With only one week – the most important week to go before the dramatic finale of Idols SA’s historic tenth season, the Idols X Top 11 reunited on the State Theatre stage tonight to open the show, performing Jessie J’s “Laserlight”. ? ?Graeme Watkins – who fell out at this same stage in the competition five years ago in Season 5 – also returned with his Graeme Watkins Project to perform their hit, “Fly Away”. ?
And to prove that you don’t need to win Idols to be a winner in the music business, Season 9 runner-up Brenden Ledwaba, who has just signed on with Universal Music, debuted his single “Sebenza” from his forthcoming album.? ?In their final performances in the Idols X competition, the Top 2 finalists, 24-year-old Bongi Silinda from Nelspruit and 30-year old Vincent Bones from Pietermaritzburg, each performed three numbers tonight: a new and hopefully much improved interpretation of one of the songs they auditioned with, followed in Round 2 by their best song of the season, as chosen by the judges, Randall Abrahams, Unathi Msengana and Gareth Cliff. And then, finally, they debuted the brand new hits written especially for them, which were also released to iTunes tonight.
Kicking off the show was Nelspruit’s Bongi Silinda (24) with the same number that she originally auditioned with at Carnival City back in February, which wasn’t good enough to earn her a Golden Ticket at the time – the Destiny’s Child hit “Stand Up For Love”. ?“This was probably the most composed and the most together we’ve seen you on that stage,” Gareth said. “I’m convinced it’s going to be a cracker of a final with you and Vincent.”?“Perfection!” Unathi said. “I can see that you want it so badly and I know that South Africa sees it too.”?And Randall commented on the marked and dramatic change for both of the Top 2 artists from that first audition. “And by that I mean growth, really learning from the people that you work with,” he noted approvingly.
The judges’ favourite performance of Bongi’s for the season was the Mary J. Blige song “A Night to Remember”, that she sang in the first Top 16 Spectacular at the end of August. ?“That was very well done, I don’t think you have anything to worry about,” said Gareth. “People love you Bongi, and you deserve their love.”?Unathi said the song choices for Bongi this week was giving South Africa a reminder of her versatility as a performer. ?“Don’t worry about this – it’s going to be a pretty hectic week coming up!” Randall said to calm down an obviously anxious Bongi. “Maybe for you Christmas will come early this year!”?And for the third round tonight Bongi debuted the new track that was written especially for her, called “If I Got You”.
Gareth told Bongi to soak it all up. “There’s this week and next week,” he said, “and then the real work starts!”?Unathi said she couldn’t wait to play that song on the radio. ?And Randall once again advised Bongi just to enjoy the upcoming week because she’s earned it. ?To vote for Bongi fans can text her voting number for the duration of the competition, 01, to 37400, or dial *120*33033#?Fans can also vote for free on WeChat or on the Idols mobi site or on the Idols X website at www.mnet.co.za/idolssa.
Pietermaritzburg’s Vincent Bones (30) impressed the judges so much at Theatre Week at Sun City with his mash up of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and Adele’s Oscar-winning Bond theme, “Skyfall”, that Unathi wanted to hear more. And when he sang it again tonight Unathi was almost in tears. “The passion in that performance was astounding,” she said.
“There’s very little to say,” Randall noted. He said it’s up to the public now but “you’ve both done enough,” he told both Vincent and Bongi. ?The judges picked Ringo Madlingozi’s “Sondela” from the Top 5 Spectacular as their favourite performance of the season from Vincent.
“I thought that you did that song very, very well. It’s a home run,” Gareth said. ?Unathi called Ringo Madlingozi himself over to voice his opinion. “My brother, you’ve taken the song to another level, and I love the way you made it your own,” he told an overwhelmed Vincent. ?And Randall urged Vincent to take away with him not just the accomplishment of having made the finals, but the satisfaction of knowing how hard he had worked to get there. ?Vincent wrapped the show with the first performance of the brand new Idols track written especially for him, “Let Me Love”. ?Gareth said that song is really up Vincent’s alley. “I have a feeling things are on the up-and-up for you, my friend.”?“The perfect song for you, the perfect delivery,” said Unathi. ?Randall noted that it’s often easier to perform a cover version, but when you sing your own song you have to “inhabit” it, and that’s what Vincent did, he said.
To vote for Vincent B fans can text his voting number for the duration of the competition, 09, to 37400, or dial *120*33033#?Fans can also vote for free on WeChat or on the Idols mobi site or on the Idols X website at www.mnet.co.za/idolssa.? ?So far in this historic season Idols fans have already set a new voting record with close to 20 million votes (19,814,684) already cast up to this week – which is 173% more than all the votes cast in all of Season 9 last year. ? ?The final week of voting for Season 10 opened at the start of tonight’s show and will only close at 22:00 on Friday, 21 November, ahead of the dramatic Finalé live from the Carnival City Casino and Entertainment World on Gauteng’s East Rand at 17:00 next Sunday, 23 November.
In the meantime, this week the Top 2 are off on a whirlwind tour across the country to say thanks to their fans, with performances at the Cradlestone Mall in Muldersdrift outside Johannesburg on Tuesday, 18 November, the Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Umhlanga on Wednesday, 19 November, and Canal Walk in Cape Town on Thursday, 20 November, all at 15:00 in the afternoon. ??For more information on voting procedures and terms and condition, visit the official Idols X website at www.mnet.co.za/idolssa. ? ?Idols Season 10 is a co-production between pay-television channels M-Net and Mzansi Magic. To stay on top of all the Idols Season 10 news, follow Idols SA on Twitter @IdolsSA and the official Idols Facebook page at “Idols South Africa”.