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The popular opo Idols competition hit by storm Johannesburg yesterday and attracted hordes of talented singers on the first day of auditions in the city.
Held at Indaba Hotel in Fourways, northern Johannesburg, the aspirant singers, representing all race groups, arrived early to beat the long queues. Some had spent the night at the venue on Saturday.
When the Sowetan team arrived yesterday, a long line was already snaking around the venue, with some carrying their instruments.
Lani Lombard, the Idols spokesman, was impressed by the numbers, estimated to be between 1500 and 2000, of the aspirant singers.
"What we know is that some came from as far as Cape Town and Durban. These are people who have tried to get through in Durban and Cape Town earlier on without success, and have come here to try their luck once more," said Lombard.
Some of the contestants, like Tsholofelo Mokate, from Johannesburg, were accompanied by their families. Her parents, Godfrey and Mamsy Mokate, and her 11-year-old brother Gopolang were there to support her.
"I came here at around 5.30am and I have come through this first round. I will be here tomorrow for the second round of auditions. I sang Take a Bow by Rihana and this is the song that got me through today," said Nosihle Sicwebu, from Mogale City.
She spoke to us moments after she and Tanya van Loggerenberg, from Randfontein, and Dylan Petersen, from Pretoria, emerged from the audition room smiling. They had made it to the second round.
The auditions will continue today. Those lucky to be called back will have a chance to sing for the TV cameras on Wednesday. The competition will be screened on M-Net next month.