Judges bop to her beat
Brazlian soccer legend Pele once said that front-runners always suffered the most injuries, and Tshidi Tenyane inflicted one on Idols SA season8 favourite Khaya Mthethwa this weekend.
The 28-year-old lass from Thokoza on the East Rand belted out one of Whitney Houston's classics, How Will I Know, to close the show.
She swaggered about the stage as judges Gareth Cliff, Unathi Msengana and Randall Abrahams bopped their heads and occasionally clutched their headphones.
By the time she had finished, the entire Mosaiek Teatro was on its feet, with the crowd chanting her name.
So enthralled was Abrahams that he asked her to sing one of the verses again - this time a capella.
Earlier, Nosipho Mngomezulu, in a bandage dress, received lukewarm comments from the judges after her rendition of Patti LaBelle's Lady Marmalade - revived by Christina Aguilera, Pink, Mya and Lil' Kim.
Hilariously, one could hear the three-quarters full venue collectively utter a disagreeing "hayi" whenever the judges criticised any of the Top 10 hopefuls.
Obakeng Ramaboa, Monde Msutwana and Chloe Kiley all followed, before Simphiwe Gwegwe, who wore his casual outfit with a trilby, left Abrahams displeased after a reggae-infused version of Kiss and say Goodbye.
"The crowd was on its feet, but I must say I'm completely unimpressed with histrionics," said Abrahams. "Great singers don't have to shout to be noticed. It was histrionics. I was not impressed."
Dominic Neill (he sang Aloe Blacc's I Need A Dollar) and Melissa Allison (Stevie Wonder's Superstition) passed unspectacularly.
Shekhina Donnell sang Tina Turner's Simply the Best, originally by Bonnie Tyler, which had "dragged" according to Abrahams, who told her and other hopefuls that one "can't bypass the verses" for the big choruses.
Mthethwa, a la season seven winner Dave van Vuuren, already has the female vote, and many could be seen fanning themselves as he got on stage to sing Aerosmith's I Don't Want to Miss a Thing.
It was pageantry at its best, with Mthethwa clutching his microphone and holding his hands to his chest almost in disbelief at the crowds reaction.
Cliff said: "It's the audience at home that matters as they have the discerning ear," in response to the deafening screams.