NEW GIG FOR AMANDA
Who is going to wear the Idols SA crown this year? City Press speaks to the four remaining contestants
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
FACING THE MUSIC Idols SA top four (from left) Thami Shobede, Noma Khumalo, Tebogo Louw and Tersius ‘Terra’ Cox