The Voice SA: Battles to begin

During this week’s final Blind Auditions The Voice SA coaches Karen Zoid, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Lira and Kahn Morbee filled the last remaining spots in their teams with more magnificent talent. Now, with 14 team members each, it’s time to move on to the all-or-nothing Battle Rounds. From next week onwards, The Voice SA episodes will also be a full two hours long, which means that the show will start a half an hour earlier, at 17:00 on Sundays.

For the Battles, each coach will pair up the singers in his or her team to take each other on in a ‘sudden death’ style duet. At the end of this Battle, the coach then has to decide which singer outperformed his or her rival to stay in the competition and proceed to the live shows during which the voting public will also have a say in the outcome of the competition. These fierce vocal Battles will play out over four episodes, with the live shows starting from Sunday 17 April.

“All four of the coaches have incredibly strong teams and are in it to win it, “says M-Net’s Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard. “But during the Battles the dynamics change dramatically. As they will literally be losing half their team, the coaches will have to think carefully – and strategically – when deciding which of the singers to pit against each other. You can also imagine how hard it will be for them to choose between two amazing singers who are giving it their all.”

This week, the very last place in Team Bobby was taken up by 24-year-old Nolene Olivier from Johannesburg who studied sound design at AFDA and is dreaming of an illustrious career in the Afrikaans music industry. She wrote her first song when she was in Grade 10 at Linden High School in Johannesburg and some of her singles have reached the top of the charts on Afrikaans radio stations.

With Nolene, Bobby’s team is made up of plenty of young, spunky, spirited and inspiring singers, including Sumaré van Schalkwyk, Lyle Anthony Volkwyn, Vernon Barnard, Zoe Mtila, Chris Werge, Kim Collins, Gavin Edwards, Chanel Davids, Xanilee Hammond, Abel Knobel, Lana Crowster, Jessica Martins and Mbijana Sibisi.

Coach Lira, who has been noticeably selective in swivelling her chair around throughout the Blind Auditions, saw her strategy paying off this week when she nabbed Tshego Makhafola (27), a teacher and humanitarian from the West Rand, Zoë Modiga (21) from Pietermaritzburg and Meyrand Roux (28) from Brits in the Northwest. All four of the coaches were in awe of Tshego’s standout voice and desperately wanted this potential winner in their teams. Tshego is studying towards an M. Education degree in Musical Education from Wits, has a B.Mus (Hons) degree, and also a degree in Maths – a triple achievement made all the more remarkable because as a child he struggled with dyslexia. Zoë stirred some souls with her mesmerizing performance of Hozier’s “Take Me To The Church” and Lira couldn’t help but calling Meyrand’s voice “sultry” and “delicious”.

Tshego, Zoë and Meyrand join the following dynamite singers in Team Lira: Jono Johansen, Busisiwe Mutlaka, LuniQue, Sibulele Miti, William Wolf, Lendel Moonsamy, Robin Pieters, Kimberleigh van der Ventel, El Clay, Jeremy Olivier and Austin Lurring.

Team Kahn, with its eclectic group of singers, garnered two more delightful voices, both from KZN, this week: born entertainer and vocal coach Chloe Clark (26) who charmed with a jazzy interpretation of “Single Ladies” and James Freedom (26) who discovered the joy of music after a serious car crash.

The other diverse singers in Team Kahn are Shen Winberg, Jade McDonald, Justin Swallow, Lara Gear, Francis Bowers, Michelle Moodie, Richard Stirton, Clemour Ngobeni, Johan Anker, Eden Myrrh, Zé and Prime Zulu.

In one of the most emotional moments of the Blind Auditions, coach Karen Zoid was in tears this week after turning around to find her former back-up vocalist Thapelo Lekoane (29) from Alexandra on stage. While Thapelo took the second last spot on Karen’s team, South Africa’s legendary rock chick was also chuffed to find a fantastic rock-and-roller in the form of Alicia-Ann du Plessis (24) who gave a powerhouse performance of the classic “I Put a Spell on You’”. Alicia-Ann was not only the last person entering Team Karen, but also the last one to make it into The Battles.

The other powerhouse vocalists to be mentored by Karen Zoid are the duo Blaque Harmony, Almur Marais, Tracey-Lee Oliver, Jono Grayson, Sofaya Nkosi, Zaretha Duvenhage, Nadine Sisam, Sibongile Sibeko, Nontu X, Tulla Eckart, Thembeka Mnguni and Marcel de Almeida.
For more information about this week’s chosen talent and how the competition works, go to Also remember to download The VoiceSA app on Android or iOS to play real-time games and stay up to speed with the latest news about the show.
You can also join The Voice SA conversation on “The Voice SA” Facebook page, and via Twitter on @VoiceSA with the hashtag #TheVoiceSA, or use your WeChat account and check in with the ID MNetTV.
The Voice South Africa is produced for M-Net by AMPN and is sponsored by Dialdirect.

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