The Voice SA’s Blind Auditions on M-Net channel 101 once again showcased some of the best voices that the country has to offer. Afrikaans queen of rock, Karen Zoid, nabbed the most singers of the night, while one performer who has never set foot on a stage before earned herself the fastest four-chair-turns from the coaches in Voice SA history!
Karen’s first win of the night was in fact two vocalists for the price of one, as she bagged the first duo of the season! The brother-and-sister team of Lillian and John Masser (33 and 30 respectively) performed Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”, and the moment they started, both Kahn and Karen acknowledged that they really loved the song. Karen turned her chair early on in the Massers’ performance as their loved ones emotionally looked on in the family room, and shortly after, Kahn also turned his chair, indicating that he wanted them for his team too. Despite this, Kahn actually predicted that the Massers would most likely go for Karen, which is exactly what they did, much to his disappointment.
Karen’s winning streak continued when 21-year-old Armand Joubert from eMalahleni stepped onto the stage to belt out Ariana Grande’s “Into You”. Armand was the first contestant of the evening with an impressive enough audition to warrant all four of the coaches turning their chairs in excitement. “Your range is insane – a five octave range. We’re talking Axel Rose, Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson… I would love to work with you,” Karen gushed. Lira agreed with her, telling Armand that he has star quality. Despite captivating pitches from all four of the coaches, Armand picked the coach that turned for him first, which was Karen. After being the first coach to turn first for the Massers too, could this have been the secret to Karen’s success tonight? As it turned out, being eager on her buzzer may in fact have won Karen her third and final talent of the evening, and moreover, it was a singer that she happened to recognize instantly.
Veronique Lalouette (35) was no stranger to The Voice stage, as she happened to have auditioned last year in Season 1. Veronique, a professional session musician who has been in the industry for 20 years, was in a dark place in her life when she came to try out for the series last year, and she didn’t receive any turns from the coaches then. This year, however, she returned with a brand new attitude and a whole lot of soul. She belted out Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” for the coaches and both Lira and Karen were visibly thrilled upon turning for her and seeing who was on stage. “I’m moved to tears by you,” Lira told Veronique. Both she and Karen raved about how proud they were of Veronique’s come-back performance, and Karen enthused about how Veronique is “like an Albert Einstein singer.” After much deliberation, Veronique chose Karen to be her coach going forward in the competition.
Karen Zoid was of course not the only coach to grab some great talent for her team tonight. Lira happened to snatch up two extraordinary singers too, one of which was Amanda Faku (23) from Port Elizabeth, who received the fastest four-chair-turns from the coaches in The Voice SA history after performing John Legend’s “Ordinary People”. To make matters even more unbelievable, it was the first time that Amanda had ever stepped onto a stage to sing! Like so many “ordinary” people Amanda grew up singing in her family’s home church and was studying towards her qualification in accountancy – just like Lira did before she became a super star. But as Karen pointed out to Amanda, her performance was “anything but ordinary.” After all four of the coaches literally begged her to join their teams, it was soulful songstress Lira who Amanda picked to mentor her further in the competition.
Lira also turned her chair tonight for one of the more mature contestants in the series, 37-year-old Andrew Snyders from Cape Town. Andrew, who used his passion for music to get himself out of a destructive spiral of drug addiction a few years ago, sang the All 4 One classic “ I Can Love You Like That” and it resonated with Lira so much that it was an easy choice for him to join her team.
Coaches Bobby and Kahn also each added one talent to their teams tonight. Bobby managed to expand his team with 29-year-old Jeanne-Mari Engelbrecht, a Grade 4 English teacher from Strand. Her brave and blistering performance of the Whitney Houston classic “I Will Always Love You” was a no brainer for both Bobby and Lira, but when it came to deciding which coach to pick, Jeanne-Mari – like another famous Voice SASeason 1 alum from Strand, Vernon Barnard – picked Bobby to be her coach. Kahn, meanwhile, was immediately intrigued by Zikhona “Zee” Gqamana’s gripping version of Asa’s “Jailer”. Zee, who has just finished obtaining her Honours degree in Information Systems and wanted to give music – her first love – a try, was only too happy to join Kahn’s ever-increasingly eclectic team.
Tune in to The Voice South Africa Season 2 every Sunday night at 17:30 on M-Net Channel 101, or catch the repeat on M-Net City Channel 115 on Monday at 18:00 to see all the buzz-worthy singing sports. Visit www.mnet.tv/thevoice to watch exclusive interviews with the coaches and talent, and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @VoiceSA / #TheVoiceSA or on the official “Voice SA” Facebook page. You can also download The Voice SA app today for exclusive show-related games and special features.