Who will hit the high note and be our

Pretoria News Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - AMANDA MALIBA

IT IS the week­end of reck­on­ing for Pax­ton Fielies and Mthokozisi Nd­aba.

One of these two will by the end of to­mor­row be known as the 2017 Idols SA win­ner. One will prob­a­bly be mourn­ing how close he or she got to tak­ing the over R1 mil­lion in prizes guar­an­teed to the win­ner.

The two re­main­ing con­tes­tants per­formed in their last com­pet­ing episode last Sun­day and await his/ her fate to be an­nounced to­mor­row at the grand fi­nale at Car­ni­val City.

When Pax­ton first au­di­tioned in Cape Town, judge Ran­dall Abra­hams ad­mit­ted to not be­ing sure of how long she would last on the show be­cause of her timid na­ture and the unique sound of her voice.

But the youngest con­tes­tant on the show si­lenced her doubters week af­ter week with eye-catch­ing per­for­mances of songs such as Ali­cia Keys’s In Com­mon and Side to Side from Ari­ana Grande fea­tur­ing Nicki Mi­naj, as well as a par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable ren­di­tion of Bey­oncé’s Lis­ten, for which Somizi climbed on top of the judges’ ta­ble to make his ap­proval known.

Mthokozisi Nd­aba, from KZN, over­came a life-threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tion on his route to Idols fame. The 25-year-old was mugged and shot in both legs weeks be­fore the first round of the­atre per­for­mances started. Nd­aba, who quickly be­came one of this sea­son’s favourites, was at his peak through­out the Idols jour­ney, win­ning over a le­gion of new fans with his ren­di­tion of AKA’s Cai­phus Song during the show­stop­per week, for which he brought Them­bisa Mdoda on stage.

His ver­sion of Ringo Madlin­gozi’s Kum Nakum also re­ceived great reviews, as did his per­for­mance of his own song in last week’s show. But it hasn’t been plain sail­ing for Nd­aba in terms of his per­for­mances. During one show, he for­got the lyrics to Neo’s So Sick, and his con­fi­dence seemed to take a knock as a re­sult.

As the weeks went by, how­ever, he knuck­led down to the task at hand, tak­ing heed of Somizi’s ad­vice: “What tends to hap­pen is that when some­body gets the feel­ing that they might win, they drop the ball or be­come big-headed.”

This Idols SA sea­son has been full of twists and turns, par­tic­u­larly in the Top 16 round, which saw 12 fe­male con­tes­tants and just four males. Just when it ap­peared we were headed to­wards an all-fe­male fi­nale, the boys upped their game. Soon, only three fe­males were left, while all four men clung to their places. It was some power shift.

Other high­lights came from Botl­hale Phora, 21, from Ga-Rankuwa, who gave mov­ing per­for­mances, such as when he at­tempted The Soil’s Sedi Laka backed up by The Soweto Gospel Choir and Tre­sor’s Never Let Me Go. But de­spite mil­lions of votes, Botl­hale lost out to Mthokozisi in the race to join Pax­ton in the fi­nal. Ran­dall, how­ever, as­sured him that a great future awaits.

As in pre­vi­ous edi­tions, this year also saw the re­turn of pre­vi­ous Idols con­tes­tants, hop­ing to go one bet­ter this time around. Bud­ding stars like 20-year-old Thapelo Esau, Lin­dokuhle “Lindo” Sit­hole and Faith Msibi all showed their fight­ing spirit un­til the last of this group was elim­i­nated in the top 6.

To­mor­row’s show prom­ises great en­ter­tain­ment with a num­ber of guest per­for­mances from the likes of Tira, Destruc­tion Boys, Naak­musiq, and TKZEE among oth­ers, and the two hopefuls pulling out all the stops for the last time.

The Idols SA fi­nale will be screened at 5pm on Mzansi Magic, DStv Chan­nel 161.

Mthokozisi Nd­aba and Pax­ton Fielies… all ears will be tuned in to­mor­row night as they will be in full vo­cal cry to take the ‘Idols SA’ hon­ours.

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