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SA’s Got Talent - Ep 3 Recap: Yes You Can!

2009-10-16 08:41
SA’s Got Talent

There must've been been something in the air during the third round of regional auditions, because the SA's Got Talent judges were handing out 'yes' votes like Santa on Christmas eve. Whether you could do the pantsula, rock the concertina like a boeremusiek god, or were just plain odd, chances are, you were in luck.

After last week's lacklustre installment, we were treated to a smorgasbord of genuinely impressive acts - including an adorable Broadway-bound pipsqueak and a street fruit vendor. We also got to see most of the acts actually perform, rather than be interrupted by too-fast edits and more mugging at the cameras by presenters Rob and Anele backstage. This was also the most emotional episode yet, as Shado turned on the waterworks at least four times.

We met soprano brothers Willem and Louis van der Merwe whose mission went beyond finding fame and fortune. They were there primarily to help Louis win back his ex-girlfriend who left him after a five-year relationship. We never learned the name of this young woman, but honey, whoever you are, you had better make your move now, before Louis gets snapped up by one of his adoring new fans.

The auditions spanned the three majors this week (Cape Town, Durban, Jozi) and, unlike last week, we were left with little doubt that SA has a highly entertaining take on the concept of what constitutes as 'talent'. The diversity and range of skills on display set up what should be an electrifying second round when audience favourites perform live.

In Joburg we met the perky and perculiar female trio The Dahlings, decked out in brightly adorned frocks like Katy Perry during her MTV Music Awards performance. Their doo-wop rendition of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" was a delightful surprise and the pretty ladies definitely got Randall, er, excited.

While the schizo part-drag act Double Adaptor definitely had the WTF?! factor going for him, he probably won’t stand the test of time come the next round. The hands-down winner of the Jozi auditions (if not the whole episode) was beat-boxer extraordinaire George Avakian. With nothing but a mic and his dexterous oral skills, the hottie made one-dimensional techno music sound like the greatest thing since Michael Jackson's moonwalk. Speaking of which, George also flattered the judges with a special song for each – Jackson's "Billie Jean" to get a smile out of Randall, and a snippet of Justin Timberlake's "My Love" for Shado. I've never been much of a JT fan, but coming from George, the song was a panty-dropper!

It was interesting to watch the more amenable of the two judges – Shado and Ian, work in tandem to see their favourite acts through. Randall didn’t seem to mind as he let loose (yes, let loose!) with the charming smiles and compliments. He praised Cape Town acapella group S4 for their "pearly harmonies" and said all-girl band Kapano were a "near flawless act".

Durban also upped their game, giving us the transcendent harmonies of gospel group Ubumbano, and the traditional Indian sounds of Murali. But again, Cape Town and Jozi was where it was at. Riyaha & Deidre certainly impressed Ian with their ballroom routine, blonde, lanky babe Wynand Barnard made Afrikaans music sexy for the rest of us with Ray Dylan's "Hokaai Stoppie Lorrie", while sloppy child dancers Angels of Dance got three 'yes' votes for using their craft to keep off the streets and away from crime. That's pretty much the excuse I'm going to use each time I screw up from now on.

We also saw our own local versions of Susan Boyle and Paul Potts. Esthé Anderson (58) confessed to being inspired by SuBo, and her vocal performance was truly stunning – one difference is that Esthé is a stunner! Eugene Jacobs came bounding in with oodles of confidence and blew everyone away with his rendition of "Ave Maria". Though here's a tip for your live TV debut, Eugene: please retire that dodgy snor.

The episode did feature a couple of low points. Natasha Joubert's age-inappropriate version of ABBA's "Money Money Money" recalled things one should not associate with an 11-year-old. Seeing her mother beam proudly in the wings was perhaps even more creepy. And as heartfelt as Hercules' story of survival was, his monotonous take on opera was reminiscent of what Dory on Finding Nemo would call "whale speak".

Three weeks into SAGT we can safely say that it is the most exciting reality production we have ever seen locally. Each hour whizzes by in a flash of thrills, intrigue, surprises and more fun than we know what to do with. So, to all the doubters who are wary of the show: just let it go. You'll be kicking yourself for missing out.

* SA's Got Talent airs every Thursday at 19.30 on SABC2. Check out videos of the performances, judges' blogs, pics, polls and more at the official site.

This week had it all - hot middle-aged mamas, oddball drag queens, and awkward jailbait performances. What do you mean you haven't been watching?

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