For the past five seasons of Idols SA, every winner has been a man. But it looks as though this trend could change when the 11th season of the competition comes to an end in two weeks’ time.
Mmatema Moremi is up against Karabo Mogane and Rhema Varrie for the crown and if the judges’ comments from past few weeks are anything to go by, the 23-year-old linguist from Limpopo could walk away victorious. “Oh my gosh! You are devastatingly gifted,” said judge Unathi Msengana after one of her performances a few weeks ago, praising her ability to convey sincerity in her performance.
Randall Abrahams agreed. “Keep up your song choices,” he advised. “Your charisma is what’s going to get you the votes.”
There’s no denying that Mogane and Varrie are talented singers. Mogane takes the prize for being the most consistent in terms of delivering a good performance on almost every show, but Mogane and Varrie share the same weakness – they are boring on stage. Earlier in the competition, judge Somizi Mhlongo hit the nail on the head when he likened Mogane’s personality to that of dish washing liquid.
Moremi, on the other hand, has been criticised for being the complete opposite – being so excited it sounds as though she’s screaming through her songs. But she has talent. She can sing, dance and, most important, she has that star quality that the other contestants don’t. She owns the stage with every performance and makes you feel as though you’re at her very own concert.
In the past three years, Idols SA has been won by similar singers –black men with smooth voices who hope to break into the saturated R&B or Afro-soul market. The most successful has been Khaya Mthethwa, who has delved into the gospel market.
Mhlongo told City earlier this year he was looking for a winner who had all the traits to stay in the entertainment industry long after Idols SA.
“Over the years, Idols winners have had the talent, but not the star quality. I am looking for someone who has a good voice, the right image and who is street-smart enough for the entertainment business. Someone with staying power.” Based on Mhlongo’s criteria, Moremi may well have it in the bag.
Previous Idols winners
- Heinz Winckler.
- Anke Pietrangeli.
- Karin Kortje.
- Jody Williams.
- Sasha-Lee Davids and Jason Hartman.
- Elvis Blue.
- Dave Van Vuuren.
- Khaya Mthethwa.
- Musa Sukwene.
- Vincent Bones.