the beginning.

Fans can vote for Rhema via USSD by dialing *120*33033# (Calls are charged at R1,50 per minute, limited to 200 votes per cellphone number); by SMSing his voting number 06 to 37400 (SMS’s are charged at R1.50/SMS, limited to 100 votes per cellphone number); or for free via WeChat (100 times per cellphone number); or for free on the official mobile site or Idols SA website or at www.mnet.co.za/idolsSA,100times per cellphone number for each valid voting period.

Dineo Moseki (21) from Vryburg tackled the Bryan Adams ballad  “Heaven”, from his 1984 album “Reckless”, but with the 2002 DJ Sammy dance remix approach.

Gareth thought it was a beautiful, gentle, well-thought-through performance. Somizi said Dineo is a perfect all-rounder. “That was a considerably considered performance,” said Unathi. And Randall said that’s what he meant when he told Amanda earlier that she had to give a bigger performance. “ That was a performance,” he said.

Fans can vote for Dineo via USSD by dialing *120*33033# (Calls are charged at R1,50 per minute, limited to 200 votes per cellphone number); by SMSing her voting number 05 to 37400 (SMS’s are charged at R1.50/SMS, limited to 100 votes per cellphone number); or for free via WeChat (100 times per cellphone number); or for free on the official mobile site or Idols SA website or at www.mnet.co.za/idolsSA,100 times per cellphone number for each valid voting period.

With only three contestants left in the hot seats, 24-year-old Karabo Mogane from Nelspruit was the next contestant to make it to Top 8. And his Eighties moment was the 1985 hit “Last Christmas” from the pop duo Wham.

“You can probably sing anything but there was something disjointed with that,” Gareth complained. “There was something not right.” Somizi thought it night have been nerves, or that fact that Karabo was so close to the end of the show. “You were depressed, my love,” he noted. But Unathi was confused because “this is a sad song!” she protested. And Randall agreed that he was happy Karabo did not try to emulate George Michael’s iconic rendition. “You were really, really good,” he said.

Fans can vote for Karabo via USSD by dialing *120*33033# (Calls are charged at R1,50 per minute, limited to 200 votes per cellphone number); by SMSing his voting number 02 to 37400 (SMS’s are charged at R1.50/SMS, limited to 100 votes per cellphone number); or for free via WeChat (100 times per cellphone number); or for free on the official mobile site or Idols SA website or at www.mnet.co.za/idolsSA,100times per cellphone number for each valid voting period.

And after saying goodbye to Elwira, 23-year-old Mmatema Moremi from Limpopo survived to make it to the Top 8 and she closed tonight’s show with Brenda Fassie’s 1986 classic, “Weekend Special”.

“It was all perfect,” said a happy Gareth and Somizi loved that she wasn’t trying to be Brenda Fassie, but she made the song her own. “You’re so professional,” said Unathi. “Well done.”  And Randall commended her on being able to perform in any style.

Fans can vote for Mmatema via USSD by dialing *120*33033# (Calls are charged at R1,50 per minute, limited to 200 votes per cellphone number); by SMSing her voting number 10 to 37400 (SMS’s are charged at R1.50/SMS, limited to 100 votes per cellphone number); or for free via WeChat (100 times per cellphone number); or for free on the official mobile site or Idols SA website or at www.mnet.co.za/idolsSA,100times per cellphone number for each valid voting period.

Voting for the Top 8 opened during the course of tonight’s live broadcast and will close at 22:00 on Tuesday, 6 October.

All the Terms and Conditions for Idols SA Season 11 voting are explained on the Idols SA website at http://idolssa.dstv.com/article/how-to-vote-for-your-idol-20150830

The result of this week’s vote will be announced during the live broadcast of the Top 7 “Showstopper” Spectacular next Sunday, 11 October, on M-Net, channel 101 on DStv, and Mzansi Magic, channel 161 on DStv.

And now fans can also have a say in which songs their Idols will perform in the Spectaculars. Fans can submit their song suggestions via WeChat by just sending the keyword ’SONG’, and responding with the name of their song choice. All the details can be found on the Idols SA website.

Tickets to the Idols SA Season 11 Live Spectaculars are available from Computicket.

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