Celeb cameos, special effects, pyrotechnics, motorbikes, vibrant choreography, and the country’s best singers giving it their all: the Showstopper Night of Idols SA took production and entertainment value to new heights.

Making it to the season 18 top 7 – after over 8.5 million viewer votes this week – were: Kabelo, Mpilo, Noxolo, Nozi, Thapelo, Ty Loner, and Zee. Going home was CeeJay. 

The audience in Tshwane’s Heartfelt Arena and viewers at home were entertained by an opening group performance of Beyoncé’s Get Me Bodied, a special appearance from Mpho Popps and guest performance by Robot Boii.

First to perform was Kabelo, whose rendition of Usher’s Yeah! was met with a mixed response from the judges. Somizi Mhlongo said: “You were completely out of your comfort zone, but you gave it your all. I would give you ‘A’ for effort.”

Thembi Seete said: “Thank you for introducing us to the happy Kabelo”, while JR Bogopa wasn’t impressed: “You were off-key and flat in most aspects. You could have performed at 30% and let all the theatrics do the 70%.”

Next was Noxolo, who took on Whitney Houston’s Wanna Dance with Somebody. JR praised her: “Being a performing artist comes with knowing your limits. You put yourself in a position where you were controlling the narrative. You commanded [the stage] like a true performing artist.”

While Somizi praised Noxolo’s performance, he felt she did not follow the theme: “Showstopper is supposed to push you out of your comfort zone… but you did not [do that]. You sang great, but you did not show-stop – you just stopped.”

Mpilo took on Beyoncé’s Run the World (Girls), earning unanimous praise from the judges. JR said: “You introduced us to another side of you. It felt like a concert.”

Somizi was also pleased: “This is what I was talking about! You knocked it out of the park. You looked sexy, you felt sexy, you ran this world. You deserve a whoo-shem!” 

Next was Thapelo, who performed Master KG’s Di Boya Limpopo, impressing the judges.

“Your vocals are insane, and on top of that you keep choosing the right songs. You keep delivering the right things at the right time,” said Somizi. 

JR said it was an industry-shifting performance: “The barometer of excellence in the country has always been low. We have always accepted mediocrity. You are a new artist, and [established artists] now need to perform like you because you set the standard.”  

The third Beyoncé performance of the show was Zee, whose rendition of Grown Woman divided the judges. Thembi loved it: “Your vocal ability always amazes me. It’s funny how… we need to be reminded how young you are. You didn’t lose any concentration [and] you didn’t lose yourself, from beginning to end.”

JR wasn’t happy: “It didn’t do much for me, but it was a solid effort.”

Ty Loner sang the Bruno Mars hit Locked Out of Heaven, impressing the judges. 

JR said: “That song and your vocal is a match made in heaven. You really took charge of that performance. Flawless.” Somizi agreed: “It took Showstopper for you to release that sexy beast. You sounded amazing, 100%.”

Wrapping up the show was Nozi, who took on Rihanna’s Don’t Stop the Music, to a muted response from the judges. 

Somizi said: “You looked and sounded amazing, but it was a missed opportunity. You were supposed to throw your heart on the floor, and you did not.” Thembi disagreed: “I feel you did enough for this song. I felt like I was watching a chief commander telling the troops what to do.”

JR agreed with Somizi, telling Nozi: “You missed an opportunity to bring the house down.”

Next week will see the Idols SA season 18 top 6 collaborating with the award-winning Joyous Celebration – we’re taking it to church![PBT1] 

Tickets to be in the audience for the Idols SA live shows are now on sale on Computicket (https://tickets.computicket.com) at R20 per ticket and R40 for a golden ticket. Performances will take place at Tshwane’s Heartfelt Arena.

Idols SA is on Mzansi Magic, Sundays at 17h00. For more information visit our website: http://www.idolssa.tv. You can also join the Idols SA conversation via social media on Facebook: Idols South Africa (www.facebook.com/IdolsSA), Twitter: @IdolsSA #IdolsSA Instagram: @IdolsSA.

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