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Idols SA S17 off to a good start: here’s who impressed the judges

The much anticipated Idols SA season 17 premiere didn't disappoint as 20 hopefuls sang their way to stardom with golden tickets to the famed theatre week stage. Here’s who impressed, stunned, and let down the judges with their auditions.

Idols SA‘ 2021 edition took off with a bang on Sunday (July 11) with guest judge Prince KayBee joining Randall Abrahams, Somizi Mhlongo and Unathi Nkayi for the first judges’ auditions.

Not even the highly-televised pro-Zuma unrest could dampen the mood among ‘Idols SA‘ fans as season 17 of South Africa’s biggest singing competition premiered amid much-fanfare on Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161). 

The show’s host and co-producer Tebogo “ProVerb” Thekisho was in high spirit ensuring that contestants, who were handpicked following the launch of Idols SA first ever online auditions in January, are all charged up for what could be their first step to stardom. 

Singer Prince KayBee was a guest judge.

Linathi was the first aspirant to take centre stage. Through her beautiful audition, the show was off to a great start. The show got the first four yeses and first golden ticket of the judges’ auditions. 

Golden tickets were dished out, and more contestants marked a spot for themselves to attend theatre week.

After some positive auditions, things started to take a different turn. John, who claimed to come from two musical families, discovered that the gift of singing skipped him. He failed to make the golden ticket gate to open for him. He was the first contestant who did not make the cut.

It surely would not have been a complete show without Somgaga dishing out words from his personal and unique dictionary. He used unfamiliar words such a “phelled” or “bedanger”)

Impressive: Linathi was the first aspirant to take centre stage.

There was also 30-year-old Berry, who is a second time lucky contestant. She made it to the top 30 10 years ago, and wants to go far this year. Her rendition of ‘Never Enough’ by The Greatest Showman was declared the performance of the day by the judges.

So good was her performance that guest judge Prince KayBee even referred to her as   “the most experienced performer of the day.”

Sadly, the last performer did not get a golden ticket to end the day on a high. However, 20 ‘Idols SA‘ hopefuls got golden tickets on day 1 ahead of the soon coming theatre week.

Catch the next episode of ‘Idols SA‘ next week at 5.30pm in Mzansi Magic with gospel maestro, Ntokozo Mbambo, set to serenade the judges and audience in-between as the guest judge. 

Emalahleni-born singer Zama Khumalo was crowned Idols SA 2020 winner.

For more info/latest updates on S17 of ‘Idols SA‘, visit

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