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A singer does not an Idol make

2011-08-01 13:23
Do good singers win Idols? No. The contestant with the most appeal does.

In 2010 Elvis Blue was a crowd favourite from the day he stepped into that audition room and his back story about Elvis Blaauw, his young friend who died of Aids, clinched the deal. Obviously the tone deaf won’t make it no matter how hot/intriguing/cute/sad they are. Take 2010's Adeline Mocke who far outstayed her welcome on the stage thanks to being a busty blonde bombshell.

But this year we've got 10 very good singers who are all nice, sweet and adorable. Damn! Who do I pick on now? Even Randall is smiling these days; it's disturbing. So how does one choose when raw talent isn't the differential?

Randall reckons the audience's taste changes from year to year, but I think SA is dead set on a male singer-songwriter Idol. Jason and Elvis fit that bill, and this year rocker Mark Haze, Bellville Rock City wannabe alum Freddie Van’Dango and the deep, soulful "crazy-eyes" Dave van Vuuren fit snugly in that pigeon hole.

It's not cut and dry yet, though. The inimitable charm of cuties Kelly Fortuin, Nolly Meje and Crushanda Forbes threatens the stronghold of the above-mentioned bromantic threesome.

Kelly might play on the recent loss of her idol Amy Winehouse and tug on heartstrings for votes. Crushanda's voice is so powerful and skilled that honestly, she doesn't need this competition. She's so good, I don't know how much better she can get.

And Nolly... well she's already got an endorsement from Freshlyground's Zolani in her back pocket. Last year's winner Elvis Blue had a personal endorsement from Idols 1 winner Heinz Winckler... Is it a good luck charm? We'll see.

With all this talent, the contestants are going to have to rely on their looks, their quirks, their attitude and their interactions with the voters to secure a lead.   Dave should sell his awesome hair and freaky eyes while Lefa capitalises on those supple dance moves.

It is way too early to call any frontrunners yet because let's face it, within the next two months some of the singers are going to cock things up with really "original" song choices that just don't translate to the audience.  Or they're going to crack under the pressure.

While the talent has been bumped up, the judges' contributions are significantly less interesting now that Randall has learnt to smile. Where's the biting sarcasm, the blunt insults, the pity? I haven't heard one Elvis Presley chirp yet. Gareth is too busy trying to sound clever to be honest and Unathi is all about "constructive" criticism which is no fun on TV.

So will talent trump popularity this year? It's in your hands. Let us know who your favourites are.

The Idols Top Ten will perform chart-topping hits in the next round which airs on M-Net (101) and Mzansi Magic (107) on Sunday August 7 at 17:30.

With an unprecedented amount of talent spewing out of this year's Idols Top Ten, it's going to take much more than a good voice to secure the title.
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