When the first group of the top 16 took to the stage this weekend, some contestants stood out as clear favourites. Among them was Vincent Bones. The 29-year-old from Pietermaritzburg’s life story captured the attention of viewers long before he even started singing. After his parents passed away when he was 12 years old, Bones spent most of his teenage years living on the streets of Sunnyside in Pretoria. After some time, he went to live in the Boys Town reformatory.
“My time there is what has changed my life,” says Bones. “That is where I learned the lessons that made me the person I am today.”
Bones works as a worship leader and, like the 15 other Idols SA contenders, he hopes to use the competition to launch his career in music.
But whether he is the next Idol is questionable. He does really well with songs in the soulful R&B genre – something that reminds Idols fans too much of last year’s winner Musa Sukwene, who struggled to remain in the spotlight after season nine ended. Having wowed viewers with his performance of Miguel’s Adorn a few weeks ago, it could be difficult for Bones to outdo that performance.
Celine Homan from Cape Town was a favourite for judges Unathi Msengana and Randall Abrahams this week. Homan sang Beyonce’s XO, but gave the song a very unique rock’n’roll feel. She doesn’t have the sort of inspirational life story that could make her a memorable contestant.
In fact, she says the most interesting thing about her is the fact that she is a “rebel who loves horses, art and children”. But more than anything, what works in Homan’s favour is that she looks and sounds like a pop star. The fact that she isn’t an obvious crowd favourite could give her the time she needs to strengthen her performance without pressure from fans to be the best every time.
Compared to R&B and soul music, Rock’n’roll is not a popular genre for Idols SA fans, but if Homan continues with her current formula – R&B songs with a rock’n’roll twist – she could go far in the competition.
If there was ever proof that persistence pays off, its 23-year-old Bongi Silinda. After being rejected at her audition in Carnival City, Silinda decided to audition again at the State Theatre in Pretoria. Having been a backing vocalist for Vusi Mahlasela, Silinda was adamant to prove to the world she could sing.
“My dream was shattered when I was rejected, but I refused to believe I wasn’t good enough so I tried again. Turns out the judges only had a problem with my song choice, not me,” she says.
When Silinda took to the stage last weekend, she looked like she belonged there. Mary J Blige’s Night To Remember worked perfectly for her voice. If she keeps making the right song choices, Silinda could win the competition.
The second group from the top 16 will perform this Sunday.
Idols SA airs on M-Net (DStv channel 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) on Sundays at 5.30pm.
For more information on Idols SA and to vote for your favourite contestant, visit idolssa.dstv.com