The Voice South Africa is busy making global television history with its all-new Season 3 KnockOut rounds. These rounds, in which the four different coaches each get a turn to showcase their team’s talent in their own episode, now features a Safe Zone, a Danger Zone, Steals and the first-ever public vote in this phase of the competition – the Strepsils KnockOut Viewers’ Save.
Tonight (Sunday, 7 April), Riky Rick’s formidable team took to the stage to secure their spot in the rapper’s team. Durban singer Ross Charles, whom he stole from coach LIRA last week, was already sitting confidently in the Safe Zone. Through the course of the evening Ross was joined by the adorable Amy Tjasink from Cape Town who took the audience to “Havana”; the pitch-perfect Pretoria duo “Aura” – Fentshe Nkabinde and Mapula Mahlo; Port Elizabeth’s Bitcoin entrepreneur Eon le Roux; 18-year-old operatic wunderkind Morgan Beesly from Randburg; another youngster, 19-year-old Joshua Parker from Fourways; and Skumbuzo Ndaba from Diepkloof.
As limited available space forced Riky to send some of his potential superstars to the Danger Zone, the other coaches swiftly made use of the opportunity to get them into their teams. Francois van Coke snapped up the funky singing waiter from Cape Town, Nikita Williams, and LIRA followed suit by stealing Keanu Harker – also from the Mother City. And then, it was a hat-trick for the Western Cape when Riana Nel stole handsome Tye Platinum from Ravenshead.
This means, there are four talent vying for votes in the Strepsils KnockOut Viewers’ Savethis week. They are: sweet student Katlego Makgotlwe; musician and property developer Sabelo Mthembu; actor-singer Joel Zuma; and the man with the big voice and big beard, Christiaan Baartman. The one who receives the most votes from the public will have the opportunity to make a comeback.
Next up in the KnockOut rounds on Sunday, 14 April, is #TeamRiana.
A blow-by-blow account of #TeamRiky’s KnockOuts:
First to compete for one of the remaining three spots in #TeamRiky’s Safe Zone was Nikita Williams (24). She performed the Jesse J, Ariana Grande, and Nicky Minaj hit “Bang Bang” and earned herself a standing ovation from her proud coach. “You are a full-fledged pop star,” he told her, but he still relegated her to the Danger Zone and, not surprisingly, rebel rocker Francois van Coke promptly snapped her up for #TeamVanCoke. He used up the last of his allocated two Steals to secure Nikita, after stealing Mo George from coach LIRA last week, but “it was worth it,” he said.
Amy Tjasink (26) from Cape Town chose Camila Cabello’s “Havana” with which to impress her coach, showing her voice off in a lower key. Coach Riana Nel gave one of her patented “slow nods” and marveled at how multi-faceted Amy is as a performer. Riky said every time Amy smiles at him it warms his heart, and he placed her in the Safe Zone.
Next up was 22-year-old Keanu Harker from Cape Town, singing the George Benson classic “Gimme The Night”. “You’re a superstar! I’m speechless!” LIRA exclaimed. Once again, Riky sent his act to the Danger Zone and, predictably, LIRA saw her chance and snapped him up. “It just shows how strong this group is,” Riky noted philosophically.
The Pretoria duo “Aura”, Fentshe Nkabinde and Mapula Mahlo, chose the Bucie hit “Easy To Love”, which coach Riky slowed down for them to showcase what he called their “unique approach”. “You got the party started!” Francois told them. Riky said he looked forward to working with them again but for now he sent them to the Danger Zone. “Just rest your feet there!” he laughed.
35-year-old Christiaan Baartman from Pretoria went for the Eagles classic “Hotel California”. “He makes a mark every time he steps on the stage,” his coach said but for now, he had to send Christiaan to the Danger Zone.
The 18-year-old Grade 11 opera singer Morgan Beesley said she wants everyone to love opera and she opted to sing “Time To Say Goodbye”, made famous by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. Her proud coach ran onto stage to hug her. “You can only feel joy when someone executes a performance like that,” he told Morgan, and it was clearly difficult for him to send her to the Danger Zone.
Next up was the Bitcoin entrepreneur from PE, Eon Claude le Roux (28), performing the apt choice “Don’t’ Stop Believing”, from Journey. Riana Nel said not turning for Eon was the biggest mistake of her life and begged for his forgiveness. “Eon, you’re one of the natural great wonders in my team,” said Riky, so he added Eon to his Safe Zone.
With only one more spot open on the #TeamRiky Safe Zone, 22-year-old Vosloorus student Katlego Makgotlwe stepped up to perform Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Just Like a Star”. “You’re an amazing singer,” Riky told her, but with only one spot left in his Safe Zone he had a tough decision to make, and Katlego found herself in the Danger Zone.
Sabelo Mthembu (35) from Soweto performed the John Mayer hit “Waiting On The World To Change”. “Your voice has its own place in South African music right now,” said Riky, but he only had one spot left in his Safe Zone and still four singers to go. “Just run to the Danger Zone quickly!” he told Sabelo. “Sit down!” he urged, before one of the other coaches could pounce.
Tye Platinum (33) from Ravensmead was complaining from vocal fatigue when he and coach Riky rehearsed, but “I want to hear you again and again,” coach Riana said after his performance of Chris Brown’s “No Air”. And she poached him the second she heard coach Riky say the words “Danger Zone”. “He deserves it. He had a tough preparation for tonight,” Riky said generously.
39-year-old actor and singer Joel Zuma from Pietermaritzburg stepped outside of his musical comfort zone when he selected John Legend’s “A Good Night” to perform. But because there was only one spot left on #TeamRiky’s Safe Zone and only two more acts left to perform, he had to wait to learn his fate.
Joshua Parker, the 19-year-old performing arts coach from Fourways, Johannesburg, performed Shawn Mendes’s “Stitches” and also had to wait for his result, and the final #TeamRiky singer to take to the stage was 25-year-old Skumbuzo Ndaba from Diepkloof. His experience with the Soweto Youth Choir gave him the confidence to attempt “The Circle of Life” from “The Lion King”. “This is Simba! This is not Goofy or Donald Duck!” coach Riky cautioned in rehearsal, but Skumbuzo pulled it off.
Faced with a tough decision, Riky asked Joel Zuma and Joshua Parker to step forward. He sent Joel to the Danger Zone and, out of the last two acts, he saved Joshua to the Safe Zone. Later, Riky had the opportunity to rescue three of his Danger Zone acts to complete his team of six, and he selected Morgan Beesley, Aura, and Skumbuzo Ndaba.
The Voice SA airs on Sundays at 17:30.