NEW GIG FOR AMANDA

Who is go­ing to wear the Idols SA crown this year? City Press speaks to the four re­main­ing con­tes­tants

CityPress - - Front Page - NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA ntombizodwa@city­press.co.za

De­ter­mi­na­tion and per­sis­tence have put them in the top four of Idols SA sea­son 12 – and for one of them, it could be fifth time lucky. All of the top four – Thami Shobede (28), Ter­sius “Terra” Cox (28), Te­bogo Louw (24) and Noma Khu­malo (22) – are vet­er­ans of the sing­ing con­test and are bat­tling one an­other for a place in the fi­nal on Novem­ber 27.

Shobede, who is a favourite with fe­male view­ers, said it was an emo­tional week for him be­cause he still couldn’t be­lieve he had made it this far. “This is new to me, be­ing in­ter­viewed by jour­nal­ists. I feel like I’m day­dream­ing,” he said. Last year, he only made it to the top 16. “At that time I had a learn­er­ship at Transnet and dropped out of it to be part of the live shows. I wanted to fol­low my pas­sion as a mu­si­cian. Un­for­tu­nately, things didn’t go the way I’d planned and that meant I was un­able to pro­vide for my fam­ily,” he said.

“I re­mem­ber I went for four months with­out pay­ing rent. Those were tough times.”

Shobede, from Mtu­batuba in north­ern KwaZulu-Natal, said win­ning the com­pe­ti­tion would en­able him to go back to be­ing his fam­ily’s main provider.

“If I win I’ll ded­i­cate this to my aunt. She looked af­ter us while my mother was away, and we only re­united with my mother re­cently. I re­ally want to win this one,” he said.

Cox said he too was slog­ging away at a win be­cause he wanted to make his mother proud – she died of cancer two years ago. This is his fifth shot at the Idols crown. “My mother used to drive me to ev­ery au­di­tion, even when she was sick. Life with­out her is not easy. I’ve lost my best friend. We talked about ev­ery­thing,” he said.

Cox said an Idols win would be lifechang­ing.

“I’ll use the cash prize to fin­ish build­ing my mother’s house,” he said.

Louw is at­tempt­ing Idols SA for the third time this year. But what makes him dif­fer­ent from ev­ery­one in the com­pe­ti­tion is that he is the only one who can play the pi­ano and the gui­tar.

“It’s my third time here at Idols. I am do­ing my best and I want to be re­mem­bered. I refuse to be for­got­ten. I have al­ways wanted to be a solo record­ing artist,” he said.

Louw said he would do just about any­thing to win this com­pe­ti­tion.

“I’m re­ally hun­gry for this and I’m not tak­ing no for an an­swer,” he said. “With the win, I want longevity in my ca­reer.”

Mu­sic runs in his fam­ily. His mother and sis­ter are singers, while his dad is a gui­tarist. “My fam­ily has been sup­port­ing me from day one. They are be­hind me,” he said.

It’s been more than five years since a woman won Idols, how­ever. Khu­malo, a stu­dent teacher, is the last one stand­ing.

She took part in the com­pe­ti­tion three years ago and was knocked out in the early rounds.

Khu­malo says the com­pe­ti­tion was tight this year and it would be un­fair for her to sin­gle out any of her fel­low com­peti­tors as her favourites, be­cause “ev­ery­one this year is so tal­ented, unique and dif­fer­ent”.

Asked how she has been pre­par­ing her­self for ev­ery per­for­mance, she said: “I do a lot of re­search about the singer of my song choice be­fore my per­for­mance and I al­ways make sure I give my best when I per­form.”

Whether she wins or not, she said she would one day like to work with Lira, DJ Black Cof­fee and DJ Tira.

TALK TO US Who is your favourite con­tes­tant in this year’s Idols SA com­pe­ti­tion?

SMS us on 35697 us­ing the key­word IDOLS and tell us what you think. Please in­clude your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50

PHOTO: MZANSI MAGIC

FAC­ING THE MU­SIC Idols SA top four (from left) Thami Shobede, Noma Khu­malo, Te­bogo Louw and Ter­sius ‘Terra’ Cox

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