Tuesday, July 11, 2017

One of the biggest production gambles in The Voice SA live finale on M-Net had to do with winner Craig Lucas' mom Jenny - and she knew nothing about it.

Probably the biggest production gamble in The Voice South Africa's live finale that was broadcast on M-Net (DStv 101) on Sunday evening and that saw Craig Lucas won, revolved around his mom Jenny - who knew nothing about a big surprise, and luckily "played along" perfectly.

Viewers of the second season finale of The Voice South Africa on Sunday on M-Net would have seen Craig Lucas (23) from Cape Town sing Chris de Burgh's "Lady in Red" while his mom, Jenny Lucas (52) suddenly got scooped up from her seat in the audience by a hunky dancer and then started slow dancing to her son's singing.

So well and gracefully she danced along that neither viewers nor the Mosaiek Theatre studio audience could actually tell whether she was in on the "act" and knew and was prepped for it beforehand - or whether it came as a total surprise for the mother from Elsies River.

Flanked by a trio of violinists on either side and a stage bathed in red spotlights during the latter half of the 2-hour show, Craig Lucas belted out the Chris de Burgh ballad while his mom sat and attentively watched her son from her seat.

She was flown in from Cape Town, and given a front row, corner seat at the right hand side of the stage by the AMPN production company for the live TV show finale.

While two dancers performed centre stage in front of the coaches' desk, the male dancer suddenly spun away the female dancer, dressed in red, and rushed - with a camera man in tow - over to Craig Lucas' mom.

On cue and timed perfectly in the few seconds just before building to the crescendo of the song's chorus for maximum impact, The Voice SA perfectly landed the emotional money shot as the dancer scooped mom Jenny out of her seat and started dancing with her.

And she danced along.

What could have been a live TV production disaster if Jenny Lucas didn't know and if the unprepared mom froze up, didn't know what to do, or didn't want to dance along, worked out beautifully.

TVwithThinus asked The Voice SA director Darren Hayward and winner Craig Lucas about what was probably the final episode's biggest mystery: Did mom Jenny knew what was going to happen?

"I knew - but I didn't tell her because I wanted it to be a surprise for her as well," says Craig Lucas.

"I actually missed it because if I was going to look at her I was going to start breaking. I was going to cry in the middle of my performance."

"So I wanted to see but I told myself, 'Don't look, don't look'. I will have to watch back the episode on M-Net to see it," he says.

"I think Craig's mom has turned out to be one of the great characters of the show actually. She played it beautifully," says Darren Hayward, director.