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What do you get when you take four budding musical acts, stick them in a luxury pad and pair them with top South African musos? An explosive reality show (on Mzansi Magic, DStv channel 161) that will have you glued to your couch every Wednesday night at 21:30.

Last week, the mentors reached boiling point when they disagreed about the results after the big challenge. It’s clear that viewers at home loved the drama and next level performances, with many turning to Twitter to share their opinions.

BlackBulletSA (@blackbulletteam) wrote: “#VodacomNXTLVL I love how @rikyrickworld believes in this kid” while LEGION (@legiondetonator) said: “#VodacomNXTLVL I am starting to feel like every single contest on this show is an act I would love to feature on my next project. Everyone has a different flavour but they all super talented at their craft”.

This week was definitely not short on the entertainment. The theme was debut single production. As the winner of last week’s challenge, Thami chose Danny K as his mentor. Jesse was paired with Euphonik, Zethe with Riky Rick, Theo with DJ Zinhle and Music 97 with Big Nuz. Theo stepped in as producer for all acts during the small challenge (which the mentors sat out). He helped his fellow contestants produce songs using three words central to Vodacom’s operations: connectivity, internet and data. Music 97 had the best finished product and bagged a spa treatment and dinner for their work.

The big challenge allowed them three hours in the studio, under the leadership of their mentors and a producer, to record a single from scratch. However, Jesse’s producer didn’t pitch. Euphonik encouraged him to roll with the punches. “Get used to it, people drop you at the last minute,” he told a clearly upset Jesse.

With no producer (although Maraza came to the rescue to work some magic on Jesse’s track) and a preference for a different mentor (DJ Zinhle), Jesse had a lacklustre performance that got him the lowest score. Always one to tell us how he really feels, Euphonik said: “I’m disappointed, borderline annoyed.”

Meanwhile, Thami clearly went out to prove that he belongs at the top. Danny K said his performance was his best on the show so far and that it was clear that he believes in himself. DJ Zinhle joked that she was jealous of the track that “sounded amazing”. Check out his dance moves too:

Music 97 scored the second highest, which surprised third-placed Zethe after her moving single, which Danny K called her “moment on the show”, even brought host Denise Zimba to tears. “I don’t know how to feel about the judging now, it’s confusing,” Zethe said.

With just three weeks to go, the leaderboard is as follows:

Next week, the NXT LVL contestants will be given an hour to shoot their videos. An impossible task? Perhaps, but they’ll have to show why they were chosen out of the thousands of talented musicians who entered the competition. Tune in to Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) on Wednesday at 21:30.

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