Gareth Cliff no longer part of #IdolsSA

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ICYMI, Gareth Cliff is no longer part of reality singing competition, Idols South Africa. The announcement was quietly made late last night. Here’s what was posted on the Idols site:

“M-Net today announced that Gareth Cliff will not be part of the judging panel for Idols SA Season 12, which is due to commence with countrywide auditions at the end of January 2016.

M-Net thanks Cliff for the critical role he has played in seeking out and developing new talent over the years and for contributing to the success of the show to date.

Idols SA Season 12 will be screened on M-Net’s Local Interest channel Mzansi Magic which is available to both DStv Premium and DStv Compact viewers.”

Earlier in the week, Cliff found himself facing the onslaught of thousands of disgruntled people on social media, who felt like one of his tweets was in extremely bad taste. Many then called for him to be axed from the panel. Whether this is related, or if GC decided for himself that it was time to move on, is yet to be established. I’m sure he’ll share his view over the weekend. I’m also pretty sure M-Net will be reviewing all talent contracts. Somizi, like Cliff, was embroiled in some pretty controversial social media postings with radio/ TV personality Mark Pilgrim late last year too. Unathi also found herself in hot water last year too, so besides Randall who is just grumpy most of the time, maybe there will be a complete shift in the panel? Let’s see how it all pans out.

In other news, it has been a heavy first week of the year for this country. Penny Sparrow, Justin van Vuuren and Velaphi Khumalo and their completely and utterly revolting racial posts, the heatwave, the matric results… Hopefully last night’s rain in Gauteng will wash away all the bad energy this week brought with it. Ffs, we’re only nine days into the year!

Karabo wins #IdolsSA

The newest South African Idols winner is…. KARABO! The 24-year-old was crowned the winner of the hit show during Sunday’s live finale. He beat out fellow hopeful, Mmatema Moremi to be crowned the winner of the hit show.  The Idols team have reported that 78.8 million votes were cast this season, which is unbelievably huge!

 

Here’s what Karabo Mogane wins:

  • R700 000 cash from M-Net, Mzansi Magic and Telkom SA, as well as a SmartBroadband Wireless 50GB 55 Inch Smart TV, a Huawei B593 4G LTE router with a 24-month Repeater Deal 6 and 50GB + 50GB Night Surfer (100GB), as well as a PlayStation 4, worth a total of R41 000 from Telkom SA,
  • a R225 900 Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost Titanium from Ford South Africa,
  • From Truworths, fashion to the value of R100 000,
  • Microphone equipment from Shure to the value of R135 000, including a ULX-D dual wireless digital receiver, with 2 Shure Beta58 microphones, an in-ear earphone and monitor system, and a flight case to house the equipment,
  • And from Yamaha, R70 000 worth of musical equipment.
  • A trip to LA to see the live finale of the final season of American Idol – NOT KAK at all
  • Opening act for Mi Casa, as part of their Dare To Love tour

FYI, Karabo’s album will also be available within two weeks of the final, in time to land up in Christmas stockings across the country. That’s big and clever too!

I must say, I’m a little sad that Mmatema didn’t win. I think she’s amazing, incredible and she has that star power. As someone mentioned on Twitter, hopefully she’ll do as well someone like Jennifer Hudson. I think she has what it takes and I sincerely hope Randall signs her. If not Universal, then definitely someone else! This is not to take anything away from Karabo. He’s fantastic too, and his voice is amazing. I just wanted a bit of change this year and I thought Mmatema was it. Alas, well done Karabo!

Idols SA – Meet your Top 10

Look long and hard, SA because these are the ten contestants all vying for your votes in this season of #IdolsSA. They were the chosen few, who beat out thousands of others, survived hell week, group rounds and all, and then faced you, the nation in the top 16 rounds. Now we’re down to just ten, and one of these talented youngsters will be your new SA Idol.

Karabo Mogane (24) from Nelspruit in Mpumalanga
Loyiso Gijana (16) from Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape.

Rhema Varrie (21) from Alberton on the East Rand.

Siphelele Ngcobo (24) from Inanda near Durban.

Dineo Moseki (21) from Vryburg.

Amanda Antony (22) from Port Elizabeth.

Elwira Standili (22) from Worcester.

Mmatema Moremi (23) from Limpopo.

Nadia Herbst (22) from Paarl.

Lungisa Xhamela (24) from Langa in the Cape

Question is, who do you think it’ll be? Watch all the Top 10 drama and action unfold every Sunday between 17:00 and 19:00, only on M-Net and Mzansi Magic.

#IdolsSA – Top 8 guys in review

Loyiso Sun City

Tonight on Idols SA, we got to see the top 8 guys performing in front of a live studio audience and with full production – band, backing vocals, lights and more. My thoughts? WOW!

Their opening number was a rendition of the smash hit by Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk. Incredible. Was it too slick? Maybe, but they did a damn fine job. After a performance by SAMA nominated Maleh, it was time to get down to business.

I’m not going to go through all of their performances. I’d rather just highlight the ones I really enjoyed, in this order:

Loyiso – a sixteen-year-old who has pipes like that needs to be credited. He took on a pretty big song, to say the least, in the form of the Sam Smith and John Legend’s Lay ME Down. Phenomenal, incredible and definitely a favourite among the crowd, both on social media and in the audience

Karabo – it’s seldom that you get to see someone so natural, calm and yet so talented on the Idols stage. Karabo has a warm and soothing voice. It’s a voice I’d like to hear more of in the next couple of rounds and beyond.

 

Thami – is another one I’d love to see more of in this season. He’s done enough to get through, but has the potential to blow us away. I’m pretty sure he will do exactly that if given the chance. Let’s see what happens.

 

Phila and Ruan were good and I think it will be between them as to who goes through. If you disagree, let me know who you think deserves to go through.

 

Otherwise let’s regroup next week, as we talk about the top 8 girls J

 

Idols airs every Sunday on M-Net and Mzansi Magic at 17:00.

#IdolsSA – Meet this year’s Top 16

Lungisa Sun City

It’s the worst show of every season of Idols because it’s so drawn out, but the drama brings the viewers and the ratings. So it must be done. If you don’t have the patience to sit around and wait to see who of the 29 make the Top 16, let me make it a little easier for you. Here are the season 11 #IdolsSA contestants:

  • Amanda Antony (22) for whom Idols SA has been a true rollercoaster ride. In 2013 she famously made it to Sun City when Unathi gave her a Golden Ticket in PE after Algoa FM had spotted her great singing talent, but then she bombed out during Hell Week. She has recently completed her Music Studies at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
  • Spunky Bridgitt Leahy (18) who blew the judges away with her original song at the Durban auditions. She hails from Creighton in the Southern Drakensberg and currently lives with her mom in Pietermaritzburg, where she is being home-schooled.
  •  Dineo Moseki (21) who lives in Vryburg with her sisters and nieces and nephews, where she works as a full-time professional singer. The pint-sized Dineo has been singing for all of her life, in school choirs and church choirs, and turned professional in 2012.
  • Elwira Standili (22) from Worcester gave up her Management Assistance studies once she won that coveted Golden Ticket at the Idols SA auditions in Cape Town this February.
  • 24-year-old Karabo Mogane from Nelspruit who studied Geoinformatics at the University of Stellenbosch before getting into the Idols SA Season 11 Top 16.
  • Loyiso Gijana from Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape is 16, the youngest singer in the competition. Up until now he was a learner at Muir College in Uitenhage.
  • Lungisa Xhamela (24) from Langa in the Cape gave up his studies in medical bioscience at the University of the Western Cape to pursue his musical dreams full-time, for the sake of his two-year-old daughter.
  • Mmatema Moreni (23) from Limpopo qualified as a professional linguist who speaks four languages. Before she entered Idols she also worked as a part-time marketing assistant and worked for her church on the side.
  •  20-year-old Business Management student Nadia Herbst from Paarl has already won the title of Miss Teen Cape Town and Miss Teen Western Cape, and now she has a third title in her sights: South Africa’s new Idol!
  • 17-year-old Nina Terblanche hails from Nelspruit, where she is a Grade 10 scholar who has Music as a school subject, and she also sings in the school choir and competes in Eisteddfods.
  • Jozi native Phila Madlingozi’s name may sound familiar, because  at age 25 he has starred in drama series like “Intersexions” and “Mutual Friends”, and has posted many of his own music videos on YouTube.
  •  21-year-old Rhema Varrie was encouraged to go into music by his father, a Pastor, who spotted his potential at an early age. Rhema is currently a financial advisor who supports his extended family.
  • Ruan Grobbelaar (24) from Somerset West was studying software development at the University of Stellenbosch when he got his Golden Ticket at the Cape Town auditions in February.
  • Shenay O’Brien(25) is making history as the competition’s first drag queen in the voting rounds. Prior to Idols, Shenay shared a home in Roodepoort with her creator, former Tshwane University of Technology drama student and performer Thiart Li.
  •  Siphelele Ngcobo (24) from Durban has been making his living as a singer since 2012. He studied classical singing in school and since matriculating he’s been focusing on gospel and jazz in his hometown of Inanda, near Durban, where he lives with his mother and siblings.
  • Thami Shobede (27) hails from Mthubathuba but is currently based in Johannesburg, where he worked for Transnet before making it into the Top 16 of Idols SA 11. He also plays the bagpipes – a skill he learned while being in the Defence Force.

Catch Idols every Sunday on M-Net and Mzansi Magic at 17:00.

Hanging out with Vincent Bones

Earlier today I got to meet and Hangout (Google-wise) with #IdolsSA winner, Vincent Bones. The now 30 year-old was crowned the winner of the tenth season during Sunday night’s live finale. Honestly speaking, he is one of the most genuine, down to earth people I have ever met. Very humble, very appreciative and very friendly. Really, really nice guy. Check out the Hangout below:

After the interview I asked (pleaded with) Vincent to please, please, please realise the magnitude of this, the platform he has been given etc. I asked that he use it to its full potential because so often we see these Idols winners take the title and do nothing with it. I wont mention names, but Khaya, Elvis and Heinz have used it really well 😉 Vincent assured me that he plans to use it wisely and fully, which is great to hear. Can’t wait to see his journey continue and to see what sort of music he has in store for us!

 

Vincent Bones wins #IdolsSA

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Vincent is your new South African Idols winner. The 29 year-old was crowned the winner during the two hour, live finale at Carnival City. He beat out his fellow contestant Bongi, to take season ten’s title. Over 24million votes were cast in the week leading up to the finale, which is incredible! The biggest season yet! On being named the winner, Vincent said, “Thank you so much for the support. I have never experienced so much support in my life. Guys, thank you so much. Thank you so much”. Here’s what Vincent wins:

  • a R700 000 cash prize from headline sponsor Telkom, M-Net and Mzansi Magic;
  • a 24 month SmartHome Supreme internet connectivity package from Telkom including a 55 inch Samsung SmartTV, a wi-fi router, a 3G mi-fi router, a range extender, and 100GB data, worth R50 000;
  • a R247 300 Ford Fiesta Titanium with award-winning 1 litre Ecoboost Engine from Ford South Africa;
  • R80 000 worth of fashion from Truworths;
  • a Shure ULXD Digital Wireless system and personal monitoring system worth R118 000;
  • R60 000 worth of Yamaha musical equipment
  • An installed DStv Explora decoder and three months DStv Premium subscription worth R4219 from DStv

Let’s be honest, it was a foregone conclusion really, but I’m really hoping Randall signs Bongi to Universal Music too because she is incredibly talented. She embodies the songs she sings and given the opportunity to write and record her own tracks, I think she will become an incredibly successful recording artist. Let’s see what happens, but well done to Vincent Bones. He is truly deserving of this title too. Good luck to them both!

Hey, listen tomorrow I’m doing a live Google Hangout with both Bongi and Vincent. If you have questions leave a question/ comment below or tweet me 😉