The talent on The Voice SA continues to soar with another gripping episode this week.
In this week’s Blind Auditions, Team Bobby gained the most new talent and took the lead amidst plenty of tears and heart-stirring moments. As coaches Lira, Karen Zoid, Kahn Morbee and Bobby van Jaarsveld – who are now under massive pressure to make wise and strategic choices – waited until the very last moment to turn their iconic red chairs around, the waterworks flowed more than once. But it was not only relieved singers who shed the tears; towards the end of the show there was hardly a dry eye in the house when Bobby and his co-coaches broke down completely.
Zoe Mtila (23), a B.Com student from Port Elizabeth, was one of the singers who had reached the very end of her song before a chair swivelled around. The coach who turned was Bobby, who then consoled the emotional Zoe with a big hug, prompting coach Kahn to give him the nickname Bobby “Hugs” van Jaarsveld. Kim Collins, 38-year mother of two who is working as an administrator at a hair salon, and Chris Werge, the 24-year old go-getter singer-songwriter from Cape Town who took out a loan to invest in his first album, also had to work very hard for their spot in the next round. Again, Bobby only pressed the “yes” buzzer as they were singing their final notes.
Nabbing the fourth addition to Bobby’s team this week wasn’t plain-sailing, however. After Vernon Barnard ’s authentic rendition of One Direction’s “Story of My Life”, Bobby was literally on his knees begging the gutsy 22-year old to pick him – as opposed to Karen or Lira – as his mentor. Vernon lost his sight at the age of 6 and his bravery and honest performance moved the coaches and everyone in the studio to tears. Eventually an emotional Karen explained to Vernon what a kind and spiritual man Bobby is and that he not only wanted to coach him, but also wanted to be his friend. Bobby was visibly moved by Vernon’s performance and felt a strong spiritual connection with him the moment he started singing.
While Bobby now has 10 members in his allowed team of 14, Kahn currently stands on 9 singers after adding Justin Swallow (23) and Lara Gear (19) to his collection of unusual and versatile performers. Justin’s versatility during his rendition of “Free Falling” impressed the coaches, while Lara’s slight avant-garde style made “the goosebump odometer go past 120,” according to Kahn.
Lira and Karen’s teams each grew with one member each this week. Lira, who still has 7 open spots, scooped up eccentric singer LuniQue who tackled Evanescence’s particularly difficult song “My Immortal”, and Karen was chuffed to persuade powerhouse performer Tracey Lee Oliver (35) to join her. The teary-eyed Tracey performed one of her late father’s favourite songs “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”. With Tracey included, Team Karen now consists of 6 singers, leaving her with 8 spots to fill.
The reality that each coach can only pick 14 acts for their teams has finally hit home, and the weight of their future decisions visibly added to the emotional mood of the episode. With that, herewith the latest team stats:
- #Team Bobby: Vernon Barnard, Zoe Mtila, Chris Werge, Kim Collins, Chanel Davids, Xanilee Hammond, Abel Knobel, Lana Crowster, Jessica Martins and Mbijana Sibisi – 4 spots left.
- #TeamKahn: Justin Swallow, Lara Gear, Michelle Moodie, Richard Stirton, Clemour Ngobeni, Johan Anker, Eden Myrrh, Zé and Prime Zulu – 5 spots left.
- #TeamLira: LuniQue, Sibulele Miti, Robin Pieters, Kimberleigh van der Ventel, El Clay, Jeremy Olivier and Austin Lurring – 7 spots left.
- #TeamKaren: Tracey-Lee Oliver, Jono Grayson, Nontu X, Tulla Eckart, Thembeka Mnguni and Marcel de Almeida – 8 spots left.