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False Prophets and Idols….

Oh my gosh, my golly, golly gosh! Another freaking political storm and corruption plot to wake up to in the Sunday Times this morning. (The SAPS Office Block Plot). When will it ever end? As South Africa watches the DA and the ID join forces and the ANC promise that they will take over the Western Cape next elections I’m starting to wonder as to what is happening in the political arena, this spectacular never ending circus and even more magnificent run of side shows. Well at least on Sundays I have something just as spectacular to watch, the Idols competition. We are now onto the ten finalists after having lost 4 due to viewer audience selection. Now let me tell you, before it was never a problem to select an idol that stood out. The question now is, which one of these extremely talented young people is next to go? Because I think Gail is a total honey (ços I just love Halle Berry) and Adeline’s model appearance (FHM model anyhow, isn’t she?) one needs to be reminded that this show is now about looks alone. So what’s my make on our entrants this year:

Boki – great voice. This time round I won’t rule with my heart – I don’t think he will make top five.

Peter West – tonight he should shine. Definite Nickleback Chad Kroeger copycat, but so are a lot of other singers. Guaranteed Bloemfontein votes should keep him around a little bit longer.

Jamie-Lee – nice looking kid, nice voice. Everything nice. Seems to lack the X-factor though. Pity though, ços the top five positions are already filled. Last week her voice lacked punch and unless she changes this she will be out in the next two weeks.

Bongi – obviously very talented, great singer, comedian, charismatic, etc – he has what it takes to take to get into the top five but who knows? I’d like to see him there in any event, but as winner I don’t think so. I think he is going to captivate the hearts of thousands of people out there – definitely the liveliest character of the bunch.

Jess – very talented, very experienced. The Rock/Pop show this evening should show off her talent in this field. Because of her experience she should lead the pack. But hey, who watched Lloyd do his number last week. Definitely stole the show.

Adeline – very sexy is our Adeline. She has the X-factor. Striking looks and beautiful voice. Randall gave her the thumbs up last week because she played modern pop. Gareth can’t keep his eyes off her legs. Neither can I. I don’t think she’s going to make the top three however.

Gail – Gail is gorgeous and based on this I’d like to see more of her. However, as mentioned, looks alone don’t make up the show. Pity!

Sindi – I’m going to be interested to see how well she slots in tonight singing Rock/Pop. I think she’ll make the top three – if not we know we’re still going to see and hear a lot more of her. I support Randall here. Small girl, big voice.

Lloyd – He’s going to make the top three. Very humble, very modest, very talented. The type of guy everybody wants to be friends with. The type of guy every musican wants to be friends with as well.

Elvis Blue – Mara’s favourite (using the tear drop test). My favourite. Last week played Bryan Adams hit ‘Heaven’. Since I am a big fan of Bryan Adams I’ll try not to be too over-critical. The song lacked zing. But he has the looks, voice and talent.  Why do I like him?  I think he cares about people which will come out in his own music.

Obviously some people have their own beliefs like I do when it comes to who is top five material and whom isn’t. The girls are all good looking. Since I find Halle Berry drop-dead gorgeous my affinity veers towards Gail. Wrong way to look at it of course. From an Idols perspective Elvis Blue has a look which will appeal to the widest spectrum of people, from the boppers to grannies, from Green Point to Sandton. Buddies with Heinz and a musical teacher I think he’ll make a lot of money after this show, even if he is out in the next five rounds.

In my opnion we have the strongest 10 ever. Actually, the strongest 14 ever. But the viewer audience response and votes count. Like they say, if your idol isn’t there then it’s your doing. From a demographics viewpoint there is a clique that arises. Because each and every one of these singers has incredible talent we must just not fall into the same trap as our politics – vote with your heart and brain, not just your heart. Don’t fool yourself either, looks count. The first pop idols season saw me voting Ayanda as the next queen of pop. Heinz took it. Heinz deserves to be our number one winner of all time. He is in the limelight, looks like a nice guy, speaks like a nice guy and has become pretty much an influential figure in our musical scene.

Looking through reader polls on the internet I certainly see a mixed bag. Many say Funeka didn’t cut it and had to go home. I thought otherwise. Many saw S’Posh making it, including Mara – but she didn’t. In my real job a manager was amazed that one of the ‘coloured’ staff liked rock music. Hey man, what planet does this guy come from? What music does Lenny Kravitz play? He has a huge coloured following in South Africa. Most of my white friends love blues, modern jazz, etc. Kwaito isn’t appreciated by white people and neither is it supposed to. Yet, guaranteed there are white groups that can play kwaito and appreciate the origination of this music. And white youth that listen to this music.

The music scene in South Africa is a hive of talent. Due to lack of funds national and international exposure is a major pitfall. From my side I think that the idols music competition should not stop with a winner. Idols is viewed by pay channel subscribers only – this limits the choice both from a selection point of view as well as the potential winner – millions of peoplke casting votes don’t see their ‘Idol’ beyond the top three. I often wonder what pool of talent we may have lost when someone drops out in the top ten. We have had hosts of coloured singers that have made the top three. Now…. nothing. And music is a way of life for most South Africans, especially our coloured folk. Where are the Indian singers? All in all, this time round I hope that each and every one of these people in the top ten, yes, even the top fourteen make it big on the music scene. And let’s stop with the teeny-bopper music written for South African audience, let’s get some international exposure. We have to pay a little money to make a little money. Idols is certainly not cheap to produce – let’s make this Idols the foundation on which we can build a host of South African international stars.

While I bemoan the fact that we don’t expose these talented people to the international media and spotlight let us not forget The Parlotones, Prime Circle, Just Jinjer, Freshlyground, Arno Carstens, Watershed, Wonderboom and hundreds of others. They weren’t idols winners but are certainly doing just that. Exposing us to the international spotlight.

Who said Trevor Rabin was alone out there?

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