It was always going to be a pressure-cooker live gala show, as all three judges/mentors were even Stevens – each with two contestants remaining in the high-stakes singing competition.
But as the live component of The X Factor SA hit the halfway mark, it became clear that for the top six acts, even their best might not be enough to gain them another week’s grace on the show.
Even an electrifying guest performance on the results show by Grammy-winning megastar John Legend, who performed several sold-out shows in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg last week, could not ease the palpable tension as the contestants waited to see who had landed in the bottom two.
Television viewers had their say and Bubbles and Princess ended up getting the least number of SMS votes. They were put on the spot and had to sing for their lives in front of the judges, who ultimately made the difficult decision to send Princess home.
Saturday’s live show had been a proudly South African affair, with the top six acts performing iconic homegrown songs that have become part of popular culture. Bubbles gave her all to Paradise Road by Joy, with Khanyisa and Mbongeni from the group Iziqhaza delivering a stirring rendition of Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s isicathamiya hit Homeless.
Another much-loved classic, Scatterlings of Africa by Johnny Clegg and Juluka, was sung with gusto by Eliezer, while one of Steve Kekana’s most memorable hits, Take Your Love, was given the Wandaboy treatment.
Princess and Four were given the challenging task of interpreting more modern classics – Feelings by Zonke (a tall ask, with the singer sitting right there as a judge) and Via Orlando by DJ Vetkuk vs Mahoota (featuring Dr Malinga) respectively.
Sadly, Princess’ X Factor SA voyage has been halted in its tracks, but next week the TOP 5 – and their mentors – will slug it out to see who makes the quarter-finals and has a shot at the grand prize. Make a date with your couch to watch The X Factor SA on SABC1 next Saturday, 29 November 2014, at 18:00, followed by the results show at 19:30.
Members of the public who cast their votes for their favourite act now stand a chance of winning great prizes courtesy of Vodacom. Simply SMS the contestant’s number to 33121 (SMSes charged at R1.50) and you’ll be entered into the draw. Plus, tune in to SABC3 at 19:30 on Friday, 28 November to find out more about the contestants’ comings, goings, dreams and schemes, on XtraFactor.
Don’t forget that all the tracks performed during the live gala shows are available on iTunes for just R5.99 each – download them at www.itunes.com/XFactorSouthAfrica.