Review: Four men’s groups chosen for the Kleinsêr finals

Nine male sêr groups showcased their talent at a sold-out semi-finals show at the Endler Hall last night.

Wilgenhof’s war-inspired performance had the audience on the edge of their seats. PHOTO: Christina Pitt

Popular songs for the evening were Jealous by Labrinth and Jon Bellion’s All Time Low. One of the groups even poked fun at the fact that nearly all the men’s groups sang All Time Low “No, no we’ll leave that song for the other groups!” said one of the performers.

The finals are scheduled for 16 August 2017.

The finalists for Kuko Kleinsêr 2017 are (in no particular order):

Simonsberg

Eendrag

Hippokrates Men

Wilgenhof

Matiemedia’s top picks of the evening are as follows:

1. Wilgenhof

Wilgenhof stunned the audience with their Vietnam War themed performance. A soul-stirring rendition of Nearer, My God, to thee marked them as the most likely winners of Kuko Kleinsêr 2017. Their soloists are some of the best in the competition – not shying away from using the full range of their voices. Come on Eileen and Stevie Wonder’s Superstition were arranged with some complexity, but the kraaie made it look easy. Lood Van Niekerk’s leadership, Francois Van Wyk’s voice and Roland Bruiners facial expressions kept the audience hooked.

CREDIT: Franco Havenga

2. Hippokrates Men

It’s obvious as to why they would be campus favourites – the choreography, the charm and their good looks. However, if one looks beyond the flash, it is clear that it is all a distraction from the fact that they lack musicality. Hippokrates seems to prioritise showmanship over music. Their Destiny’s Child medley featured soloists who are far better dancers than they are singers. Hippokrates should work on their music for the finals if they’re going up against the likes of Wilgenhof. All things aside, their African medley was simply incredible.

CREDIT: Franco Havenga

3. Simonsberg

To be quite honest, it came as a surprise that they made it to the finals. The performance was forgettable and devoid of personality. It’s such a pity that they saved, probably the best vocalist of the year, for last. Jan Jerling’s solos had everyone asking: “Where has this guy been hiding?”

CREDIT: Franco Havenga

4. Eendrag

Eendrag put up a decent effort as winners of 2016, but will have to improve if they want to win the title again this year. Flip a Coin’s Jy Doen Dit Vir My remains a sêr crowd favorite and All Time Low had the sêr trifecta to receive sêr hands from the crowd: Good solos, harmonies and falsettos. Their soloists on Michael Bublé’s Haven’t Met You Yet and Labrinth’s Jealous should, however, refine their singing a bit more before finals.

CREDIT: Franco Havenga

Although the following groups did not make it through to the finals, Matiemedia congratulates them on making it this far.

1. Oude Molen

Jealous by Labrinth which appeared to be a favourite amongst the male sêr groups this year. The problem with this song choice, is that most soloists do not have the emotional or vocal range to pull it off. Couple the voice cracks with an awkward spiritual dancing solo, and the whole performance is just bizarre. Despite a rocky opening, the men were funny and entertaining to watch. Hopefully campus will see them return in 2018.

CREDIT: Franco Havenga

2. Huis Visser

Most of their medleys were bottom-heavy and using their tenors more efficiently could have elevated their performance tenfold. Although their soloists were not the best of the evening, their performance gave the audience a good time.

CREDIT: Franco Havenga

3. Huis Marais

Huis Marais delivered a good overall performance. The Come on Eileen and New York, New York arrangement was inventive and elicited a few chuckles from the audience. Although, New York, New York sounded good, it was impossible not to think of Wilgenhof’s winning rendition in 2013. The soloists on Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up and Thando by Loyiso Bala and Lloyd Cele produced a lot of sêr hands from the crowd. Some soloists made it easier for the rest to stand out, singing off key and very softly.

CREDIT: Franco Havenga

4. Majuba

Majuba took their theme very seriously. The group took to the stage in battle formation, ready to defend the decision to include them in the semi-final. Their mash-up of Heathens by twenty one pilots and Warriors by Imagine Dragons showcased a few good soloists and harmonies. They did struggle with timing and pitch in some places.

CREDIT: Franco Havenga

5. Metanoia Mans

Eina Konyn! After Metanoia’s great performance, it must have hurt to be cut for the finals. Old classics such as Behind Blue Eyes and Kung Fu Fighting (we see you, 2013) were very well done. This is War by 30 Seconds to Mars was sung too low, but it was still epic. Van Wyk Venter has a phenomenal voice and every one of his solos had the audience reacting. Given the opportunity, Metanoia could have flourished in the finals.

CREDIT: Franco Havenga
-Christina Pitt and Franco Havenga

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