In a first for Idols SA, the list of Golden Ticket winners includes identical twins - 17-year-old Anele and Neliswa Mxhakaza from Ridgeview, who judge Gareth Cliff thought was “the coolest thing in nine seasons!”, and who both got the nod from hypercritical Randall Abrahams. Another singer who had Unathi in tears, with her rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", was Crystalene Nair (23), a primary school teacher from Newlands. “She doesn’t know how good she is,” Unathi told fellow judge Randall Abrahams.
For the handsome Phiwa Pfeka (22) the Idols auditions at the historic Durban Playhouse were a dream come true – literally! During some quality REM sleep, in the days leading up to the big day, he experienced how all the judges gave him a "yes" and his subconscious did not disappoint, even though the judges took longer in real life to make their verdict. These Golden Ticket winners will be joined in Sun City by beautiful show jumper Cara Frew (21) from Sandhurst in Johannesburg, who auditioned in Durban because she had a competition in Europe scheduled during the Gauteng auditions.
But how do you get the judges attention if your voice is a bit shaky? You arrive with a briefcase filled with lucky charms, like Luyanda Zondi. Or, in the hot Durban weather, you show a little flesh if you're a body builder, or the gutsy 18-year-old Dominique Horn, who stripped down to a tiny bikini to serenade her crush, Gareth Cliff. Unfortunately for her, he didn’t let her through to Sun City so she could “bond with him”, as she’d begged.
Will the Gauteng auditions give us just as many wonderful or weird auditions? Next week Sunday's episode takes us to Sandton and Soweto.
Season 9 of Idols is a co-production between M-Net and Mzansi Magic and is broadcast on both channels every Sunday night at 17:30. Also tune into the Idols Extra channel, channel 199 on DStv.
Updates and further information can be found on the official Idols Facebook page at “Idols South Africa”, on Twitter @IdolsSA and on the official Idols Season 9 website at www.mnet.co.za/idols.