‘Idols’ gold given back

Zandile Mbabela


WHILE many are desperate to get their hands on a golden ticket on popular music reality show Idols, Nelson Mandela Bay beauty Melissa Allison has given back her ticket to honour prior commitments.

Talented Allison, 22, said she did not regret her decision to stay true to a three-month contract to perform in the sequel to the popular Buccaneers production at Durban’s uShaka Marine World at the time of her Idols audition in April. “At the time, the [Buccaneers] show was a top priority and I couldn’t just abandon it.

“Idols comes every year, so I can always audition again next year,” she said.

“I still had a month and a half to go with Buccaneers, so I made the difficult decision of forfeiting Idols and honouring my contract.”

Her audition resulted in judge Gareth Cliff jumping off the Moses Mabhida Stadium bungee swing after he lost a bet with fellow judge, feisty Randall Abrahams.

Cliff incorrectly predicted how Abrahams would react to Allison’s audition. The radio DJ had been confident Abrahams would find the audition too theatrical and said he would “jump off the roof” if he was wrong.

Abrahams, however, loved Allison’s performance.

Allison, a former Newton Park resident, has a passion for singing and left Port Elizabeth three years ago to pursue a career in entertainment in Johannesburg.

She hit the big time two weeks after her arrival in the city of gold when she was offered the understudy role for the lead character, Gabriella, in High School Musical: Spotlight South Africa.

Still with High School Musical – a production by internationally acclaimed industry great Pieter Toerien and Hazel Feldman – Allison has been part of an array of musical projects.

She went to Taiwan with the show in January and has also been doing a number of casino shows with director and choreographer Tyrone Watkins.

“Highlights were performing backing vocals for four artists at the SA Music Awards this year and featuring at [singer] Danny K’s album launch as his female vocalist,” she said.

“I’ve also backed Loyiso Bala on SABC 1 music show Live, so I’ve been busy.”

Allison is writing music for an album she plans to release in the near future and wants to finish her Events Management diploma before studying hospitality as she aims to one day open her own restaurant.

“But what I really want to do is open a music business school to help other aspiring artists in their rise to stardom by teaching the ins and outs of the music business, because I had no clue when I started,” said Allison.

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