Our Idols correspondent, Chris Luther reviews Season 10 of SA Idols:
Chris: Let me start by saying congrats to Vincent Bones. In him we have a great winner. More on Vincent a bit later….
Maybe it’s the fact that I have watched over 85 singing shows but the auditions are really starting to bore me. I think the problem is having the same three judges and not a fresh voice for the auditions. Yes the judges have good chemistry, and all have their place as a judge, but we can start to predict what they are going to say (what styles they enjoy) before they do which is just boring. M-Net will have to see what they can do to tweak the panel for the next season to engage at this stage as singing show fatigue is kicking in.
TOP 30 ROUND:
Top 30 stage is once again is my favourite episode of the entire season. This is where everything is stripped away and it is only the contestants, their voices and raw talent on display. Once we start with live shows this rawness gets lost over production value (let me not get started on the X-Factor franchise). Talent does rise here where the standout performances (Vincent, Lize, Bongi and London) ended up being the top 4 of the season. Thus showing the show really is about the voice.
Let me discuss the Top 11, the performance on the show and some future prospects:
A contestant with a real raw emotional side which connects with people. However he can currently come off as one dimensional. If he gets more variety into his music (such as when he sang ‘Rude’) he could find his place. He is really a fun guy and hopefully the public get to see more of this side.
This is an interesting one. I pegged Ivan for a rock singer but something didn’t quite feel right. He then surprised us with an amazing performance of Prince’s ‘Kiss’. Unfortunately he got eliminated the next week. After speaking to him, I am quite excited with the direction he is going in. He is going to go more urban/house vibe which he embraces, loves and I think will do quite well at. Heard some potential collaborators and think the public is going to enjoy the music coming from Ivan.
This must be one of the nicest contestants I have ever spoken to… so down to earth and truly kind. I love her voice and at least she got to leave singing an amazing version of ‘Someone Like You’ reminding the public that two bad performances does not take away talent! I am hoping Roxy finds her niche because that raw, pure talent needs to be appreciated.
I can now say that Tumi was my favourite contestant of the season. There is something special about this girl. She has the amazing ability to be sensitive, subtle and emotionally present in ballads (‘Bleeding Love’ and ‘Run To You’) and then bring the party and energy on tracks such as ‘Birthday’. Always quite a stand out in group numbers as well. We lost Tumi too early in the competition and I am hoping to hear her version of Snow Patrol’s ‘Run’ soon! (hint hint). P.S If it is not clear I am first in line for this album!
Was quite sad to see Demi leave before her phenomenal performance of ‘Dogs Say Are Over’ (check it out on the Idols site). The English pop market is rough and I feel that Demi would best fit in the Afrikaans lane with a mashup of Karlien Van Jaarsveld and Andriette where I think she can be massively successful. Demi understands pop music like few South Africans and her working with the likes of Johan Vorster and Johan Oberholzer she would be a massive star.
The soulful voice this season…. no pretense, no worries and all about the music. Unfortunately these aspects led to the unfortunate performance in the showstopper theme but I will forever remember him singing Ray Charles. Wow! Would love to see Musa do an intimate show with just him, his voice and the many instruments he can play. Would be the most amazing jam session ever! Really thought that Musa was a strong contender for Top 2 but this season (unlike any before) showed the public voting on each night’s performance rather than sticking to their favourite.
A contestant which I did not support in the top 30 stage. However, Kyle turned out to be one of the best strategists which the Idols stage has ever seen. Kyle worked harder than many of the contestants in looking for songs which resonate with the public but still show him as an artist. One thing with Kyle is that he is extremely relevant… so much so that he is already on Cassper Novest’s debut album
(which went Gold recently) showing that if he does not make it in the industry it will truly be a crime. Please do yourself a favour and check out his version of Zahara’s ‘Loliwe’. Another moment which we unfortunately missed as he was voted out that week.
What can I say about London that has not been said before? He is by far the most entertaining, surprising, intriguing contestant we have had on the show. London gave us dynamic interpretations each week making female led songs from years before current and relevant. Some contestants from previous seasons dabbled in rapping (Shekinah’s amazing ‘Waterfalls’) but London took it to another level with creating his own raps on explosive performances such as ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ and ‘Mercy’. I would download London’s tracks of the seasons instantly if it was available (hint hint M-Net). I really hope London has a career and would be front in line to see his show as everyone who went with me to watch the live shows mentioned their love for him.
South Africa’s own Phillip Phillips. What I mean by this is the ability which Lize had to change the songs and make her relevant to the audience. Her performances of Beyonce’s ‘Crazy In Love’ and ‘500 miles’ are easily of my top five performances of the entire season. As posted before, her career can include the exciting elements of Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran. Another album I am hoping to hear soon because South Africa…we need some originality in the market.
Bongi is such a sweetheart. Great personality and a hard worker. I have loved getting to see Bongi grow throughout the competition into the artist who she is today. Her performances of Mafikizolo’s ‘Happy’ and Brenda Fassie’s ‘Too Late For Mama’ shows the depth and range of emotions she can show.
Also I really love her single ‘If I Got You’. Do yourself a favour and go get it on iTunes. This song is everything which Bongi is… happy exuberant, African flavour mixed with soul music. Bongi worked hard on making the song her own and it shows. Absolutely love it.
Mr Busy Bones. Wow, what a season it has been and I feel Vincent Bones has been the clear winner from the first week. With an amazing and inspirational story that caught the attention of the public, Vincent has maintained that interest with consistent and phenomenal performances. In fact, I feel that he has been the most consistent performer who has ever graced the Idols stage. His performance of ‘Adorn’, ‘When A Woman Loves, ‘Can We Talk’, ‘Sondela’, ‘Impossible’ are all highlights for me. Almost feel I could put all the performances on the list (except for the performance of Smooth…the less we talk about that the better).
The aspect which I am most happy about it that Vincent’s winning song ‘Let Me Love You’ is purely him. This song would not fit Khaya or Musa and brings the same essence as when Vincent sang ‘Adorn’ I.E the moment he probably won… I am excited to see how Universal executes his album (out March/April) and truly hope for him to be successful
What an amazing season it has been (most diverse and best talent thus far). This has been confirmed with the explosive voting the show has ever seen. Can this be repeated? Join me next season as we see what amazing talent we can uncover next.