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Sam Brighton

Idols: Duet to me one more time...

2011-09-20 06:01
The Top 4 is a tricky stage. As Gareth pointed out, everyone's got their favourites. But that doesn't mean a few game-changing performances can't upset the apple cart.

Freddie's had a tough time with his performances in the last couple of weeks. His overly-animated vocal spewings have left many wondering if he's got the vocal chops to keep up. I for one have never doubted his vocal ability, only his commitment to delivering it.

This week the brother brought it. While his individual renditions of Seal's Kiss From A Rose and Kings of Leon's Use Somebody were just satisfactory, his duet with his bromantic love interest Dave brought Randall to his feet.

The pair covered Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush's 1986 hit Don't Give Up.

Could you believe it? Randall giving FREDDIE a standing ovation? Way.

I had the pleasure of attending the Top 4 performances in Johannesburg and can testify that Freddie deserved nothing less. Together Dave and Freddie are dynamite. It's actually Freddie's weakness: If he performs alone, he's mediocre. But give him a sounding board - just like when he sang Cee Lo's Forget You with the Mzansi Choir - and he's on fire.  Their skill, intensity and raw awesomeness made for a killer performance.

And apparently it was a fluke! Insiders tell me that throughout rehearsals the boys failed to nail the harmonies, leaving vocal coach Malie Kelly overcome with nerves.

Listening to the performances live is integral to the critiquing process. Actually, it's not fair to judge a singer on the capabilites of your TV speakers.

Dave's individual performance of Bruce Springsteen's Streets of Philadelphia was as tender and encapsulating as I imagined it would be. A great song for his voice as well as a perfect way to demonstrate the level of control he's developed since those frantic chest thumps and Exorcist-like eye rolls he employed in the top ten round.

Oh yes, let's not forget about Crushanda and Mark! The diva was a crowd favourite with her Celine Dion number, but she failed miserably trying to take on Taylor Swift's You Belong With Me. It's so not her. I feel like we've had this conversation before - why doesn't she just stick to what she's good at? Forget diversity, forget the younger audience - you're here to show off your pipes. So do it.

Poor Mark. It's no surprise he successfully covered Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through the Grapevine, but the audience wasn't really loving it. Perhaps Randall's right - he's not singing the right songs. Even though he had a bit of trouble with the lyrics, he impressed me with The Pretender from The Foo Fighters. But again - what does the majority of the Idols audience think of The Foo Fighters?  

Let's hope their dreamy duet of Sting's Fields of Gold is enough to forgive their other shortcomings. Unfortunately, I think it came in second to Freddie and Dave's duet.

Let's go back to the very beginning of the show for a moment. Guest judge Craig David opened the stage with his hit 7 Days. Sigh... he's still got it even if it's been years since he was relevant.

As a judge he was superb. Insightful, helpful, funny, and he used just the right amount of cute anecdotes. I hope "I like you" Gareth and "you're perfection reincarnate" Unathi were taking notes. Goodness knows we could use some diversity down there in the judging pit.

Today my singular favourite is Dave, but if I could have it my way, the combination and Dave and Freddie would get my vote.

Who do you think will make it to the final?

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