Coach Francois van Coke caught up fast in Episode 4 of The Voice SA Season 3, adding three new singers to #TeamVanCoke to bring his tally up to a total of five. #TeamRiana and #TeamRiky each gained one new singer and #TeamLIRA recruited two, to bring all three of them up to eight members.
The first contender up on the stage at tonight’s Blind Auditions to sing for a shot at a new life was 39-year-old pub singer Chezelle Shahadat, singing a dark rock rendition of the Paul Simon classic “Sounds of Silence” that had coach Francois van Coke almost in tears. It was yet another #TeamRiky and #TeamVanCoke showdown, but Chezelle confessed that she always wanted to work with Francois, so #TeamVanCoke added its third member to the team.
And then he made it two in a row when 25-year-old Richard Barnard’s version of the Springsteen love song “I’m On Fire” earned him three chair turns. Richard confessed that he originally wanted to be in #TeamRiana, but she was the one coach who didn’t turn for him, so despite earnest entreaties from coach LIRA, Richard joined #TeamVanCoke.
38-year-old musician and carpenter Shane Sonkind dedicated himself to a creative life so that he could be more available to his son, Ezra. “I’m going to sing the best I can so that at least one chair turns for me,” he told Ezra before his audition, and then he got the rare 4-chair turn! As always, coach Francois tried his level best to win Shane over, even showing off his tattoo of his and Shane’s shared birth year, 1980. But Shane said he didn’t want to go with his most obvious choice, and he joined #TeamRiana.
The Voice SA host Anele Mdoda personally travelled to Germiston to invite 23-year-old musician and teacher Leon van Zyl to the Blind Auditions, but his passionate rendition of Ben Howard’s “Keep Your Head Up” wasn’t enough for even one chair-turn. With the audience chanting “bring him back!”, LIRA ran after a dejected Leon and admitted that she made a big mistake not turning for him in time. “I can’t change the rules of the game,” she said. “I made a mistake.”
Katlego Makgotlwe (22) from Vosloorus was a hit with the studio audience, performing Asa’s “Jailer” in her mom’s graduation outfit, but the coaches seemed unsure. Until Riky Rick punched his red button on the very last note of the song, causing the bubbly student to literally jump with joy.
33-year-old Nickki van Niekerk from Port Elizabeth says she’s been pursuing a career in singing for most of her life. “It’s now or never,” she said as she took the stage to perform Coldplay’s “Fix You”. Both coach Francois and coach LIRA slammed their red buttons and were literally climbing onto their chairs in eagerness. And then right at the end, coach Riana also turned. Nicky was eager to announce her choice but Riky Rick made sure that his colleague Francois got a chance to make his case. But in the end Nikki became the seventh member of #TeamLIRA.
Joburg-based singer-songwriter Bianca Wood (30) had LIRA and Riana’s mouths agape with her performance of Blk Sonshine’s “Born in a Taxi”, but despite serious consideration, none of the coaches turned.
24-year-old Pretoria attorney Reinier Joubert chose “Matthew Reid” as his professional stage name, to differentiate his singing career from his law persona. Coach Francois van Coke and his nemesis Riky Rick both turned for Matthew’s version of Adele’s “When We Were Young”. Riky flattered Matthew that he reminded him of Freddie Mercury, but Matthew said he’s actually Afrikaans and his middle name is also “Francois”, so he joined #TeamVanCoke.
Yahto Kraft (18) from Alberton studies Musical Theatre and he performed the showstopper “Never Be Enough” from the movie “The Greatest Showman” and earned himself turns from Riky, LIRA, and Francois. “What a performance!” Riky marvelled. “I should have turned for you, you deserved a 4-chair turn,” Riana admitted. Yahto had his choice of coaches, but in the end he threw his lot in with #TeamLIRA.
Three teams are now up to 8 singers each, with #TeamVanCoke catching up fast with 5 members. That means Riky, Riana, and LIRA only have 4 more spots to fill on their teams, and Francois van Coke has 7 empty spots left:
#TeamRiky: Joel Zuma, Keanu Harker, Amy Tjasink, Joshua Parker, Sabelo Mthembu, Christiaan Baartman, Morgan Beesley, Katlego Makgotlwe
#TeamLIRA: Ross Charles, Petro De Villiers, Mo George, Krista Jonas, Rayleen Padayachee, Lora Joplin, Nicky van Niekerk, Yahto Craft
#TeamRiana: Greunen Parker, Lelo Ramasimong,Felicia Seoehle,Verona Goslett, Siki Jo-Ann Owazi, Francois Viljoen, Ilan van Staden, Shane Sonkind
#TeamVanCoke: Sade Ross, Tasché Burger, Chezelle Shahadat, Richard Barnard, Matthew Reid
The Voice SA airs on Sundays at 17:30.