Idols Unplugged

2010-10-18 07:50
This week's Unplugged theme should have happened a little earlier in the competition.  It's the last 100m of the race and voters need to be excited, not put to sleep. Every one of the top four contestants have had better performances in previous weeks. Maybe it's a case of letting your guard down, or maybe it's the manifestation of the suspicion that our top four are simply pop puppets, not singers.

The real stars of the evening were vocal group Flip A Coin, featuring SABC 3's Expresso host Katlego. Their professionalism, flair and talent left a huge gap between them and the Idols.

Louise Carver is the first guest judge to irritate me. She's honest and her advice is sound, but she's got this air about her that says "I've done it so much better". And then her man Emmanuel Castis pops up in the Liberty ad during the breaks. These two are like mould on my TV; slowly spreading their public image one well-paying gig at a time.

From snooze-worthy song choices to iffy vocals, this week offered very little motivation to vote. I don't have a favourite simply because they're all just rehashing their bag of tricks. Seen and heard that…

Let's hate 'n rate.

Elvis:  7/10
It's very hard to sing without instrumental accompaniment, but Elvis does it well. His rendition of Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World was once again sincere and well put together. The Billy Joel classic Piano Man was less effective, and it's true that he struggles with high notes on occasion. But sometimes I think he suffers unnecessarily harsh criticism from the judges because he's been a favourite.

Boki: 5/10
I don't know what's happened to Boki. Suddenly his voice is all over the place and he's singing songs that make him look uncomfortable. Bright Blue's Weeping was only a winner during the bridge and the last chorus, and the efficacy of this performance has a lot to do with the skill of Flip A Coin. Sam Cook's A Change Is Gonna Come was another ill-fit, and so was that satin bowtie. It's just not the Boki I remember from the first few weeks.

Sindi: 6/10
Somebody's been practicing! When it was announced that Sindi would sing Elvis Presley’s A Little Less Conversation, I thought I wouldn't be able to make out a word!  But her diction was almost perfect. It's the first time I see what the judges have been talking about. However, when she took on Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful - and sang "I am Booful" - the old Sindi was back. All good things must come to an end, I guess…

Lloyd: 5/10
The Linkin Park Medley was absolutely awful. His 'rapping' was overshadowed by the a cappella singers, and he was often chasing his lyrics. Sure it's gutsy, but if it doesn't work, is it really worth it? Jason Mraz's I'm Yours was also so far below par for Lloyd. While he is probably the best contestant, he had the biggest fall this week.

Vote for your favourite until 10pm on Monday night. Here's how

We're running out of time and the contestants seem to be running out of steam.
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