Idols get cut down to size
The 89 Idols SA Season 8 golden ticket holders who arrived at North West's Sun City on Sunday evening were cut down to 61 by lunch time yesterday.
Only 89 hopefuls went through - as opposed to 100 in previous seasons - because the producers sought "quality over quantity".
British singer Adele's songs were favoured by most contestants.
From the chart-topping Rolling in the Deep, He Won't Go and Set Fire to the Rain of her latest album, to her less-known Daydreamer, it was clear that Mariah Carey (Hero) and Whitney Houston (I Will Always Love You) were no longer the most butchered songs of choice.
Judge Randall Abrahams, whose mind could also be on preparations for the SA Music Awards, taking place at the same resort on April 29 and 30, looked at times peeved and just plain bored.
He called most auditions "overblown nonsense", with songs from Rihanna (We Found Love) and Carrie Underwood (Jesus, Take The Wheel) in the mix.
When Abrahams eventually gave one contestant a nod, the rest of them cheered and banged on table tops in relief.
After one too many breaks, judge Gareth Cliff told the hopefuls: "The more of these silly toilet breaks we take, the more bored we become and the less likely that you will go home."
And judge Unathi Msengana got a few giggles when she said: "Stop banking on the chorus to save you. This goes for all of you. Stop flirting with us and then hoping to give it to us in the chorus."
The judges are looking for an eventual top 16. The theatre phase at Sun City ends on Friday. Idols SA will hit TV screens in June.