Com­pe­ti­tion fierce be­tween Big 5


AND then there were five. Time does fly when you’re hav­ing fun and the first edi­tion of The X-Fac­tor SA is tes­ti­mony to this. The com­pe­ti­tion started not so long ago yet now only a hand­ful re­main.

Last week was a proudly South African episode when the Top 6 acts per­formed home­grown clas­sics. From Joy’s Par­adise, Johnny Clegg and Ju­luka’s Scat­ter­lings of Africa, Steve Kekana’s Take Your Love to Lady­smith Black Mam­bazo’s Home­less, there was no limit to what the six con­tes­tants had to of­fer.

Yet one per­son had to leave. It all came down to Arno Carstens who had to an­nounce that Princess should exit the com­pe­ti­tion. This was made harder be­cause the judges each had two con­tes­tants left in their keep. Noth­ing pre­pared Princess for such an even­tu­al­ity. The pres­ence of John Legend was a bit­ter­sweet ex­pe­ri­ence for the con­tes­tants be­cause they got to see a man who has achieved what they are still chas­ing. The Grammy Award win­ner was in the coun­try to per­form in sev­eral ci­ties and took time out to showthe wannabes how it is done.

Bub­bles and Princess got the least num­ber of SMS votes. Be­ing in the bot­tom two meant they had to sing for their lives.

Yet if you look at the per­for­mances, it was un­fair to have Princess sing Zonke’s Feel­ings in front of her. In a past in­ter­view, Zonke stated that it would be an ego boost if any­one did her songs, but she also pointed out that it would have to be a re­ally good per­for­mance.

Boy band Four were in the same predica­ment, but man­aged to sur­vive the test. They had to per­form Via Or­lando which is a Kalawa clas­sic, and the Kalawa boss, Oskido, is on the judg­ing panel.


Wandile “Bub­bles” (21, from Dur­ban): al­ready a pro­fes­sional mu­si­cian, she en­tered The X- Fac­tor SA be­cause “this is where I be­long”, and says she is do­ing it for her grand­mother and her com­mu­nity. She stands a good chance of mak­ing the fi­nal three. Eliezer (Joburg): a TV tal­ent com­pe­ti­tion veteran who has en­tered sev­eral such shows in a bid to break into the in­dus­try. By en­ter­ing The X-Fac­tor SA, the 28year-old wants to set an ex­am­ple for his three-year-old son. He is good, so let’s hope he fi­nally cracks it. Four (Cape Town): Steven, Jethro and David, who range in age from 23 to 30, are a pop-rock and R&Bin­spired boy band. Th­ese fam­i­ly­ori­ented lads had only been to­gether for a month be­fore they en­tered The X-Fac­tor SA, but had al­ready writ­ten some 20 songs. Win or lose, South Africa has a place for th­ese guys. Iz­iq­haza (Pi­eter­mar­itzburg): Khany­isa and Mbon­geni, aged 26 and 31 re­spec­tively, are both pro­fes­sional nurses and pro­lific song­writ­ers who dream of singing around South Africa and land­ing a record­ing deal. Wand­aboy (Joburg): Hail­ing from a large fam­ily with 10 sib­lings (four of whom have died), 31-year-old Wand­aboy has en­tered sev­eral TV singing con­tests and done back­ing vo­cals for es­tab­lished gospel artists. Like Eliezer, this chap needs to win some­thing al­ready.

CatchThe X-Fac­tor SA on SABC1 for the live gala show on Satur­days from 6pm to 7pm and then the re­sults show on Satur­days from 7.30pm.

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