In a nail-biting episode, the Bay’s only hope for the Idols SA title was the fifth contestant to make it to a sought-after top-nine spot yesterday.
Bevin Samuels, 19, of Gelvandale, is still in the running to be named the SA Idol for 2016 after tackling Robbie Williams’s Angel and leaving judges rather sceptical last week.
In a complete turnaround, Samuels blew the judges away last night when he performed a rendition of Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself.
With the theme being Judges’ Choice, Gareth Cliff had chosen the song for Samuels.
At the end of the performance, Cliff said he was pleased with the choice.
“I bet you’re relieved to be here after last week’s comments.
“I’m pleased you’re here and I’m glad you got the chance to deliver a performance like that – very nice!” Cliff said.
Unathi Msengana said she could not fault the performance and commended Cliff for the choice.
“Thank you to you and Gareth for the perfect song choice.”
“Sometimes when we choose the song, we literally have your face and name in mind, and he [Cliff] chose the absolutely perfect song in the perfect week for you,” Msengana told Samuels.
“Hopefully we’ll see you next week.”
Hard-to-please judge Randall Abrahams agreed, and emphasised the importance of song choice.
“I was watching you backstage and you looked anxious – but you needn’t worry, I think you’ll be here for the next few weeks,” Abrahams said.
“I think the lesson for you here is that song choice is 100%, because when you get it right, it’s good.”
Somizi Mhlongo called the choice “perfect, perfect, perfect” and “age appropriate”.
Samuels’ family and friends gathered at his Gelvandale home to watch the episode.
His aunt, Zakira Allen, said they knew he would make it, but were very relieved.
“We are all crying tears of joy, we are so happy for him. Watching the show was nerve-wracking, especially considering the drama that happened when they announced the top 10.”
The family will continue their campaign in Bay malls where they will rally support for Samuels.
Fans can support Samuels by voting via SMS and sending the number 05 to 37400.