Close to 2000 people made their way to the vibrant Carnival City for the last “big city” leg of Idols SA Season XIII auditions, making Idols history as the biggest auditions turnout yet.
The upsurge in the number of hopefuls saw the judges go through an exhaustive but exciting process, separating the wheat from the chaff - but it was no easy feat. In the end 23 talented individuals bagged themselves golden tickets, bringing up the number of contestants going to Theatre Week, to just over 70 so far.
Just like Cape Town, girls ruled the roost in Joburg, something that regional guest judge Kelly Khumalo took a keen interest in.
“The talent was amazing, especially the ladies,” she said. “We got quite a lot of ladies as opposed to the guys, which was heart-warming for me because we are in an industry that’s male-dominated and it would be nice to see more women coming through.”
In another Idols SA first, judge Randall Abrahams’ seemingly impenetrable disposition showed some cracks when he took pity on two desperate contestants, handing over his golden discs –opening the door to Theatre Week.
A husky-voiced part-time actress and a rapid-fire-talking sprinter were the lucky recipients of Randall’s generosity, while fellow judges Somizi Mhlongo and Unathi Msengana also saved a contestant each.
Joining the excited but nervous squad off to Theatre Week will be a mother of two who finally got lucky on her sixth audition, a passionate law student who lists music as her second love, a singing policeman who hums his way through affidavits and a freelance beautician who comes from a well-known Mzansi entertainment family.
Speaking of her experience as an Idols SA guest judge, Khumalo – who is revered as an unmatched award-winning vocal powerhouse – called her experience “amazing”.
“I’ve been here before (as a choirmaster) with Clash of the Choirs, so it was like being home again. I had so much fun,” she concluded.
The fun – and hard work – for the contestants is only just beginning, as they head for one of the most gruelling weeks of their Idols SA journey.
Follow their life-changing journey on the official Idols SA website at www.mnet.co.za/idolssa and be part of this great life-changing experience.