Idols announces youngest top 10 ever as Mzansi Magic, producers promise more mentoring

2018-09-11 07:58
Idols SA season 14 Top 10.

Pretoria – Idols SA (DStv 161) has announced the top 10 contestants for the 14th season – all based on viewers' votes.

On Sunday the three judges decided to forego their two "wildcard" saves with the top 16 contestants who were whittled down to the top 10 all based purely on viewer voting that continues to show massive growth.

The top 10 represent the youngest Idols group since the show began on M-Net in March 2002 and range in age between just 17 and 23. 

In fact the youngest contestant this year was just one year old when Idols SA first started, with the show's viewer interaction, ratings and voting being higher and bigger than ever been before for what is a veteran show and where a decline and drop-off is not just expected but actually what would be considered normal.

READ MORE: 14th season of Idols set for bigger ratings, more votes – and scandal

"The announcement of the top 10 is launching what potentially could be the biggest season of Idols ever in South Africa. We're in season 14 and it doesn't ever get lower. This is potentially the biggest season," said Reneilwe Sema, M-Net's director of local entertainment channels, at Sunday's post-show press conference with the 10 contestants and producers.

"It's all because of the talent on display and the people who make the show. These are the people who need viewers to vote and viewers love to follow them and vote. Last year, I did say that as long as Idols performs we will always support it and it doesn't seem as if it's slowing down at all. I'd like to thank the producers for that. I'd like to thank the amazing talent that exists in South Africa."

"In the 14th season you'd think that we would be running out of talent and we're more, we keep unearthing more and more spectacular voices. So congratulations," said Reneilwe Sema.

Co-executive producer Tebogo Thekiso, known as ProVerb, said that in regard to social media, the production team has a TV show that is for the people, "one can't be oblivious to what is the general thought, what is the general feeling."

"We do not allow social media to dictate the direction of the show but we do obviously consider what is the general feeling and what is most responded to and that can possibly inform some of the decisions we make going forward."

In terms of the voting he said: "Sunday was the perfect indication of where the priority on Idols actually lies. So the judges, sure, may comment and give advice, but ultimately it's up to the viewers and the voters and the priority should be there."


Following the documented psychological issues that the runner-up of the 13th season of Idols, Mthokozisi Ndaba from KwaMashu, experienced, who eventually cracked under pressure and couldn't cope and claimed that he wanted to leave during the top 10 but was prevented from doing so – something [SIC] Entertainment strongly deniedChannel24 asked Mzansi Magic and the producers on Sunday night what is being done more, better, new or differently to support the very young group of contestants this year.

"We've got a 24/7 doctor on standby who's at the house whenever the contestants call. And then we do have help with regards to medical, religious or psychological whenever they need it. But our first point of call is our doctor," Gavin Wratten, the director-executive producer and Idols showrunner said.

Bongi Potelwa-Metsing, Mzansi Magic spokesperson said: "Also this year what we try to do is to bring in from the industry experts to teach the top 10 how to handle the media, how to handle the disappointment. We know everyone goes through those emotions so we try to do our best in the background as the channel, and the production. So, we are looking after the contestants' well-being."


Yanga Sobetwa (17) is flying the Generation Z flag high and proud. Following the footsteps of last season’s teen victor, Paxton, Season 14’s youngest contestant has stepped out of the Cape Town township of Langa straight into the national spotlight. 

Nosipho Silinda (18) recently celebrated her birthday in the Idols house, and South Africa gifted the Grade 11 pupil from Ladysmith in KZN with a spot in the Top 10.

Ntokozo Makhathini (18) must be drinking the same Witbank water as her neighbour, Idols season nine winner Musa. Whatever it is, she’s keeping her small town on the map with her inclusion in the Top 10. 

Basimane Boys Melato aka King B (19) was the first to hear the magic words “You’re in the Top 10!” from ProVerb. The HR student from Kagiso has been a firm favourite since his dazzling Theatre Week performance that saw him get a standing ovation, which he followed up with another crowd-pleasing performance during the Top 16 Boys show. He reciprocated the love with his now trademark vosho…as Kings do!

Zamagambu Memela aka Xae (19) made Idols history by becoming the first contestant to get a Golden Ticket autographed – by all the judges. While that was a sweet but meaningless gesture, making it into the Top 10 is a big deal for the youngster from Pinetown, Durban.

Thando Mngomezulu (19) finally overcame her crippling lack of confidence to give a dynamite performance that saw the country showing their appreciation with votes. South Africa spoke, the judges listened, and Thando from Jozi made it to the Top 10.

Mthokozisi Nqcobo (20) may have had only two pairs of shoes when he first auditioned, but his spot in the Top 10 proves walking in them to the audition was worth it. The Umlazi, Durban, native is finally on stage doing what he says heals his heart – singing.

Thato Makape (23) is the epitome of courage and determination, as his inclusion in the Top 10 proves. A barber from Postmasburg in the Northern, Makape travelled nearly 10 000 km for an audition in Cape Town. Tonight, South Africa showed him that the journey was worth it.

Lincoln Lewis (22) from Ravensmead on the Cape Flats has been bringing fire every time he steps on stage. After being told he had given judges “the best audition of the season so far”, he went on to impress during Theatre Week and received a unanimous thumbs-up for his Top 16 performance.

Niyaaz Arendse (22) snatched the last spot in the Top 10. After many years of rejection on the show, it was no wonder the youngster from Ottery, Cape Town, was overcome with emotion.

Catch Idols SA Sundays at 17:00 on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161).

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